Discussion in 'Science' started by Gina B, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Dec 30, 2000
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    I'm copying what was already given. Those who haven't yet given them, feel free to do so before posting! [​IMG]

    Bob Ryan, Paul of Eugene, and UTEOTW

    Bob Ryan:
    I was born into a Christian home and raised to be in fellowship with Christ from early childhood. I accepted Christ as my savior in early childhood and was baptized in my early teens.

    I married a Christian woman and have raised our two daughters in the same way.

    My goal has been that every step of the way they should be "With Christ" and "in Christ" not having to walk in rebellion against God so they could "learn to love God".

    I have never believed in the philosophy "If there was no dark you could not know light".

    Adam and Eve were born into the light and it was God's plan to keep them in sinless - deathless, peaceful harmony with nature and God for all eternity.

    Though we are all born with sinful natures - totally depraved and in need of salvation - God does not doom us to rebellion. He loves our children from birth and before.

    I engage in these discussion to present the arguments to those who are "on the fence" or are in the Christian Bible-believing camp and yet do not know the strength of their position. But to do so, I need a really dedicated sincere "believer" in evolutionism to oppose my views. I thank those on these posts that have fulfilled that role and have done it well.

    In Christ,


    Paul of Eugene: I was born into a Christian home and accepted Christ as my personal savior about oh, age nine I suppose - I cannot remember the exact age, but I can remember the moment! I was always interested in both science and religion all of my life and naturally I became aware of the apparant conflicts growing up. I attended California Baptist College where I met and married my darling Jessie. We've had three children who've left home by now.

    I'd always supposed I would go into math and science but the Lord instructed me to go to seminary - I attended Golden Gate and earned an MDiv degree.

    Since that time the wife and I have been active in church work and always found that the Lord is faithful to meet all our needs.

    I've served as church pastor, church music director, church treasurer, just about everything you can do in a church I've done it!

    One thing for sure, in church you do NOT want to have things turn into an arguing match over doctrines. We need to concentrate on the things that pull us together. That's one reason I find these boards helpful - they let me get my arguing nature out of the way in cyberspace!

    Its also a place where one can practice being firm without being ungracious. Sometimes I manage to rise to that level, I hope.

    I think we are in a time of transition on the knoweledge of the age of the universe and the common descent of all life; I want people to know they can believe in God and accept the truths God has also revealed through science at the same time.

    UTEOTW: I am a living example of the influence that one Godly woman can have in a person's life. In my case, that was my grandmother.

    I was raised in a Christian home, but that is not to say it was that way from the very beginning. My parent were Christian, but they were also young. Mother was 20 and dad was 22 when I was born and at the time they were not very active in church. For mother this changed very quickly but it took dad a few more years to become fully involved. Maybe until I was in th 7 - 8 years of age range.

    My grandmother lived a few miles away. She must be one of the most interesting people I have known. She was the organist in the local Baptist church that I grew up in. She was always coming and getting me as a child and this included taking me to church with her. Did not take long for mother to start going to. BUt my grandmother tried very hard to raise me up correctly, to teach me about God and how to live and so on. Directly through her influence on me, I came to the knowledge of my need for salvation and prayed for such at a fairly young age. I don't remember the exact age, although I clearly remember the time, but I would guess it was in the 5 - 7 range. When I went to before the church to announce mt decision, the pastor was rightly doubtful of whether a child really understood what he was doing. We had a very long talk. Not that I needed convincing but it made the adults feel much better. I was baptized a few years later when I overcame the fear of water enough.

    One thing about me is that I am not a very outgoing person and very socially confident. So I have never been very good at actively engaging people about God. But what I figured out was that if you will live the right life, people will notice and come to you. God has given me a good life. Things just always seem to fall in place for me. I have a great wife and a good job. My familt is nearby. I am a very deliberate person and so when faced with decisions I tend to spend a good deal of time weighing options and being in prayer about it. The prototype decision for this would have to be choosing what to study in college. I ended up going into chemical engineering. God gave me a lot of peace about the decision and it was one I never looed back on nor doubted even though many of my peers found college to be a tumultuous time.

    Trying to keep this closer to topic, my grandmother also influenced much of the rest of what you see today. She drove me to love learning and knowledge. She had me reading to her, the Bible or the newspaper, by the time I was about 4 - 5. I had a set of old encyclopedieas I would read like other kids red story books. From the time I was about 6 or 7 she had a National Geographic subscription for me to read when I was at her house. I would collect and study all those special maps that came in the issues. I also liked the articles on following around the great predators and the solar system exploration issues. This was the time of the Voyager probes and of the first space shuttle launches.

    I think I have discussed previously how I came into being so interested in this particular subject. Largely it comes from what I perceive as very un-Christian like behavior on the part of the YEC leaders. I find the evidence overwhelming and the counter evidence misrepresentations at best. I do not spend much time, if any, outside of this forum on it. Surprise. I am very careful to pick my battles and this is not what I want to bring into my real world life. I think this is a subject that most people frankly do not care about. They lean on way or the other but they don't know why and it is not very important to them. But the people who do have opinions have very strong opinions. So I generally let it go. When my wife and I have kids and they get into school this opinion my change, however.

    I hope that wasn't too rambling.
  2. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Dec 30, 2000
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    Deacon, Mercury, Gup 20

    Deacon: As a youth, my family only occasionally attended a Presbyterian church. About sixth grade I began to attend confirmation classes. I remember memorizing the Ten Commandments and writing a report on Chopin but not much else; I can’t remember ever hearing the gospel. I knew that at the end of the lessons, our class would stand before the congregation and confirm a commitment to Christ. I was concerned; I did know that I didn’t believe. Fortunately before the sessions ended our family moved. There would be no more formal religious training.

    As a high school freshman I began to run with a rough crowd. I was caught in a bad situation and needed to restore my families trust in me. I took my mothers suggestion and attended the nearby Presbyterian church’s youth night. They played games all night, no message. At the end of the night a young man asked if I needed a ride home and I took him up on the offer. On the way home he invited me to a “Young Life” group, a non-denominational youth group. Through the ministry of “Young Life”, I heard the good news of Jesus Christ and shortly thereafter on my own, accepted Christ as my Savior.

    I was immediately confronted by classmates who tried to convince me that my faith was useless. In defense, we formed a “youth church”, a group of about 30 young men and women who were believers. We met for prayer and study in the mornings before school; we also met in each other’s homes weekly; we cared for each other. Within the group there were all sorts of unorthodox beliefs. We came from diverse backgrounds; but we were young and accepting. As I grew in Christ, I had to confront these strange doctrines and develop a correct biblical worldview.

    In college I majored in biology, switching to the field of nursing in my senior year after realizing I would be financially incapable of continuing further education in the fast-growing discipline of microbiology. There I met my wife and we married soon after I graduated. We still attend the same Baptist church we first attended upon being married. I’ve served as a deacon for many of those years. We have three daughters and a grandchild on the way.

    The creation/evolution topic is so divisive that I rarely talk about it at church. I agree with Paul of Eugene, the BaptistBoard debate forums provide a good channel for me to occasionally express my views without causing division in the church.

    Presently I call myself an “old-earth creationist”; you could also perhaps say I’m a “day-age” or “Progressive Creationist” of a type. That annoys the so-called “evolutionists” because it maintains no direct decent among various life forms and irritates the “young-earthers” because it acknowledges an ancient earth. I truly expect to be wondrously amazed with the marvels of creation when I see Him face-to-face.


    Mercury: My first name is Marshall and I was born into a Christian home. I accepted Jesus at age three and re-dedicated my life to him a number of times shortly after that, mainly because I was too young to really understand what salvation was. However, I did try to live the Christian life as best as I could, and until my early teens that wasn't much of a challenge.

    My parents were strict and my dad caused a lot of tension in the family. Things like drinking, dancing, dating and seeing movies were forbidden. On TV, shows with a laugh track or animation were forbidden, along with all sci-fi. My mom was not allowed to wear pants, even when gardening. I have two older brothers, and they both had many altercations with my dad, occasionally physical. Both moved out fairly quickly after graduating, leaving me alone with my parents for my teen years.

    Mom and Dad had a rocky relationship at this time, including a short separation. My dad also believed a number of things that I started to disagree with, especially since his positions were becoming more drastic at the same time that I was testing my own beliefs. He became KJV-only (as well as Luther Bible-only for German); he started setting dates for the rapture; he became increasingly legalistic; and he caused disruptions at church and often walked out of services. To me, a young teen at the time, the Christianity my dad practiced seemed more and more like a fraud. While I was still attending church regularly, I held my faith lightly, and I often rebelled against my dad and his rules.

    At this time, God intervened in my life in ways that I continue to praise him for. One event in grade eight greatly affected my faith and jump-started my career. I attended a public high school, and it turned out that my physics teacher was also the yearbook teacher, and this particular year he was looking for someone who knew more about desktop publishing (which was just starting at that time). This teacher saw a science drawing I did that had some computerized elements to it, and based on that asked me to join the class. I accepted and ended up in a class by myself where I worked unsupervised on the yearbook, except for occasional visits from this teacher (he was teaching a physics class at the same time). I got to know him quite well, and discovered that he was a Christian who was open about his faith, and not at all hypocritical in making his beliefs influence the way he lived. He was precisely the Christian role model I needed at that time.

    During those same years, I also got to know one uncle and aunt much better. They allowed me to live with them for a while when things got really bad at home, and again they showed me how the Christian life could be authentically lived. Mainly based on the witness of these individuals (along with others, including a pastor at my church), I was saved from making the horrible mistake of throwing out Christianity in the process of rejecting my dad's legalism and what I saw as hypocrisy. As I struggled with these issues, I became more interested in God's word. At first I studied many of the issues that my dad had brought to a focus, such as what the Bible says about KJV-onlyism and alcohol consumption. I also devoured a number of C.S. Lewis books. During my late teens this process continued, and I transitioned from having an inherited blind faith to an owned faith that I could defend.

    A few years after high school, I moved away from home -- about 2,000 kilometres away. Since then, my relationship with my dad has improved, and my visits back home are often enjoyable, especially the shorter ones. My mom and dad, who are now retired, also have a better relationship now. My two brothers both have families of their own, while I'm still single. While I wasn't too close to them during childhood (mainly because of the big age differences), now we have a number of shared interests and get along well. I consider it a great blessing that they, their wives and children, as well as my parents, all know the Lord.

    As for the origins debate, I was of course raised to believe in young-earth creationism. I vividly remember one time when I prayed earnestly for my brother's salvation after finding out that he accepted evolution. But, in my early 20s I started to see some of the evidence my brother had seen, and soon I accepted the age of the earth, but not evolution; I reconciled this with the Bible by holding to a variation of the gap theory. For a time I stopped looking into the issue, both in reading what the Bible says about creation and in studying scientific evidence, because I was afraid my current theory would not hold up to scrutiny. Eventually there came a point when I was frustrated that there were parts of the Bible I was avoiding, and I dug deeply into the first chapters of Genesis. I discovered for the first time that there were two creation accounts that cannot easily be combined into a single story, and this led me to hold to what I later discovered was called the framework view. At that point I still didn't accept evolution, but my faith in God and his word was no longer dependent on rejecting it. I think that gave me less of a bias as I started to read both sides of the issue, and over time I came to consider it a plausible possibility, and finally the most likely one.

    Currently, I attend a Mennonite Brethren church and am also the webmaster for our denomination's Canadian sites. I am self-employed and my work also includes designing other web sites as well as some graphic design. I found this board while researching what a troll on another board had posted elsewhere, and once I saw the Bible Versions section, I gained a morbid fascination with it, lurked for a few months, and finally started posting in a few threads about other topics.

    Gup 20: I was born an identicle twin, early and sickly. I was placed in an incubation thingy (that's the technical scientific terminology) for a while for a blocked bowel. I was named Benjamin and my older (by 1 minute) brother was named Jacob. Funny story because he actually DID steal my birthright. I as on the 'bottom' and was supposed to be born first, but he was sittig on me and I couldn't get turned ... so there was a C-Section and they pulled HIM out first. My parents had already decided long before the first would be named Jacob and the second woulbe be Benjamin. These are the only two Biblical names both my parents liked well enough.

    My Parents were both Christians. My mother has always been extremely passionate about her faith, athough often chasing after every other cooky doctrine that came along, and my dad the stark opposite. He has always been rock steady in his belief - and everything he ever did was in keeping with what he believed - right or wrong - he is the epidemy of demonstrating what you believe by your actions. Some of his actions were very good christian actions, but not everything he believed was a good christian sentiment... hehe. My dad was always a rough character - he has always had a good dose of male chauvinism so my mom never worked. My dad drove city bus for 23 years, and this was his job until I turned 15 years old. He never made more than $25k a year, but supported a family of 4 on his income. We never went a single day without 3 good meals, nor were we ever without clothing or shelter. Ours was a life made due with thrift store clothing and homemmade food... and we always lived within our means... and we never went without any of our needs. Ours was a life of extreme protection and structure. We were poor, but we never once worried about tomorrow or if we would eat, sleep, or have heat, shelter, etc. Both of my parents were dedicated to us two boys, and they were convinced that public schools were churches for worldly ideas, behaviors, and beliefs. My twin brother and I went to private schools from Kindergarden through 5th grade. On my dad's salary that was a humoungous stretch and burden, but the way we grew up was that important to them. From the time I was 5 till the time I was 15 we lived in the same house, we went to the same church (which grew from 50 people to ~ 900 in 10 years) even though the church was an hour and a half drive. We went to every single service our church ever had. That was a sunday morning, a sunday evening, and a wednesday night. For 10 years the only time we ever missed a service was if we were out of town on vacation (and then sometimes we would look up another branch of same group that our church was an off-shoot of).

    I was saved when I was 5 years old. I understood what I was doing. My brother and I were exceptionally mature for our age all of our lives. We were 'kids' who always hung out with adults. I was baptised by my father a year later - again it wasn't until they were confident that we understood what we were doing. About another year later I was filled with the holy spirit (with the evidence of speaking in tongues). My mother would pray for us each and every night before going to sleep. We understood from a young age what prayer was. My mom never recited a prayer... but spoke to God like he was in the room and conversationally. She would ask God each and every night, however, to help her boys grow up to be mighty men of God. We had regular devotion time each morning as well. Half an hour of Bible reading and praying. By the time I was 9 I had read the Bible all the way through 6 times. Additionally, every private school I ever went to (even when I was homeschooled) we always had a BIble class - so I had 11 years of Bible training by formal education.

    From 6th grade up through 9th grade my brother and I were home-schooled. The 'less expensive' private school we were going to got more expensive when the original founder died and it came under new management. My parents couldn't find another private school they liked that was in their price range. We were both also excellent baseball players and would get scholarship offers from colleges. When we turned 15 (it's like we are borg twins) years old, my parents decided that we should go back to private school (as many of the subjects were beyond their learning, such as math). In 10th grade we went to Maranatha Christian Acadamy. This is where I met Sarah, my wife. www.gup20.com/wed.htm

    This is also where my interest in the creation vs evolution debate was sparked. The private school is administrated by Living Word Christian Center, which pastored by Mac Hammond (which is where I go to church now). They are a 'Word of Faith' church, so Kenneth Copeland is one of the more famous 'Word of Faith' preachers had a guy name Dr. Carl Baugh on his program. Our Bible teacher at the school played those for us.

    Our science teacher always held the philosophy that evolution was dead wrong - and the only way to understand that is to fully understand evolution. In biology we were taught evolution for weeks and weeks. This was followed by creation for approximately the same period of time. We had many open class discussions about the two sides in our classes and were encouraged greatly to do critical thinking about both positions.

    So I spent 10th and 11th grade in this private school... and developed my relationship with my wife, Sarah as well as completed all my high school educational requirments. My senior year my parents couldn't afford to send us back to the private school (which was pretty expensive). So, for my senior year of high school, I attended a public school for the first time in my life. I gotta tell you too ... it was like stepping into a completely different world. I went to a suburban school on the outside suburbs of Minneapolis in a smaller suburb called Anoka. It was the largest high school in the state in attendence that year with over 3500 students - 900 in my 'graduating class'. I had already fulfilled most of my requirements ... so I loaded up on classes I was interested in such as science classes. Of course they all taught and believed evolution as fact.

    My brother dropped out of the public school that year to get married. He met a woman who had just moved up to MN from Texas and had two children. She told him that she wasn't interested in dating casually, and that it would be wrong impression to her kids (she was a new christian) to date around. They had a 3 day courtship and announced their intentions to be married. Six weeks after that, they did marry and had two more kids of their own. That was 1996 - they are still happily married today and the six of them live in Texas now.

    From the time I was 8 till high school I had always wanted to play professional baseball... and I was good enough too. I had several scholarship offers from different colleges. However, I ended up injuring my throwing arm elbow to the point where I could not throw very well anymore. I gained a lot of weight and stopped playing. I started paying more attention to Sarah than I did my dreams of playing baseball. A life with her replaced baseball as my dream, and I am living that every day now.

    We dated for 3 years and were married in 1998. My dad had quit driving buss when he was assulted by an angry rider 5 years earlier. He was now in the turkey farming business, so we got married out on the farm. www.gup20.com/personal.htm for my wedding pictures.

    Three days ago (August 23rd) was our 6 year wedding anniversary.

    I had always had an interest in computers. I never had any formal training in them... but was such an avid user of my parents computer that I decided that I should get a quick degree and work with computers. I went to a technical school and got a two year associates degree in electronics. I then had a job doing laptop and computer repair. My brother followed me in that as well... he went to school and got a networking degree - he does systems engineering work down in Texas right now.

    I stayed very involved with the church LWCC as did my wife. Our church has ~ 6000 members and many many areas to volunteer and get involved in. One of those areas was the world's first non-profit internet service. I eventually got hired doing Technical Support for my church's internet service, and that is where I work today.

    I don't make a lot of $$, but I make more than my dad ever did, and I was always happy as a kid. My wife also works, so we are very comfortable. I am one of the less ambitious persons one could meet. I treat my job as though it were a ministry.


    Besides being an internet service, we provide quite a bit of content from MANY different pastors and preachers (such as Kenneth copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Mac Hammond, Creflo Dollar, etc. It is my job to make sure that people can get to this content and be ministered to. My conduct is as a representative of all the ministers who contribute content to our site... and I treat my job with appreciation to that fact. I love working with comptuers... so I am extrememly happy and content here.

    And I get to be on the internet all day typing away to you guys

    My wife and I have no children after six years. Neither of us are ready (we thinks anyway). I am only 26, after all. I bought my first house last year - parnering with my cousin and his wife ( www.gup20.com/house ). It's a 4 bedroom with lots of room so we all have our own space. My wife was a 'post secondary' kid. She did not attend high school for her senior year, but went instead to the University of Minnesota where she got collegate and high school credit for taking the university classes (on the state's dime, no less). I had the privilage of sitting in with her on her university Biology and Genetics classes (she was studying to be a psycologist). That was loads of fun.

    She works now as the admisitrative assistant to the president of Clam Corporation. They make portable Ice fishing shelters. For you in southern areas - we up north in MN walk on water in the winter (we try to be Christ like, right?) find a spot... drill a hole.. and then sit and go fishing. Her company makes portable shelters for this exciting activity.


    You can actually see her on the site too... she models some of the gear. For example, have you ever seen anyone quite as happy about a bucket:


    She also models hats... LOL

    Anyway.... I work up in CFAITH and she volunteers in several areas. She leads two prayer groups - one for adults praying for the youth... and one prayer group made up of youth. She also volunteers in our church's 'youth group' as a team leader.

    Our church also has many other successful outreach programs such as CFAITH... Some of you may or may not have heard of a night club in Minneapolis called the New Union. It was the first Christian night club in the Minneapolis area. This has now blossomed into Club 3 Degrees.


    Club 3 degrees is now the LARGEST night club in all of downtown Minneapolis (square footage wise) and it's a non-alchoholic, christian music club. It is located in the same district as all the other big and most popular night clubs in Minneapolis. It is an awesome ministry.


    One day, I was assigned a task of searching for good christian sites on the internet. CFAITH wanted to develope a sort of list of great christian websties. Naturally being interested in Creation and the Bible, I started doing some searching and ran accross AiG's website. That was really cool. I also ran accross debate forums. I started posting in some of those forums in support of creation, and one day - out of the blue - I got an email from our friend Bob Ryan. He invited me to come check out this forum. I will admit - it is much more comfortable discussing creation with those who believe the Bible instead of being ridiculed for being a christian.
  3. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Dec 30, 2000
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    john6:63 and GinaL

    john6:63: It was good to learn a little more about everyone and I enjoyed everyone’s testimony.

    My name outside of cyber space is Tommy and I was born in a small town in Middle Tennessee in March of ’71 and I have a younger brother who was born in ‘78. The age difference between us resulted in the two of us not being really close growing up. I didn’t grow up in what I would call a religious home. My mom was a Christian (Baptists) and she would carry us to a Church she grew up in. It was a really small church, maybe just 30 members. I was saved when I was around 8 years old, but looking back, I believe I was much less scared into it. My dad was raised Church of Christ and when my mom would take us to church, which was rare, my dad never went with us. I remember the preacher coming to visit us once, and my dad basically told him that he wasn’t welcomed and quickly showed him the door.

    My dad, a Vietnam Vet was an all-star shortstop at his H. School and had a promising career playing baseball at the University of Tennessee. He attended one year of College and returned home (I was told he was homesick) and he and a friend he grew up with was drafted and they went to boot camp and served together, but only my dad returned. I was told that my dad witnessed his friend’s death and was there when he took his last breath. My dad was a heavy drinker and how my mom put up with his drinking and his mental abuse (I never saw my did hit my mom). I had many, many sleepless nights growing up, so my childhood wasn’t something I look back on, which amazes my wife, when she asks me about my childhood, I simply don’t have much to reflect on that was worth remembering.

    BUT…good news…my dad is now saved, been walking with the Lord for seven years now. My mom prayed for 20 years for him and the Lord remembered her. My dad hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol in 8 years. He’s a faithful witness and goes door knocking every Saturday. My mom said she would do it all over again to have what she has today. I do whish that it happened earlier in my life, but God’s will, will be done.

    So growing up I attended Church rarely and as a teenager I never attended Church. I wasn’t a rebellious kid growing up; I just minded my own business and stayed out of trouble and never dated any girls in H.S. or had many friends, I was very shy and I guess I was afraid to introduce them to my parents. Even though I didn’t go to Church regularly, I still knew who my Saviour was and I prayed to God, but only when I was in trouble…It doesn’t sound good, but it’s the truth. I never read the bible so I didn’t know what being a Christian was all about.

    I graduated HS and went to a two-year trade school (college was something my parents never talked to me about) got an Associates degree in Mechanical Design. After I graduated I joined the US Navy for 4 years. I excelled in the Navy, passed all my exams and made rank really fast. I finally was on my own and all those years of being shy and boring wore off. Between 1992 to 1998 was the darkest period of my life. I was in all out rebellion against God, I was living MY life, and the way I wanted to live it. I started drinking, partying, you name it and I’d probably done it two or three times.

    I got out of the Navy in ’96 and the partying didn’t slow, if anything it got worse. I met my wife at a local deli /bar that I hung out at. Her mom was the bar maid and she would stop in and eat dinner and leave. She didn’t drink or hang around, but she saw enough of my antics and the type of girls I favored to know I wasn’t the man for her. But I promise you, the day I first saw her, I told my uncle, who was my drinking buddy that I was going to marry her.

    Finally after months of courting her, and actually giving up on her, she decided to pursue me. Unlike her, I didn’t resist…lol She was attending a UMC with her grandmother and I would go with her, actually she would drag me, for I was still hung over from the night before. Nothing worse that going to church hung over, God chastised me harshly for that.

    We got married in 1998 and my life slowly started changing. I was going to Church, but I wasn’t still fully committed yet, but my partying life was almost non-existent. I wasn’t drinking as much, I had a good job as a designer at a Manufacturing plant. We bought a house, got a dog and in 2001 had our first child, a boy. My wife and son were out of town during the summer of 2002 and I went and bought a U2 concert video filmed in Boston. Bono says a prayer before the song “where the streets have no name” it goes:

    What can I give back to God, for the blessings He’s poured out on me. I lift high the cup of Salvation; raise a toast to our Father. I will follow through on the promise I made to Him. From the heart.

    It finally dawned on me. Everything I had, my perfect wife who I trust completely, my good job, my perfect little house, cars, my perfect son, even my faithful dog and My life, they were all gifts from God that he blessed, even a sinner as myself with. I started thinking, what have I done to pay God back. I was being disobedient in my walk. I was saved when I was 8 years old and never did I desire a loving relationship with Him, as I want my son to love and desire a relationship with me. I felt extremely guilty and ashamed of my past and immediately I hit my knees and confessed sin after sin as far back as I could remember. I recommitted my life to Christ that evening and haven’t looked back since.

    We’ve since moved to Indianapolis, IN. my wife and I started attending a UMC near by and got really involved, Sunday School, Disciple Classes, what ever we could do to learn more and more about God and His plan for us. We were studying and reading the bible together, praying together, but I still felt empty. Attending church there wasn’t fulfilling. I was learning not only about God and His word, but about myself as well and how conservative I was. I wasn’t feeling convicted, b/c there was still sin in my life. In our disciple classes I saw how confused people were about how simple something as Salvation is. I didn’t see how anyone could get saved in a UMC. I talked w/ my mom and she gets the Sword of the Lord and she found an IFB church near our house. We attended one Sunday and haven’t left since.

    Wow, I didn’t realize how much I have typed. I guess I have a lot to say, but concerning Creation and Evolution. Once I totally committed my life to Christ, I surrendered everything. I just decided that what God has revealed in his Word is the truth. God cannot lie. I accept Genesis by faith and no discovery by fallible man can shake my foundation, which is built upon Genesis chapter one, verse one. Aliens can land in my back yard and it still want shake my faith, if anything I will tell them the good news that Jesus Christ died for even their sins…lol

    God continues to bless my family as He did on July 17, 2004. When we welcomed our daughter into this world.

    My son is now 3 and is involved in our church, Sunday school and this is his first year in AWANA. He’s excited about the Lord. He prays with us. I’m waiting until I feel he understands completely what sin is and what death is, even though he asks about Jesus all the time. He’s kinda confused about someone we talk about, but yet never has he physically met. He stresses that he loves Jesus all the time. One day I went into his room to wake him from a nap and he was sitting up in his bed. I ask what he was doing and he said, “waiting on Jesus.” I said you and me both buddy, and I almost cried.

    I know, I can’t shut up, this is it I promise…

    Gina: I wasn't born into a Christian family. My parents divorced when I was young, my father got a girlfriend, and they decided to get away from it all and try to do the right thing I guess. We moved after a while from a big city to a tiny town that wasn't even on the map.

    There, us kids were put into private Christian schools, two different ones in the next few years, both extremely tiny, both extremely legalistic. (the latter one being an IFB church school) In our class the last year I was there, 7th through 12th grades were all in one room. There were 7 of us, and two were my brothers.

    Going back a bit, I had decided at the age of 11 that if this was Christianity, I wanted no part of it. There were a lot of things happening, and I had been a deeply spiritual child who totally believed that God would somehow miraculously swoop down and be my hero, conquering all my enemies and taking me off to safety. When it didn't happen after years of fervent prayer I was pretty ticked off and decided I should turn my life over to Satan, under the condition that he had to do better than God.

    Much of my time then was spent hiding out in the woods or my room when possible reading anything I could get my hands on. Life went on. In my early teens I had somewhat of an interest in the psychic world, enough said on that. Anyhow, I pretty much gave up on spiritual stuff in my late teens, spent my time working and going to school. I barely passed high school because I'd work all the hours I could.

    When I left home it was in a fit of anger, and without taking anything with me. At all.
    Spent a while surviving, running from police, gambling, pot, drugs, alcohol, etc., then went from one situation to the next. My intention had been to go into intelligence, but after passing everything, getting my security clearance and all that good stuff, I messed it up. Looking back now it was probably for the best, but it's still something I occasionally regret missing out on.

    My life started to change after a Christian couple started coming in while I was waitressing. They were very gentle, kind people who took an interest in my life for whatever reason. It got me thinking about God again. After a while of that, I started getting disgusted with how I was living and wanted better. Not exactly a leap into Christianity, but it was a start. I decided the way out of where I was would be to get married.

    I met a guy, thought I was in love, and married him a month later. We had our first child and when I looked at her I knew I had to raise her right. Called every church in the phone book until I got a real person, and the pastor and his wife came over. I knew the right words to say and convinced them I was saved, although I still wasn't convinced that Christ was who he said he was.
    So I attended that non denom church for a while. It was very strict, no pants on women (not even sleepers on infant girls were looked at without disapproval), throw rocks at unmarried members if they got too close, marry young, don't speak in church, don't even look at a man cross eyed or speak as if you knew what you were talking about, if a female fell a man still couldn't touch her unless absolutely needed to prevent her undecency, and even then let go immediately, no holidays, baptism was a very wrong practice blah blah blah.

    Had another baby, moved, found a strict IFB church and was shocked by the leniency. Teens wore skirts that weren't below their knees, and even pants outside of church. They baptized, they used more than a piano in some of their songs.
    Had another baby.
    I ended up going LDS.

    Then, someone from a very cultish baptist church started witnessing to me. LOL
    It really isn't funny, but MAN WAS I MESSED UP FOR A LONG TIME!
    I did some very intense studying of mormonism, not without hearing some disapproval. And not without some missionaries being sent away from this town because we were finding the truth and the church had to get them away from that at all costs.

    Final time came when a friend of mine decided to invite me over for discussion. On the third night he proceeded to very loudly let me know what I was teaching my girls and where it would get them, then he kicked me out of his house.
    I was so disturbed, convicted, angry, you name it that if I hadn't had kids to think about, I don't think I'd be alive right now.

    Went home, got the kids to bed. There was a major spiritual struggle inside of me, and I almost felt like I wasn't having much of a hand in it. It truly seemed like there was a battle between good and evil going on, and it was scary. I knew that whatever happened that night would change me forever, although what I THOUGHT would happen would be that I would deny what I had started to think was the truth, and stay with mormonism because it was an easy choice. But like I said, it didn't seem like I had much to do with it! In the end, I felt as though I was slipping toward the side that was wrong and that Satan was gonna win this battle. At the last moment, I can't really explain it. God reached in and pulled my soul from the brink of hell is the only way I can describe it. I pretty much fell on my knees and wept at that point in time.

    I went to the cultish church for a while, not knowing what I was doing, and got out. I joined this board toward the end of my time there. When I quit I was afraid to try other churches, so I quietly stayed home. Found my Christian life suffering, but some people on this board played a major part in my wanting to keep things right. I got involved quite a bit on internet ministries, and it peaked my interest further in finding a church and being useful in my immediate surroundings.

    In the meantime, got divorced.

    I found my church last year. I hadn't expected to be in another baptist church, let alone another IFB one, but after giving it a try I fell in love with the people and with the openness and honesty of the whole deal. There is a definite lack of legalism, which makes it very easy for me to have that pharisee spirit popping up, until I realize that the standards I want to see in others are extra biblical and even I don't hold to them anymore. LOL Hopefully those feelings will subside more and more the longer I'm saved and growing in truth.

    I'm still amazed at what God did for me that night. It wasn't me at all. On my own I'd have gone the opposite direction. He grabbed me and pulled me from danger, he forgave me, he gave me faith and strength and hope. Amazing love! I don't get it. I don't get why. There were times I did struggle and pray for faith before this and it never happened. It hurts me when I see others doing the same thing because I know how they feel, the frustration and anger of wanting the truth and not being able to accept it. It's a very big part of why I'm a calvinist. I understand that different people have different experiences, but I don't understand how they can in any way take credit for anything to do with their belief or their salvation.

    Life isn't perfect, and I've had my share of struggles a few good bouts with wanting to run from it all, but so many things have happened this past year as far to prove to me that God really does hear prayer. He's had to bring me down pretty low a few times to make me depend on him more, which is something I'll probably always struggle with. (my theme in life has pretty consistently been "leave me alone, I can and will figure this out on my own") That theme doesn't work for Christians. The longer I've been in this lifestyle the harder God chastises me for that type of thinking, and I think I finally do get it, at least much more so than ever before.

    He's amazing to me. He's beautiful. He's holy. He DID come down to be my hero! And...he understands me. That's rather uncommon.

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