I remember going to VBS as a kid, learning the songs at a Baptist church. One night when I was 9 years old, I was sitting by my dad as the preacher talked about sin and everything I’ve done wrong; I went forward and sincerely gave my life to Christ and was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Soon after that though my dad left the church. He was very bitter, I was never disciplined, and the only time God was mentioned at home was when my dad was angry.
Moving through my adolescence, I was very extreme. I used the power of the Holy Spirit for myself. I was arrogant, haughty, and very self righteous. I poured myself into flatland BMX, and worshipped the sport throughout the years. When I was in the 8th grade I was introduced to Straight Edge (Straight Edge is a belief system that started within the hardcore punk scene, refraining from alcohol, smoking, and drugs in general), and embraced everything surrounding its beliefs, including vegetarian and veganism.
The teenage years were full of self indulgence… I quit school my sophomore year to ride my bike and get further out from under the thumb of authority. With no boundaries set by my parents I did what any normal hardcore kid would do… hang out, go to shows, listen to music, and work a little. Friends were my life, and they would all tell you I believed in God, and I did believe in God… but I was angry at Him… I believed He was the one responsible for the condition of the world.
One day, like any other day at work I had been listening to music, although this day I had been listening to the song “Sleep” by Morrissey over and over again and my mind was made up. I had had enough of this world. That day I attempted to commit suicide… which was headed off by an Aunt who had me baker acted for a week. Upon my release I still believed I wasn’t supposed to be in the world, but had concluded that since I did not voluntarily make my heart beat that I would continue my search.
Somewhere along the way my Mom had told me that I should read the book of Ecclesiastics… I did. And I was so impacted that I didn’t leave my room for three days, except to eat. God was working… gently.
The love obsession of my life, other than myself, was a girl named Tessa. If I had any sense I would have married her from the get go… but I didn’t. I followed her to Jacksonville, Florida where she was going to collage. I got a job at the Olive Garden as a line cook, and there I met a waiter named Joel. I was drawn to Joel… he wasn’t like anybody else. Nothing could touch him. It’s like he had a force shield on, that protected him from the weight of the world. I confronted him one day, and asked him what he believed and what made him so different. He smiled and looked at me and said, “Hmmm. No, you’re not ready,” and he walked away. This had the exact same impact on me that he had intended it to have… Was I ready? Am I serious about change and the truth? You know it’s seen as so deep to ask questions about life… it’s another to want an answer, and receive it.
Well I didn’t know if I was ready, but I was sure I wanted to know more. So I asked him again, and he asked me what I was doing after work. I said hanging out with him wherever. So we went to Denny’s and sat in the smoking section. He ordered a milk shake… and we began to talk. He asked me where I was at, and I told him. He asked me, “What do you think about God?” I told him that God is the one that caused all this mess. He said, “I see… let’s pray.” And right there in the middle of Denny’s, in the smoking section, this dude bows his head and starts talking to God… and I was done! The Holy Spirit came crashing down and I was overtaken. Tears were falling on the table, and I was done.
I died that day… was permanently changed by the power of God. It was no longer my life that I lived… it was His. After he was done praying he looked at me and said…
“Jesus is His Name… He is all you will ever need.”
- Year Born: 1973
- Spouse: Tessa
- Married Since: 1/30/1999
- Children: Rebekah, Toby, Jedi and Evan
- Place of Birth: Naples, Italy
- Born Again (became a Christian): 10/20/1998
- Hobbies: Playing music, Freestyle BMX, Carpentry
- Home church: Calvary Chapel St. Pete
- Ministry Involvement: Elementary Worship Coordinator/Leader, Foster Care
- Favorite Scripture: John 14