Raised in a Lutheran home, I recall in catechism class the pastor asking, “If you were standing before God, and he were to ask why he should let you into heaven, what would your answer be?” Instantly I realized that I didn’t know the answer. The pastor said it was because Jesus died for my sins. From then on, I thought I was saved because I knew the “right answer” to the question of how to get into heaven.
In 1985 I started attending Wyldewood Baptist Church and heard preaching about asking Christ into my heart and knowing that I could be saved and on my way to heaven. Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” I realized I knew of Christ, but never believed in him or asked him into my heart. Sitting in the second pew from the back, I asked Christ to forgive my sins and come into my heart.
Salvation is no longer just in my head, but in my heart, spirit, and soul. I found out having the “answer” just isn’t enough. I had to realize I was a sinner, confess my sins, ask Christ to forgive my sins and save my soul. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. “
Don’t go to hell with the right answers!! Ask Christ to forgive you and ask him to come into your heart and you, too, can become a new person in Christ.
Call to Ministry
During a hunting trip in Idaho the Lord sent a surprise snowstorm which caused eight other men and me to be stranded in the mountains waiting for someone to come with a caterpillar and gasoline to rescue us. While we were never in danger of dying, the situation made me reflect on my life and how I would fare when I stood before the Lord if this were my last day on earth. I was saved, so there was no need to fear where I would spend eternity, but when it came to what I was doing with the talents God had given me, the truth is, there wasn’t much there.
After contemplating my situation, I made a promise to God that if he would clearly show me what he wanted me to do with my life, I would do it. I made that promise never thinking that God could do anything with me! After all, who was I but a carpenter/maintenance supervisor? We got off the mountain, and I forgot about my promise, but God didn’t. He started to put the vision of The Master’s Craftsmen Ministry (TMC) into my mind. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was God or just my own ideas, but I couldn’t shake it.
In 2005 I went to my home church pastor, Pastor Randall King, with my vision and asked his advice. He told me to start doing the maintenance at Wyldewood and teach the young men of our church the trades to see what would happen. I was relieved! My man of God just told me I didn’t have to sell my house and move to Africa! This, however, was not the vision the Lord had given me, but Pastor King was testing me to see if this was just a phase or emotion I was going through or if God had really called me to fulltime service.
Two years later while on a mission trip to help construct a church in Texas, the pastor in that church preached a message about when God gives you a vision that you have two choices: the first is to obey and be in God’s will and blessing, and the second is to disobey and reap the whirlwind. That message crushed me. I knew I was not doing the work God had called me to do. I went back and told Pastor King that while it was great to do the maintenance on our church and teach the young men, it was not the vision God had given me for TMC. Pastor King got a big smile on his face and said, “That’s what I have been waiting to hear; let’s get busy.” Shortly after that, the membership of Wyldewood voted to make The Master’s Craftsmen Ministry an official ministry of Wyldewood Baptist Church.