Another addition to introducing our new members through sharing a little of their story. Our hope is that these stories will allow us to grow closer as a family as well as an avenue to share the story of our city.
I grew up in the Mississippi Delta, which I consider the center of the Bible belt. I participated in a lot of religious activity through junior high and high school, but I would say that my heart looked more like the heart of a Pharisee than the heart of Jesus.
In light of that, I strolled into college as a very self-righteous kid who had a massive misunderstanding of what the Gospel is. I thought the gospel was that I had to do a lot of good things and not do bad things so that God would not send me to hell. I really liked all of the freedom that I had before me in college, but I actually avoided a lot of the typical stuff that college guys get into because I was afraid that God would be mad at me if I did those things. I thought that Christianity was a straightjacket, but I did not have the option to remove it. I did decide that I wanted to make a name for myself, so I tried my best to become the guy that every girl wanted to date and every guy wanted to be best friends with. The reputation that I wanted to have started happening.
I was hanging out with the girls I wanted to hang out with and I was messing really well with my pledge class. My goal from day 1 was to be rush chair, and that happened. It got to the point where I realized that my reputation in no way returned to me what I thought that it would. Also, as I began to have good conversations with godly men in my life, read good books, and actually read the Bible, I began to realize that I had a huge misunderstanding of what the Gospel is. The Lord started to reveal to me the ugly sin that was in my heart, and He fostered affections and desires for him in my heart for the first time.
I would say the growth that has occurred in my life the past couple of years is evidence that I follow Jesus. I would say that my obedience to the Word is evidence, especially since that obedience no longer happens to attempt to win the favor of God, but because I trust him enough to believe that what He ask is what is best.
I work for a campus ministry called cru, so my job is to share the Gospel and disciple other guys. That does not mean that I do those things perfectly, but I do get plenty of opportunities. I also live in a fraternity house as a house dad, so I have plenty of opportunities to love on the guys in this house and have intentional conversations with them.