Just for starters ...

“ I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ”- Galatians 2:20

They say confession is good for the soul ... yeah, no kidding, right?

I thought I'd create this blog to share my daily experiences with the risen Christ -- good and bad. Like most Christians, my walk is full of ups and downs, highs and lows, mountaintops and valleys. Know the feeling?

I don't really know where all of this will go. I just want to write about the God who saved and redeemed me. So, I'll start with my testimony.

On Sept. 12, 1982, I was just a boy -- six years old, loving G.I. Joe, Transformers and the woods in my backyard. Life was complete, inasmuch as it can be for a child two months shy of seven.

Yet, sitting in the pew that Sunday night, something stirred within me. I somehow knew that there was something missing in my life. I didn't know what to call it then, but I know now: I had the same God-shaped void inherent in all our lives. I needed Him. More specifically, I needed to accept the gift of salvation Jesus offered by His death on the cross of Calvary.

As best as I can remember, my mother sat beside me, and I saddled up to her and said I wanted to go to the church altar and receive Christ in my life. The choir was singing, my grandfather -- our church's pastor -- sitting in the front pew directly in front of me. He led me to the altar, and I remembered the A-B-Cs of salvation, as the Apostle Paul outlined in his epistle to the Romans, chapter 10, verses 9 and 10.

" ... That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Ask, Believe, Confess. I did all three, and my life has never been the same.

There have, to be sure, been problems in my Christian walk. I rebelled against Him in college and spent 10 years living a life of rampant sin. I was into drinking, drugs. From about the age of 18 until 28, I knew little about the God who saved me because my sin precluded Him from having a direct, day-to-day impact on my life.

I use this analogy: what would you do if your best friend in the whole world, abruptly and with little warning, quit calling you? You'd probably call them anyway, right? You'd say something like, "Hey, how have you been ... miss seeing you. When can we hang?"

But, eventually, if those calls weren't returned, those visits never reciprocated, you'd quit, yes?

Oh, you'd still love your best friend. You'd still miss them. You might even tell others to say "hello," but that contact would be distant, incorporeal.

That was my relationship to God. After years of rampant sin, he just quit calling.

On August 31, 2003, I broke my back. I won't go into details here -- maybe I will later. But God used that moment to wake me up, to show me that I was nothing without Him, that my life was only a fraction of what it could be if only I'd allow Christ free reign with my thoughts ... and actions. A few weeks later while recuperating, I got down on my knees, bent over as much as I could with my 20-pound back brace and asked Him to forgive me of all that I'd done.

Here's the amazing thing. Remember that friend analogy? As humans, we naturally hold grudges. I've gone in and out of friendships with people for many reasons, and I'm sad to say some of the breaks happened through things I'd done. That was the case of my friendship with Jesus.

He never holds a grudge, nor does He care that it took a serious, life-threatening injury to get me to wake up to the reality of what my life had become. He doesn't care what my life was like while I was running away from Him and toward my own selfish desires ... the only thing He cares about was what I could have been accomplishing for Him in the time that I was following my own path.

So, I guess that's what part of this is. It's my way of trying to get those years back ... I've got a lot of catching up to do, a lot of lives to impact for Jesus. I was too busy with myself back then.

I want to be busy with Jesus now.