On November 26, 2017, I turned 60 years old which means I completed six decades of life and now embark on my seventh. In Ecclesiastes 12:1, we are told to “remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.” I am thankful that for 54 of my 60 years, I have been a born-again child of God. I was saved as child here at Cleveland Baptist Church, and then was baptized in September of 1963, just before my sixth birthday. My decision to trust Christ as my Saviour has made a world of difference in the direction and quality of my life.
Because of that decision, the focus of the church and the godly influences in my life, every major and most minor decisions made in my sixty years have been filtered through my relationship with Christ. I wish I could say that I never made any bad choices or did things I now regret or even that I never rebelled against God or resisted Him—that just isn’t true. However, God is patient, gracious and far kinder to me than I deserve, and He gently brought me to a place of complete surrender to Him when I was a junior in high school. God’s call upon my life has been one of my greatest privileges.
Surrender to the ministry isn’t something one should take lightly. When a person is called, it isn’t something to dread or think that he will miss out on things in life. In reality, it is a blessed life and is what God created us for. It has been such a great blessing in my life. It was that decision that sent me to Bible college where I met my wife and made some great life-long friends. That decision ultimately brought me back to Cleveland, my hometown, to begin four decades of ministry here at Cleveland Baptist Church. Sure, there have been moments of heartache and grief while serving God in the ministry, but there have been far more blessings and encouraging moments than difficult ones.
As I reflect upon my life, I can truly say that I am fulfilled. The decision to remember God in my youth kept me from alcohol, drugs and immorality. It taught me to love, trust and walk with God. It placed me in a vibrant, dynamic church family. God has enriched my life in so many ways. Marriage, family, and ministry are all blessed when one knows the Lord.
Essentially, life is made up of a series of moments in which we make decisions. I am blessed to have made the right decisions at the right moments in my life. The road has been a good one!
If you are reading this and maybe you sense that you have made some wrong decisions that led you down wrong roads, I want to tell you that it is never too late to turn around. You might not be able to recapture the days of your youth, but you can have a rich, full life going forward. It begins by turning from your sin and placing your trust in Jesus Christ. Once you make that decision, let God direct you to a good Bible-believing, preaching church, where a man of God and a loving church family will help you develop.