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I was raised in church all of my life.  I was involved with a lot of the church programs as a child, and knew a lot about Jesus, but there was something still missing.  I had a void in my heart that I could not fill on my own.  As a teenager I realized that I had a lot of head knowledge about Jesus, but I really did not know Him personally.  I tried many different things as a teenager to find happiness and satisfaction such as friendships, hobbies, and possessions, but still I was unable to fill that void in my life. No matter what I did there was something always missing from my life.  All I wanted was to find personal fulfillment and happiness, and I am truly convinced that that is really what everyone one is looking for.  One day when I was fifteen, I went with a church group of boys to Chickasaw State Park, in Chester County Tennessee.  We were going to go through an “orienteering program”, a program that teaches you how to use a map and compass in the woods.  The program was designed to help sharpen our map reading and compass skills. I was paired with a guy my age named Ashley Ray.  Ashley and I spent the morning, attempting to work our way through the woods to find the points designated on the map to locate.  We stopped for lunch by a little stream.  During our lunch conversation, he asked me, “Eric, if you were to die tonight do you know for absolute certain that you would spend eternity in heaven?”  I told him that I did not know for sure.  He then asked me about trusting Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I told him that I was not ready.  That event took place in the spring.  All that following summer I thought about what Ashley had asked me in the woods about my relationship with God.  In the fall of that year, I felt that I had more questions in my heart about becoming a Christian.  One day during my junior year of high school, I found Ashley Ray on campus and said that I needed to talk with him, and finish that conversation that we had had at the state park earlier that previous spring.  We met on our lunch break, and talked about what it meant to become a Christian.  I realized that Ashley had something in his life that I did not have.  Ashley had a peace and a fulfillment in life that I was looking for.  The peace and fulfillment that I was looking for was in his life because he had trusted Jesus Christ in His heart to be his Savior.  I came to the realization that I had a lot of head knowledge about Jesus and the Bible after being raised in church, but I really did not have any heart knowledge about the Lord personally.  In other words, I had never really let go and given everything to God.  I now look back on everything that took place in my life during that time, and really I was simply trusting in myself to get to heaven.  But I could really never be good enough on my own to get to heaven because I had a sin problem, and that sin separated me from God who is holy, and has nothing to do with sin.  Only Jesus could take away my sin, since He died on the cross for me to pay the price of my sins.  That fall day, talking with Ashley, I realized that I needed Christ in my life.  Head knowledge was not enough, and trying to live a good life was not enough, I needed a Savior that would take away my sin, and a Savior that I could trust in as my personal Lord.  That afternoon, I asked Jesus into my heart.  Now that does not mean that everything since that moment in my life has been a bed of roses.  Remember roses have thorns.  There still have been bumps in the road of life so to speak, but there is a change since that decision I made as a teenager.  Now, I do not trust in myself to get to heaven, but rather lean on the Lord for salvation.  Now I do not try to be good to get to heaven, instead, I want to be good, just so I can please God.  God has forgiven me of my sins in the past present and future.  The burden is lifted off and I have that peace and fulfillment that I was looking for as a young person.  Now, I confidently know where I will spend eternity.  I will spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus Christ because I have asked him in my heart to be my personal Lord and Savior.


6 thoughts on “Testimony

  1. I never visited this site until tonight.I can relate to what you said because Jesus chaned my life also. Compared to a lot of christians I am still a baby, but I am growing in my faith daily and I can see the change Jesus has made in my life. God bless you. I am proud to have you as my pastor.

  2. Eric, it is good to reconnect with you and see how much you have grown spiritually since our ole work days. I am proud of you and I am enjoying reading your blog. God bless you and your family and lets stay in touch.
    Brian Peacock

  3. You have a wonderful testimony! Thank you for sharing. I am so glad God placed you at CCS because I know this is going to be a great year with you

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