I was born in Newport Beach, California, the youngest of three boys. My parents were USC grads and had high hopes for us kids. We eventually moved up to Anaheim and life was good in booming Orange County. We were typically middle-class, and our parents made sure we had the best of everything. We attended the Lutheran church and had all the outward appearances of a happy family. But when the hippie revolution hit, it sucked us boys in with a vengeance. We rebelled as teenagers giving our good parents a challenge they never thought possible. My dad struggled with alcohol in his upward struggle for success and mom just did her best weathering the storms blowing through our family. Calls from the police didn’t help and neither did the worry of where your kids were and what they were up to. Such a promising family falling apart and headed for the rocks. Where do you turn for help at such crazy times?
Well, someone invited my brother Steve to a Southern Baptist church across from the high school where he heard the gospel and received Christ as his Savior. We went to his baptism which so impressed my mom and dad that they switched us over to the church. Soon all of us walked the aisle to dedicate our lives to the Lord. This was the beginning of our family turn-around and healing. The lure of the world was still strong for us boys, but God never took His hand off us. People at the church were praying for us for full commitment to Christ. God got a hold of me first. I got so sick of the lifestyle I was living and the emptiness I felt inside. The Jesus movement was hitting our area and people all over were telling me about Jesus. It wasn’t long before I rededicated my life to the Lord. My friend’s mom saw the spiritual hunger in me and took me to Melodyland Christian Center where I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa where I was grounded in solid Bible teaching under pastor Chuck Smith. My brother Jeff followed in his rededication and eventually so did my brother Steve.
My real test was in high school where my faith was challenged. We started a Christian club and held each other tight through those tough years. After graduation I headed off to Christian college, met and married Cheryl, and then received a call to be a youth pastor out in the Hemet area for two years. Then followed a summer mission in Holland with Y.W.A.M. where missions entered our blood. We came back home where I attended seminary and came on staff at Calvary Chapel Anaheim where I served thirteen years under pastor Mark Bove. During that time we had two beautiful girls, Lindsay and Kelsey. I was then sent out to pioneer a church in Norco, CA area where I pastored for twenty-one years until I was forced to resign due to Cheryl’s health. We took our missions ministry (GO! Ministries) back to Calvary Chapel Anaheim and have been serving and encouraging missionaries all over the world!
God is good at rescuing and restoring individuals and families and using them to influence this world for Christ. (2 Cor 5:17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
That’s my story. Now what’s yours?