My mother was certainly one of the most significant spiritual influences in my life during my childhood. And she and other family members, as well as various people from the many churches we attended as my family moved from state to state, would frequently talk about the level of understanding I had about the Bible, about the fact that I had memorized so many passages of Scripture and other such things so that I felt as if I was someone special. The problem was that I started to believe I was someone special, not in such a way that anyone else would notice, but sometimes a person's ego is invisible to everyone around them while they themselves are blinded by it.

My family moved extensively as I was growing up, living in six states in just a seven-year period from fourth grade to the middle of high school. To say the least, this didn't do much to promote my social life, as I knew nobody all over again once my family packed up and followed a new job for my dad. By ninth grade, I was sick of it. I had been on the outside for so long, and I was determined to do whatever it took to make friends, on my own terms (I thought), to the detriment and exclusion of everything else. I had to become my own worst enemy before I realized that this life, by itself, was nothing in the first place. 

At the beginning of my freshman year of high school, my family had again moved to a new town, and I vowed that to cure my misery, I would make it my sole focus to make friends. Little did I know I was only throwing myself an emotional shovel. As my freshman year of high school dragged on (emphasize the drag that it was), I couldn't understand why, although I was doing everything as right as I knew how to make friends, it wasn't happening. To make matters worse, I probably tried too hard and ended up driving people away with my overbearing, intense focus to make myself happy. Finally, I snapped. One day the person to whom I felt closest (my very first girlfriend, in fact) did, due to my overbearing, intense focus, flee emotionally from my life, leaving me totally disoriented and wondering what happened and why and how would I ever find happiness now that the only person who had seemed to make me happy was gone. But what I had thought was happiness was really just a matter of things not falling apart as quickly as they otherwise might have done. And so, with my last means of what I construed to be emotional support gone, Jesus finally had a direct line to me. 

There was no particular significance to June 3, 1986 except as the day upon which I chose to end my own life. It seemed hardly soon enough to stop my misery, but I doubted the effectiveness of my course of action anyway. Regardless, I knew of no other way out of the pain, loneliness and utter misery I was in. And so that evening I sat in bed, with a note in hand ending with the words "I'm sorry," and a bottle of pills which, if all went well (pardon the irony), would kill me. But the pills never reached my lips. I was an absolute chicken, not knowing for certain (and certainty of any kind would've been nice at that moment) if the drastic action I was about to take would end my own pain. I had gambled that I would go to heaven regardless of obedience to Jesus, because I had prayed a prayer years before and knew all the right answers. But knowing the answers isn't the same as knowing the Lord and Savior who is the source of those answers. I didn't know at the time that I didn't know Jesus; I only knew that I wasn't sure. It was not a chance I was willing to take, to die and not know for certain of my eternal destination. But my own knowledge--regardless of how enlightened other people told me I was--didn't do a thing for me because I didn't really know Him who gave the peace that puts our empty, simplistic, one-size-fits-all answers in proper perspective. I wasn't willing to bank on simplistic answers. I needed to pursue Jesus. 

During that following year, I went through counseling, learning all of the "right" psychological techniques and coping mechanisms to deal with emotional problems. But the spiritual hunger that fed the empty emotions in the first place never was satisfied until I got out of the way, stopped trying to tell Jesus that I knew how to run my own life, stopped trying to find happiness where it was never meant to exist. (It is never meant to exist outside of Him, and it doesn't.) It was only as I gradually learned to trust Him, and to find Him able to be trusted, that I found peace that I still cannot understand or explain. 

On Aug. 18, 1990, Jesus called me to preach. I still do not know of any pulpit, program or specific plan which He has in store for me, but that doesn't matter. I can see now, as I wish I had years ago, that what I lack in understanding, Christ more than provides in faithfulness. Without Him this life is worth nothing but dirt. And I hope that I never forget it. 

A Brother in Christ, Chad Steenerson  - 

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity.
(Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)