Howdy, it’s an honor and privilege to get to tell my story. This is the story of how I met my best friend.
I was raised morally right. I was taught not to steal or lie and to be good to other people. But I wasn’t raised in church. One morning I got up to go to school and kissed my mom goodbye, as I always did. I was 15 years old. I remember it just like it was yesterday. When I came home from school my dad was waiting for me. I could tell there was something wrong. He told me my mom had gotten sick during the day. He took her to the hospital and she died. Losing my mom just devastated me, and my whole world changed.
It wasn’t too much longer, just a few months, and my dad passed away. I had just turned 16. I was out in the world and on my own. I didn’t know anything about all the things of the world but there I was. It wasn’t too long after that I started hanging around the wrong kind of people and crowd, started smoking pot, drinking and taking pills. I just got on the wrong road. By the time I was 19, I had wrecked my life. I didn’t care about anything. I wound up in trouble. I stood before the judge, and he took that little hammer and he gave me a year and a half. I thought “Ahhh, that wouldn’t be no problem.” And just to be honest, I didn’t really care if the sun came up or not. I’d had all of life I wanted. But after I was in there a while, I got to see what it’s like to be told when you can eat, what you can eat. I didn’t have freedom. I didn’t understand what it meant to be free, until my freedom was taken away. I went from being the baddest to the saddest fella in there.
One day in February, a fella came by to visit and started talking about a man called Jesus. He told me that Jesus died for my sins, and He would forgive me of all the wrong I had done. He said Jesus would be the best friend I’d ever had. I thought, “Man, I don’t have any friends.” I heard a voice say, “Try me.” I thought about that. About that time I heard it again, “Try me.” I thought, “What have I got to lose?” I knew I had done wrong. I bowed my head and asked Jesus to forgive me. And it was just like that, like the snap of a finger, the weight of the world lifted off me. I could have run five miles if they had opened the door.
I didn’t know anything about church or nothing like that, but I did remember my mommy telling me about Jesus when I was a little boy. She described it as he lived up in the sky, what was a little 5 or 6 year old boy gonna think, if he lived up there he’d probably fall down. (Chuckled) By her telling me that, it gave me the faith to believe what the man was saying about Jesus. Then I heard the voice saying, “Try me.” And I did. I haven’t been the same since. I’ve got a reason to live. I love working with young people because I almost didn’t make it as a young person. I guess that’s what motivates me, plus I believe that’s what the Lord wants me to do.
Being saved over 35 years ago is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I’m still saved and happier now than I’ve ever been. I’m on my way to heaven. I’ve got the greatest gift ever offered, and all I had to do was ask. I’ve heard preachers, preach about how King David said, “Taste and see that the Lordis good” (Psalm 34:8). Just try Jesus. You don’t know what you are missing. I have tried for over 30 years to explain how good salvation is. I once heard an old preacher say that if the whole world could comprehend and realize what it is like to be saved, there would be no cars on the road, no airplanes in the sky, nothing would be going on because everyone would be on their knees getting saved. Now that’s how great it is to be saved!
If you don’t believe me, give Jesus a try and I love you guys.