March 3, 2023

Pax Chagnon
"Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace."
Romans 6:8-14

I did not grow up in church and did not hear the message of Jesus until I was 19. As a child, I attended Christian schools, and I would like to think that the gospel was shared with me, but I did not hear it. As I grew into a young man, I was distracted by the ways of the world, by sin…seeking fulfillment in athletic and academic performance, materialism, alcohol, and other misguided sources. I thought I knew the difference between right and wrong, but I did not understand what sin was and how it negatively impacted my life and others around me.

In the fall semester of my junior year at Texas Tech, my girlfriend (now my wife of 23 years and mother of my 3 children) encouraged me to attend a weekend event called Walk to Emmaus. It was at this event that I heard the message of Jesus for the first time…a message of power, love, grace, and peace. When I accepted His message, I could see a glimpse of His purpose for my life for the first time…and it was good. In the beginning, it was not easy, but I trusted in Him. I began to shed the ways of the world. This transformation was and is a process that continues to this day.

Today, over 25 years later, I work to keep focused on Him. In some ways, it seems easier than when I was young. Perhaps it is not “easier,” but He has given me tools to work with. He has equipped me with Christian community, knowledge of His Word, and lessons learned from challenging life experiences when I knew He was with me. Praise to our Lord for those lessons learned and for His continued pursuit of me!