So, how did all this get started? If you read the About page you know what my purpose for writing this blog is, but what got the ball rolling and what was telling my family/friends like?

Oddly enough the story begins while I was sitting on my couch watching a movie about Heaven, Hell, and the world in between.

I know that the movie was completely fictional but for some reason I had a strong desire to research about messengers (angels). I started by Googling angels and reading whatever I came across. Next, my desire shifted to reading Revelation. I dusted off an old copy of the KJV Bible I had in the closet and began to read, I mean honestly read. I can’t explain the overwhelming desire that filled me, it really consumed my thoughts. It was like a hunger pain that just would not go away.

A little back story first:

I considered myself a non-practicing Christian. I believed in God, the Messiah, and The Bible but I didn’t attend church nor was I looking for a church. I raised my children to believe in God but never went much further than that. My wife and I had (still have) a good marriage and loved each other very much, but religion was not very high up on the priority list. At first this might not seem odd but you might be surprised to learn that at one point in my life I wanted to serve as a minister. Even my wife was shocked to learn of this only after having been married to me for several years.

I was raised as a Lutheran and even attended a Lutheran school for several years. My parents were supportive of my decision but asked me to try a public high school just to make sure. Unfortunately, I fell away from my faith and decided to pursue a military career.

As time passed by and careers changed my outlook on the church system grew more and more dim. I had been to Rome and seen the Vatican. It is wondrous but not in a good way. To me it felt like such a disregard for the poor and struggling peoples of the world. Catholics are not the only guilty party here. It seemed that all the denominations were plagued with hypocritical leaders that drove around in expensive cars and lived in ostentatious houses. Even the churches themselves were garish. Hence the reason I considered myself a non-practicing Christian.

Back to the story:

After reading Revelation (actually several times) I contacted my father for advice on what version of The Bible he might think would help me. Lovingly, he sent me a pdf of the 1611 version of the King James along with another book:

Fossilized Customs by Lew White

Now, rarely have I been able to get so into a book that I just couldn’t put it down. This was one of those rare occasions. If my memory serves me I read this book in about a week and for me that’s really something. This book really grabbed me. Things finally started to make sense. Unfortunately, the answers I was getting put a real knot in my stomach. You know that expression “truth hurts”, well they weren’t kidding. Just as the author warned me, I will warn you: when you learn the true history of where most Christian traditions come from it is a bitter pill to swallow.

So, I start researching Judaism. I become fascinated with learning about Jewish beliefs and history. I look into the conversion process, albeit sheepishly at first. The more I learn, the more I know I’m on the right path. Things are just making too much sense for this to be all wrong.

Hebrew name of the Father

Hebrew name of the Father: Right-to-left Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey

After learning the name of the Father (YHWH) I start to wonder, how is this properly pronounced? Now, Lew White adresses this in his book but I wanted to hear from some others. Once again Google doesn’t let me down. I find a website that offers an audio clip of the pronunciation:

Family of Messiah Fellowship

As I continue to look around on their site I notice a page titled Summerville — Mt. Zion. I remember thinking this can’t be the same Summerville city that I’m living in. To my surprise it was! I have a fellowship just a few miles down the road from my house and they share the same beliefs as me. I am astounded at the way things just keep lining up, it almost sounds fake or scripted but I swear to you I’m not making this up.

After some hesitation I decide to email the Fellowship and ask for advice/help. We setup a meeting and I nervously await the day. At this point I’ve told my wife and kids about my changing beliefs and asked them to stick with me during this process. Needless to say, they were more than a little surprised. My wife even broke down in tears.

Finally, the day of my meeting arrives and my nerves are just about shot. What will they think of me? Will they just be another wolf in sheep’s clothing? Will they help me with my conversion or will they tell me look elsewhere? I had a thousand questions racing through my head as I made the drive to the Sanctuary. Michael and Ruth welcomed me in and answered many of my questions. They explained that this is not an easy process nor is it to be taken lightly. I don’t feel judged or pressured but rather a sense of calmness comes over me. It’s like I’m in the right place at the right time again. Just like how I wound up meeting my wife by a chance encounter or how my ship pulled into port within an hour of my son being born. So many times YHWH has blessed me and guided me along a path that I could not see. No matter how bitterly I complained He was there by my side guiding me. I am so very thankful for all the He has done and continues to do for me on a daily basis. I wish my words could express the love I feel in my heart for Him but then again He knows!

continued in part 2

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