When I was in about 6th or 7th grade, my friend Jim and I decided to ride our bikes out to the country swimming hole. It was an old gravel pit that wasn’t being used anymore. It was summertime, and we had nothing better to do. When we got there, we decided we’d swim across. (Yeah, I know, why was an overweight kid thinking about swimming across a DEEP gravel pit) I still haven’t figured that out. But we did it any way. Jim, being in good shape, had no problem. I, on the other hand, made it about half way when my body just shut down. I started to slow down to a back stroke, then I was just barely treading water. I yelled out for Jim, but he was just reaching the shore a couple of hundred yards away. My worst fear, anyone’s worst fear, I was going to die. “Jim… I’m not going to make it”, I cried across the water to him.


I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s start a few years back.


Growing up as an overweight kid can be a very lonely experience. Finding true friends was next to impossible. On top of that, our family moved to a different city every couple of years. Just about the time I’d find a good friend, we’d up and move. My parents weren’t to blame, they did what was best for our family. But you start getting the picture that friends were few and far between. I felt all alone.


I didn’t really grow up in a religious family. Mom and I started going to church when I was in 4th grade. Dad stayed home, my brother was in high school and had other plans. So it was just Mom and me going. Maybe I was going more because I had to, but it never really bothered me. As we moved, Mom and I would find a new church, just like I’d find a new friend.


I did make a few friends as I grew up, one every couple of years before we’d move. It was like finding a needle in a haystack. By 7th grade, my family stayed within the same school district. We still moved, but I got to keep my friends this time. I had a couple of really good friends by then.


So now that you know a little bit about my early childhood, let’s get back to the swimming hole.

There I was in the middle of an abandoned gravel pit, barely keeping my head above water. I was telling Jim I wasn’t going to make it, and I was sorry. And just like in the movies, my life flashed before me. It wasn’t like watching it on the giant screen at the Super Bowl, but I thought of everyone in my family, special times, and the feeling that I had messed up big time. As I was gasping for air and started going under, I felt something below my feet. I was standing on a rock with just enough reach to keep my head barely out of the water. I just stood there for a while, caught my breath, and I told Jim I was going to make it. I was standing on what had to be the only rock in the middle of a dug out gravel pit. After I rested and swam back to the shore, Jim and I went home. I never said a word to anybody about that afternoon.


Besides Jim, I had another good friend. Adam. I actually became friends with Adam in 1st grade. But we moved away, and returned back in 5th grade. (so Adam and I went way back) I remember sitting in his room one day and he told me that he had received Jesus Christ as his savior. He explained how we all have sinned (done bad things in God’s eyes), and because of that, death was the punishment, (we would be eternally separated from God). But that God loved us, and even though we were sinners, he wanted us to have eternal life with Him. So He sent His Son Jesus to earth to be punished instead of us. He was nailed to the cross and died for us. But he overcame death and rose back to life, ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God. Adam said, “And all you have to do is pray and ask God to forgive you for the bad you have done, that you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, that you trust Jesus with your life” and “you’ll be saved”, he said… Now this was a lot of heavy stuff … It kinda came out of nowhere….. I definitely wasn’t expecting it. And now that I look back on it, pretty deep stuff coming from a 12 year old. I was thinking more of playing video games or something. So what did I say?......... I said ….. “I’m not really ready for all of that Adam.”


The following summer I went to church camp. On one of the last few nights there, I prayed to receive the free gift of life that Jesus offered. There was no sonic boom, I didn’t get all tingly, but I’ll never forget it. Me, a kid with few friends, had just became friends with the creator or our world.


You would think that having just a few friends would teach me how to hang on to them, but that’s not always the case. Truth is, I wasn’t all that good of a friend to Jesus. There is no doubt that He made a difference in my life. Even as a kid, I knew I could count on Him. Through all the times I felt lonely, and picked on, He knew exactly how I felt. He gave me encouragement and comfort during those times. As I grew up, I grew farther away from Jesus. I lost a lot of weight, played varsity football and made a lot of other friends. I could make it on my own now.


I wanted to have a career as a teacher. So I picked out the best college for becoming a teacher, and found out it was also the best college for partying. Which I did a lot of. There was hardly a night when I wasn’t drinking a beer or Jack Daniels. I was having the time of my life. I had a lot of friends and a lot of good times. But I ran out of money, and had to quit college my junior year.


Well I planned on getting a job and finishing college, but that never happened. I did get a job, and along with that, I got bills and responsibilities. On a good note, I did get married to a wonderful woman with two kids. We had a child of our own, and I thought, “ok, I finally made it in the real world”


Now work had been keeping me busy. I was working 10-12 hour days, 6 days a week. This didn’t leave a lot of room for family time. Our two older kids were both diagnosed bi-polar, which brought our stress level up a couple of notches. My Dad had a heart attack. My Mom was diagnosed with cancer and given 6 months to live. Our daughter, (the oldest of the 3), got meningitis and was hospitalized for a month. The youngest, (our 3 year old), broke his leg. Our house was broke into and robbed. Mom passed away, and while we went out of state to attend the funeral, our house was robbed again. All of this in a about a six month period. Sound like a train getting ready to derail? It sure felt like it. So I did the only thing I could think of. I prayed and hung on to Jesus. I couldn’t take it anymore without His help.


I didn’t start going back to church. I didn’t start reading my bible. I just thanked God that our family made it through that time. A few more years passed by and although I claimed to be a Christian, I hardly lived the Christian life style. I had become exactly what I liked least, a hypocrite. How could I count on Jesus in my times of trial, and turn my back on Him when everything was going ok. That was me. I wasn’t a “bad” person, I wasn’t rude to people. I dropped money in the fireman’s boot at the stop lights. I opened doors for people. I was a “good” person. In reality I was a hypocrite.


One day, on my drive after work, I started thinking about my life. I get up early, go to work all day, come home, spend a couple of hours with my family, go to bed. I get up early, go to work all day, come home, spend a couple of hours with my family, go to bed. Over and over…. Then what ? There’s got to be more to life that this. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I was wasting my life. I have a great family. Good job. But 100 years from now, what’s that going to matter? Then it dawned on me. I had taken for granted the best thing ever given to me. My salvation. If the creator of this world loved me enough to die for me, I sure had a lousy way of showing my thanks. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.


I pulled over on the side of the road right there and asked God for forgiveness. I was sorry I had not been a very good example to others. I had to quit riding the fence. It was time to let Jesus have control of my life. Jesus said in the bible, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I was weary and needed rest. A yoke is used for steering, so in essence Jesus said let me take the steering wheel of your life. Which is exactly what I did. It was the right choice. There will be no more guessing which side of the fence I’m on. I choose a life with Jesus instead of a life without.


The bible says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But what is sin ? We usually all think we're pretty good people. But what if we judge that by God's standards, The 10 Commandments? Have you ever lied ? I have. That makes you a liar. Have you ever stolen anything, regardless of it's value? Whether it was some change from your Mom's purse, answers to a test, illegal music or software from the internet, or office supplies from work.? I have, and that makes you a thief. Have you ever taken the Lord's name in vain? "Oh my G" or "G D" or any other way except to refer to God Himself? I have. That makes you a blasphemer. Jesus said that if you look at another person with lust, you have committed adultery with them in your heart. Have you ever looked at another person with lust? I have. Jesus says this is the same as adultery. If you are guilty of these, then you are a lying, thieving, blaspheming, adulterer at heart. These are just 4 of the 10 commandments. The bible says in Rev. 21:8 and 1 Cor. 6:9-10 that all liars shall have their part in the Lake of Fire and that no thief, fornicator, or adulterer will inherit the Kingdom of God. Are you starting to see that we have a need for God's forgiveness? Do you understand now that Jesus paid what we owe? The wages for sin is death.... for my sin and your sin. Jesus died so we wouldn't have to. Jesus could either live without us, or die for us, and he chose the cross.


I’m no where close to perfect. I still mess up. But I’m learning what it means to follow Christ. It’s sometimes like standing on that rock in the middle of the gravel pit, barely keeping your head above water, but having rest, and knowing I’ll make it to the shore. It’s not about giving up who I am, not about giving up humor and giving up fun. It’s about trusting Jesus. The bible say in Romans 10:9-11,13 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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame. " for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."


The most important thing I’ve learned since taking my “U-Turn” is that we can know for sure where we will spend eternity when we die. This fact alone makes life here on earth a lot more bearable. The bible also says in 1 John 5:12-13 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.


You have the same choice I had. There are only two sides to choose from. Jesus and eternal salvation, or not. Jesus said “ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me” There is a big difference between the intellectual assent that Jesus lived, (a formal expression of agreement or acceptance), and putting our trust in Him. God gave us free will, and will not force us to love Him. But He also said that He doesn’t want anyone to perish. So he gave us a way out of the punishment. All we have to do is accept His gift. Which side of the fence do you choose ? If you choose eternal life with Jesus, follow these steps:

1) Admit your need. ( I am a sinner)

2) Be willing to turn from your sins. (Repent)

3) Believe that Jesus died for you on the cross and rose from the grave

4) Through prayer, invite Jesus to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive Him as your Savior)

pray sincerely something like this :

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe you died to pay the penalty for my sin and rose from the grave. I want to turn from my sins and follow you. I trust you alone with my life and need your help. Thank you for the free gift of eternal life that I have received. In Jesus' name, Amen.

If you prayed sincerely from the heart, you are born into God's family. This is called regeneration or "new birth" The bible says "yet to all who receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." - John 1:12


So maybe you have some questions or doubts, or maybe you prayed to receive Jesus into your life. I would love to hear from you. Email me and I will do my best to answer your questions, and if I don't know the answer, I'll find out. I sincerely believe that this is the most important decision you'll make in your life, and if you have questions, you should ask. Email me at : (

Posted by Posted by Admin at 1:35 PM