I had very little exposure to the things of God while growing up in Oildale, a small California town on the northern border of Bakersfield. Tall wooden oil derricks still towered over the landscape in those days and provided plenty of places for an energetic boy to test his limits.
What little exposure I had to Christianity in a small country church was not a good representation of Christ. By the time I was 10 years old I was convinced that there was no God and I did not want anything to do with those who called themselves Christians.
In my mid 20’s God revealed His existence to me in a miraculous way but I had no idea who He was. After seven years of marriage and an amiable divorce I attempted to fit into the singles bar-scene. I became discontent within myself and disenchanted with the party life. In 1981 I was driving alone in the heavy night fog of the San Joaquin Valley considering my life and how I got to this point. I remembered how God revealed His existence to me but I still did not know who He was. So I prayed something like this: God, whoever You are, please bring someone into my life to show me who You are and help me become the man that You want me to be.
The very next day a young lady named Kathy Larson arrived as a messenger from God. Armed with her “Jesus Lives” T-Shirt and a “Christians Aren’t Perfect; Just Forgiven” bumper sticker on a 1974 Pinto, she invited me to go to church with her at Calvary Chapel and I promptly said yes. As soon as I heard the Word of God “rightly divided” I knew it was His revelation to those who would willingly receive. And what about the young lady that invited me to church? Well, we were married a year later and now have three children and 12 grandchildren.
It is my firm conviction that a man or woman of God is qualified for ministry by Competency, Character, and Calling. Those attributes are only given by the grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ and His enduring Word. I pray that He forges those qualities within me. So I will continue to lift that same prayer of 35 years ago; “Show me who You are… and help me become the man You want me to be.”
2nd Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.