When you read about me, you’ll find that my Christian Testimony may not seem overly exciting or dramatic as compared to other Christians. I accepted Christ at an early age and have no doubt that my early devotion to Christ protected me from some of the issues, troubles, and lifestyles experienced by others. As you are reading this, I would hope to convey to you that I am simply an “Average Joe” that trusted Christ early in life and who, despite having made many, many mistakes, has simply tried to do what is right.
For me, it all started on Willa Drive. What in the world is Willa Drive, you ask, or better still where is Willa Drive? Willa Drive is the first Address I can remember as a young child. It was here that I have my first memories of friends and family. It was here that I have my earliest childhood memories. Willa Drive was more than just an address.
Like most families, we later moved to other addresses and life created more memories. Sometimes the memories come from the people that I knew or have been fortunate enough to meet. Sometimes they came from my own family of which I have been tremendously blessed. Sometimes the memories came from the places I visited or events that I observed. In looking back, I can always see how God worked His Will through every situation, those situations that were positive and those that were not so pleasant.
Growing up in a stable, middle-class home in the Southeast, I often remember how times were so different in the 60's and 70's. Neighbors knew each other. Children walked home from school, without fear of their safety. Children played together and, yes, even fought together. Parents knew other parents. Life-long friendships were developed. Families sat around the kitchen table at Dinner and had wonderful conversations about what went on with everyone during the day. No cell phones. No text messages. Actual conversation. Families played board games together; cooked out with their neighbors and developed memories that will never be forgotten. Sadly those days are largely gone. Today, families are too busy. Children are too busy.
I always knew and believed that there was a God and that there was someone bigger than myself. It wasn't until I was 12 years old that I learned it wasn't just knowing God or knowing about God that was important, it was developing a relationship with Him that made the difference. I have always credited my Mother for that inspiration. Despite her many medical issues, she always remained a positive example to me and my brothers and, over time, I learned that it was her faith that gave her that strength. It was my Mom that planted the early seeds of faith in my heart. I watched her humbleness and inner strength and realized that even though everything in life was against her, she still loved the person God made her to be. She didn’t complain. She made the most of what she had and her life greatly touched the lives of many, many people.
Growing up, I was always a fairly lonely person, especially during my late elementary school and early high school years. I always had one or two close friends, but never a lot of friends. I was never one to go to parties, do a lot of dating, or participate in many social activities. I was pretty much to myself most of the time, falling back on the safety and comfort of my family It was sometimes a fairly depressing time for me and I often found myself wishing and hoping that I could be more popular or be more like some of my outgoing friends.
When I was 13, I was fortunate enough to develop a strong relationship with my local Church Youth Minister. It was this Youth Minister's relationship with me and the fact that he cared about me as a person that ultimately showed me that I needed a personal relationship with Christ. I am fully convinced that without the early seeds that my Mom had planted and the later seeds planted by my Youth Minister, I would not have taken the steps to accept Christ. Once I made the decision to accept Christ at age 13, my life changed.
For the first time in my life, I became part of something bigger than myself and, for the first time, I had a Savior with whom I could have a close personal relationship. I realize I'll never be well known or famous. I'll never be wealthy by the world's standards. I'll never be great by any standard. But, I can say with all my heart that my life has been different, for the better, since accepting Christ. I pray that if you are searching for someone who can make a difference in your life that you will allow Christ to work in your own life.
We don't know what tomorrow brings or, sometimes, how to move forward in life. Courage For Today is dedicated to helping you change your life and find hope and encouragement in your Daily Christian Walk.
“Mike lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area with his wife of over 35 years. They have been blessed with a daughter and son, along with three grand-children.
Contact Mike via email at firstname.lastname@example.org