As per my promise, in the introduction thread, here is my testimony:
I was born on this day (9/28) in the year that Israel became a nation. I was brought up in the United Methodist Church. I was confirmed at age 13. I had a strong belief in God and I believed that the Bible was all true. I feared that God would strike me dead, if I dared to doubt the Bible. However, I did not understand salvation. I had the idea that if my good deeds outweighed my bad, that I would go to heaven. I felt that I was a good person and would surely go to heaven.
I enlisted in the navy when I was nineteen. I was eventually stationed on an aircraft carrier. I celebrated my 21st and 22nd birthdays in the war zone, off the coast of Vietnam. While we were in San Diego, preparing to deploy, I was exposed to the true gospel several times, but still did not understand it. I responded to an alter call at a servicemen’s center, but my life did not change. It was not apparent to anyone that I had more than just a passing belief in God. There was a shipmate who explained salvation to me. It was beginning to register, but there was one thing that I could not accept: He said that I also had to belong to his church.
I got out of the navy in November ’70 and got a job at a print shop. There was a stock-boy there, who was born-again. He had a great burden for me. In July, 1971, he gave me a Four Spiritual Laws tract and ask me to take it home and read it. I did, but I did not was to discuss it with him. He finally ask me what I thought of it. I told him that I could not accept it because of what I had been told by the shipmate who said that the had to go to his church to be saved. The stock-boy gave me answers to a few other questions. He also said, “I am not asking you to join my church or to give me anything. I am only asking you to accept Christ.” I had no more arguments, but I need some time to think it over. Within about 48 hours, as I was ready to go to sleep, I read the Four Laws book again and for the first time in my life, I realized that I was separated from God and on my way to hell. I prayed the suggested prayer in the booklet and went to sleep, not realizing at the time, that it was the single most important event in my life. I woke up a changed man and even I was very surprised at the changes. My foul mouth disappeared, without any effort on my part. I grew a love for the Bible. I was no longer interested in drinking and going to bars, so that drifted out of my life. I found that there were many Christian coffee houses around town (Minneapolis-St. Paul area) and in addition to eventually finding a Bible believing church, the coffee houses were a big part of my life. I eventually joined the staff of one of them and had a ministry there. I also met my wife there. We will celebrate our 36th anniversary in October.
I went to Bible college and earned a Certificate in Bible. I have been blessed with many ministry opportunities over the years, including being a chaplain at a nursing home, traveling and playing in a country gospel band, teaching children and now, I occasionally have the opportunity to preach at the church that I attend. I have had a good life and I am thankful for all that the Lord has done for me. We have four sons, all of whom have accepted the Lord. One of them went to be with Him at age 24 in 2007.
I was employed at a printing company until I retired about a year ago.
I am thankful for all that God has done for me and I praise His name.