I grew up in Omaha Nebraska and truly never remember not knowing Christ. Being in church was a way of life and eventually I made Jesus my Lord and savior, and was baptized at the age of 13. As a youth, I put Christ through every test you can imagine. I was one hell raiser - just ask my mom.
I did all the things kids knew they weren’t supposed to do -- and got caught! I knew God could see me but can’t explain why I did them anyway.
In the third grade my teacher came over to my desk to discipline me. She started to sit on my desk, when I slid the desk away from her and she fell to the floor and didn’t get up. What did I do? Jumped out the window and ran home. I don’t know why I did what I did, but now I had two problems…God and my mom.
Through all this, church was a big part of my life. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, church trips, Sunday school, choir, youth groups; God was always with me, and to this day is still my Savior and guiding light.
God has blessed me with the opportunity to visit lots of churches and to meet and share with other brothers and sisters in Christ. When I use the words “brothers and sisters” it can be sometimes confusing to white folks…like my wife. I remember when she was looking at an obituary program from my uncle’s funeral. His name was written “Brother Theodore Breshers.” She was so confused that they only recognized him as a brother and not as a husband, father, uncle or a cousin. Growing up in a Baptist church, everyone is a brother or sister in Christ.
Sunday mornings were always the best, after dad would make breakfast: sausage, eggs, grits or cream of wheat, he would fire up the organ, and my brothers (that is biological brothers) and I would have to find our key and harmonize as dad would lead the songs. We sang hymns. It was the best. I felt as if we were performing for God.
Singing didn’t end as a kid. It had just begun, During my teen years my brothers and a few friends of ours began our own gospel quartet called “Gospel Teens”, and sometimes we would open for my dad’s quartet called “Gospel Traveleers”, going to various churches singing and having a great time praising God through music.
There was never a time when I ever doubted that Christ was present in my life. People often ask for signs from God to know that He’s real. I never asked for one but was given one. It was the fall of 2003 and my wife was pregnant with our daughter. I was at work. I drive a roll off truck and had just off loaded a dumpster when I went back between the truck and the dumpster to unhook the cable. The truck began to roll backwards….I had forgotten to set the brake. I felt something touch my back and quickly turned around, but not in time to move. I was pinned between the dumpster and the back of the truck. I couldn’t get out and my pelvis and thigh area was slowly being crushed by a 30,000 pound truck.
I began yelling for a co-worker. He was too far away and with the heavy equipment running, he couldn’t hear me. After 10 minutes of trying to free myself and yelling for him, all I could think was, this is it? I’m going to die like this? I’m never going to see my child.
My blood circulation was slowing. My legs were numbing up, and the truck wasn’t getting any lighter. I began to pray to God to take care of my family, to forgive me for all my sins. I was putting things in order. As far as I could see, this was it. It was a done deal.
Then a calmness came over me as if GOD was telling me to quit screaming for my co-worker, and instead start calling out for help. Within 5 minutes, a vehicle I didn’t recognize approached the truck and out jumped the 2 ugliest angels I had ever seen. Two guys I didn’t know who worked at the paint shop next door, were taking a cigarette break outside, and heard me screaming for help. Thank God for smokers. I was taken to the hospital and within 2 weeks or so I was feeling better.
I truly believe God put those two angels outside for that purpose.
I think back at all the wrong decisions I made as a youth and realize that it’s only by the grace of God that I am still here today. I knew as a youth that God was always watching over me, but I didn’t always think about it. There were times that I was fooling only myself in thinking that God didn’t know. And that is what is so wonderful about his forgiveness. I now know as an adult, God had never left me during those times. God was, and always will be with us. This is a promise that He made.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see a sign of God’s presence. My wife, my children, my family and God’s beautiful creations are all the signs I need.