Jim C.

Jim C.

from MO
Story #217
I was the youngest of eight children. I was born into a strong Christian family. I had good parents that taught me the importance of God's Word and set a wonderful example by how they lived. My mother was a stay at home mother and my dad worked 2 full-time jobs for 10 years to support his family. So, unlike a lot of people, I didn't know what a broken home was like. I thought all homes were like mine. As a young boy, attending Sterling Acres Baptist Church, God brought conviction upon me and I got saved at 7 years old. As I continued to grow physically and spiritually, I experienced the Holy Spirit working in my dad and his vision that God gave him to start a bus ministry. God performed many miracles through that in peoples lives, and I witnessed that.

Then as a teen, I began to rebel. To do what I wanted. I chose to sin against God. And, sometimes others. I believe that it was the Enemy trying to destroy my witness. I started to drink, smoke marijuana, things that we thought brought pleasure at the time but only brought hurt, destruction and separation. I continued in this lifestyle for many years. Then I met my wife whom I worked with, got married and started a family. But, I continued on the wrong path and it brought some brokenness between us because my relationship was broken with God because of my sin. We started having marital problems. She was not a Christian at the time so we were unequally yoked in our marriage and I was not being the spiritual leader, leading my family. Through that brokenness, my wife Kathy was saved.

For a period of time, I turned back to God. Then again, I lost sight of what was important and fell back into a rebellious lifestyle. God continued to work in my life and my parents always prayed for me. I was allowing the wrong influences from what I thought were friends and acquaintances.

Then there became a time where God was really bringing conviction because of my sins and showing me just how separated I was from Him. I hit bottom. So, in other words, all of my sin, had broken ME! All the fun I thought I was having wasn't fun anymore. There was no more pleasure. It became like a giant ball and chain that I had to drag around. I began to pray and ask God to change my heart, show me who my TRUE friends were and set me back on HIS path. I started listening to nothing but Christian radio. I asked my parents and true Christian friends to pray for me and began praying and asking God to lead me. I had a lot of people make fun of me because this wasn't the Jim they knew. It brought hurt, but I trusted in The Lord and continued on that path. It's not been easy but I know that God is always with and continues to lead me. He led me to a Church where there was great love for The Lord and both me and my wife were loved on by the body. This time I was really experiencing God's love. The Church was a solid teaching Church and I was growing tremendously. This is where He led me to discipleship, evangelism and the importance of serving Him in the body. I now work with the children and realize how much God used them to change my heart in a lot of areas.

So I guess my story is like that of a prodigal son. How God has always pursued me, loved me and disciplined me but NEVER gave up on me. So please don't be like me and follow the wrong path.

1Peter 5:8 states that Satan is on the prowl, like a lion, looking for someone to devour. God wants us to pull away from people and situations.

2Corinthians 6:14- Don't be unequally yoked and remember, sin always has consequences. 1Peter 1:15,16- Be holy for I am holy.

You need to engage. Fortify your faith with the Word of God. Psalms 119:11 Your Word I have hidden in my heart, so I might not sin against you.

Purify your thought life. Magnify The Lord Jesus.