A little about me and why I have the name "reformedlostboy"

The breakdown

reformed-giving all glory to God for His work in saving work in my life as He has brought me out of death into marvelous light by faith alone in Christ alone to the praise of His glorious grace alone as I walk in the path illuminated by scripture alone.  You know, basic 5 sola stuff.

lostboy-one of those kids that hang out with Peter Pan in Neverland that want to stay and play there forever so that they do not have to "grow-up".

I'm a thinker at heart.  I love theology but I try to not be dogmatic.  This makes for some very interesting conversations.  I love the church but hate what man has done to her through programs, rituals, manipulation, guilt and the elevation of clergy over laity.  I realize that I have many blind spots spiritually that I need my brothers and sisters to help fill for me.  I have a dream of being a part of a thriving body of believers who are learning to live by Christ's indwelling life together in order to more effectively accomplish overcoming those blind spots.

I have a passion to see God's eternal purpose unfolded on the earth.

Christ Jesus is my life.

My Journey

As a young boy, I was brought up in a household that was not very religious.  My mom was a professing believer in Christ but was not an avid church-goer.  So, she put us on whatever church bus that happened to drive by our house on Sunday mornings.  This is how I became acquainted with the Bible and with Christianity.  I went to Sunday School every Sunday and learned about Jesus and what He had done to save us from our sins.  It was a Southern Baptist church that I was attending so the alter call went out every week.  Mostly I ignored it and was just excited that we were finally singing the last song so I could hop on the bus and get on with the rest of my weekend.  In December of 1991, something felt different and I knew God was calling me to tell everyone that I believed in Jesus and wanted to be a member of the church.  A couple weeks later I was baptized.

Everything went well until the summer of 1994 when I got caught smoking in the boys room at church camp.  That events of that day changed how I felt about God and the church.  (follow the link above to get the full story)  I didn't attend church much at all after that, that is, until I met my wife at a church barbecue in a building neither of us had ever been to before.  I was there for the free food, (someone who attended there bought me and my friends lunch) she was there with her family to support the fundraiser.  Like a lost puppy, I followed her home.

I went with her to the non-denominational mega-church she attended to show her I was a good little boy and because I liked being around her, obviously.  After about 15 months of dating, I dumped her, she married some other dude and I started screwing another chick.  That relationship led to drug use and lots of partying.  The relationship didn't last long but the drug use and partying had become my new lifestyle.  Wouldn't you know it, my wife found me one day, high as a kite, and we have been inseparable since.  She tried to coax me away from my new lifestyle but I wasn't having it.  I loved my life, I was having a good time.  

God had different plans.  He began by giving me a desire to slow things down a bit at my house.  It was party central and it never slept.  The place lived and breathed on its own.  I had absolutely no control and I didn't like it.  It had become a danger to the freedom I enjoyed.  I knew that any day by door would get busted down and I'd be doing time.  Since I couldn't make any changes to the activity, I decided to leave it all behind and go with my wife to another state where she could be closer to her mom.  It was that trip that changed my course enough where God had my undivided attention.

We lived in PA for about a year and moved back to Savannah.  Pennsylvania sucks, just sayin'.  We returned to the mega-church and became very active in ministry.  We stayed until we came to some doctrinal differences as we went through the "what we believe" class. At a meeting with one of the pastors we asked why they believed and taught such and such doctrine.  He answered "that is what the church teaches so that is what we go with".  We knew we were at the wrong place.  So we bounced around from church to church, denomination to denomination, looking for somewhere to settle down.  We found a home at a little Southern Baptist church.  We were very happy there until we realized that almost the entire deacon board was made up of free masons and we witnessed a nomination ceremony for some new deacons.  Couple that with some independent studies I was doing on church history and the doctrines of grace that resulted from the reformation and we were looking for somewhere else to worship.

The last church we attended was a Reformed Baptist church in a nearby city.  We grew in our knowledge of the scriptures a lot, developed a zeal for searching for biblical truths, and learned habits for living out our convictions while we were there.  Along came a time that we were facing some serious trials with the birth of our daughter.  Mom was put on bed rest for a month, once she was born, we spent two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit.  Finally we could take her home but we were told that we had to keep our daughter indoors and out of public places until the doctors felt like she was ready.  She was so tiny and fragile. We didn't want to put her in any danger so we followed instructions.  In several months time we were visited and ministered to by our church family a smaller number of times than I could count on one hand.  During this time my wife and I read some books entitled Pagan Christianity and Reimagining Church written by Frank Viola.  The books challenged what we believed about God's design for His Church.  So we began holding these things up to the light of scripture and were convicted that things needed to change.  After a few meetings with the leaders of the church and getting the same answers we got before, "that is what the church confession says so that is what we will teach", we began looking for something different.  

We found a house church that welcomed us into their fellowship.  It was very nice being a part of a more participatory gathering.  Everyone was encouraged and expected to share what the Lord had given them to build up the rest of the body.  We shared a meal and studied through books of the Bible together every week.  It was much more aligned with our new convictions.  We gathered with this family of believers for nearly a year before things began breaking down.  Our passion for reaching the lost and making an impact in the community together as a church was not received well by some of the members.  We were accused of sinning by bringing "unedifying" exhortation to the gathering.  Basically we were told to stop speaking and acting on our passion and conviction or leave, so we left.

Now we have no group to worship together with regularly.  We occasionally have a meal with another family and share Christ with one another.  Sometimes we can spend a day with others and just enjoy each another's company.  Other than that it is pretty lonely.  The fellowship is sporadic at best and sometimes it seems like it has to be forced in order to happen.  It has been a time when I have been learning to enjoy my fellowship with the Triune God but I deeply long for that fellowship to be shared with a body of believers.  I know God is building the ekklesia according to His purpose in our area and that gives me hope to look forward to.  The waiting is the hardest part.

In the meantime we have our hands full trying to take care of our daughter, Chloe.  She was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome last year.  We are tirelessly doing everything we can to provide for her needs.  It's been an uphill climb and a great exercise in building our faith.  If you want to know more about that part of our lives you can check out the blog dedicated to being Chloe's voice.