I was born and raised in south Texas. I grew up on a farm as the oldest of three brothers. All of my immediate family and most of my extended family live in Texas, my Father works as a department head for a water treatment plant, my mother is a first grade teacher, and my two brothers are still in school (one in college, the other in high school). I have been married for just under four years (June 2006) to my high school sweet heart, whom I dated since my freshman year of high school and now live with in Jerusalem, Israel.
I became a believer at the age of five after hearing the gospel from my pastor (grandfather) and praying with my mother. From that time on I grew in my faith under the direction of my godly parents and bible-believing church.
My earliest recollection of assurance in my faith was at the age of eleven. While attending middle school I was asked a question by one of my teachers regarding why I had not followed a certain procedure, but instead of telling the truth – that I simply had forgotten to follow the rules – I lied and got away with it. The rest of the day I was miserable and deeply convicted over my wrongdoing. Late that night as I lay in bed the miserable conviction that I felt throughout my whole being, finally, lead me to confess my sin and re-dedicate my life to the Christ. The following day I went to the same teacher and confessed my lie to her and she forgave me. The effect of my confessions was instantaneous – my spirit was immediately restored. I believe this event was foundational for my early spiritual growth, because I had come to a clearer understanding of living as an adopted son of God. I had on the one hand discovered my own ability to sin against people and the Savior, but on the other hand I had discovered that the Lord of Heaven and Earth possessed a superior ability to my rebellion, the ability to forgive my sins.
My walk with Christ grew over time through junior high and high school.I continued to attend the same church with my family and began to grow in the knowledge and truth of Scripture. My grandfather played a considerable role in my life at this time. Besides hearing him from the pulpit every Sunday I would spend many hours with him in the cotton and grain fields during the summer harvest. Listening attentively to him as he told me story after story, as we listened to Houston Astros games, Pastor Lester Roloff and Dr. John MacArthur. His recounting of WWII battles, fishing stories, prison-ministry testimonies, and countless other fascinating tales (often told more than once) left in an indelible mark on my life-direction and worldview. More than that, it was during his Sunday school classes that I began to understand that I had the Holy Spirit living inside me illuminating the Word of Truth to me personally and that I too could interpret the Scriptures. I cherish this period of my life – it was absolutely foundational to my spiritual growth.
Upon graduation I left for the Master’s College where I began pursuit of a B.A. in Biblical Languages. The depth or breadth of spiritual growth I experienced at Master’s cannot be told in the short space that I have here. At Master’s I was pummeled by grace and truth from every front. In the classroom the teachings of TMC’s Bible faculty shaped the way I thought and the way I read Scripture (particularly Advanced Hermeneutics, Greek, and Land and Bible.) In chapel and church I was met with the effective exposition of the Word of God and the practical truths of delighting in the Savior. In the dorm I met life-long friends in whom I was able to discuss and reflect upon the deeper truths of the God of Scripture. During my time at TMC I married my high school sweetheart, Mindy, which brought a whole new wave of spiritual development. We have been married almost four years now and as we maintain growth together in the Messiah I am continually amazed at the faithfulness in both the character and thought of my beloved.
After graduating from TMC I moved on to Jerusalem University College in pursuit of an M.A. degree. It was at this stage where my mentality began to shift from one of personal development only to the development of others also. Over my time at JUC I have been given the opportunity to move outside of the student audience and actually be the instructor (if only on a part-time basis). This adjustment has caused me to realize the deep responsibility teachers have. I realized that I was now in a position to affect the way people think and subsequently how they live. This has pushed me to prayer both for faithfulness for myself and for growth and attentiveness for the students that I will be teaching. As I continue to teach I pray that I will grow into the teacher the Lord would have me be, as I follow hard after the examples of the men I have had the immense privilege of sitting under.