I realized that some of you that might read this blog may not know my testimony so I wanted to share it with you briefly.
I accepted Christ when I was 17 years old at a revival service preached by Bobby Roger at Welcome Home Baptist Church in Winnsboro, TX. My life before I accepted the atoning work of Christ was not the best or the worst of situations. Growing up, my father struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. He was saved and delivered from those addictions when I was about 14 years old. It was at that time that my family and I really started having a consistent church life. The pastor of the church we were attending then led me the sinner's prayer, but I was not really saved then. There was no real change in my life. I was "religious", but I had already been exposed to pornography and developed what I consider an addiction to it. While I never had any problems rejecting alcohol and drugs, pornography sank its sharp hooks into me.
At that revival service on March 14, 1999, Bobby Roger preached an evangelistic message and I felt an overwhelming conviction about my sin, my position with God apart from Christ, and my destiny as an unredeemed sinner. I knew that if I was to die that night without Christ, then I was going to hell. I went forward at the end of the service and, under my own will and volition, accepted Jesus as my rescuer and submissively committed to making Him the boss and king of my life. Shortly after than I was baptized. Within the next year I felt the overwhelming call to ministry and preaching the Gospel. I went forward and submitted myself to God's call, but I really did not know how much of my life He wanted.
I wish I could say that every part of my life has been roses since that day, but it hasn't. I haven't always been obedient or faithful to God, but God has demonstrated Himself faithful always. I got married on Dec. 15, 2000 to the love of my life, Amy. We both went to college and I was pursuing a degree in Applied Physics. This led us to move from East Texas to San Angelo, TX. After a little over a year and a half, I realized that I was not being faithful to the call to enter the ministry. There were several events where God showed me the limitations of my own efforts. He removed His hand of blessing from certain areas of my life and I realized that God was serious about me being a preacher and pastor.
It was then that I transferred to Liberty University. I have since gotten a Bachelor of Science in Religion and, Lord willing, I will complete a Master's of Divinity this summer (2013). Since I fully answered the call to the be in the ministry, I have served as a youth director in San Angelo for 6 years and then served 2 years as an Associate Pastor. Four years ago God opened the doors to full time ministry and we moved to Borger, TX where I have served as the pastor of Central Baptist Church.
In addition to being a pastor, seminary student, father, and husband, I am also a chaplain at the local hospital, I serve on the board of the Biblical Wellness Center (a biblical discipleship-based resident addiction recovery program), I participate in and help lead a men's accountability group, I am discipling other believers, and mentoring teenagers.
You might wonder about how the battle with pornography is going. Well, I would love to say that when I decided to follow Jesus that it just went away, but it didn't. I many ways the battle intensified. I really do view this battle the way that Paul viewed his own thorn in the flesh. (2 Cor. 12:7-10) I have prayed that God remove it, but He hasn't yet, so I recognize that in my weaknesses can be used for the glory of God. In this one area of lust and pornography, I cannot stand on my own effort. I have to rely on Christ day by day and some days, minute by minute to remain pure. God blessed with a wonderful wife, who has walked this tough road every step with me. She has demonstrated forgiveness, grace, and mercy many times over. I have learned that rather than hide my weaknesses, hoping to present completeness or perfection, I am honest about them so I can help others who are facing the same battle. I am sought to remove all things from the shadows of my mind and heart by bearing them before God and other Christians.
With all of that said, I believe my life is a testimony of how God can take a boy from the woods of East Texas, who grew up in a less than perfect home, who has struggles and short-comings, and change that boy into a man of God and use him for His own glory. Now God is taking me to London to share the gospel. I would have never thought that God would do something like that, but He is. And I need your help getting there. Will you consider generously donating to this mission trip? I need to have $2000 total, but I need $1350 of that by April 1st. If you would like to help me on my journey to London there are two ways to donate. First, you can mail a check to:
Central Baptist Church
P.O. Box 746
Borger, TX 79008
(Memo: Rick London Mission)
Or you can give electronically through Google Checkout by clicking the button below...
I thank you now for your generous support, both financial and spiritual. May God bless you as you partner with me to share the Gospel with the lost people of London.