I was blessed to grow up in a home where the gospel was taught and the Word of God held as the ultimate source of Truth. However, despite this solid foundation, my childhood held much pain and shame. I believed what circumstances and events that happened to and around me said about who I was. I was sure that if God really loved me, He would have protected me, so I went to church and Sunday School believing that God was obligated to love me because of the whole John 3:16 clause, but it wasn’t as if He really took notice of me, or liked me, or wanted me. I was sure He loved you, but pretty sure He wasn’t that into me. Through God’s tender and intimate love which He poured out through some very special women (one in particular) who mentored, loved on, encouraged and listened to me, the lies began to lift and I stepped out into the freedom, joy, peace and love He had for me. Since then, life hasn’t been a perfect Christian fairytale. I’m still me. With plenty of reminders of where I have come from and how much further I have to grow. But I am confident of this one thing – the Creator of the Universe has gone to the ends of Creation to love, rescue and redeem me – and YOU – and that changes EVERYTHING! It is my sweetest joy to share this journey as I seek God’s heart and perspective on life with whomever crosses my path.
April served on church staff as the Education Director at a previous place of ministry. Currently, she enjoys serving as a pastor’s wife and Women’s Ministry Director. April has been privileged through her own church and ministry outside her local body to share God’s Word with women ranging in ages and stages, and across denominations. Her passion is to bring God’s liberating truth to His Beloved. She teaches God’s Word with real life illustrations, humor and practical application. April is a graduate from Southern California Seminary and has written for Just Between Us Magazine, Dayspring’s (In)courage, and The Secret Place and also writes regularly for crosswalk.com, iBelieve and Women’sMinistryTools.com.
I grew up believing in God but really didn’t do much about it. I went to church, youth group, Christian summer camps, etc. but lived out my life the way any other teenager would typically. Through the years I made many mistakes, did things I’m ashamed of, and lived a life I never want to go back to.
But, then Jesus Christ changed me drastically. He revealed to me the wrong path I was on and brought conviction into my life – a conviction to live for Him. God miraculously transformed me from a worldly young man with many mistakes behind him to a true follower of Jesus with many mistakes in front of him. It is by God’s gift of grace that I was changed; and it is by His mercy that I stand to this day.
If you do not have a personal relationship with God I encourage you to turn to Jesus Christ His Son, who lived, died, and rose from the dead for the forgiveness of your sins. When you believe that God loved you so much He sent His only Son to die for you so that you can live with Him forever, He promises you eternal life (read John 3:16). When this belief really pierces your heart you will be drastically changed, as I have been, and you will begin a new life with God in Christ (read 2 Corinthians 5:17). This new life will bring a genuine urge in you to read the Bible – but not only to read it, to devour it for the rest of your life and to do your best to do what’s written in it. It will reach into your innermost being and change you from the inside-out (read Hebrews 4:12). It will help you turn from your old ways to eternal ways.
I encourage you to come to Jesus with confidence, not in yourself but in Him, in order to receive from God mercy and grace to help you (read Hebrews 4:16). You cannot do anything to earn God’s favor or heaven. These are a free gift if you will only believe it.
“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Eric began his ministry journey through leading worship and various youth ministries. He worked at Christian camps, lead youth groups, taught Sunday School and eventually found his way to seminary. Whether he was singing praises to the Lord or teaching the Word, his heart was drawn to proclaim the grace and glory of God and to serve His people. Eric is a graduate of Southern California Seminary and has written for crosswalk.com. He serves as pastor at Mountain View Bible Church in Southern California.