Cheryl B. - Lebanon, OH
I accepted Christ in my life at an early age. I think I was around 11 years old. We went to church Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, and all revivals, songfests and camp meetings. I remember thinking I had to go the altar before I would truly be saved, which is truly not the case, because once I acknowledged the fact that I asked God for forgiveness, I was already a Christian in His eyes. I can remember riding the bus to school when I was maybe in the sixth grade and looking out the window and thinking, “I am having a good day so far, except I still need to go the altar and ask God in my heart.” I did finally go to the altar though, and I remember leaving that night after church with such a relief that I had finally let people know that I had accepted God in my life.
I was raised in a First Church of God, and we were preached hell, fire and brimstone. You felt that if you did anything wrong, you were doomed. Then, we went to the Nazarene church once Rick and I were married. Rick and I both worked in the church a lot, because it was small, and you only had a few people who would do jobs in the church. Rick was on the church board, and taught a class. I played piano and also taught a class, but half the kids in my class were my kids or nieces and nephews. We stayed pretty busy. Our kids were always with us in church, and that is where Jennifer began to sing in church. She was very shy at first, and would barely look up at people when she sang. What a difference now!
After some time, we went to a Church of God in Lebanon and we really loved it there. Our kids could go to church with kids they went to school with. One of the families actually became part of our family later on. That would be Anthony, Gary and Diana Wade. Anthony and Jennifer actually got married in that church.
But, now to the reason I am writing this. Even though I went to church all my life, I never really realized that if I made a mistake, I was still forgiven. I thought I had to be perfect all the time. Little did I realize that was the devil trying to get in my head. He tries to mess with your head, and also bring fear upon you. My favorite verse in the Bible is where it says not to worry about tomorrow, but I always seemed to do that. Since coming to FBC, I have really found that I can cast all my cares on God and just believe in him, and not stress. I have really tried to practice that since coming to FBC. Anthony, your teaching brings out a lot of things that I never really knew, even though I have gone to church all my life. You explain the verses so well. I love my FBC family and the love we all have for each other. I look forward to the services. We have always had wonderful people to worship with, but I must say, this is an awesome group of people we have at FBC. Rick and I love everyone!