In 1971, at the University of Maryland, God transformed a college hippie and friendly fraternity druggie into a born again Jesus freak.
Having been raised by parents who had grown up nominally Jewish in New York City, my conversion was truly a miracle of God.
Jesus made the radical statement that He was the only way to God as well as the Way, the Truth and the Life. A childhood friend who had been a fellow grass smoking companion tried to explain this radical statement of Jesus. For Tim had changed. He had become a Christian. And I didn’t like it. I didn’t like losing a friend. So, I began to read the Bible to prove him wrong. That is when I read John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”
I slammed the book shut. I was incensed! “Who does Jesus think He is? God?!”
But Tim, with a grin from ear to ear, explained 4 points to me. “If you accept Jesus: He will always be with you; He will give you direction and purpose in life; He will give you eternal life; and you will discover that God is real.” This last point was the hook that got me.
So on a summer roofing job atop a house, I struck a deal with the Almighty Creator of the Universe. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I said “Jesus, I do not know if You are real or not, but I accept You into my life and I’ll give you two weeks to show me who you are.” In His mercy He did not send a lightening bolt to strike me. Instead, in His mercy He sent peace and I immediately sensed I had done something right. Before I got down from that roof I had a great urge to read the Bible. That in itself was a sign that God had accepted my challenge.
My life changed quickly. My first prayers were for: a job, a girl, and a Christian group to “hang out” with.
God answered that prayer simultaneously with a job at the local University restaurant where I met a waitress who later became my wife and who was part of a Christian group called Campus Crusade for Christ. Shortly after those answered prayers God removed my desire for drugs and cigarettes. A friend told me, “Whenever you feel “a sin coming on” you should pray and plead the blood of Jesus to take away the temptation to sin.” I did and God delivered me.
In the decades that have followed, God has crystallized His perfect plan for me to serve Him by serving others. My wife and I have chosen Micah 6:8 as the principle that guides us each day – to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. Evangelism and disciplemaking have been my personal objectives since the days of my conversion and through the years that followed of Pastoral leadership, Christian missions, and ministry to the poor and homeless. Whether counseling a person in crisis, or witnessing to sunbathers on Cocoa Beach, or praying with a salesperson in a furniture store, or sharing John 14:6 with a Sento owner in Tohoku, Japan; my goal is always the same – to proclaim Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
More Faith Stories
I’d been drinking all day long and pulled out into the path of an oncoming vehicle with a with a woman and all of her children packed into this car. They T-boned me and at that moment everything went blank.
One Sunday the music director said the handbell choir needed more members. I thought, “No, I wasn’t ready to get involved.” At the end of the service I found myself volunteering for bell choir!
One Sunday afternoon I was sitting drunk in a bar, and I’m looking around. The only ones in the bar were the bartender, some shady looking guy in the corner, my ex-boyfriend’s mom, and me. I heard this voice in my head say, “What am I doing here?”
This past year I found a black dot on my thumbnail that looked like a pencil point. Nothing much to it. Then it became an abrasion at the end of my nail. My doctor referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who found it to be malignant skin cancer.
At that point I said, “I can’t do this myself. It’s in your hands, God.” That part I remember clearly. It turns out that it was really, really was up to Him (and a good surgeon).
So when drugs and alcohol came around, it was easy for me to say “yes,” because I didn’t have anything in me saying “no” anymore. As I got more involved with drugs, I got into more crime. I started committing violent crimes, selling drugs, abusing drugs ended up back up in prison.