PPCF Leadership Team Testimonies
I started attending Mesa Hills
Bible Church in 1978 after the continual pestering of a very good friend.
Come and hear what the Bible has to say about salvation he would say. That
was in 1978 and my wife and I are still attending!
After being saved in that church I have had many positions including Secretary, Treasurer, Deacon, Chairman of the Deacons, Elder and currently Chairman of the Board.
As a child and into my teen years, I attended church with my family on a regular, weekly basis. Each Sunday I sat in Sunday school and heard the stories about the many well-known characters from the pages of the Bible. Also, as a child, I enjoyed school and especially anything that involved math and science. I recognized early on that my life experience would likely center around those subjects. During high school I took the normal science tract and thoroughly enjoyed the sciences of physics and chemistry along with college prep math. Thus, when I graduated from high school and went off to college, these studies formed the basis of my schooling.
But when I graduated from high school, I also graduated from church. I sensed early on that there was a disconnect between science and religion, especially when it came to classes like biology and earth science and their naturalistic view of life. While my church did not really preach much if anything about the good news of Christ, it also had no answers for me about the relevance of the Bible to science. Thus, it made sense for me to leave church behind --since it had no answers to give me.
Through college, a year of grad school and into my early work experience in fields of chemistry and material science, I continued doing the science I enjoyed and would only on occasion enter the doors of a church. If I would happen to attend a church service, it was usually to go with the intent to try and receive some type of encouragement from the various struggles, which I was experiencing. Sometimes I would leave with either a small measure of satisfaction that might last me for a few days -- but typically I would recognize that there was little that church could offer to me.
I reached a point of crisis -- at the age of 26, one Friday evening, around 9 pm, on November 19, 1976 -- in the front seat of my car on a street in Oak Park, IL. At that point my professional life was going well, but my personal life was a mess. My life was centered on meaningless activities and nothing of permanence. As I sat there, my prayer was not a typical prayer of faith about accepting Jesus as my Savior, but simply, “God if you are real, come into my life”. At that moment God did enter my life and many things began to immediately change for me.
The first thing I did was to obtain a Bible the next day and I began to read it, starting in Genesis, chapter 1. I immediately discovered that there were several things that I struggled with accepting as being factually true – things that I really did not believe could be factually true from those first several chapters of Genesis. The key verse that I simply refused to accept was Genesis 7:19 – which speaks of the Flood waters covering the highest mountains by 22 feet. Based on my uniformitarian beliefs (earth essentially the same before and after the Flood), I knew that there is not enough water for this to be physically possible. Thus, less than two days after making my decision to seek God, I was at a crossroads – should I try and believe what the Bible said or should I just chuck this Christian thing and move on.
For me, as a scientist, I knew that I needed to determine what is true and what is not. I knew that I needed to find out what was truly real -- God’s Word or the naturalistic science I had been taught. Through many prior encounters with one Christian man at work, I chose to seek him out for insight. He directed me to a Bible church that was teaching on this issue. As I sat and listened in class each week, I came to see that there were reasonable, scientific answers to many of my questions -- and I had many. These answers were given from the perspective that the Bible is indeed true, not just theologically true, but of key importance – God’s Word is factually true. The final decision point for me was during a seminar at the end of the class on a Saturday, May 13, 1977. There two teachers, Henry Morris and John Whitcomb, clearly outlined factual answers to many of the truths I was seeking.
If you were to ask me if I had been saved the previous November and if I would have received eternal life that Friday night in the front of my car, I would say absolutely yes. But if you were to ask me if Jesus was the Lord of my life at that moment in time, I would have to say no. Jesus became Lord for me when I accepted the truth that God’s Word could be trusted as being factually true those 6 months later. I needed to know that God’s Word expressed reality.
During these past 40+ years, along with the personal growth in my faith walk as a follower of Christ, I have continued to remain active in the area of Creation studies and apologetics. I have consistently practiced a regular outreach in Creation Apologetics -- both an ongoing role of teaching this subject and active discipleship in this area through by gift of teaching. Since moving in retirement to Colorado, Creation Apologetics is an area of ministry that I have sought to continuously remain engaged in. While I had initially struggled to get a ministry started locally since we moved here, this past fall I was involved in helping co-found the PPCF ministry here in Colorado Springs. I have the privilege of being a lead instructor for our group.
As I consider the importance of our outreach at PPCF, one area in which our ministry needs to provide an improved outcome is in the area of inter-generational discipleship. A significant problem that nearly every church has struggled with is the revolving door of young people leaving the church. Surveys indicate some 70+% leave (evangelical) our churches after high school. While some young people may eventually return like I did, many will not. This needs to and must change.
One clear goal for me is to provide answers to the questions that both young and older people have – questions taught as true by secular science, and which challenge the truth of God’s Word. I see the teaching of basic apologetic truth as a clear weakness and a significant failure within most churches. This is especially true when it comes to teaching the foundational truth of God as Creator. My personal passion is to change that.
I was born in 1949. My earliest memory is that of being pushed out of my perfectly comfortable surroundings and that there was this bright light all around me. Then, for no reason at all, I received a sharp slap on my behind and I started to cry my eyes out. Well OK, I really don’t remember being birthed, but I am here and that's evidence enough for me - I'm here.
I was raised in a religious home until my parents divorced when I was 10. I then moved to California with my mom and step-dad in 1959. We quit going to church, which was fine with me, because it wasn’t a big part in my life. I became a rebellious teenager growing up in California in the 60’s. I was using drugs by the time I was 15.
As a senior in high school I was working full time to pay off a lawsuit for assault and to support my need to shoot up crystal meth to “keep it all together”. I soon contracted Hepatitis and wound up in the hospital with yellow jaundice and an inflamed liver. After 2 weeks in isolation I was released from the hospital only to find myself out doing the same thing all over. In my heart I knew that if I didn’t get out of the situation I was in I would end up dead. So, in desperation - I volunteered for the draft.
Five months later I found myself in Viet Nam carrying a rifle and "Looking for Charlie". That was a difficult year and I came home with a worse drug problem than when I signed up. I also suffered the added stress of having been in combat. My life was spiraling out of control and within 2 months I was arrested for drug possession.
It was at that time I first heard the good news of having a personal relationship with Jesus. A former junkie, now turned "Jesus Freak", told me that I was hiding from God. He quoted many verses from the bible that truly struck home with me and I knew that what he was saying was true. Two particular verses greatly affected me. In Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 11, Verses 28 & 29, Jesus says: "Come to me everyone who is burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find REST FOR YOUR SOUL." Oh, that sounded good! I was so burdened, so tired…. REST sounded good. Then from Revelation 3:20 Jesus said "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me."
He then inquired as to whether I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart and I said yes. We prayed together and I simply said, " Lord Jesus, I’ve made a mess out of my life and if you can change me then come into my life and change me." At that very moment I felt every burden I was carrying lifted off my shoulders and I knew Jesus was real and had changed my life.
That was 50 years ago. I wish I could say that I’ve been faithful to Him ever since but that would be a lie. What I can say is that He's been faithful to me ever since. He has never failed me.
Even after the radical conversion I experienced - I started to wander... I love how Jesus calls us His sheep. Sheep don’t just run away from their shepherd - they wander, drift and stray. For me, the wandering started slowly. I began to accept secular viewpoints again, compromise my new found Christian beliefs and eventually stopped reading the bible or hanging out with Christians. For 20 years I strayed…
Although spiraling downward, I was fortunate to meet a man who was really into Biblical Creation. He was a doctor and hardcore evolutionist at the time who debated Evolution vs. Creation with his cousin for years. They discussed such things as the "simple cell' (which is far from simple), dinosaurs and geology. He told me how he came to know the Lord.
Then came the “one, two punch”, or as Jesus put it: "the witness of Moses and the prophets". He told me of his reading from Psalm 22 about Jesus' crucifixion, written 1,000 years prior to the actual crucifixion. He then read Isaiah 53, about the suffering of the Messiah and details of his betrayal, trial, flogging, death and burial, all written 700 years before the events happened. Finally, he read the gospel accounts of Jesus' death and resurrection. At that point he realized that he was fighting against God and that it was all true and accurate. He wept as he asked God to forgive him and gave his heart to the Lord.
For me, studying a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 has greatly strengthened my faith. Before investigating the evidence that points to a young earth, my faith was blind and only based upon feelings or emotions. Feelings have a way of fading over time. Seeking the factual truth brings light and clear understanding. We are created in God's image and that image includes the ability to think and to grow in knowledge. The last thing the apostle Peter wrote before his martyrdom was: "Grow in the grace and KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." What an exciting journey!
Testimony coming soon...
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