Lee Anne and I are celebrating 40 years of marriage and God’s faithfulness. We moved to Charlotte 10 years ago, and 3 years ago I retired from the corporate world. We have three beautiful daughters and wonderful sons-in-law who live in Atlanta, Annapolis and Charlotte. Each of our daughters and their husbands are Christ-followers, and have amazing testimonies of their own.
Our 2nd grandchild is scheduled to arrive in September, and we couldn’t be more excited about this stage of our life. We have seen God’s great faithfulness through every stage of our marriage.
But this is the middle of the story. Let me go back to the beginning.
It began for me through a remarkable divine setup from God. I arrived on the campus of Miami University in 1973, very much looking forward to college. The first individual I introduced myself to was a freshman like myself, who happened to be reading the Bible. I was very interested in spiritual things, being a devout Catholic who regularly attended church. My new friend and I engaged in a wide range of conversations over the next 3 months, and he patiently took me into the Bible to explain God’s plan of salvation. Like so many church goers, I discovered that although I knew something about Jesus, I had never met him. More than that, I did not grasp fully the greatness of His salvation, or the depth of my sin. God made it plain, and one day in November 1973, I surrendered. I had struggled like so many, trying to work my way to God. The day I repented and gave my life to him, I experienced what Jesus describes in John 8:36: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
I left Miami with a degree and Lee Anne! We were married immediately after college, moved to Chicago where I began my career. We have been so fortunate to be part of vibrant believing communities where there was an emphasis on small group ministry and the gospel. As you can imagine, through decades of marriage, child-rearing, family and job challenges, we have experienced painful events and a few wilderness experiences, as well as tremendous victories. But even in the pain and the wilderness, we have witnessed God’s amazing faithfulness and goodness, worked out so many times with the help of a community of believers. God has imprinted Romans 5: 3-5 on our hearts, and made Isaiah 28:16 our confession.
That brings me to the end of the story, which has been written but not yet revealed. Lee Anne and I are so grateful to be part of the Mercy family, and look forward to serving diligently, reaching Charlotte and watching with all of you for the blessed hope – Jesus’ return!
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.