Food: Vanilla pudding
Activity: Chasing around my grandchildren especially at Queen Lake
Scripture: Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” I believe that when I first read these verses God instantly opened my eyes and mind to the truth of who and what Jesus was all about. I realized that it is all about Jesus’s death on the cross for me and that it has nothing to do with anything I try to work out on my own.
Book: I’ve been fond of Charles Dickens since college. His “A Christmas Carol” has a profound simplicity to it. Speaking to the ghost of his business partner Jacob Marley, Scrooge tries to flatter both himself and Marley. “But you were always a good man of business, Jacob.” “Business!” cried the ghost. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The dealing of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business.” Would it not be glorious to see clearly with the eyes of Jesus long before we reach the grave.
Place in Delray: Must add a time also. Watching a full moon rise over the ocean with Lois from the Upper Deck of Boston’s. I love to marvel at the magnificence of God’s creation particularly with the love of my life that God created for me.
I grew up in Massachusetts, in a Catholic family; mother, father (married 66 years), four brothers. I was the fourth, born in about the middle of a 20 year span between my oldest and youngest brothers. I had my issues with my parents, but despite their shortcomings, I know that they loved me and provided for me as well as they could. I attribute my early faith in God; Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit and my belief in the absolute authority of the Bible as the revealed word of God to them. I attribute my understanding of Jesus’s death on the cross to be the sole reason for me being no longer under God’s wrath, but rather the recipient of His love, to my then girlfriend, now wife, Lois. She shared with me the Four Spiritual Laws and the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the truth of who I was, a law breaker separated from God because of my rebellious, selfish heart and to the truth of who I could be through faith in Jesus’s death and resurrection, a redeemed child of God.
Forty plus years have passed and Lois and I continue to be blessed by God in many ways, but not also without the strengthening that comes from God given adversities. Our three daughters are adults, married with seven children between them. We do long to spend time with them all. For all these years Christ has remained at the center of our marriage and made it possible for two very different people to be one in Christ.
When we moved to Florida from Boston in 1996 God directed us the second Sunday we were here to Spanish River Church. Stayed there happily until 2010 when God directed us towards SRC’s new church plant, the Avenue Church. Very amazing experience to have God call you from what you know and like to what is unknown and uncertain. I did not think He was calling me to the AC to be an elder, but being now in that position, I praise Him for showing me that even my brokenness can be used to bring glory to the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus and that I can share this hope eagerly with others.
Favorite bit of advice: My current favorite advice is - ask the Father for the Holy Spirit, every day. In Luke 11:13 Jesus lets us know about our heavenly Father’s generosity in freely giving the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. Ask for Him everyday, then ask Him to be in all of your relationships, to order your day around God’s will, to pray for you in accordance with the Father’s will and to keep you from sin.
Fun Stuff about me: I followed a girl around the Eastern States Fair in 1967 when we were both in 8th grade. Didn’t talk to her, just followed her around with an eighth grader’s crush too afraid to try to speak with her. Finally went on a first date with her on February 14, 1970 (yes Valentine’s Day) and married her in June 1974. I still love her as much today as I did way back then.
My Greatest Experience with God: I think trusting Him when I have been in the pit. Will my six month old daughter survive open heart surgery? Will my young teenage daughter lose use of her arm? Will You provide me with a new job when I need it most? He gave me peace when I prayed not for yes but for trust if the answer was no. (Check out Romans 8:32) And finally, will You forgive me from the depth of sin when I turn to You in confession and repentance? He always answers, yes.