Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
My race started when I was 12 years old, I was very excited to begin the race set before me and I began reading through the bible chronologically in a year. But as with all races I began to slow down and lost interest in completing my reading, I hit a period where I was going to church on Sunday and taking notes on the sermon but when Monday hit then God would be set aside.
When I was 13 our the Lord called our family to North Dakota, away from all friends and family to spend some time with him. That was hard for me because the Lord asked me to choose to continue to run the race or to stop and walk away.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
But the answer did not come easy, I rebelled against the question because why could I not worship God on Sundays and that be enough? I had already excepted salvation so I was “good” with God. Or was I?
I tried to run from the question and ignore it but it did not go away. Jesus kept asking “choose you this day whom you will serve”. and one day I could not take it any longer. By the testimony of a man named Keith Green and a song the Lord gave him named “Your love broke through”, the message of the song was of a man trying to do things in his own power but they kept failing, until the love of God broke through. That same love brought me to my knees and broke me.
I was tired of running and avoiding the question, the answer had to be given. My answer was simple, “I surrender”, that was it, at the age of 15 I opened my heart to God and Jesus lifted me up and filled me with his light. The burden of life no longer existed, I felt free and happy in the presence of God. But the battle did not end there, I started to run the race again but this time the Lord had been working in the lives of my parents as well and the Lord used them to encourage me to keep going when I got tired. So I dug into God’s word and over the course of the next 3 years I read through the bible 3 times, and I am on my 4th. But I didn’t just read the Bible like a regular book, I claimed the promise of God and prayed that the Holy Spirit would teach me the truth.
1 John 2:27
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
That is just the beginning of my race!
After surrendering to God he asked me what I wanted to do for him and my answer was this “Please allow me to praise you with music and voice” and Jesus answered and said “are you willing to put the work in?” and I said “Yes”. That was the beginning of an amazing journey I am still on.
It all started when in North Dakota we went to a Goodwill and found a Yamaha keyboard, originally for my older Sister but she did not end up playing it. I was interested and did one lesson from the book that taught me how to play “O when the saints”. Then in the blink of an eye the Lord called us down to take care of my Grandpa on dad’s side. He was suffering with lung cancer and needed us, so we dropped everything and went and helped him. That time was amazing! we were able to fill his life with the light of Christ and show him God’s love. After living there with him a short time he ended up needing to be hospitalized so my Dad and I went to the hospital every day and I sat by his bed and held his hand. He was barely conscious most of the time, but we were still praying because he had not excepted the atonement of Jesus yet. Then one day as I sat by his bed holding his hand he opened his eyes and gripping my hand said “Son, let’s take one last walk together” which was strange to me because we never took walks together. So I said “Ok Grandpa, where do you want to go?” he replied “here is fine” then I asked him “Grandpa, Do you want to go to heaven when you die?” he said “Of course son!” and so I said ” Grandpa, I have a sure fire way for you to get there, you must repent of your sins and except his salvation. Do you want that?” and he answered “Yes” so I led him in the sinners prayer! and after that my Grandpa never regained consciousness but he was so peaceful I knew he was in Jesus arms. He went home to heaven a couple weeks after that.
That time was very difficult for me, to watch my Grandpa slowly slip away took all the strength I had and I needed something to strengthen me. But God is good and he had provided a piano in my grandpa’s house where we stayed and so I sat down and Jesus put his hands over mine and said “Play!” so I did and with just the 1 lesson I had studied I started to play and sing Hymns to him. I filled my soul with the praise of God and he strengthened me!
The Lord then moved us down to Ohio again and I continued to grow in the praise of him, It has taken 3-4 hours per day over the last 3 years of hard study to be where the Lord wants me to be and I still continue to grow. He has allowed me to praise him with the Piano, Guitar, Harmonica and Voice, I never take it for granted and in every breath that I take I Praise God!
I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.