Rev. Tom Davis, Ph.D.

Commissioned Interfaith Peacemaker of New Castle Presbytery

My Early Upbringing.

I was raised first in a Lutheran church. I remember being welcomed at age four or so into the children’s choir. I loved to sing, so I had a good first feeling about church. When I was in third grade my parents joined Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. I was very active in the youth group there. I remember listening to sermons very critically. From an early age I had a curiosity and an affinity for non-Christians. I asked my Sunday school teacher whether God would condemn Buddhists simply because they had never heard about Jesus. He said that he knew little about Buddhism, but he encouraged me to do research in the public library. I was pleased with that response because I considered it honest, and respectful of my sincere will to learn. I have always cherished that open minded attitude in the church which raised me. And I am so grateful that upon my request the presbytery commissioned me as an Interfaith Peacemaker, because I have always, since childhood, had an interfaith soul.

Tom Davis driving a 17-foot patrol boat on the Ham Luong River in the Mekong Delta, 1970.

A Crucible Experience and Spiritual Awakening

In 1970 I served as a military adviser to the South Vietnamese Navy, patrolling rivers and canals in the Mekong Delta. From time to time I did the infantry thing, walking ashore in enemy territory. I was scared of being captured or dying. And I felt terrible about setting ambushes. That felt like murder. One day in April when my adviser buddies were upriver getting supplies, I was back at base monitoring the radio. My fundamentalist cousin had sent me some paperbacks, one of which was authored by Catherine Marshall. She wrote, “Just talk to Jesus like he is sitting next to you. No fancy prayer is necessary. Just speak your need. What have you got to lose?” So, I did. I said, “Jesus, are you for real?  If you’re for real and are listening, I need some help here. I’m scared, and I’m sick and tired of what I’m doing.” I didn’t hear anything. I didn’t see anything. But in a matter of seconds I had the most profound sense of peace and joy.  It’s hard to describe, this meeting with the Spirit of Jesus. I wrote home that if I lived, I was going to drop philosophy and study religion. I wanted to teach religion. That’s as much as I knew at the time. It was a momentous first step in a long journey.  

“Just talk to Jesus like he is sitting next to you. No fancy prayer is necessary. Just speak your need. What have you got to lose?” So, I did. I said, “Jesus, are you for real?


Recognizing That the Family of God is Very, Very Wide.

I have come to understand Jesus as someone who shows the way, and as someone who is in communion with God all the time. I am not, but I try to follow in the way of living that he exemplified. Especially I try to be compassionate, and to forgive others and myself.

I see the Spirit of Jesus in other Christians, and also in others who are not Christian, and even sometimes in atheists. My experience of Jesus is very precious to me, and I of course would want others to experience the same peace and joy that I have felt. But I discover more and more that this experience of the divine, this oceanic awareness, is not confined to the Christian fold. So, when I recognize it in spiritual cousins, I say amen and join with them in aspiring to a holy life.


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.

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.”