Friday, August 28, 2009

My Twin Brother's Memories of Our Dad

Growing up, if you were to look at us, it was very hard to tell us apart. In fact, there were times when dad would just say the name Jake, instead our names Jerry or Terry, to get our attention. Both of us knew early on that something special happened to our father. To hear how the Lord changed him from a criminal to a man who reached out to others for Christ, was emotional and exciting. God was preparing our hearts to follow him through the testimony of dad. Jerry knew early on that he wanted to be a pastor/teacher some day. He is faithful to the Lord in the ministry/work he now does as a counselor. He really helps marriages who are struggling, as well as those one-on-one who need the special perspectives he has. You can find him on the internet at the following websites:

Now, check out what my brother Jerry says in "The Son of an Ex Con."

The Son of an Ex Con.

That title doesn’t sound good does it? But it’s how I began in life as a twin boy in the headlines of the Indianapolis Star when it read “Father Of Thirty Day Old Twins Shot On the North Side of Indianapolis, Indiana.” You can see and hear my father’s testimony on but I wanted to talk about what God did for me after He redeemed my dad while doing time in an Indiana prison for breaking and entering (robbery).

As a young boy, the only time I would know about my father’s past life would be when he gave his testimony in churches or I went to the Mel Trotter Rescue mission in Grand Rapids, MI. I saw him care for down and outers and visit prisons to give his testimony. There were occasions when the family would visit relatives in Indiana where we met my grandfather on my dad’s side, also an ex con, or uncles on my mother’s side who were involved with alcohol. I could go into more details about that but I know you get the point that even though my father became a Christian we still had to work through a lot of stuff as a family while I was growing up.

Dad worked hard to provide for the family while in ministry and I benefited from his consistent growth in the Lord over the years. He led me to Christ in home devotions at the age of twelve. He encouraged me to pursue my desires as an athlete and to do what was right. He loved my mother and was faithful to her. Most of all, I saw his passion for God and it had a profound effect on me as I grew into manhood and went into the ministry. He was a real person who gave me an understanding of what it meant to be “Street Wise” and wise in the Lord. His gift of showing me the way to the cross, what it was like to walk with God, love God, love others and reach into the hearts of people at risk so they can know Jesus, would be something I wouldn’t trade for anything and have not.

God has given me a wonderful wife of forty three years in Judy, three great adult children and 6 grandchildren where Christ is the center of our lives. I marvel at what He does when He redeems and restores us. Now I’m not only the son of an ex con but a son in the family of God and one day will meet Jesus face to face and oh yes, my dad too. The idea of hanging with Jesus and my dad in eternity is an awesome thought.

In these later years, it’s been great to team up with my twin brother for the cause of Christ. We were athletes playing on the same little league baseball and college basketball teams. But this thing of being on God’s team is the best team. My hope is for you to see how God can change hearts and lives, bring us to a place of joy even through the pain of what sin has done to us. So much can be added to the story but our story is still developing even as sixty two year old twins.

I have been in the pastorate, been an author of the book Twisted Thinking Transformed, and presently work as a professional counselor in Sisters, OR. My wife and I are building treatment modules for MORE Married Weekends to help strengthen or rebuild marriages that could be or are at risk. I am so glad my father received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. He really was a new man after that moment which led the way for me.