I was raised in a Christian family with a mom and dad who loved the Lord. They taught their children to do the same. My father owned and operated a family gravel pit business, so I spent much of my childhood playing there and helping with the work. I also began playing the piano at age eight, and quickly developed with my aptitude for music. In Jr. High and High School, I participated in many competitions and concert opportunities through my Christian School and network of churches.
I was saved at the age of four during an evangelistic meeting I attended with my parents. At the close of the meeting my father asked if I would like to accept Jesus as my Savior, to which I positively responded. He and the Pastor explained to me my need to be forgiven of sin, and helped me with my prayer of repentance. It was a simple matter of trusting what Christ did for me on the cross.
There were times in my teen years when doubts would occasionally plague my mind. With the help of my parents and good Christian teaching, the Lord helped me to deal effectively with them. To this day I am amazed how the reality of my salvation impacts me as the Lord continues to direct and correct me through His Word. Indeed, I have a growing realization of my sin and the nature of God’s holiness that causes me to wonder as I contemplate the cross and God’s grace in my life.
In 1980, while teaching at Indiana University and developing a private piano student studio, God began to work in my heart regarding serving Him full time. I didn’t want to pursue that path, because I thought I knew the career goals I had established for myself. But as the Lord provided more and more opportunity for service in our local church, the more my heart became tender to His leading in my life. When our Pastor stopped by our house one day, he presented the idea of an internship with our church to see if God may have a ministry direction for our lives.
After praying and struggling with my will, Diane and I decided we would accept the internship challenge, and God has seen fit to use us in full time work since 1980. Through thirty-five years of ministry, it has been my conviction that God powerfully uses His Word to effect spiritual change in life, and it continues to be my desire to serve Him in ministry with this focus.
I possess many convictions on a variety of subjects, but they all have their foundations based upon the objective truth of the Word of God. So here is the overarching conviction upon which the others are built: The printed Word of God, the Bible, is the only source of authority or insight that is available concerning God’s revelation of Himself or His will. There is, therefore, no other standard or truth that is needed or to be sought.
The justification for such high emphasis on the Bible is that it is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God, passed down through the Prophets and Apostles once for all. Therefore, exegetical teaching and preaching is absolutely essential, as this is the way to systematically understand the Scripture as it has been recorded. I believe that the “the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make the child of God more like the Son of God.”