I was born in Berkeley, CA and went to live with my grandparents at the age of three. My grandparents raised me in a moral, but non-Christian, environment until at the age of eleven when I went to live with my father and step-mother who had recently married. I started to attend church regularly with my parents and had “prayed the prayer” to “receive Christ into my heart” several times. However, in my later years of high school and early years of college my behavior did not reflect one whose heart had been transformed by God. Though a good student in school, I became more involved with bad company, parties, and a morally bankrupt lifestyle. It was late in my sophomore year at UCLA when the Lord graciously pursued me. A fellow engineering student who had recently become a Christian invited me to an on-campus Bible Study that was an outreach of Grace Community Church in Panorama City, CA. I attended this group off and on until summer. During the summer of 1986, I began to read my Bible more consistently. I started reading through I John (as I look back it was clear the Holy Spirit was directing me) several times toward the end of the summer. Several passages leaped off of the page as I read.
“By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” (I John 2:3-6)
“If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.” (I John 2:29)
“And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (I John 3:3-9)
I was convicted and stood condemned. I had been calling myself a “Christian” but my lifestyle showed that I was a liar and the truth was not in me. While waiting on a street corner in Santa Monica, CA in October of 1986 I knew I was destined for hell and needed to genuinely repent and believe, relying on the cross of Christ alone for my salvation. As I reflect on that time in my life, I am so thankful for God’s graciousness and patience in not letting me be deceived into thinking I was a believer when I was not. I began to attend church and Bible study faithfully and got plugged into a discipleship group. My appetite for the word was ravenous, as I was fed through sermons, reading, and studying. I could see myself change rapidly. The desires to go to parties and to spend time with the bad influences in my life were gone. As I matured in Christ I realized that it was God and God alone who granted me the desire to repent, to ask for His mercy and forgiveness, and to implicitly trust Him for all things.
I married my bride, Tina, in December of 1989 and since then the Lord has blessed us with five children. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in Electrical Engineering, I went to work in the semiconductor industry at a company in Boise, Idaho. While working as an engineer and serving in the leadership of the local church I began to strongly desire to enter the ministry full time and be better equipped to teach and preach the Word of God. Eventually, by the end of 2003 the Lord made a way for us to attend The Master’s Seminary in Panorama City, CA. I completed the Master of Divinity degree program at the end of 2006. I have been on staff at Calvary since January 2006.
As I reflect on my life I realize that I still need His forgiveness daily and am thankful for His patience with me. I pray my life will proclaim: “To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”