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Alive with the spirit of Jesus Christ

Now, I would like to tell you that the heavens opened up, angels came down and horns blew, that my life became a perfect utopia and that I never incurred another challenge but that just would not be true….in fact, in all honesty, the challenges were just about to pile up.

Our best friends at the time, Scientologists by the way, ridiculed us. Our Mormon friends were happy for us but thought we ought to try it “their” way. Many of my business contacts abandoned me. I struggled in my new found faith as I watched what I thought were suppose to be good “Christian” people start to really do some bad things. I was really teetering on the balance beam of giving up, thinking this “Christian” thing was just too hard and inconvenient. It was at this time that Rita and I decided to start seeking the answers on our own, leaving the Catholic church to look for a place, a church where we felt God was really present and alive. After many tries, I mean many; we finally found a church in Timonium , Maryland called Grace Fellowship where we felt comfortable. We made an even bigger step of faith by going thru the “cleansing” process of getting baptized. The lesson learned for new Christians and those that lead them to that decision, make sure they get plugged into a support system and church alive with the spirit of Jesus Christ, forget the hang up of denominations, the holy spirit being present is the key!

Now, the stronger we seemed to grow in our faith, the more the challenges came at us. Constant up’s and downs in business as I started to realize that I no longer wanted to sacrifice my reputation and ethics just for a buck, losing over $250,000 in one afternoon in a limited partnership where the general partner walked away with every dime and hasn’t been found to this day. Almost dying in a car crash as I fell asleep at the wheel, almost losing my wife to a medical challenge when she was 7 months pregnant, the list goes on and on and on….

You see, by the year 2000, the tremendous toll and price being paid as owner of The Godwin Business Group with 100+ hour work weeks and all the stressful demands from the day-to-day hands-on management of the firm was, unbeknownst to everyone, including my wife, rearing its ugly head in the form of ever increasing spells with hypoglycemia, worsening challenges with ADD and the beginning tell tale signs of prostate problems. Secretly knowing that our own success was “literally” killing me, I began the process of selling off and closing divisions and in 2001 officially closed the doors of The Godwin Business Group. Financially, this meant giving up a tremendous amount, especially with nothing in the wings to fill in, faith wise it was an even bigger step because it meant that I was willing to trust in the Lord despite the obvious questions of how, what, where and when?

Most people would look at all of this as a great defeat, a sad commentary, maybe even as a disappointing win for Satan but the good news is this, God is an awesome God and he hasn’t lost ONE SOUL yet. I can’t tell you we didn’t face tough circumstances (and that you might not too) after we accepted Jesus Christ as our savior but I can tell you this, we faced them with a different sense of peace and understanding that no matter what, as long as we maintained a steadfast, stalwart path of faith, God would always be there. Maybe not always coming through with what we thought should be the solution but ALWAYS with a greater plan to the real path of destiny we were to take.

That being said, where one window was closed, God opened a greater door of opportunity, a chance to combine my life long love for the sport of fishing with my love for serving my God. This time, vowing, with great support from my wife, that I would do it focused in ministry as well as an industry I had loved from my childhood, I started “Sport Fishing Ventures Unlimited”, a company built on Christian principles and dedicated to supporting those wishing to support Christian manufacturers and opportunities within the sport fishing business community. An awesome serendipity to this whole re-birth was that not long after, a heaven sent opportunity was presented to me to volunteer as a director for a great organization that was dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ through professionally run bass tournaments and today I actively run 5 divisions myself, personally seeing over 500 men, women and children come to know the light, the way and the truth!

Like I always like to tell everyone, “With Jesus Christ, ALL things are possible….”

Where does God have me going next?

I’m not really sure but am I ever open to the wondrous possibilities. I know that God has entrusted in each of us great and awesome spiritual gifts and one of mine is to simply use my life as an example and glorification to him, that no matter what you do, how far you run away, God will NEVER leave you. God has allowed me to lead a life that takes most everyone’s excuses away and he has gifted me with the ability to speak and reach people at a core level. More and more, I find myself accepting pastoring assignments, working with children, working with businessman offering motivating messages of God’s awesome endowment and plan for all of us!

I would ask that if you are reading this and you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, please consider this:

Everlasting life is just a decision away, not one made in your minds eye with all the questions of the universe answered but one stirred in your heart with nothing more than the desire to understand you aren’t alone and you weren’t meant to live this life here on Earth without the help and guidance of a higher power. You are deserving of an internal peace that gives you the power to face any challenge, you are released from the belief that you have to have all the answers, you need simply and humbly to ask for Jesus Christ to come into your life. The good news is that he died on the cross for YOU; I know it is hard to believe but he did, just for YOU. And when he did, he took on the burden of everyone of your sins, and I mean everyone of them, no matter how bad you think it is or how guilty you are for doing it, asking for forgiveness in Jesus’ name washes the slate clean in Gods eyes. That is awesome!

If you really, really want this relationship, this gift of everlasting life, say this prayer below:

God, I come to you, asking for your help, understanding I don’t have all the answers. I know I am a sinner, I am truly sorry and I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. I ask for your forgiveness and ask for your help to avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive and hears my prayers. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this moment forward. Please send the Holy Spirit to help guide me, to help me do your will for my life. I ask for this in your precious son’s name, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

I know you prayed this prayer of salvation with true conviction, from your heart and that you really meant it! If so, I welcome you to the family of God, to the everlasting love of Jesus Christ. No matter what happens, what anyone says, you are covered by the all powerful grace of Jesus Christ; your eternal salvation is forever!

But the story doesn’t end there… you need to work at this, you need to find a bible believing Christian church and you need to start studying God’s word so you too, can see all the wondrous plans he has detailed for your life, here as well as in heaven!

If you consider yourself a Christian but maybe have strayed a little (or a lot), God is just a step away, he never, ever left your side and all it takes is simply asking for forgiveness and expressing your desire to once again follow his path for your life. Nothing is ever that bad that we should walk away from the one power that can truly solve all problems and no matter where you are in your walk with God, he has ALREADY opened the door for your return!

Let me be clear on one important point, I am nobody special, I still have to work at my sinful imperfections, I still have my struggles and my doubts just like you will. But as someone who has been there, from both sides, of wanting nothing to do with God to wanting everything to do with God, if I can personally offer any assistance or if you have found my testimony of faith to inspire you or to raise some questions in your mind as to where you are in your personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then I would invite you to contact me. I am not a minister, I am no “holier than thou” all knowing, shove it down your throat, religious fanatic. I am simply a imperfect man grateful to have a relationship with a perfect God, fortunate enough to be able to share with anyone the good news that you, too, can have what I have.

May God Bless and keep you and yours from this day forward,