"I desire to help people experience the love of God and to give them some encouragement on their journey."
We Live by Faith is a website that emphasizes faith, the finished work of the cross, and the love of God.
The gospel, as found in Paul's writings, makes it clear that we are dead to sin and alive to God (Rom 6:11). Many Christians are still trying to die to sin and have not fully entered into the new life that we have in Christ.
My message is designed to reveal this new life and God's love. Because of the cross and complete forgiveness of sins, it is now possible for Christ to dwell within you and become your life. This is what salvation is and faith is how you enter into it. My wife and I lead a campus ministry at Radford University that emphasizes this message of the gospel.
The first time that I had a real encounter with God was in college. My life was filled with worldly things and I felt ultimately dissatisfied with all those temporary pleasures. I told the Lord that I would change my life if He would just have mercy on me. I felt relief in repenting of my sins, and immediately became determined to serve God with all of my heart, soul, and strength. I connected with a group of Christians that were completely devoted to obeying God and getting free from sin. I would say their devotion far exceeds the vast majority of contemporary Christianity.
During this time I studied the scriptures many hours of every day and became very well versed in them, but something still felt cold and lifeless about everything that I was involved in. Then, one day I happened across a message by an Indian man on the goodness of God. It touched me deeply and through tears I told the Lord, "I know you are good and kind, but I really don't believe that. I honestly view you as a hard master, someone who is hard to please." This honesty began a series of changes in my heart. I began to slowly grow in a partial revelation of the gospel, but I was not really rooted in it. Over time I slowly slipped back into my old mindset.
Some years passed and I came across another group of Christians that spoke repeatedly of God's love and being close with Him. In my heart I deeply longed for this so I went after it with everything I had. I was loving God with full devotion and seeking His love, but again I felt empty. During one of my lengthy prayer times, which I realize now was nothing more than a monologue, I remember telling the Lord, "I have sought you with all of my strength. Why do I feel further from you than when I first encountered you in college?"
I didn't know it at the time, but the Lord heard that prayer and set me on a path that would lead me to the answer. Through a series of divine circumstances and encounters the Lord clearly told me to move to Kansas City and that I would receive what I was looking for there. The time I spent in Kansas City was among the hardest times of my life. I lost everything of value despite all of my devotion. I was involved in a very large ministry and had many big opportunities, but I was at my lowest point ever. Then, randomly, a man named Chris Berglund invited me to a small group that he had started. Many of the things that he shared were so against my traditional thought, but I felt deep down that they were true. I spent a countless amount of time wrestling through scripture searching for the truth. Over the months I began to understand the finished work of the cross. My thinking was changing rapidly, and all this upheaval became a great struggle for me. I felt very depressed. Had everything I learned been a lie? I remember the Lord saying to me at this time, "You only see what I am tearing down. You don't see what I am building."
Then suddenly, I was laid off of work, which turned out to be exactly what I needed at the time. I spent countless hours studying Paul's writings and for the first time I actually understood them, and it was changing everything I thought I knew. Through this heart wrenching process I let my old life of law and obedience go and began to walk with the Lord by faith. I was encouraged with various teachings by Messianic Jews, however, there was a lot of fear to overcome. For example, many people believe that unless you live by obedience your life will be full of sin. I discovered these fears are completely unfounded and over time I experienced new life in Christ. I saw firsthand the truth of the scriptures when they say that the just will live by faith alone. For the first time, I really experienced the love that God has for me. I began to really know Him and experience His life in me. I entered into a real friendship with Him and that friendship has completely changed my life. In all of my devotion and obedience I lacked one thing: a real friendship with the One who loves me and gave His life for me.
This journey has been extremely difficult, lonely, and I have faced a lot of rejection. However, the love of God is of immeasurable value. I desire to help people experience the love that God has for them and to give them some encouragement on their journey.