Good morning! I am a little out of my comfort zone up here this morning. Pastor Terry asked me a few weeks ago if I would do a short talk about my life as a Christian.
My life as a Christian started very early as my mother and father were visiting with relatives in North Dakota when my mother was taken to the hospital in Crosby North Dakota where I was born several weeks prematurely. Because of the early birth and risks at that time I was baptized in the hospital and that is where my journey with Christ began.
I came from a very strong Christian background. My great-grandfather came from Germany and settled in Augusta Wisconsin in the Mid-1800s. My great-grandfather was one of the persons responsible for building a Lutheran Church in Augusta Wisconsin.
My grandfather was raised in a strong Lutheran family. Grandpa came to Canada and homesteaded in the Tribune area in southern Saskatchewan. My grandfather was a strong Christian and raised his family in the Christian faith.
My family attended church regularly and made sure that I attended Sunday school on a regular basis. I started confirmation classes when my family lived in British Columbia. I would ride my bike to the church every Saturday morning which was 7 miles from our home. I did not have good memories of my confirmation classes as at that time there was lots of memory work. I struggled with the memory work and did not feel that I understood my confirmation lessons well. I was questioned, and had to cite memory work in front of the congregation. From this I started to develope some negative feelings towards the church.
My grandfather had moved from Saskatchewan to Richmond British Columbia and had a large blueberry farm on Lulu Island. As a young lad it was an opportunity for me to make some money working for my grandparents and I would stay with them at every opportunity. Of course on Sunday that was a day of rest and I attended church with my grandparents. It could be raining all week and sunny on Sunday, but we did not work as that was the Lord’s Day. My grandfather was one of the members of the congregation that help build the Lutheran Church in Richmond. As my grandfather was older and could not do some of the work at the church, he paid me to go and help with the building of the Lutheran Church in Richmond.
My family attended the Faith Lutheran Church in Surrey B.C. At that time they were building a new parsonage for the Pastor and as it was going to cost a great deal of money to tear down the old parsonage, my father took on that responsiblity. I helped my dad to tear down the old parsonage and that was also part of my stewardship.
I graduated from high school and left home. At this point I drifted away from the church developing more of a negative attitude towards church. I went to work in the British Columbia Forestry Service. There was another young man (George) that I met and worked with that was planning on going into the ministry. Another young fellow that I worked with (Terry) who did not come from a Christian back ground enjoyed life. We enjoyed drinking and used some non Christian words while having a good time. George was on both Terry’s and my case about our non-Christian ways. To this day it must have done some good because Terry is now an ordained Minister and I am back to my Christian roots worshiping the Lord.
After a couple of seasons in the forestry I went to work at Jericho Hill School in Vancouver with the deaf and blind. I was a residential instructor at the school and spent weekends and after hours with these children. It was obvious the Lord was at work in my life, as at that time I became a care giver to these children.
After two years at Jericho Hill School I joined the RCMP, which was a lifetime dream for me. When I had applied to get into the RCMP, I was wearing glasses and knew I was going to have trouble getting through the medical. I can remember praying to get through the medical and into the RCMP.
I was very excited the day that I received a letter accepting me into the RCMP.
During training we were always encouraged to attend worship services on or off base.
After training I was posted to Mossbank where I met my wife Linda. Linda came from a strong Christian background and it was because of her that I started attending Church on a regular basis.
I always had an interest in scripture and read my Bible even when I wasn’t attending church. I was transferred around Saskatchewan and when I was stationed in Melville, Linda and I were married. I started to get more involved at the church when we were at Melville. Our oldest daughter was born at Melville where we had her baptized and started her with her Christan Life.
I would like to speak a little bit at this point about my job as an RCMP officer and my faith. I could not have done my job without my faith. When I would get into my patrol car I would say a small prayer “Lord keep me safe, I ask this in Christ name, Amen.” My life was then in Gods hands and I would go on to do my job. One never knew what was going to happen on a shift. If I did not have a strong faith, I could not have survived as an RCMP officer. My Christain background was the basis of a lot of my work which helped me with some of my decission, and building honesty and trust with people of the community. Over the years as an RCMP officer I dealt with both the best and the worst and the Lord always protected me.
When my family moved to Regina, we attended Faith Lutheran Church (New Hope). My two daughters attended Sunday School, Confirmation and both were married there. Linda was involved in choir and played the organ and piano. I was involved in Bible Studies, Council, Stewardship, Confirmation classes, Steven Ministries, and Choir. We were members there for many years until they changed their ploicies to include Same Sex Blessings. At that time we made a very difficult decision to leave, and we came to Mount Olive. We have been here now for approx. 2 years. Linda and I take part in Bible Studies and Linda sometimes plays the piano. I have the privilege as serving as one of your Elders. We both really enjoy being part of this congergation.
My faith has also helped both linda and I though some very difficult times as we are both cancer survivors. We have brought our children up as Christians, however they do not always attend church as much as we would like.
This is a little about my Christian journey.