PROLOGUE: Russ is a good guy! He loves children and they love him. He has a great family and wonderful attitude about life. He is very involved in ministering to young children at his church. He is great with his own children. Remarkably, he reached this point without any example from his family of origin. Its not that his family was bad, because they werent. They were simply not involved with Christianity or Christ. His wifes faith helped open up the door of his heart. His experience with Christ has been life changing and life fulfilling. As he relates the moment he knew he was ready to give his life to Christ, remember the dramatic change in the life of the Philippian jailer when he learned the truth and in the middle of the night had Paul take him to the river to be baptized (Acts 16:25-34). Change begins when the Holy Spirit, our Champion of Change, enters our life when we become Christians (Acts 2:28; Titus 3:3-7) and begins the process of changing us to be like Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). I hope youre blessed by his story. If you would like more information on how your life can change, please drop us a note by clicking the word CHANGE.
By His grace,
Empty promises and directionless are two ways of describing my life before I heard and understood the message given to me by Christ. I thought I was a good person and that was enough to qualify me as a Christian. Boy was I misled. It wasnt long until a very dear person in my life talked to me about the difference between being good and being a Christian. Once I understood that, I realized how wide the margin was between the where I was and where I wanted to be.
I began watching and wondering about what it was like to be a Christian. I wanted to know why it was so important to know Christ. At one time in my life, I had believed that drunkenness and senseless behavior was all right as long as you didnt do it too often and it didnt hurt others. What I didn't know was that it was hurting a most important person, ME!!
I began reading the Bible. I started with the book of Acts. I learned of the many trials and challenges new Christians faced in the early church. I related to many of the people who saw the miracles of Christ and His disciples. I was especially interested in Saul, who later changed his name to Paul after Jesus turned his life completely around. Then and there I realized that being a Christian could bring new direction and meaning to my life. If he could give Pauls life a new direction, he could do the same with mine.
I talked with the minister of the church I was attending with my wife. She had grown up in a very devoted and loving Christian home. She had given her life to Christ in baptism when she was a young teenager. This was all so new to me! I studied the New Testament, especially the life of Christ. All of this was making a big impact on my heart.
I remember very vividly the moment that I knew I wanted to be baptized. I was mowing the yard and thinking of the lesson I had heard the day before. It helped me put things into perspective. Suddenly I stopped mowing, went in the house, and told my wife the time had come. You might relate it to the moment a pregnant woman says, Its time. I knew it was my time and there was no turning back.
Since that day 11 years ago, I have filled the void in my soul and life. I have found a direction that has guided me through difficult times and situations which I was able to bear with Christ by my side and as my guide. I have discovered that prayer is a powerful gift to seek answers and ask for forgiveness. I have found a peace that comforts both my family and myself. I know that at any time, day or night, good times or bad, Christ is there for me just as He was many years ago on the cross at Calvary. My family is very whole because of my decision.
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Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
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