The story of God’s mercy and grace unto me.
I am simply a Christian, a husband, and a father. I am merely a man seeking to further know and walk with God. In the midst of who I am, I also compile words onto paper in the hopes that God would be glorified, the professing believer would be carried further in their desire to know Him, and that some may come to know Him for themselves.
Why a story of a stone? For that’s exactly what my story is to be, a stone of remembrance.
Grace Upon Grace: A Story of May Eighteenth
This is a story of redemption, conversion and sanctification. There is no other date on the calendar that reminds me more of God’s grace, the life of Christ and His propitiation, than May eighteenth. This year marks another milestone twofold. First, the powerful work of God’s grace for the exchange of my sin. Secondly, for the grace given me again one year later, a blessing of blessings upon the earth, a grace given over and over and over again.
“This was a touching and yet challenging testimony to read! Touching because of the familiar similarities of struggle with sin, and challenging because of the familiar similarities of sin! A great read and will make you reflect upon your own journey with Christ; or may even open your eyes to the truth of Christ!” – Anonymous
“Sometimes, when I see some of the worst characters in the street, I feel as if my heart must burst forth in tears of gratitude that God has never let me act as they have done! I have thought, “If God had left me alone, and had not touched me by His grace, what a great sinner I would have been! I would have run to the utmost lengths of sin, dived into the very depths of evil. Nor would I have stopped at any vice or folly, if God had not restrained me!
“I feel that I would have been a very king of sinners, if God had left me alone. I cannot understand the reason why I am saved, except upon the ground that God would have it so. I cannot, if I look ever so earnestly, discover any kind of reason in myself why I should be a partaker of Divine grace.”
The Man Who Led Me To Christ: More about my story
(written after the passing of Pastor Larry – printed in the Taos News Paper)
“Remember those who led you, who spoke the Word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.”
In January of 2001, my girlfriend Patricia and I were brought to Taos to work at the Holy Cross Hospital as traveling x-ray technologists. Through our interactions with a co-worker, who was also a member of the Calvary de Taos, we started to attend Sunday morning services.
We found ourselves liking the music and especially gripped by Pastor Larry’s authentic love for the Gospel. After only a few weeks, I had asked Larry if he wanted me to play bass guitar. He looked at me with his big smile and asked, “So, tell me a bit about yourself.”
Although I had grown up in a form of the church, I knew nothing about what I was saying and Larry knew that too. He patiently listened with a smile hidden under his full mustache, his hands loosely clasped together while leaning on the sound board wall.
After I had exhausted what little knowledge I had, he simply said, “Well Jeremy, we should meet together and discuss this further.” A month later we met again.
The day was Friday, May 18, 2001. Within a matter of 30 minutes, Pastor Larry’s words drilled into my soul. My very heart had been pierced to the core. Because of Larry’s dedication to the Gospel and his Christ-like love for my soul, he showed me 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
The power of the Gospel set me free that afternoon from drugs, binge drinking, rage, fornication and 21 years of deep, dark depression.
He shared with me part of his testimony. He did not judge me in my sin; he did not lead me in a simple sinner’s prayer; he did not give me three steps to salvation; nor did he tell me I was saved and right with God — No. Instead, he loved me enough to tell me the truth about Jesus Christ and to declare my awful state.
Later that night I shared what he said with my girlfriend. I shared what I believed the Lord had done.
After a lengthy discussion, we both went to bed, my girlfriend in the bedroom and myself on the couch. The next morning we stared at each other across the kitchen table with puzzling looks. We had not the foggiest idea of how to live for Christ.
I called Pastor Larry and he met us at the church building. We bought almost every book in the foyer that morning. Oh how little did we know what was before us, but this I knew, I was not who I was the night before.
Trish and I were married one year later, May 18, 2002. The Lord has taken us all over the US and we have shared our story with many. The Lord has caused me to write six Christian books, preach, blog, and set up websites for the glory of Christ Jesus.
We have worked with Voice of the Martyrs and as of late Gospel for Asia. We have been privileged to have met brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the world. We now home school our five children.
All of this is due to the Lord’s gracious hand and yet it all started though one dear brother in Christ, Pastor Larry. A man who cared more for His Lord and persevered forward in the true love of God, than take the easy road and leave me to myself. Because of his obedience, he forever charged the way to my freedom. Although we dare not worship anyone besides our God, we are to give honor to whom honor is due. (Romans13:7). So I leave you with this, “Saints, press on and keep your focus fixed!”
Larry, you will be missed by many and your good works here upon earth will not soon be forgotten.
“Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” — Hebrews 12:1-2