I was always intrigued by spiritual things. I thought there was a spirit or a cosmic force, but I did not believe in a God that knew who I was. As Pastor Joe always says, God loved us before we knew Him or ourselves. One day, as clear as day, God spoke to me and that experience changed my life. I began reading my old Gideon’s Bible taken from some hotel years ago that I hadn’t read. I also began listening to podcasts and I even tried church a few times.
In the years following, I realized something else. That experience planted a seed, but it is the loving people in my life that tested and stretched and eventually grew my faith beyond what I imagined. They taught me patience, kindness and understanding. I am slower to anger and more forgiving. Faith started moving out of my head into my heart, and eventually, to my great surprise, to action.
Then I met Lisa Tanner, who is here with me now, and we began delving more deeply into the faith together. Being part of her learning and growth helped me as well. Now, here at Highland, I have a fantastic community of Christians to explore and learn with in addition to Lisa, and I am looking forward to a life of faith that grows deeper and richer every day, thanks to everyone in this room.
I am ready to begin this journey, as imperfect as I am, towards being a new child of God, because I have a great community here and most importantly, because Jesus Christ makes it possible. I am ready to leave my old life and experience a better way. Thank the Lord that even people like me have a chance to live a new life and to realize that God is deeper and more amazing than we ever could have imagined.