I was raised in a home where my parents loved this country. You see they were immigrants from Europe and lived through wars, famine, and heartache at a very young age. Their life’s stories could fill a book by itself by the time they were in their late teens or early twenties. The opportunity and freedom in this great country were never taken for granted by my parents. They loved this country and made sure their children knew how great a country it was. Oddly enough springing out of that message was a big reason I was so discontent in my personal life. You see, they taught me that I could become anything I wanted to become. If I worked hard enough, took every opportunity that this country offered, and dreamed big dreams, those dreams could come true. This was and I believe still is the land of opportunity for anyone who wants to make something of their life. While I was raised in church and taught the stories of the Bible I never really made a commitment to God. I was willing to work for Him and be a good moral person, but I wasn’t willing to commit my life to Him. It isn’t enough to believe in God; scripture says even the demons does that. You have to surrender and commit your life to God. I wasn’t ready to do that. Americans are independent, strong, and self-sufficient. I wanted a Godly, moral life without the surrendering my life to God part. I was so committed to this Godly moral life that I even chose a Christian college to attend. I attempted to negotiate a deal with God. God I will work hard for you, give you my time, talents, and finances to you. I will dedicate my life to working hard with any and all the tools you give me on your behalf but I won’t give you control. If all else fails in this world – I will have myself to pull myself up by my bootstraps. After all isn’t that the American way? I learned God doesn’t negotiate. He’s God, He created the heavens and the earth and made me in His image. He’s God He doesn’t have to negotiate. He gave His Son Jesus Christ up for me and in exchange I surrender control of my life to Him. So for over three years, while attending this Christian college, God kept calling me to surrender my life. For three years He kept patiently waiting, not negotiating, for me to really walk in His ways. I am so glad He is patient and didn’t give up on me. Finally, in spite of living a relatively successful life according to America’s terms, I knew I was discontent and God had rejected my offer. I needed to make a decision, go God’s way or do the best I could on my own. So, I got in my car drove to a park and finally gave God control of my life. I asked Him to forgive me, thanked Him for loving me enough to sacrifice His Son – Jesus Christ for my sins and invited Him into my life. I have never, never regretted making the decision to let God have control of my life. He knows a whole lot more about life than I do and He knows the beginning from the end. He offers a life of peace, contentment and purpose that can’t be described but can be lived out by following His ways. Yet, He will never force you to accept Him into your life or commit your life to Him. He is a gentleman who only comes when asked. You can do life on your own without His help and power if you choose to. Take it from someone who tried – He will not negotiate terms with anyone. For some of you – you’ve been trying to do life on your own terms for many years. In the words of Dr. Phil – “How’s that working for you?” It isn’t working and you know it – deep down in your gut you know it. Why not invite the love, power, and presence of God to help you through this difficult life? God plus you equals a better life. I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt it is the best decision you’ll ever make.