"God loved me and accepted me just the way I am, and I fell in love with Jesus."
Place of Origin: Seattle, Washington
I grew up in a Christian home, but attended a church that did not emphasize the central importance of having a personally significant relationship with Jesus Christ. In high school my youth leader, who had been influenced by her time in college, helped me understand that God loved me and accepted me just the way I am, and I fell in love with Jesus. I have never recovered from experiencing the liberating grace of God, and through it he continues to sustain me every day.
Transformative Experience: After I had been a pastor for several years, I came to a point in my life where it seemed that I was just going through the motions of being a Christian. I had been disillusion by many things that had happened in my first church. And I had an increasing sense that I was pretty much a failure and no longer knew how to follow Jesus. At that point I was introduced to knowing Jesus through spiritual practices like silence, solitude, spiritual writing, centering prayer, reflective Scripture reading, and spiritual direction. These practices helped me to experience the presence and grace of God in a way that took me to a deeper place, and brought changes to my life from the inside out. I am fully committed to the Scriptures, orthodox theology, and the historical reality of the person and work of Jesus Christ on the earth. But in addition to these things which are objectively true, I believe that the power of God to transform his people must be experienced through his presence in the present moment as well. As a French mystic once said, "O my brethren and friends, what a horrible thing it is to draw one's life from God and yet not to love him!"
I want to live every moment in love with the one who has so fully expressed his love for me.