My faith in Jesus Christ has matured from my childhood days as I have matured in age. My parents and grand-parents nurtured me through Baptism, Sunday school, and confirmation in the Lutheran Church. It was a tale of three girlfriends that settled me into Somerdale Presbyterian. The first led me to a coffeehouse and youth group at the church. The second was the daughter of the minister at the time. She kept me involved with church through my college years. Years later, I married the third. She and I joined the church, some twelve years after I began attending regularly. My faith has since progressed through participation in worship, music ministries and mission activities, serving on Session, and leading special youth programs.
Over time, somehow – a miracle perhaps, I was able to sing. To harmonize. To perform an occasional solo.
I can’t point to a visit by angels as a faith revelation, but I can count a number of miracles in my life. A loving wife and children, a new grandchild. And a most curious one – the gift of singing. During my childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood, I could not sing to save my life. I could read music and play an instrument but could not sing. This led to many anxious moments and embarrassments through grade school, high school, drafted service in youth choirs, and college. Soon after marriage, my wife, an accomplished singer, coaxed me to attend the church choir. Over time, somehow – a miracle perhaps, I was able to sing. To harmonize. To perform an occasional solo. I say that singing is a learned talent yet I’ve never heard anyone else tell a story similar to mine. Singing has provided me with a means of expressing my faith – virtually the entire Bible has been put to verse. Singing even provides the simple joy of vocalizing secular songs.
As I am approaching my golden years, I am thankful that God has given me an abundant life. I have just retired from a meaningful and rewarding profession. I am able to appreciate nature. I can find some good in everyone around me. I can love my family, my friends, and even those of whom I am not so fond. I can find the strength to deal with hard times. I remain a sinner but can accept the forgiveness of Jesus. God is my maker, the Holy Spirit my conscience, and Jesus my Savior. I thank Him for all the good gifts bestowed on me and my family. I can look forward to the life to come.
I am able to appreciate nature. I can find some good in everyone around me. I can love my family, my friends, and even those of whom I am not so fond. I can find the strength to deal with hard times.
- Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
- Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
- Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
- Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
- For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
More Faith Stories
I remember being in church and going up to the altar and crying. I was so tired of the life I was living. I needed help. I felt a sense of peace at that time and knew that if this Jesus thing can work for some of these other guys, then it can definitely work for me.
I said to myself, “Why should anyone envy me and want to be in my shoes?”
God has led me to amazing places in my life, so let me explain how God led me from South Carolina to Kenya.
We built the first church with great difficulty. We went back to the States and the board asked us to become mission staff with the Outreach Foundation. That was 25 years ago, just about, and we’ve gotten more involved with Kenya as days and years went on.
I am a chef by profession. I’m happy because I do what I love. Now I work at Villadise Tours and Safaris, where I meet so many different people coming from far. Being helpful is just a blessing to other people.
Then God started tugging on my heart. There was a church sermon series that was about taking your God-given dream off the shelf. I was like, “I don’t know what my dream is. God, if you have a dream for me you’re going to have to tell me what it is.”