The following is an attempt to tell my testimony, the story of my Christian faith, in approximately 500 words. It was challenging to do, but also a helpful exercise! I challenge you to write out your own story in approximately 500 words.
For as long as I can remember, I have known and followed Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. However, there has been a lingering problem in our relationship – on my end. Of course, this problem is called “sin.” But, I mean an even more specific problem: my struggle to know Jesus, and not merely to know about Jesus.
(For an attempted summary of the content of my Christian faith, what I believe, see “What Do I Believe? A Cross-Centered Credo.”)
I have always placed a high premium on knowing and telling the truth. As a precocious five-year-old, an intellectual conundrum led me to ask my father how we could be brothers in Christ, though I was his son.
Thankfully, he did not respond with a merely intellectual explanation, but rather a gospel presentation. I prayed the “Sinner’s Prayer,” and my faith journey since then has been a long lesson that real Truth is not a proposition to comprehend, nor a weapon to wield, but a person to love, trust, and obey.
Unfortunately, I have often found it easier to wage intellectual battle than to trust and obey. Knowing all the right answers in Sunday School did little to assuage my pride, lust, anger, and fear.
Thankfully, however, Christ has not given up on me. Instead, through his Word and Church, he has reminded me time and time again that my intellect is to be used in loving, self-sacrificial service – and not in self-defense.
In high school, Christ opened my eyes to a world in need and gave me a glimpse of how the gifts he had given me might be used to meet the world’s needs.
However, to my shame, I had devoted more time and effort into learning things like calculus and Spanish than to learning the gospel. For this reason, I decided to devote my undergraduate studies to learning the gospel in order to preach it to others. I changed my major from Mechanical Engineering to Preseminary Bible just three weeks before classes began.
In college, I fell in love with the gospel, with biblical and theological studies, and with a young nursing student who loved Jesus and wanted to use her gifts (medical and otherwise) to serve him.
We decided to follow Christ together as husband and wife. After we were married in 2012, God opened the doors for us to come to Birmingham, AL, where I have continued my pastoral training at Beeson Divinity School and served as a Youth Minister at St. Peter’s Anglican Church. My wife has lovingly cared for the sick and the poor, first as a Registered Nurse, and now as a Nurse Practitioner.
(Want to read my wedding vows? You can do so here.)
Seminary and Beyond
Seminary (Beeson Divinity School), youth ministry, and my recent ordination to the diaconate have confirmed my pastoral calling. I want to spend the rest of my life serving the world by serving the Church. That is, I want to advance God’s kingdom academically, globally, and pastorally as part professor, missionary, and (primarily a) pastor.
Although merely knowing about Jesus is still a temptation, I know that my Savior is faithful. He can use my life to help heal a world that desperately needs to know him.
OK, that’s my testimony, in brief. What’s yours?
For more personal posts of mine, go here.