Paul Seefeldt

I began my life as the son of a Missouri Synod Pastor, and spent my early years in the church. I had to attend every event and every church service. I participated in children’s choir and Vacation Bible School, and I even went to daycare and kindergarten at the church. Not only did I have to attend, but I had to behave, too. I had to be responsible and make the other kids behave as well. I did not like church. In fact, I hated it. I also hated God. What kind of person would make a six-year-old boy wear a tie and have to sit still and be quite in an un-air conditioned church in Florida in the summer?

There was tension at home, too. My mom founded and administrated the kindergarten, and there were issues that were carried home from the church. Yet, I had to pretend that everything was perfect, and so was I.

I hated church. Except on Christmas Eve. There would always be a candlelight service. At the end, when the flames were blown out, the glow of the candles, the smell of the wax, and the carol, “Joy to the World,” made me feel at peace and happy. I felt something tangible and strong. Everything was going to be okay. Peace.

My parents left the church to go back to school to get their doctorate degrees. They had experienced great hardship in the church and resented the church, its people, and also God. Church was no longer part of our life. In fact, Sundays were now spent with my parents typing research papers. Every once in a while, we would attend the campus ministry in a small house. I would be the only kid, beside my sister; everyone else was a college student. We could eat all the donuts we wanted, we didn’t have to be quiet or behave. Folk music was playing, and we sang, “Blowing in the Wind.”

In time, I became a thoroughbred racehorse trainer: a very stressful occupation. I had success and failure. I achieved great goals and won stake races. I even raced a horse in the Kentucky Derby. But I also flirted with financial ruin and was often deeply in debt and troubled by the IRS. I was well known in my industry, and respected. I was somebody.

But I paid a price for that. I was always anxious and stressed. I fought the stress by trying to achieve more. Win more. Get better clients, better horses. When I did those things, instead of relieving the tension and stress, it only increased.

The moment we pulled into the parking lot where the picnic was being held, something happened to me. As I opened the car door and stepped out, I felt such an odd feeling. Peace. It was so profound that it almost scared me, yet it was so pleasurable that I began to fall into it.

One Sunday afternoon my wife at the time informed me that we were going to attend a church picnic that afternoon. I laughed. I was looking forward to a nap, not a picnic, and besides, I had to feed 25 head of horses by myself that afternoon. No small task.

In the end, she agreed to assist me feed the horses if I went to the picnic with her. I had no interest in Christianity. I decided that I would make the best of this picnic. Maybe I could meet a new client there, some rich Christian. I loaded my pocket with business cards and prepared my speech about my training achievements.

The moment we pulled into the parking lot of the park where the picnic was being held, something happened to me. As I opened the car door and stepped out, I felt such an odd feeling. Peace. It was so profound that it almost scared me, yet it was so pleasurable that I began to fall into it.

The peace was total and complete, better than a post-racquetball exhaustion and high. Better than beer. Better than anything I had experienced before. As I met and mingled with people, no one wanted to know about my win percentage or my next runner. They only seemed to care about me as a person. My ego did not know how to handle that. I wondered if the peace came from the new location, we had moved from central Maryland to the Northeastern corner of the state, to be near Delaware Park where I had relocated. Perhaps the peace came from the slower pace of life in the area. But I noticed folks in wheelchairs, heard someone talk of their terminal cancer, and soon learned that this area and its people were not immune from stress and problems.

The peace I experienced at that picnic forever changed the course of my life. I began to search for it, to discover where it came from, and how to find it.

Now, 20 years on as a Christian and a pastor, I am still searching for that peace. From time to time I do encounter a taste of it. A supernatural feeling. Yet, it is elusive. However, that one experience was so strong that its memory still compels me onward in faith. Peace beyond understanding. That experience drove me to Bible study and learning more about Jesus and following him.

What I learned fed me and made sense. There is a God, and that God loves us all very much, and desires that we would love Him and one another.

It was normal around the people I ran with in my neighborhood. It was accepted. Matter of fact, it was worshipped. You know, hurt people hurt people.

I didn't see the consequences of my actions spiritually or in my environment until years later. As a result, I’ve been through many Cognitive Behavior Therapy programs in the State of Delaware. I've been in juvenile justice. I've been in Gander Hill prison. I've been in the CREST Program for convicted drug abusers.

By this time I was I was no longer selling drugs. I had been consuming prescription opioids for a long time, buying them on the street, and then going to the methadone clinic. I did methadone for about three years and Suboxone and Xanax. Always took other drugs with it. So I weighed about 145 pounds and woke up one day in Christiana Hospital.

My brother, Jeremy, by then had had a long stint in Narcotics Anonymous and ironically showed me the road to recovery. He was sitting at the end of my bed. I had such an overwhelming feeling of shame that I couldn't even look him in the eye when he was talking to me. He said, “The doctor was in here. You died twice. They brought you back to life.” I had seizures from benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Waking up in the hospital was not strange to me. It wasn't odd, it was normal. I lost my girlfriend, Ashley, and my dad in active addiction. I woke up next to people who were dead next to me. My mom's best friend's daughter, who I was dating, died. It felt like God reached down and grabbed for me, but missed. I was ready to go, you know, but He had other plans for me.

As soon as I got out of the hospital I got high again. My parole officer, Officer Denunzio, an Angel dressed in the probation and parole uniform, arrested me and he took me to Gander Hill prison. I’d been there many times. Back then the prisons didn't put you on medication or treat your drug problems with another drug. You went to the infirmary and you withdrew there.

I came out of the cell and a guy I knew from the street who was noticeably high shouted, “Hey, Zach Bibb.” Right then I did something different. I made a decision to turn my life around. By the grace of God I survived. It took every bit of it to get me to surrender when I was 29 years and 10 months old.

More Faith Stories

There are people who sometimes have a stomachache and think it's cancer, they think it is a terminal illness. Sometimes people think there is no solution, but it is only a stomach discomfort. It's something bad that you ate that upset your stomach. It is that people that are losing their faith. They get concerned about so many things. They wake up and see the car with a flat tire, and it is a bad day.

There are more important things we need to learn. We need to seek the Lord, because time is short, time goes by quickly. I've got three children: my first daughter is 25 years old. My son is 21 and my other daughter is 16. I mean, time goes by fast.

This means this is an opportunity for you to devote your heart to Jesus Christ, so that He can save you, so that He can be your guide, so that He can be your path, so that He can be everything in your life. Listen to this message, share it with your family. If you do not have a family do not think you are alone. God is with you wherever you are. God will be with you come what may.

Now, what happened with COVID two years ago was unbelievable. God put us to the test. Many people died, and that's something that's coming ahead. There will be more illnesses, there will be more regulations. But if we keep our faith in God, if we continue to trust in God, He will give us the peace we need, the peace the world needs.

Sometimes in the community, there are a lot of people who are watching their backs. For their own protection they hire bodyguards that watch over them night and day because they feel insecure. But we have God to protect us. Day after day, God protects us. God takes care of us. God gives us strength.

I strongly encourage you, I dare you to seek the Lord. This Why I Love Jesus ministry goes across the globe spreading the word of God, telling the world Jesus Christ is real, He is not dead.

There have been many stories in this world which were looking forward to changing history, but we have this story of faith that we believe, come what may, the Lord will be with us.

So if you have relatives, share this experience with them: brothers, sisters, parents. If your family has never been in contact with Jesus, now is the time for you to tell them to embrace Him, to embrace God. Tell them about the story in the Bible that says there is a man in hell, being burned there, and he would like to have a chance of getting out of there. But unfortunately, he has already lost the opportunity. In other words, there is no way he could leave hell.

And you who are there watching this testimony, this word of the Lord, this is the opportunity that you get. Maybe we don't wake up tomorrow; we don't know what will happen tomorrow.

This is the moment for you to say, "Lord, forgive me. I have failed a lot; I've failed in several things, but I want You to be my Savior, I want You to be my shield, I want You to be my strength, I want You to be everything in my life."

Make your decision. Sometimes in day-to-day life, we make decisions, many of them, but this is the most important decision you should make in your life. That is to devote your life to Jesus Christ, commend your life to Jesus Christ, so that He can be everything in your life. May He be your peace, your strength.

At times, people have enough money in the bank and think with that they will change the world, think that will be their protection. But money is only an ordinary piece of paper. In the end, the paper will run out, the money will run out, but treasures we did will remain when we're in heaven.

So let's make this an invitation. Let's hope this message will reach someone in need of it. So you who are out there, this message is meant for you.

My stepfather was an alcoholic, and we had a difficult life. But God changed us. When I began going to this church in 2000, God changed me. God changes you, and God wants to do great things with your life.

So, I mean, maybe you are also having a hard time with an alcoholic father, an alcoholic mother. Let me tell you, I had bad thoughts in my head about finishing him, killing him, destroying him, so that it all would end. But when I got to the feet of Jesus, when I started going to church, God made changes in me. God makes changes in you. God changes your mind.

When God entered into my life, and I looked at my stepfather again, I saw him in a different way. I held a grudge inside my heart, but nevertheless, God was working on me. God worked on me and gave me peace. I was smart enough not to commit a crime. God showed me the way I should live.

In addition to being at peace with God, He gives you intelligence. God gives you wisdom to be on the side of right every day in our lives.

So, this is an invitation, whether you're a woman, or man, or youth. Young people sometimes make decisions which scar their lives forever. To put it another way, if you are young, make your decision to accept Jesus: don't wait until tomorrow and say, "No, I'd better wait before accepting Jesus Christ, before accepting God in my heart. I've still got a long way to go. I want to live my life, and I want to do things. When I'm older, I'll see whether I change." But we don't know what happens tomorrow, so you should make up your mind today.

I've had some friends who made their decisions too late. I had a friend who said he was going to drink his life away. He was going to drink, that's what he was going to do. He was going to do drugs, to live a totally careless life. He thought he was being cleverer than God. But he wasn't, nobody is smarter than God. At the end of his life he was going to seek God's forgiveness.

Had God been given the opportunity, He would have forgiven him, He would have indeed. But my friend didn't take the trouble to get to that point. He was doing his drugs, drinking and whatnot. Then he grabbed a gun and shot himself in the head.

I mean, we don't know what was the last moment in his life, whether he asked forgiveness or not. We only had the word he killed himself by putting a bullet in his head. Odds are he didn't have the opportunity of begging God's forgiveness, and he lost his life. Or better expressed, do not let the enemy fool you. The enemy hampers your life.

That means to move on and accept Jesus Christ. He is going to give the answers. He is going to give you the peace you need. That's my testimony, and I know this is on behalf of God, so people would turn to Him.

People get lost, people haven't wanted to recognize their faults. God has a plan for your life. That means if He gave you this plan, accept it, accept it. We have free will, people make their own decisions. God has already chosen some individuals. God has predestined people. Whether you are predestined or exercising your free will, make your decision and follow Jesus Christ.

Your life will change, He is going to transform it, and He is going to help you in every way, be it economic, social, psychological, whatever you need, God is going to help you.

Thank you for your time, thank you for this opportunity that God gave me to share my faith. I come from Houston, Texas, but I've been working here in Delaware, and this is an opportunity God has granted me to share good news and continue to spread good news. We're the ambassadors of the word of God. So thank you for this opportunity, and let's move forward with this testimony which is for the benefit of society.

Bill McQuiston

Bill McQuiston

In May of 1982 Carolyn and I went on a Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend. Here was where God opened my eyes and heart to his role in my marriage and life. That weekend changed my relationship with Christ.

Barb Lambert

Barb Lambert

I wasn’t raised in a church; so I knew nothing about Jesus or God. I did go to Vacation Bible School in the summers and heard and loved the song, “This Little Light of Mine.”