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False convert is what you could call me.

Many Sundays I spent time in the pew reading


along with the pastor as he would preach the Word of God. I grew up in the church since I was old enough to be in one. Surely when I went forward and repeated the prayer and got baptized, I was saved right? I was not saved. I was lost and my life was a direct reflection of that very fact. At best, I was a practical atheist as some would say. But little did I know that the parable of the sower in Luke Ch. 8 pointed to my life as the seed that fell on the rocky soil. I was a seed that dried up in the sun.

Many years I had spent in the dark pit of the lie of knowing Christ with mental knowledge and a formula that could answer the people of the church. One thing that I did not have was a brokenness of sin, knowledge of just how distant my sin had placed me from our Holy God and the repentance necessary to usher the change depicted in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

My first big crush was a girl I had stolen from my best friend. I took her behind his back, without his permission, and thus we began our relationship that the foundation was upon nothing less than that of sexual immorality. Sure, you may be saying well that is just the norm these days, but I want to tell you that I was the church kid. I was the young man that held a job, took flying lessons, was well-spoken, and could hold doors for ladies with a smile on his face. I was the young man that older men and women would look at and say now theres a boy that has it together! and I knew that. Knowing that was what made me the most deceptive person I knew, and it didnt stop at the social level; it spread to the innermost relationships that I had.

Knowing this about me will help you understand what I tell you next, and that is the way I could manipulate. I could manipulate the people that were close to me into thinking the way I thought. I was very forceful and could get my way by coercion and threatening. The two years I spent with the girl I had stolen was made up of nothing but darkness. I had surrounded myself with 1 JOHN 1:6 pornography, lust by- day and sex by night and I If we say that we have knew how to hide it well. To say at the least, I was fellowship with Him and yeti good with the good and bad with the bad. walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

After a couple of years dating her (if you want to call it that), we ended the relationship after nothing but fighting and living for nothing more than fornication. So I finished high school and went to the local community college to gear up for my future in aviation. By Gods grace, I tested out of a remedial class and was proposed the choice of another class. Out of ease, I chose a history class and that choice led me to the woman whom I call my wife today. Shortly after being with Krista for a few months, I noticed that the only thing that had changed was the woman I called my girlfriend. My lust, pornography addiction and sexual promiscuity still were thriving within me. I was able to continue my demands, deception and forceful

behavior onto her and manipulate situations into my favor. Fights always were her fault and never could the evidence point back to me, because if it did, it would mean a threat of physical or verbal abuse. As I continued in this behavior, knowing that it was wrong on all moral grounds let alone biblically, I began to notice the turmoil and pain I was causing her. Yet still, she showed me grace on a consistent basis, forgiving me from the heart and giving me second chances after second chances. This is where God showed me what forgiveness looked like. As we continued to seek life together, I still showed hardly any change. No matter what thought-changing processes I would try, google searches, self-examination, I could find no remedy for my behavior. I gave up. But Hebrews 13:4 keeping tradition, I asked for her hand in Marriage is to be held in marriage on Christmas Eve 2008. honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

We attended pre-marital counseling. The counselor at the church asked us firstly about our salvation experience. I gave him the church answer. I walked the aisle, asked God to forgive me and got baptized. He accepted that, but wanted something deeper, but I just couldnt give him much more than thatto my shame. Jesus says in Mark 1:15 "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

We continued on and got married in the summer of 2009. It was great. Married at twenty four years of age, working full time, had an apartment, responsibilitiesetc. I had no complaints, but I still had no resolution for my behavior. I was still very controlling and argumentative like a dog on a bone, would I not let something go until I had acquitted myself of any guilt. I still suffered with pornography and its grasp on my life. It seemed as though that this was just how life was going to be for me. But praise God, I was saved and born-again! No.

Isaiah 6:5 Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

In a sermon delivered by Bro. Archie at church one Sunday during a series called Holy Encounter, he read off a statement made by the prophet Isaiah.

I was cornered. I couldnt run anymore. I had been brushed with the unmatchable holiness of God. I was broken, and like Isaiah said, I was the man of unclean lips and how wretched I truly was. At the call to the alter, I immediately went forward and literally poured my heart out at the feet of Jesus Christ. I confessed my sins of sexual immorality, lying, adultery, fornication, taking His name in vain and pleaded for His forgiveness. I begged him on my knees to rescue me and save me from my own wicked ways that lead to nothing but what I had become. That day I was saved. I was humbled. I was broken. I was free.

When I arose from my knees, with snot and tears all over my face, I walked stumbled back to my seat in the pew. We went home, ate lunch and continued our life together. Did I tell my wife?-no. I retained that information, because there were so many lies that I had told her that were not kept, I wanted to make this known to her by the genuineness of my conversion. I began to bend my knees at night to pray, and I began to read my bible (while not understanding most of what I read), and placed my focus intentionally on Christ each and every day. As the days progressed, my behavior had improved; my outlook had greatly improved through the humility I had come to know and the gratefulness that increased day-byday through meditating on how good God was to die on a cross for my many sins. We continued to attend church together, trying to apply the message from each sermon from the week to our lives. It was going fairly well with still much more room for growth. Although I was trusting God and was trying to find how and where I needed to allow God to have control of more in my life, I found myself struggling to find the right job that could provide for us. I jumped from this job to that job and back to the first and it just never seemed to work. I was restless and very frustrated; sometimes at God. I continually prayed for God to show me His will, and help me find what I needed to do. I remember while working at a local factory, God had placed me working with a big, black man named Wes. I worked with him continually and he would serve to be my answer-board for all of my questions of scripture. Not only did he serve as that person, but he also served as the person to show me how to focus on God and His will for us. Sometimes it just didnt seem to make sense, sometimes I would walk away saying I just do not understand this at all Lord. All I can remember looking back was just a continual prayer for Gods will to be done, but just make it snappy Lord! I sought after a fire-fighter position that took months to prepare for, only to fail the physical exam. During that time, I recall Krista saying to me, you just want to be a hero dont you?I did. After my failure of the physical exam, I went home surprisingly undiminished and actually quite positive. I got into the bath tub to soak and reflect. As I was just shaking my head in frustration in finding my purpose, I was confronted by God (of all places) and His presence was just undeniable at that time. The best way that I can explain it would be to compare it to the feeling you get when you

hear a loud noise at night not knowing what it ishow your heart is in your throat and you just lie there in a frozen state waiting for something else to either confirm or nullify your fear. And in that time, it was as if He was pointing His finger at me and declaring I am calling you to go! And just as quickly as He came, he went. I knew He was calling me to go and preach. I had been feeling that I was before this had happened, but being totally afraid of that type of life and expectation, I just ignored it. Much like Moses, I was petrified and thinking surely that wasnt real me? Are you sure?! I dont think I can but out of obedience, I verbally announced to Him Yes, Lord, and just like that, I was scrambling to make sense of all of this. I ran though, of course, and after time had elapsed, I let that calling slip and began to pursue a job with a local steel mill, in which was a very long application process, only to be denied and brought back to the same frustration that God had answered not even six months ago. So finally, after much debate with my flesh, I surrendered to the call to ministry. And now, I cannot stand to be idle. I literally search for opportunities to stand and proclaim the beautiful Gospel that God has put in my hands and entrusted me to share in truth and love. And to maybe what may be a surprise to many of you, my favorite venue of preaching is at the county jail. It is a place where men are just like me when I began. They are in a wreck, desperate, broken and up to their ears in sin, and oh what a blessing it is for me to carry the good news of forgiveness and regeneration to a soul that is in rebellion to its creator.

How could I ever do without Him?