I grew up in a farming community south of Raleigh, North Carolina and was raised in a faithful church-going family. Outwardly, I followed all the rules and was determined to be popular and accepted by my peers. I learned how to perform and how to achieve and get ahead. Seeking the approval of my parents and extended family became a high priority. I learned that if I performed well, worked extra hard and followed the rules, I would receive lots of praise and approval. At the same time, inwardly I wrestled with whether I was doing enough to gain God’s acceptance or being good enough for God to let me into heaven.
In college, finding approval and recognition was much harder at North Carolina State in Raleigh. But by my sophomore year at NC State, I found my small circle of friends in a Christian group - Campus Crusade for Christ. I began to follow all their rules in order to distinguish myself with the leaders.
Then, at one of the meetings a speaker talked about who Jesus claimed to be and what He did for me. I was aware of many of these truths from growing up in church. But this night all the puzzle pieces fit together. I could see life was not about me following the rules and pleasing others to gain their approval. God knew me deep inside and understood that I was a rule breaker and that I had failed in following His commands. This life of rule breaking marked me as a sinner and I deserved judgement for that brokenness. As a habitual rule breaker and secret sinner, God’s undeserved love for me was real and He sent Jesus to live the perfect life I could not live and to take the judgement of death that I deserved. By putting my trust in Jesus, God would forgive all my failures and give me His approval both immediately and for all eternity. In addition, He would guide my life and allow me to fulfill God’s purpose for my life. Jesus provided the way for me to know God and receive His gift of forgiveness and eternal life. That night as a sophomore in college I turned from trusting my good works to trusting in Jesus Christ alone.
Since graduating from college in 1980, God has allowed me and my wife, Diann, to serve Him and make disciples and equip others for over 40 years through our ministry with Cru, two other local churches in Texas.... and now Onward Community Church.
Married to Diann, my best friend and ministry partner for 38 years, I love creating and building with my hands in the woodshop or hanging with our four grandkids and family. We live in Frisco near our two sons, Coby and Cory, who are founders of DudePerfect.com and also our daughter, Catherine, artist and founder of marrymeinspring.com.