I remember it clearly. It was a Saturday afternoon and I was watching the University of Missouri football game… it was a critical moment in the game. Judy rushed in from a day of renewal at our parish with great enthusiasm. She spoke about Jesus, about giving her life to Jesus. As she stood in front of the TV, I said “can you move over to the side for a moment, Mizzou is about to score.” Well, we spent the next month(s) discussing, debating, arguing, and learning about God. It was a tough time. The epicenter of the battle occurred when I fenagled tickets to the Stanley Cup Playoffs …the St. Louis Blues against Bobby Orr and the Boston Bruins; Judy had planned for us to go to the prayer meeting ….. after all was said and done, we stayed home…..mmmmmmmmmm.
Weeks later in late April of 1972, Judy and I had just returned from a party with our friends. I said I’d like to give my life to the Lord, will you pray with me? Although startled and suggesting we wait until next Thursday’s Prayer Meeting, she led me in a prayer and I gave my life to the Lord. It was pretty straight forward…. I asked the Lord’s to forgive all my sins. I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life…I gave him control as Lord. I asked him to “baptize me in the Holy Spirit”. That was it and we went to bed. The next morning I woke up and knew things were different. The Bible came alive, the words jumping off the page. I experienced a desire to want to love God and be kind to others. Some of my bad habits started to dissolve…. we started going back to Mass. Prayer became a very important part of my life… it became a conversation with Jesus…a dialogue, not a monologue. The Lord answered many prayers. I became peaceful and many of my fears left. In a fundamental way I began a new life…. in Christ. From then on, serving the Lord became the motivation in my life. This decision led us from St. Louis to Kansas City, to Easton, PA, to New Jersey. It led me from Corporate America to teaching at Koinonia Academy and becoming part of the People of Hope. It led us from no children to 10 children (and later 40 grandchildren).It may sound simple and straightforward….from 800 Kingsland Avenue in St. Louis to 6 Mary St. in Warren. In truth, it was a “universe change”… from the world of Dave with things revolving around “me”, to the world of Jesus Christ with God’s will being the center. From anxiety and fear and confusion to peace and joy and happiness now and a promise of heaven tomorrow. Wow, April 1972 was over 48 years ago …. when I gave my life to the Lord. What a ride it’s been, not always easy for sure, and it’s not over yet. Thank you Lord for saving me and giving me “life on high”. And the good news is that’s it’s available to everyone. Just ask Jesus to help you…. and I’m more than happy to assist.