26 April 2010

The tide is turning...

     I remember when I was young (I'm not saying I'm old by any means, just not as young as I once was.), it was expected that everyone you knew was Christian. Now I know this was not the case, but American society as a whole was Christian, with Christian morals (on the surface) and Christian goals. Now I look around and notice, my family and I are outcasts. We're the "weird" ones. Our beliefs about how we live our lives and what is okay are the beliefs considered to be strange. What happened? How did I go from being a kid raised in a Christian home(I didn't become Christian until November 2002, I didn't understand until then what it was to have a relationship with Jesus.) to being a uptight weirdo? 
     I left the church environment around the time I graduated High School in 1998 and returned to it periodically until 2002 when I jumped back in with both feet. While in Basic Combat Training (Boot Camp) at Ft. Benning, I went every Sunday morning, but I did that because it was a way to avoid waxing the barracks or mowing the lawn with safety scissors and a ruler. When something bad happened in my life I would visit for a few weeks before going back to my wild and reckless lifestyle. In 2002, I was invited to The Bridge, a non-denominational church on Ft Campbell, KY. I started listening to what was being said instead of daydreaming or looking at the girls. I started going to Navigators meetings on Wednesday nights and learning scripture. I even started hanging out with these Christian men, and I saw something was different about them...but what was it?
     I remember these guys weren't going out drinking and doing everything they could to take some girl home every night. These guys were getting together and hanging out. They had genuine relationships with girlfriends and wives that were open and honest. They weren't fighting and unhappy in their marriages and relationships. They were happy to be with one person for the rest of their lives. These guys had something figured out. I started looking for what it was and found that the one thing they all had in common was Jesus. They followed his teachings and loved each other as themselves. I wanted what they had. I asked Jesus into my life 4 months after I started going to The Bridge. I didn't see some amazing change, but I felt somehow better. I deployed to Iraq 4 months later and helped with a Bible Study there. On returning, I got out of the Army and got married, but I started slipping away from my faith. My wife didn't want to go to church, she said she didn't need church to believe. I tried for 2 years and gave up. She started cheating on me and my world collapsed. I was diagnosed with PTSD and returned to my parents in Dallas after she kicked me out (ironic, she cheated and I got kicked out).
     I was at my lowest, got dragged to church every Sunday by my parents, and was shoved into counseling by them as well. What they didn't know is that I was doing every self destructive thing I could think of. I was sleeping around, drinking like a fish and smoking 2 or so packs a day. I'm not proud of how bad I got, but I did. While working at a haunted house run by my old scout troop, I met Laura. Everything changed. I found myself caring what someone else thought about me. Every day I called her and talked for a hour or so, then I asked her out, only to be turned down. A week after meeting her, I got off the phone to go help with the youth group at my parents church. The next day I asked her out again and she said "Yes". I went over and took her out for drinks and walking around Uptown Dallas and the West End. We quickly fell in love and were married. I went to church with her weekly and really started to get back into the groove I had been in back in 2002, when I became a Christian. I met her friends and started finding myself surrounded by these "on fire for God" Christians, and started envying them again. I dove back in and started studying and learning the Word and found myself feeling good about life again. After finalizing my divorce, Laura and I were married.
Now, 3 years later, I find myself pursuing a Christian Studies degree and planning for Seminary. I'm going to start a disaster relief ministry, taking men out with me to learn to be servant leaders while spreading God's Word. The tide is turning... and I'm surfing the wave!

20 April 2010

Just a little update!

Wanted to apologize for not posting as much as I used to. I am pursuing a degree in Christian Studies from Grand Canyon University. To do this I am taking a full load online. This constitutes two classes every 8 weeks. It's a lot of work, including forum posting and at least an essay a week for each class. I'm still going to post here as able, but it won't be quite as often as I would like! See you around.