Dane H.

from KS
Story #581
As a little boy, I can remember sitting at our kitchen table staring up a painting of the Lord's Supper picture hanging on the wall. I had no idea who the men in the art were, but I thought that they were important. There was also a big, white bible in our house that was a decoration. It was never opened to study or read as I recall. I thought that if you did good things, or you were just a "good" person, that you would go to heaven. Now and then, (probably less than ten times total) I went to visit a Methodist church in my hometown with a population of 300 people. Also, I would visit my grandparents about 15 miles away. Sometimes during the weekend if I stayed with them, I would attend a Catholic church. However, I was extremely fearful of death, from a young age. I saw my family members pass away from sickness, and I was terrified of what came after death. I did not want to die. I was scared.

So, as you can tell, I did not grow up in a Christian home. I did, however, have a loving home. I loved and respected my mom and dad, and I wanted to do everything I could to please them. Obedience to them, success, money, popularity, and sports were what drove me.

It was not until a girl that I liked, who is now my wife, invited me to church, and for the very first time I heard the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It seemed that my girlfriend had told the pastor in this small church in Rolla, Kansas my whole life story. It was very convicting. During this time, I attended a drama called, "Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames" with a youth group. In this drama, there was a scene that looked like a car wreck. Two people died, and they both went to a judgement scene. One man was ushered through Heaven's gates, because he had before death, admitted that he was a sinner, believing Jesus Christ died for his sins, confessed that Jesus was the Lord of his life. The other man was a good man but had never believed in Jesus Christ. That man was ushered to Hell because of his denial. After the end of the drama, there was an evangelist who came out and presented the gospel of Jesus Christ and gave the audience a time to respond to the message, by coming forward to confess. I went forward and gave my life over to Jesus Christ. At the age of 17, Jesus made me a new person and saved me from myself.

After surrendering my life to Christ, Jesus called me to serve in the ministry at the age of 17. However, I continued to let my mom and dad influence me. They discouraged me from following my call, because of what they saw from experience. They said, "Dane, you don't want to be a pastor. They are poor and cannot even take care of their family. You don't want that type of life." I let that penetrate my heart, and I put God off to the side. I ran away and tried to do my own thing. I continued to look for happiness through work and money. God repeatedly put the call on my heart to serve Him, but I was slow to listen. I was living a disobedient life. It was not until the age of twenty-eight that I could not run away any longer. I submitted to the call in my life, and I love every single day of it.

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