Pastor Chris' Testimony

It is amazing to think back and see what God has done in your life. My life before truly following Christ and my life now are so radically different. I would like to share with you a testimony of the work of Jesus in my life.
I grew up in a single parent home. My mom went back to college when I was very young, so she was raising me, going to school, and working. I remember that we were always financially stretched, but happy. I always loved the outdoors and I was blessed that the apartments we lived in had woods all around them, so I was always out playing. My life as a kid was pretty typical, but faith was never on my radar. When confronted about faith I just kinda filled in the gaps on my own. I sort of just chose what sounded good to me. I was always afraid of death, so I decided that reincarnation sounded cool.
When I was still in elementary school I went to visit the Power Team. They were a group of muscle guys who would bend bars, rip telephone books, and lift heavy things and then tell you about Jesus. They gave an invitation at the end that went something like this, "If you want to meet the power team and learn more about Jesus, follow us through this door." So, naturally, I went. I don't remember how it all went down because we were being herded through like cattle, but I do remember walking out with a sticker that said, "Today I became a Christian." I didn't become a Christian that day, but whoever counseled me got to hand out a sticker and write me down on a piece of paper and add that to the count at the end of the day.
By the time I was a teenager I had changed my mind again. I believed in heaven and I believed I would go there when I died because I considered myself a good person. A friend of mine who came from a Christian family asked me, "Where do you think you will go when you die?" I responded, "heaven." He then asked if I was a Christian and I told him I was not. Then he said, "Well, only Christians go to heaven." Wow! I was bummed because I wasn't one and didn't know that I could become one...and that was the end of the conversation. When I was 14 years old I was killing time in a chat room (ancient technology) and there was a discussion going on about religion. I shared my 2 cents and moved on. I believe my comment to the group was that God wouldn't send people to hell because that was evil. I was sent an Instant Message on the side from an AOL user named AReverend. He began to share the Gospel with me. I had never heard it before, even though I lived in the Bible belt for my whole life. Right then I gave my life to Christ. It was a genuine conversion and I was so happy to be saved. Immediately I started reading my Bible and praying, but I didn't attend church. I never had gone to church and I didn't really know, at 14, how to start. That was a big mistake...the devil saw me separated from the flock and attacked.
Before I had reached 15 years old I really started making some bad decisions in life. I quit reading my Bible and praying. I became a prodigal son very quickly. Looking back, I believe it was a miracle I never got into any major trouble that would follow me for the rest of my life. I barely graduated High School and I had no direction in my life. After getting out of High School, a friend of mine rededicated his life to the Lord and began praying for me. His prayers were heard and God, my Good Shepherd, found me and brought me back into the fold.
I spent a long time repenting of the past 6 years of my life and wondering if I had really been a Christian, but then it dawned on me: If I hadn't been a Christian, God would have left me alone. But because I was His son, He sought me out and brought me back. My rededication to the Lord was as powerful a moment in my life as the day I got saved. This time I wouldn't make the same mistake...I got involved in a local church and a campus ministry. I was baptized and began serving in that church. I soon found that I felt the Lord's blessing when I was serving Him and He put a desire in my heart to pastor.
I surrendered to the ministry at 22 years old, changed colleges from the U of A to Central Baptist College, and began serving the Lord as a youth pastor and though a college ministry as well as pulpit supply.
It was at CBC that I met my wife, Rebba, and we were married within a year of meeting each other. We have been serving together ever since. The Lord has blessed our family with wonderful children (currently 3 with one due in August.)
After I surrendered to preach, my mom gave her life to the Lord. A little over a year ago my dad became a Christian. Why the Lord loves me and called me to the ministry I will never comprehend, but I'm blessed to serve Him daily. 

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