Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) 8 years American Society of Safety Engineers Sir Walter Gun Club
Appalachian State University East Carolina University
Like many in the 70’s, my life got off track and I was into drugs pretty heavy…and not the prescribed kind. I fell in with those that were like me, just looking for a good time as well as to fill a void. I felt empty.
After many years of wondering from job to job and place to place, I was at a bar one night and had a conversation with the bartender who I grew up with. I was 25 at the time and told him I had to find a way to get out of this hole I had dug. He said next weekend is homecoming at Appalachian State (ASU), and asked me to join him. I reluctantly agreed and so we both went.
When I arrived, we went to the football game and I saw so many people having a good time and thought this might be the change I needed. I applied and was accepted, but I still didn’t give credit where it was due.
I met my wife there (she was raised in the Church), and after graduation, we both moved back to Raleigh, NC where I was from. Once again, the truth still never sunk in. Even after being married for almost 30 years and raising two beautiful kids, I still didn’t get it. What was it that I wasn’t getting? The truth would soon come out.
My father, who had lived the last 10 months of his life with cancer, passed away in 2008, but five years previously, my mother also died from cancer. This time was sad and lonely. Even though I had my own family and a good job, a hole showed up again, but this time, debilitating depression was attached to it. I didn’t understand why these things happened, and didn’t understand why I was depressed even though it looked like I had a good life. I still didn’t get it, but a neighbor was about to change all of that.
One Saturday shortly after my father passed, I was sitting on my front porch drinking a beer when one of my neighbors came over. As I was giving him my “whoa is me story,” he invited me to go to the Bible Study Fellowship with him as a guest. I thought to myself, what the heck and really had nothing to lose. Right? Even though I had given my life to Christ many years ago, after my neighbor Allen stopped by, he encouraged me to reaffirm my faith. I have continued to learn more about Jesus as well as work on myself; I’m able to see myself more clearly!
Almost nine years later, I still attend BSF with a group of roughly 700 other men. We learn about the Bible and are guided more towards Jesus.
So many signs were put in place for me, but I did not open my eyes to what they were, or who they were from. I know God is real because He stood by me. He has provided, protected and guided me in the right direction. Who else but a loving God would do that? The bottom line from what I’ve said is, “get it." Don’t let the opportunities come and go without recognizing where they come from. God will always give you a way out, but don’t forget to thank and Praise Him for all that He’s done, including the ultimate sacrifice He made to you and I.
Greg, I too can relate to your story as you reaffirmed your Faith in Jesus! Isn't it awesome that He never leaves us once we ask Him into our hearts, even when we go off the path! I know there are many people who might be in a similar situation as you, especially as they also try filling a hole in their life, but never able to do so and still feeling empty! Thank-you for being transparent and humble enough to share some stuff that many of us deal with (holes in life), but more importantly, the solution you found and encourage others to find in knowing Jesus. I'm thankful for your story and your time. Gary Rogers