#2 Encountering A God Who Saves

I was raised the son of a Nazarene evangelist. My childhood was spent going from one church camp and revival to the next, all across the United States. The Jesus that my father portrayed behind closed doors was something I didn’t want anything to do with. 

When I was 13 years old, my dad continued to travel and preach, but I stayed home more and began getting involved with rough crowds, smoking and drinking. In my teens, I began smoking marijuana and taking pills, LSD, and cocaine—you name it. Eventually, in my late teens and early twenties, I became a crystal meth addict. This went on for five years; all the while, I was playing in and out of bands. I was vehemently against Christianity; if someone even mentioned Jesus to me, I would cuss them out.

My sister and brother-in-law were praying for me during this time. They gave me a copy of The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. It was a miracle that I even accepted the book. But I did, and one night I found myself reading it in bed at 3:00 a.m, with a joint burning in the ashtray beside me. But it really wasn’t the book, as much as it was what happened while I was reading the book. The manifest presence of God entered the room—and by “manifest,” I mean that His presence was palpable. I KNEW GOD WAS THERE. Basically, He said, “I am real. Now, what are you going to do about it?”

I then had a non-verbal conversation with God, saying something like, “I know you are real but how do I let go of this empire of garbage that I have built around my life? I want to but I don’t think I can do it.”

In a thought more powerful than words, the Lord said, “You don’t have to; I will.” God knew that because of the way I was brought up, if He revealed Himself to me in church, I might feel manipulated. He approached me in a way where there was no denying that it was Him. In that moment, I gave my life to Christ and stopped selling and doing drugs, and never returned to that world again.

My girlfriend gave her life to Christ a couple of weeks later. We were engaged and eventually married. My relationship with my father was restored and he baptized my wife and I. About a year later, I was hired as a worship leader. That was 15 years ago, and I have been a worship leader ever since. The Lord is still writing my story and I am constantly in awe of His goodness!

Today, I am a worship leader and songwriter for Iron Bell Music in partnership with Essential Worship and Provident Label Group, which is the Christian arm for Sony Music. We just released our first national single, “God that Saves,” which I wrote from my own story of encountering the God that saves. My goal is not fame, but rather to make Him known—to make Him famous through the gifts and the testimony that He has given me.

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

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