My story starts in West Boylston, Mass where I was born and raised. My mom was the church secretary at the big First Congregational Church in the center of town. We grew up in church and learned to say our bedtime and mealtime prayers at a young age. I knew prayer was asking God for things, but I never remember if those prayers actually got answered.
From my teenage years into my early twenties I ran pretty wild. Abandoning the church and the idea of a God out there, I got into all sorts of bad habits. It was a rough time in my mom’s life as well, and I’m sure she was saying prayers for me pretty regularly. The fact that I’m still alive after those tumultuous years shows me her prayers paid off. As for me, I prayed once in a while, mostly crazy petitions that were off the cuff and not really thought out. I do remember a few being answered during those years.
In 1976 I traveled to Iowa to see a friend I had met up with at our fifth high school reunion the year before. While in Iowa, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior Two years later I returned to Iowa to visit him again. On this trip, I met my future wife and decided to move to Iowa 2 months later. Janeen and I were married 6 months after we met. Many people thought we were crazy, but this was an answer to my prayers.
We had three daughters in the next eight years and life was going along. I became a worship leader in our church in Chariton, Iowa and enjoyed doing special music as well. My wife was the pianist and we often sang together. After our third child was born we moved to Northern Iowa, a little town called Belmond, where we reside today. We moved here because I was transferred to a management position with a small retail chain called Pamida. We opened a new store and all was well. We found a wonderful small church and settled in on a pew there.
God led me to look for a more permanent job in Belmond and I started working for Printing Services, Inc as an outside sales representative. I thrived in that position and eventually became the outside sales manager of a 7 person sales team. We also became much more involved in the church, leading worship, filling in as a lay minister and doing some teaching and evangelistic work. Along with all this success brought a high level of pride into my life and it would be my downfall. I did some things that caused me to lose my job and almost my marriage.
Because of this, in March of 2008 I went on a sabbatical to Pure Life Ministries in Kentucky. There I learned about my pride and how much it devoured my relationship with God. I learned I had turned from my first love and was floundering in my life, even though I had so much going for me before the mess I made. I learned that a new start was needed, and patiently waiting for God would be the key. I was there for 8 months regenerating my spiritual walk.
When I returned home, I sat in the pew and took care of my grandkids for almost 2 years. I took jobs that did not pout me in management positions. I asked God to show me when it was time to work for Him again, and gave my wife authority over when I could start doing anything in the church again. I had to sit. I had to be patient. God had a plan and I had to listen for it. In August of 2010, while under a tent in Olds, Iowa God spoke through the man of God. He said God was going to do a new thing in my life, something I could not think of or imagine. It would be something that would reach out to people all over the world and would come quickly. I was weeping and praising God for speaking to me, finally. My wife heard these words and , when we returned home from that tent meeting, told the Pastor I could start helping again.
Then, 2 months later, while driving down the road in North Central Iowa, God gave me a song. A new song. It came into my head as clear as a bell. I pulled over to the side of the road and write it down. Then I recorded it on my cell phone. I was excited. I went to my Pastor and shared the song with him and asked Him what I should do. He simply said “Keep listening.” He is a wise man. Since that time, that Lord has given me over 2,000 poems and songs. He has led me on Bible studies through Philippians, Galatians, Psalms, James and now the Sermon on the Mount. All of these were posted online on various blogs and a new Facebook page called the Psalmist. He led me to record some of these songs after I learned how to play a little piano. He led me to pick up notes from a bible study I did on prayer in 1990 and turn it into a book called “The ASK Principle” which is now published. Much of this writing came while I was battling and recovering from Multiple Myeloma. He has been merciful to me!
I pray you will find solace in the words of these pages. I pray they will uplift you, challenge you, and bring you into the presence of the Lord. I pray you will share them with your friends and neighbors as well. May the Lord grant you blessing in all you do.