Personal Testimony

I can't remember a time when I did not believe in God or His mighty power. My earliest memories are of prayers with my grandparents and parents. I must admit, I was captivated by the heroic stories of the Old Testament and was "taught" to love Jesus from the New. To be blunt, I was raised in the traditional church culture of the south. I was in church almost every Sunday, knew my bible better than average, and still managed to miss the Gospel or either I had exchanged it for moral living. 
One day, I was called to our church parsonage because of a septic system problem the new pastor was dealing with. The smell was horrible. The pastor had never met me. When I apologized for being too busy for church, he told me he didn't care if I ever came to church again. What he wanted to know was if I was saved. After he shared his personal testimony, I was faced with the revelation that I had never made Jesus lord of my life. I was living a socially acceptable life, aware of what Christ had done, void of a personal relationship with Him. The following week, I could not escape the message the spirit of truth had revealed to me. I should add here, I was not "at the end of my rope", I wasn't falling apart. Most would have said, "He's doing ok". By the world's standard, I was living the dream, but with my new found understanding of spiritual things, I figured my unrepented sins must have smelled to God like that septic tank. That very next Sunday, Christ entered my heart and became Lord over my life. It all took place in a church, where I had grown up and missed the Gospel. It was more than a paradigm shift. I was 23.
A year later, I had read the bible through cover to cover. By the end of the year, I had developed a biblical word view, though I had more questions than answers. I still do. Our pastor's relationship with our church was being strained and the dynamics of the church were not focused on the discipling of young christians. I knew where I had come from, and where God had rescued me from. Blossoming in me was a new burden for lost souls, particularly those from church culture, who are oblivious to what it means to be reborn. The pivotal moment came after losing a very close friend to a brain tumor at 26. He had grown up in church culture, just as I had. I wasn't convinced of his salvation. (later I would be) Faced with the fact, I had not shared the Gospel with my friend, left me desiring to spread the Gospel. From that moment on, I not only felt the call to ministry but saw God at work developing it. I began volunteering at the county jail for bible study. I continued for five years until I felt the Holy Spirit push to focus on my family. 
To live out your faith practically, you need practical teaching. I believe, this is why, God led me to the Rock Church. It's a long story, I love to tell, but the short version is, leaving my home church was the hardest thing I have ever done.
God has used my time at the Rock to transform me. It offered a hands on approach to participate in spreading the Gospel. In addition to providing practical application to God's word,  The Rock Church introduced me to effective tools for evangelism. Still, I lacked the ability to tie my gifts to opportunities. This changed after I wrote a story, concerning the events surrounding an emergency landing, some friends and I made in the middle of the night with a small single engine plane.  As a result, two things altered my course and brought me to where I am. First, the pastor suggested I write a blog about my faith.  That endeavor, created a passion to communicate God's word. Secondly, I got active in a small group. I cannot list eveything I'm gleened from small group as it applies to my ministry, but here, I overwhelmingly first felt God nudge me to shepard.
Last year, I felt God call me to a more defining pulpit ministry. To be honest, it scares me to death. Ignoring it scares me more. I knew transitioning into a more active ministry would take me out of my comfort zone. Wondering how God will open doors is a little scarier for the bible believer. We know the track record. Interestingly, God used a cancerious brain tumor to afford me the opportunities to communicate from the pulpit, while simultaneously answering mutiple prayers. He's just good like that.  Everyday, God reveals more of His purpose for my life as He polishes away the uncertainty and clarifies His task for me. I can`t wait to see what else He will do between now and heaven. I can`t wait to get there.

The Broken Vessel



Every Christian should be on a simple mission to live obediently each day to Christ, thereby  pointing to Him through service to mankind.

Faith is dead without works.
Life is tough but the savior is tougher than nails. Loving God means loving People. Loving people means showing it in tangible ways. Being strong & courageous means Loving hard, deep, & wide

Clint Hardwick