Anyone who has placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ later in life — instead of in childhood or mid-teens — probably can relate to my story. I am blessed to be His, but I wish I had accepted Him decades earlier. This is Part Two of my story … You can find Part One here.

Before Accepting Christ …


MY WIFE AND I had raised our children as Unitarian Universalists, but after our divorce, I came to see that the UU tradition offered nothing of substance to satisfy an emptiness in my soul that I have since learned was placed there by God to encourage us to seek Him.

I wanted more than man’s wisdom, no matter how prescient it was. I wanted to know Truth. I wanted to believe that Truth existed, and I wanted to find it, and I wanted to embrace it.

When I first had the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ, I flinched, knowing that I was leaving behind the UU  tradition my daughters were taught. I felt I was betraying them, that I was leaving them on a sinking ship while I found safety in one of the life boats.

Another Year of Prayer


AFTER ANOTHER YEAR of prayer, Bible reading, Christian fellowship, and weekly worship, the Lord gave me this verse to make my decision clear:

“Anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”  – Matthew 10:37b NIV

“Anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”  

JESUS CHRIST (Matthew 10:37b NIV )

That tipped me over. The Lord knew I loved my daughters very much and did not want to abandon them, yet He told me (and everyone else, too!) that we are to love Him more than other family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or any possession or treasure on earth.

In that moment, I knew that even if my decision to embrace Jesus were to cost me the love of my beloved daughters, I would still jump right in. 

I loved Jesus more. I wanted Jesus full bore! 


On Nov. 10, 2010, I accepted the Lord into my heart. This definitely was a Revelation 3:20 moment, where I opened the door and let my Savior in. As He promised He would,  He came in and sat at table with me and became my friend.

More than that, He restored my soul and gave me hope and a future.

Finally Accepting Christ!

THE LORD MOVED IN with the Holy Spirit and immediately set about transforming me. That involved convicting my sinful behavior, thoughts, and words, and changing my heart from stone to flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26) 

Although immediately I was saved by Christ’s blood (justification), I had a lot of growing to do to become a Christian whose light shines in the darkness. 


That’s the sanctification part, and mine was an intense tutorial as the Holy Spirit taught me from His Word and from believing friends that certain movies, books, songs, and other offerings of the world were now off-limits.

He led me to abandon harmful addictions, to become more patient and compassionate, and to seek ways to serve Him. I am still learning, and He is still teaching.

As I grew in Christ, the Holy Spirit kept me from wanting those things that  the world offers. 

He’s still working on me and will not complete the job until I reach glory with Him. (Phil. 1:6)

Postscript …

SO, NOW WHAT am I supposed to do?

Tell others.

It’s the Great Commission: 


It’s His final words to the apostles before His ascension: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”– Acts 1:8 (NIV)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”-Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB20)

To summarize, Jesus told us:

“Go … Baptize … Teach … Receive Power … 

Be My Witnesses … Tell Everyone.” 

What About You?

WHAT IS YOUR STORY? What should you do with the saving grace God has placed on your heart?

Most likely, it’s the same Great Commission, the same teaching, and the same witnessing to which he’s called me. 

If you’re struggling with your faith or unsure of God’s grace, or even questioning whether God’s grace can cover your sin, please take your questions to God in prayer and seek out a Godly mentor of the same sex you are. 

Find a Bible-based church (easy to spot: they often call themselves “Bible Church” or “Community Church”) and ask the pastor for guidance or check out the “What We Believe” or “About Us” section of the church’s website. 

Buy a Bible and begin reading it. Start with the Gospel of John. He’ll show you the love of Jesus Christ in a more  profound way than anyone else does. 

Read the Word, pray constantly, seek a Godly mentor, and begin regular fellowship with a strong Christ-based group. Avoid social clubs. You’ll want solid grounding in the Word.

Finally, when you hear His call on your life, answer with a firm and joyful “Yes, Lord!”

  • “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”Hebrews 3:15 (ESV)
  • “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”2 Corinthians 6:2 (NKJV)

When I heard His voice and finally listened and obeyed, He was faithful and just and came in as I opened the door — just as He told us He would in Revelation 3:20 — He became my Friend.



FATHER GOD, we praise You for Your love for us,  Your will to create us in Your image, and Your will to send Jesus to pay our sin debt so You could restore fellowship with us, despite our rebellion, our disobedience. Thank You, Lord most magnificent. We praise You in Jesus’ name. AMEN

NOTE: Photos are of geographic areas of importance to me.


Is “perfectionism” un-biblical? Jesus says in His Sermon on the Mount not to worry. “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life. … Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matt. 6:25-27 NIV) Perfectionists worry they won’t measure up to their own standards, let alone the imagined standards of others. Isn’t that un-biblical?

THOSE OF US who are “perfectionists” must unite and throw off our chains! The intense desire that drives us  to do everything just right often cripples us from doing anything. We’re so concerned we’ll look foolish or botch the job that our fear is enough to stop us before we even try. 

Is there a cure? As always, Scripture points us in the right direction. 


  • Proverbs 22:19 (NKJV): “So that your trust may be in the LORD; I have instructed you today, even you.”
  • 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9 (ESV): “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
  • 2 CORINTHIANS 10:17-18 (NASB20): “But ‘he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’ For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.”
  • GALATIANS 6:4-5 (NLT): “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”


I AM A PERFECTIONIST. That doesn’t mean I perform at a higher level than others nor does it mean I am satisfied with my level of achievement.

Perfectionism is our fleshly desire to appear better than we really are, but God loves the humble over the proud and tells us that His grace, His forbearance, and His acceptance should be enough for us.

It simply means I strive to do the impossible: to excel at whatever task I’m engaged in with the almost inescapable outcome that I will not come close to accomplishing what I set out to do.

That frustrates me. 

One way to defeat that tendency is to avoid doing any task that I assume I can’t do well. Another way is to avoid doing those tasks I can do well but won’t do as well as I would like. 

Those two strategies can leave me with … doing nothing!

So, I continue to struggle to do the best I can.


THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES gives us some divinely inspired pointers on how to combat this irritating and exhausting tendency. 

Here’s a prime example:

ECCLESIASTES 2:11 (GNT): “Then I thought about all that I had done and how hard I had worked doing it, and I realized that it didn’t mean a thing. It was like chasing the wind—of no use at all.”


Solomon’s writings in Proverbs add more insight:

  • PROVERBS 3:5-6 (NIV): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
  • PROVERBS 14:12 (ESV): “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

I especially like this admonition from the apostle Paul:

  • GALATIANS 6:4-5 (NKJV): “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.”

Jesus, in His earthly ministry, put it this way:

  • JOHN 15:5 (ESV): “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (emph. added)


OBVIOUSLY, IF I OBSESS about my own accomplishments, instead of finding myself in God’s will, I’m heading down the wrong path.

Just another item that’s easier for me to talk about than it is for me to do, especially since I also want to “bear fruit” for the Kingdom. 

Isn’t the saving grace just that … that we’re saved by God’s grace and not by our own works? (Eph. 2:8). If so, then I’m already in God’s will by humbly submitting my soul to His safekeeping.

My job then is to pray for guidance, see where God is working, and jump in. It doesn’t matter how well I do; I’m not the change agent. The Holy Spirit is. He has chosen to work through me. 

Imagine that!


SOMETIMES, LOOKING AT WHAT we do and how we do it, it’s just a matter of emphasis — whether we focus on what we’ve done or, instead, focus on what’s left over. 


Speaker and author Phill Urena states it this way:

“Another perspective that often goes with this teaching is that we are still sinners saved by grace. I would say to that yes, I was a sinner saved by grace. I am now a saint of God who struggles with sin.” — Redefining Grace, Phill Urena, 2020, Kindle Edit., p. 88.

God tells us through the apostle Peter that we’re “special people” and “a royal priesthood” of sons and daughters. (1 Pet. 2:9 NKJV)

God has claimed us out of the darkness and set us down in His “marvelous light.” 

Considering our blessings, I (and all of us) should be more willing — much more willing — to rest our soul in His arms and not strive so much in our own power to accomplish what we readily admit is beyond our means to do. 




LORD GOD, We confess that too often we try to go  it alone, even in our attempts at Christian witness. You alone, O God, know what is in a person’s heart, and You alone can change that heart. Help us to be more humble and more obedient in service to You, Father God, so that we follow Your lead, not our own. In humility, we lift this prayer in Jesus’ name. AMEN 


Anyone who has placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ later in life — instead of in childhood or mid-teens — probably can relate to my story. I am blessed to be His, but I wish I had accepted Him decades earlier. This is Part One of my story …

Supporting Biblical Text …

  • “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.” — Matthew 11:28-30 (NET)
  • “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” — 2 Peter 3:9 (ESV)
  • “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” — Jeremiah 29:13 (NASB20)


WHAT AN AMAZING JOURNEY! Jesus has taken a broken, dispirited, sinful man and turned him into a joyful being with eternity in his heart!


Yes, He had to overcome my disobedience and stubbornness, but He assures us that He is stronger than the world’s evil and that when we obey His will for our lives, we are building our houses on solid rock.

The evening I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior was on a Wednesday in November 2010. I had vacillated for at least a year, afraid my two daughters, who had been raised in the Unitarian Universalist tradition, would reject me over my newfound faith.

I likened my decision to leaving them on a sinking ship (the UU life) while I snuck away to safety on one of the lifeboats (a Christ follower).


But the Lord, calling me to Him, gave me a verse to savor. It’s from Matthew 10:37b (NKJV): “And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”

That moment was magical because I knew I wanted Jesus, even more than my two precious daughters; and, of course, I wanted them to follow me in worshipping the Lord.

“I WANT JESUS!” I cried out in my soul. “I want Him even if I lose my family and my friends and if total strangers hate me. I want Jesus.”

I knew He could save my life in this world. At that moment, I wasn’t even aware that He could — and would — save me for all of eternity.

Choosing Jesus … A Rough Road


FOLLOWING JESUS PROVED to be even a rougher road to follow that I had thought it would be … and I certainly thought it would be rough.

Until then, I had no idea my heart was so dark.

For one thing, the Holy Spirit took over my conscience, repeatedly rebuking me for errant thoughts and salty language, even before trying to straighten out my actions.

Fellow Christians added their comments, all in love, but they sounded alike: “That’s not a nice thing for a Christian to say.”

Even one non-Christian friend told me I was too hard on myself, beating myself up for my non-Christlike feelings, thoughts, comments, and actions.

I was a mess — a mess for Jesus!


I was trying so hard to learn a new way of living. I saw myself as the last one to the banquet table, walking into the room with mud on my boots and a stained shirt, while everyone else was properly seated, with folded napkins, correct forks, and clean hands.

At one point, I announced to a church home group that I was quittng “the Christian thing” because I felt I was a fraud and didn’t really belong.

Why Did I Choose Him?

WHY DID I FINALLY TURN to Jesus Christ for the answers to my life’s questions? Two reasons: (1) I was desperate for answers, and (2) No one else had meaningful answers.


Yes, I had looked for other answers because I knew that Jesus is perfect and, as such, would demand more from me than I was willing to give. I wanted answers *on the cheap,* that were within my ability to understand and control.

Jesus, I knew, lives outside that orbit, and He would want to control me … for my own good, but nevertheless He would be in control.

I had begun a serious search once I came to realize I was plummeting and harming myself, but with one stipulation — that I would find an answer that did not include Jesus Christ!

That search took nearly a decade, until I finally came to accept that no answer outside of Jesus Christ would satisfy the hunger in my soul.

Even then, it took another four years to accept the Jewish Messiah, the Son of God, as my Lord and Savior.



FATHER GOD, I AM so grateful to You for your patience with me and Your perseverance, foreknowing that I eventually would raise my arms in praise and call on Your holy name for my salvation. Now, help me, strengthen, direct me to share the Good News of salvation with those You place in my life. In Jesus’ precious and magnificent name. AMEN

NOTE: Photos are from several locations important to me.

%d bloggers like this: