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
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.
Losing my eyesight when I was nine years old was a difficult diagnosis to accept. My eyes welled up in tears and I became apprehensive for my future.
But God has taken the mess of my life, all my heartache, all my troubles with everything I’m going through now, and He’s got it. I’m not worried. I have learned that through this you have to take baby steps. What I would tell someone is you do your best fighting and talking on your knees.
When it was all added up, my life was going nowhere. Had trouble even deciding what I wanted to study at school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. “Nada.”