God has blessed me with a wife of 43 years and 8 grown children. I grew up in a godless home, having gone into a church three times as a child. In my early twenties I met a Christian, started reading the Bible, and eventually professed faith in Christ. Outwardly I changed, but I always questioned my relationship with Him. I was willing to let Jesus be Lord of the things I wanted Him to be Lord of, but I maintained lordship over much of my life. After 15+ years, I left the church rather than continue the charade of being a Christian.

Upon leaving the church, I continued a respectful lifestyle and professionally I was thriving. From the outside all looked well, but inside I hated my work, I hated the world, and I hated myself. I shamefully admit I also hated God because, in my eyes, He was to blame for my woeful life. I often wrestled with Him about His pathetic world, filled with wicked people. My eyes focused on God’s sovereignty, but not mans’—particularly not my own—responsibility.

After watching some ISIS execution videos, I let God know what I thought of Him for allowing people to carry out those acts. He communicated to me that I was no better than them. As I contemplated that, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that ISIS did those brutal acts against “enemies”. But my unloving, selfish acts hurt the ones I supposedly loved. I realized I had become like the father I hated for the same thing.

This led me to despair to the point of deciding to take my life. I closed my business and decided to take a one-way prodigal son trip before my life insurance policy expired. In the summer of 2021 Yvonne planned an extended trip on her own, so I committed to my trip also. BUT GOD had other plans. By His grace, He led me to read a book about John Newton and then gave me a strong desire for the Word. I read for hours upon hours every day. One evening I came to the parable of the prodigal son. As I started to read, I burst into uncontrollable tears thinking about the father’s response. I literally cried myself to sleep. Several days later, I cried out to God to save this sinner.

So what changed this time? Yes, outwardly I am different. But having been justified by faith, I have peace with God through Jesus. No longer do I want to be lord of my life, because I know my heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. My greatest desires are to behold the glory of the Lord, that He might transform me, and for Him to work in me to will and to do for His good pleasure.