I started going to church in the 7th grade and lived the life of your average kid who went to church and consistently heard the salvation message through youth group and camps. However, as we get older, our childhood perspectives begin to change. The God given ability to critically think takes hold as we become more mature in our thinking. We begin to challenge and think through the conventional wisdom of what we were taught growing up. At that point my life, my relationship with God became more of a silhouette in the background as life happened around me.
At the age of 22 God awakened me when became stranded on a snowmobile out in the Alaska wilderness. I was with a friend (who wasn’t stranded) and he stuck it out with me, however, if I couldn’t figure a way out (up a really steep incline) he would have to go quite a ways to get help and my clothing was not appropriate for the night time cold. After several attempts of failing to get up this hill, it was down to the last attempt. I was tired, cold, and the snow was deep and soft. I started praying while thinking that I might freeze to death which was a sobering thought as all those memories of camp lectures and sermons came to light. What was the conversation going to be like? I knew the meaning of “luke warm”. So I made a deal. “Lord, whatever you want me to do, I’ll do. Just get me out of this.” Around that time, My friend forrest spotted a little trail, one we had not seen when there was still light in the sky. it was small and wimpy looking. I didn’t wan’t to attempt that one because If I got stranded over there it was time to make a snow cave and hope for the best. I repeatedly patched hill every time the snowmobile got stuck, destroying the trail a little more each time. I think God was telling me to go to the little area Forrest has spotted but I had more faith in attempting the main path one last time so that is the direction I set off. However, this time, for some reason, the snowmobile veered off the trail toward the little trail. At this point I had no choice, gunned it toward the “wimpy” trail and made it to the top. There was and still is a lot of wisdom to be gained from this experience regarding doing things my way or Gods way.
A few years later when my “deal with God” had faded into a distant memory, a friend who was a youth pastor asked if I would consider being youth group counsellor. My inclination was to say “no way” however the Lord pulled that deal out of my distant memory and said “Here’s the deal...”. What was I going to say... No? That started me digging into the word. I had to. These high schoolers were asking me questions like; “The bible says the universe is billions of years old and the Bible says it is 6000.” “What’s the deal with the Dinosaurs?” “If someone has never heard of Jesus, can they get into heaven?” ETC...... So, It was time to dig into the word, big time, and figure this stuff out. It has been slow steady growth from there and quite a journey.
On to the Baptism. I was baptized as an infant and when I was more active in Messianic Judaism, participating in several Mikvah’s (which is a Jewish cleansing ritual that many Messianic Jews (Jews who believe in Christ) do as a baptism. My wife Rachel who is a Jewish Believer has felt lead to be baptized here so I am both supporting her by getting baptized along side her, and affirming my faith publicly as well. Making it “iron clad official”.