My family started attending a Baptist church when I was about 12 years old. I was taught about God’s love, once saved always saved, and that was about it. While I knew enough answers to get baptized, and play pretend, my fruits would show that I did not believe. After my rocky teenage years, I joined the Marine Corps to stop myself from making some further mistakes that I knew would only lead me toward drugs and criminal behavior. I thank God I had enough wisdom to see that much, but it was still a long way from him.
After I was honorably discharged, I was an electronics technician, and I found myself with busy hands, and free ears. I started listening to audio books to try and better myself. After listening to books about George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, I decided that I should have a better understanding of the Bible. I went online to see if I could pirate some Bible audio (... yeah…) and thankfully, I found a free 5 year program by Dr. J. Vernon McGee. I call Dr. McGee my spiritual father, as Paul was to Timothy, because it was through him that I came to know the Truth about God. I learned more than just “love.” I learned about his holiness, his wrath, his sacrifice. I learned who God truly was. Though I don’t know the day that it was, one morning I broke down in my shower, overcome by everything that I came to understand, and gave myself to Christ. I belonged to him.
Since then, I attended Geneva College, seeking to eventually attain my doctorates. I was accepted to Moody Bible Institute, and was working on my last semester at Geneva, when I started to get sick. I was emergency admitted to Shadyside Hospital, Pittsburgh on Good Friday of 2013 (3/29/2013) for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The staff told my wife to prepare, because I would not be alive on Saturday. When I made it to Saturday, they told my wife that I would not see Sunday. When Easter arrived, and I was still alive, they finally said I might live. Throughout the struggle with cancer, and the bone marrow transplant, we used this as an opportunity to introduce people to Jesus. In some ways, I miss this period of life, as we felt the closest we ever had to our Lord at that time.
I had to finish my Bachelor’s degree from a hospital bed, but I did it. I am now officially “cured.” My acceptance at Moody Bible Institute has long since expired, and we remain hopeful of the future. Though circumstances have changed for us, and Moody is not currently an option, I am still seeking an opportunity to serve our Lord as a Pastor of a church, ensuring that the Truth of the Word is preached in its entirety.