I was born in Twin Falls Idaho
in 1982 and in 1984 my mother divorced and moved to GriffithIndiana; where my
mother raised me by herself. She also had to take care of her mother who had
Alzheimer’s disease (She also lived with us). As for a little bit of context,
I grew up in the “Grunge Era” listening to bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam,
Stone Temple Pilots, and Bush. Later I moved into “Heavier” music called “Nu
Metal” and/or “Metal”; such bands included Korn, Limp Bizkit, Pantera, Otep,
Deftones, and Staind. I was involved in a gang called the “Hoodz” and was
1996, I moved to Lakes of the Four Seasons when my mother re-married. I
attended Crown Point
High School – where the
“Grunge Look” was not popular. Therefore, I was no longer popular. Long
hair, chain-wallets and ripped “Venture” jeans were not cool.
approximately two years, I decided to conform to the “preppy” look. I cut
my hair, bought $50.00 jeans and wore Ralph Lauren Polo with Drakkar
cologne. This lead to popularity and all the “worldly pleasures” of a
“normal” teenager of the world; such as, believing that “C's get Degrees" and "getting" was all that I needed to do to –
because, I didn’t need to prove my intelligence, I would just talk my way
through it. I did not really care to exert any extra time in anything other
than myself and mostly getting drunk every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
junior year of high school, I came to a realization - I should stop smoking and
drinking. I realized that I wanted to get my life on the “right track”.
As I did that, I began to move away from my friends and began to realize, for
the first time, something was wrong in my life. I literally felt lost and
alone. At this moment in time, I was frustrated because I could not “figure it
out on my own”. Therefore, I decided to back away from the lime-light and do my
best to figure “this” out.
one year later I realized a needed a relationship with God; however, I did it
through Idolatry. I spent countless evenings praying to Mary to forgive my
One night, I
ran into a friend in high school. I knew she was a believer because I
remember how her friends would disown her because of her “religion”.
After all, I remember saying things about her too…so I knew the gossip – people
did not want to be around her because she would try to “convert” them and she
would “judge” them. I told her how I was interested in reading the Bible.
She then quickly told me about her boyfriend who showed her the Bible. All
three of us met that night on the square in Crown Point and rejoiced in our faith. Then I
I was tested to see if my faith was real.2 Corinthians 2:9 1 John 4:1
He informed me
my worship was in vain and that I wasn’t truly saved. He continued to ask me to
read 1 Corinthians 15:2 and ask me
to evaluate myself from that verse.
The conversation was highly unproductive at that point, but a seed had been
planted. I immediately left their presence very upset and hurt that someone
could tell me “my faith was not true”. I thought he was so judgmental. Later
that evening, I headed up to Barnes & Nobles to read some books about
“spirituality” and “self help” (because I was studying to be a psychiatrist at
that time) and he once again approached me and witnessed to me. Once again, I
left that discussion upset.
next few years I went off to college – frustrated I could not “figure it out”
and just gave up trying to “figure it out”. So I decided it was easier to
be “popular” than know
truth. Then I began drinking and partying. (Which led to me getting kicked out
of my house for being disobedient & disrespectful to my parents).
I moved out,
got an apartment worked two jobs and went to school full time. Let me tell you,
that was tough -
but I am the kind of person that “makes things happen”.
A few years go
by and get a girlfriend. She wanted me to come to church with her and I did
(Because any good boyfriend would do that – after all they do not want to be
dumped). After six months of sin, we broke up. However, I still
attended church because I enjoyed it.
In February of
2004, the pastor was speaking through a series on the family. The pastor then
explained that God was a Father to the Fatherless [Psalm 68:5] and for some
reason, my “fatherless upbringing” hit me. How can I have a father if I am
fatherless? So paid attention.
In that message
I learned that God loves His children, and everyone can have God as their
loving Father, as long as they understand :
? They are going to hell because
of their sin (it only takes one) and they cannot change that punishment for sin.
? Agree with God that Jesus
lived a life without doing anything wrong (sin), willfully died an unjust death
to take my punishment for sin away (i.e. hell) and He raised from his death
three days after He died.
? If you believe that and you no
longer are enslaved to your sins, but are free from them - meaning, you
will live a life that loves to do the will of the Father [Mathew
7:21]. Then you will know: God has granted you the Grace to
transform your life through repentence of your sins.
That night, the
pastor asked if anyone wanted to get baptized to come forward after service
and/or speak to the Youth Pastor. I was conflicted because I knew the
thing I was doing in my life was against God. I knew that lieing,
stealing, adultery (sex outside of marriage – in thought and action), coveting
(desiring other people’s “stuff”) was sin. I was totally convicted that I was a
sinner and I needed Jesus. That night I was drawn by the Spirit to come forward
and ask about Jesus.
that week, I sat down with the Youth Pastor and discussed my need for Jesus and
how I wanted to show my need for Jesus through baptism. I remember
getting drilled about the what I believed about Jesus. I remember discussing
that Jesus Christ is indeed my Lord and Savior and how awesome it was to
finally have a Father in my life. I needed to trust and obey by the motivating
grace God had manifested through His Precious Son, Jesus.
immediately began a transformation process.
I no longer
could stand the music I listened to, it was like you listen to it because it
was “Cool”; yet, you know it did not bring glory to God. Well, that was a HARD
change for me, because I really LOVED my music. It took me about eight months
to kick the “bad music” habit. God began to convict me of other things, for
instance, I once filled my life with getting drunk and partying, and when I
finally came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, the parties I attended
just didn’t seem to be “fun” anymore. It just “wasn’t me” anymore. It was as if
my “old self” just died, seriously. I no longer felt like I “had to do this or
that” - I was no longer “enslaved” to them. [Romans 6:6] It was so easy
to just “lay aside my old self” and no longer let that corruption settle in my
life [Ephesians 4:22] and could
literally feel myself being renewed in my knowledge and mind [Colossians 3:10; Romans 12:2] and I truly was
being conformed in to the way Jesus wants me to live.
now, from where I stand, I can definitely see Romans 8: 28 – 30 which says:
And we know
that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to
those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He
also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would
be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also
called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He
justified, He also glorified.
It is just amazing, I can
definitely say that the “old Judson” is dead, and a “new Judson” is risen, and
I praise God for all He has done to me, because I totally do not deserve it.
after that God took another step in my life, He decided to send me the woman
who would be my wife.
six months after salvation, Rachel showed up in my life, well actually at
Applebee’s. See, I have to back up here and show God’s providential hand…God
saved me, and after doing so, put things in place so that Jeremy
Carr (Rachel’s brother and Lead Pastor at Oxford Bible Fellowship in
Oxford, OH), who was the Pastor of College age Ministry, Prayer & Education
at Bethel Church in Crown Point, would
disciple me. So for the first six months of my regenerated life Jeremy was
there, guiding, directing, teaching me to be a man of God.
Jeremy was moved to ask me to give my testimony to Bethel
– and it just so happens God’s providential hand was at work; yet, no one knew
it at that time Rachel would be visiting Bethel Church
that night to hear her niece sing. After that evening, a pathway was set for
Rachel and I to meet.
I am so grateful for is Jeremy’s desire for God over his family – Jeremy could
have easily appeased Rachel’s desire to meet me, but he would not set it up
because he knew I needed to be focused on God first, he knew I needed a strong
foundation in who Jesus was and what Jesus means in my life before I meet a
girl. Praise God for Jeremy.
finally, Rachel and I met in Applebee’s and immediately we connected and would
not stop talking, while I ignored my other tables! Now, I had to get her number
from Jeremy (Who was my Pastor at that time). Now come on! Who asks their
pastor if they can date their sister?! Yeah, I do – so I called her up and we
went out on our first date on Saturday, June 19th 2004.
later were engaged in December of 2004 and six months later married on June 11,
2005. I can remember thinking, that all I really wanted in life was a woman who
loved me and a large family; that was what was most important for my earthly
life and God provided that…I remember thinking on my wedding day…”Ok, God gave
me everything I have ever ‘truly’desired – how great is God! And what great
things are still to come?” Well, now I am now married for 3 ½ years and it is
blessing, after blessing, after blessing. I can truly say “God is Good”.
we got married, Rachel and chose to attend Lake Hills – were God has called
us to minister to the Young Adults in our Church, Oasis. We have been leading
this class for four years this upcoming October and that is such a
that girl and that guy I spoke about who were so "judgmental" and
wanted to "convert" everyone? Well, they now lead the Young Adults
Ministry at Bethel Church in Crown
Point called Transit and guess
what? Jeremy Carr discipled them too. It is amazing to see the
fruitful ministry of Jeremy Carr who was just being obedient to God in the name
of Jesus that now, part of those seeds that were planted and watered are now
ministring to college ministries in Northwest Indiana.
God is Good.
I thank God for
calling where I had the opportunity to meet Jeremy, and be discipled by a man
who’s heart is truly after God’s so that I can come to Lake Hills and minister
and equip Oasis.
All Glory To God Alone, You Are Love,