Calvary Chapel A Little Bit about Mike

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I was born in Illinois in 1959. I have one brother 10 months younger (yes, it seems Mom and Dad were in a hurry!). We moved to Virginia when I was six and lived there until the summer before my Senior year of High School. Yes, I do say "y'all" and I have been told by one of my choir directors that I'm the only one they know who can make "I will Glory in the Cross" sound country. Oh well, I'm working on my diction at least for my solos. As most of you can imagine, I was not happy about moving away my Senior year. Before we moved that summer, I became the special project of several of my friends who were Christians. Jesus finally got through to my stubborn heart and my tears at begin uprooted late the night of 18 July 1976.

My life has never been the same since. I played a lot of basketball at some public courts as I grew up. Earlier that special summer, one Mother came all the way up a fairly steep hill I had just chased the ball down to tell me off about my foul mouth. She didn't want me talking like that around her young children. I was surprised (more like shocked) and embarrassed, but honestly could not argue and apologized. God was working on me. Looking back I now see evidence of it back years before His love broke through. Not to say that my heart does not still need more work, but the changes were dramatic and sudden.

On June 6, 1981 (yes folks, D-day and we wondered why that day was so easy to get a place for the reception), I married my high school sweet heart. Claire is a great helpmeet who has put up with some bizarre hours from me and my line of work. I am a UNIX System Administrator. Claire says I'm the computer doctor, since I get pages at all hours of the night to fix this and that. She is probably more right than not. And after 17-years of marriage, and putting up with me, she deserves whatever special reward awaits her. There is probably a special crown for wives of computer geeks.

Claire and I have two wonderful little boys who are now becoming more curious about this Jesus person. So, please continue to pray that we and the others in their lives will be true and loving witnesses of Him. I can not imagine entering the gates of the New Jerusalem without them. Claire's Mom went home to be with Jesus last summer, and that has had a profound affect on our oldest son. Somehow, knowing that Grandma was with Jesus made it a little more tangible to him. They love Sunday school at Calvary Chapel of South Jersey and the stories I am honored to read to them before bed from their Children's Bible.

I am a CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) nut. I am a fan of the music of Michael W Smith. For the past decade or so, his music has had a major impact on my life. God has used his lyrics to slowly, gently mold me. Powerful, confrontational songs like "Cross of Gold" and "Secret Ambition" made me take and honest look at my Christianity and helped refine it. And gentle songs like "Straight to the Heart" have shown me the love and grace of Jesus through many storms and trials. The music of others have been influential, such as Amy Grant "Old Man's Rubble" and "Lead Me On", Twila Paris "God is in Control", Michael Card "Love Crucified Arose", Steve Camp "He Covers Me", Steven Curtis Chapman "The Great Adventure", and Keith Green "Your Love Broke Through" and "It's Because of You", el al., and so many more. God has given me a love for music, and has often used it as the preferred tool to teach me with over the years. To learn a song, and sing it with conviction or compassion, understanding and agreeing with the lyrics has been important to me.

I went through many years of legalism, trying to walk the Christian walk through a set of rules and actions. That finally came to an end through the preaching of Joe Focht of Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia about four years ago. I finally understand that I can do nothing on my own. My salvation and Christian walk are all of Jesus' love, mercy and grace, and nothing of me. He is faithful and true, and will see me safely home. The joy of my salvation has returned and grown stronger. Keeping my faith simple and honest has become very important. I have been blessed to be a part of a group that prepares a daily devotional for a mailing list. I do one a week, and find that I learn more from preparing lessons that God has placed in my way than I would have ever believed. It is a blessing to do this small service for the body of Christ.

Finally, in January of 1994, I became a Christian Fellowship host on America OnLine along with Host Margo. I was honored to do the first official CF shift on the first Friday of February that year. As you can imagine, Margo and I suffering through classes and the early growth pains of an on-line service Public Room have become pretty close friends. Over the few years in CF, I have seen salvation, rededication, several tons of questions, trivia nights and made several great friends. Sure the world chafes against us, but we see their resistance as a clear indication that Jesus Christ is reaching to them as well. It was my distinct honor and privilege to work along with the each of the members of this staff. God just continues to pour out His rich blessings. I retired from that after four years in January of 1998 to spend more time with my boys and my wife.

I attend Calvary Chapel of South Jersey. If you click on many of the Calvary Doves, you will go to the main Calvary Chapel Home Page. We just got our website up. It is looking really nice, and will get better as time progresses. Keith and Lourie, from our fellowship, have really put a lot of time and effort into the project. I have been asked to do the devotional pages (of all things) for the fellowship, so look for them soon. For those of you who are not familiar with Calvary Chapel, please take a minute to look around the various websites. The teaching is simple and balanced, filled with love and mercy that Jesus has for a lost and dying world. It always points us to Jesus, who is the source of that grace and mercy, and the source of our strength day to day. If you are in the South Jersey area, look us up Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. These's a map on the website. We'd love to see you there.

The folks at work think I'm crazy. So I'll be crazy for Christ. He has done so much for me, I can do this for Him. See you folks along "the narrow way", or when we all finally get home.

Grace & Peace

This page is a personal outreach of Webservants Ministries. We are a group of individuals who want only to share the gospel with the lost and equip the body of Christ in growing and reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ. If we can do anything to further assist you, or you have a reference you would like to share, please feel free to drop us a line at Webservants@cfdevotionals.org. Peace.