Brian G.

Brian G.

from KS
Story #261
My testimony is pretty straight forward. I thank God that I was born into a strong Christian home. My dad was a pastor of a small baptist church; my mom is a solid Christian woman; my older sister got saved at an early age; both sets of my grandparents are believers, as are most of my aunts and uncles and cousins. But what does that mean for me? Well, it means I was taught the Bible and shown how to live the Christian life. It means I grew up with both my parents living under the same roof. It means I didn't see them constantly fighting and tearing each other down. It means I didn't have easy access to alcohol and drugs, and I witnessed people having fun without those things. As a result, I didn't think I needed them! So today I thank God for my family. Now if you're like me trying to remember details of your early childhood is kind of difficult; the memories are a bit disjointed. But I do have a very distinct memory of one Sunday morning when I was 6 years old. I was sitting in the backseat of my parents Toyota Tercel wagon as we drove home from church. The Sunday School lesson had been about Hell and I was scared and knew I didn't want to go there. So, I asked my parents how to get to Heaven because I knew you had to go to one of the two places when you die. My parents gladly shared the gospel with me, and I prayed to receive Jesus into my heart that morning.

Over the next six years I definitely grew physically, and while my Biblical knowledge grew, my spiritual life was honestly stagnant. Granted I was still young, but my prayer life consisted mainly of thanking God for the food and asking him to make me feel better when I got sick. And, boy I hated to read, so there were no quiet times. But here's the real problem, I wasn't taking ownership of my faith, and God showed this to me at youth camp. He convicted me that I needed to step up, to grow up, to invest time and energy into growing my relationship with Him. So, that week at camp I rededicated my life to Jesus. My pastor has said this many times and I believe it to be true for me, a re-dedication can be more of a life changing experience than the initial prayer as a child.

Now let me fast forward to 2012. God had blessed me with a beautiful wife, 4 incredible daughters (though I have 5 now), and a solid job. I had recently begun volunteering in the Middle School ministry at my church when I felt God calling me to full time ministry. I can't put my finger on a specific day. I'd rather say God had placed within me a desire to work with young people, and He let it grow to the point that I yearned to do more than I was currently doing. Very quickly God graciously opened doors for me to get more involved. In response to all of this, my wife and I, through much prayer and with the help and encouragement of our friends and family, made the decision to follow God's call to ministry. As of today, I am taking classes online through Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with the emphasis being to get formal training to help me better serve God in the youth ministry.

There are three verses I'd like to share with you; each one gives me strength, encouragement, and motivation. The first is Proverbs 24:10, "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small." As a man, husband, and father I take this as a challenge, as the mindset to have when facing adversity. To know that how I respond is a direct reflection of the strength of my character. The second verse is Romans 8:31, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" In the midst of adversity, I can think of no better thought. And finally, it is my heart's prayer to be able to say with the apostle Paul that, "I am not ashamed of the gospel" (Romans 1:16).

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