I was raised by a devout Baptist mother and a nominally Catholic father. My maternal grandparents didn't attend my parents wedding because they thought it my mom was being "unequally yolked" to an unbeliever. It's a hurt that she still nurses to this day. I was baptized as a child--an invalid baptism I know now, and I took first communion. When it was time for confirmation class, I didn't want to go, and Dad didn't insist and Mom was more than satisfied. The truth was I was wholly indifferent to religion. Part of the reason was that I was in a tug of war with both sets of grandparents. Another part was that I was hearing two different messages from the two churches and I knew they both couldn't be true so I tuned out the whole thing. I was a good kid, never got into trouble, and graduated 4th in my class. I also idolized my father growing up and thought he hung the stars. He was a geologist with a Ph.D. with a coal mine and earned a very good salary. The problem started when it was time to select a college. I wanted to go to our regional local university where most my friends (and girlfriend) was going. Dad wanted me to go a more selective, prestigious school. My choice of major was another conflict. I declared English Education as a major. Dad wanted me to pursue a more lucrative career. So I was dealing with being a disappointment to my father (who told me I was "throwing away" my life.) and then the added pressure that the senior year of high school and freshman year of college brings and I was miserable pretending to be calm, cool, and collected. I was miserable and searching for answers, but still unwilling to turn to God for help. In fact turning to God didn't even occur to me. God was the great vending machine in the sky--the entity to whom I'd offer a half-hearted prayer to when I needed something. One Sunday morning between my sophomore and junior years in college Mom's car was in the shop and dad was out of town and had his car. I ended up having to take Mom to church. The plan was to drop her off and then come get her again. When I got to the church the marquee announced the sermon topic: What Does God Expect of Me? So I decided to attend services that day. The special music was a soloist who sang "All I Ever Have to Be" (you can hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohkdMXx_JlQ) The general thesis of the sermon was God expects repentance and obedience and lacking those two things contentment and fulfillment will be elusive. I remember thinking clearly in the sermon how unworthy I was to come to Christ after ignoring Him all these years. I determined then and there to clean up my act and THEN come to Christ. Isn't the Holy Spirit wonderful. He knew that would be my mindset and he countered it. The invitational which is my favorite song was "Come, Ye Sinners Poor and Needy." The middle stanzas in the touched me to the quick: Let not conscious let you linger, Nor of fitness fondly dream. All the fitness He requireth Is to feel your need of Him. This He gives you, This He gives you 'Tis the Spirit's glimmering beam This He gives you, This He gives you 'Tis the Spirit's glimmering beam. Come you weary, heavy-ladened Crushed and ruined by the Fall. If you terry 'till you're better, You shall never come at all. Venture on Him. Venture on Him. Let no other trust intrude. I was up and on my feet on down the aisle and my mother who is the most unassuming woman you have ever met was shouting thanks to Christ. At the front of the church in the middle of July the pastor gently lead me to saving faith in Christ. Three weeks later I was baptized. I haven't looked back since.