I was born to a middle class navy family in 1949 in San Diego, California. Raised on a strict but loving home while experiencing times of conflict between Mom and Dad because of drinking. My brother and I were encouraged to attend church, although our parents did not. I would realize years later how important that “church” time would be.
The next 3 decades were spent being relatively successful in school, life, work, etc. However, my own alcohol problems nearly ruined my marriage, family, job and all that I thought was of most importance to me. Fortunately, someone cared enough to intervene at a crucial time. While I knew something had changed [abstinence from alcohol], there was a void that hadn’t been filled yet. 2 years later, in 1982 that void was filled with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Becoming a Christian was the greatest event of my life. My wife, who I love very much, recommitted her life at this time also. Our kids would surrender their hearts to Jesus some years later. I didn’t know what to expect when I gave my heart to Jesus but I knew that void was filled and it was good and honorable. Life given over to Christ began to change me, my wife, our family, even how I worked at my job. God was working on me around the clock or so it seemed. New friendships began at church. The kind of friendships based on brotherly love not booze. A thirst for learning about this Jesus guy began. I began to read the Bible and anything else I could get my hands on that would help me understand the Word better. The Lord helped me understand that knowledge of Him is of no use unless I apply it and share it. I thought I knew what real love was. My Dad loved and adored my Mom all the years of their marriage. I have that same love for Marlene, still do. But when I learned of the sacrificial, unconditional love that God the Father has for me, well it’s very difficult to put into words the feeling inside of me. Emotion has a part of that connection with God and it is good. But beyond the emotion is a sense of surrender, loyalty, trust, love, that goes to core of who I am. Above all else, there is God, the creator and He chose me and loves me. I’m not sure I understand all of this but I like it and have a great desire to do what pleases Him. Some years ago our family experienced a loss that threw us into deep depression. Looking back on that now, I see that the Lord held us in His hands while we grieved. He eventually restored our joy when He knew we were ready to get back to work for Him. Now we are experiencing a separation of family for His service. Sometimes I think God asks too much of us because it hurts. I wonder how much it hurt Him when He sacrificed His Son Jesus? Bottom line: We [Marlene and I are one] trusted Him many years ago and we will continue to trust Him till He’s done with us here. His servant, Pat Weiss