About Me, and what I Believe

As a boy I had my own garden, and I enjoyed making things like model airplanes. Now as an adult I love to prune plants, bushes, and trees, and I love woodworking and making things with my hands. I realize the two have everything in common with my life. Both have to do with taking something in its raw and uncontrolled form and giving it shape, beauty, and purpose. I like to take what is untrained and make something out of it.

I’ve been a full-time youth pastor for 35 years. I like to take people in their raw form and prune and shape and train, and to do whatever is necessary and useful to bring about a beautiful and functional result. Changing lives, pruning out what shouldn’t be there, opening eyes and hearts, cutting, sanding, gluing, designing, and bringing meaning out of material is what I live for.

What drives my life is God, God’s Word, my family, and bringing everyone I can closer to God.

I am a musician, and I play the piano (keyboard), all kinds of guitars, and I sing. I like to play sports. I love to ride my bicycle; I like astronomy and nature. I enjoy a quiet walk in the woods just as well as a kickin’ party and a rowdy good time. I like to laugh, and I love a good joke.

A mentor, teacher, and friend, I passionately lead people deeper into Christ with creativity, insight, knowledge, and charisma.

For those who care, I’ve written a brief doctrinal statement below so you can see what I believe about God and the Bible.

I believe all of the Bible is God-breathed, and is the exact and total statement of what God wanted to tell us in his Word. It is authoritative for our lives as believers. It is the only book that is the Word of God.

I believe in one God. He has many names, the most well-recognized of which are Yahweh and Jesus. He is all the things the Bible says He is (Creator of all things, holy and infinite in all of his attributes: perfection, justice, mercy, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, and many others) and so much more. The writings of the Bible can only begin to describe His virtual indescribable magnificence and splendor. He is self-existent, with no needs, deficiencies, dependencies, or flaws. He exists eternally in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.

I believe in the deity of Jesus, in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood on the cross. I believe in His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His personal and bodily return in power and glory.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is God, though nowhere in Scripture are we instructed to worship the Holy Spirit, nor is there any example in Scripture where the Holy Spirit is worshiped. In all that He does, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its sin and guilt; He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.

Therefore, I believe in the trinity: There are three “persons” in the Godhead: the Father, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, equal as deity.

I believe that salvation is by grace, through faith, in the redeeming work of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Salvation is offered as a free gift by God to all and must be received personally and individually through repentance and faith in Jesus. As a child of God, consequently, the believer is acquitted of all guilt from sin and brought into a relationship of peace with God.

I believe in eternal security: that once an individual is truly and genuinely saved from sin, redeemed, and brought into a relationship of peace with God, that his or her salvation is secure eternally, and the subsequent mistakes of sin does not take away one’s salvation.

Jesus is coming again, in the same resurrected flesh/divine body he left in. There are signs in the Bible about the events surrounding his coming, and clues to the timing of it, but they are intentionally obscure so that we focus on the point: He is coming back, and it is our duty and privilege to be ready in faithfulness and service.

I believe in the literal resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved are resurrected to eternal life, and the lost are resurrected to eternal separation from God.

10 thoughts on “About Me, and what I Believe”

  1. Love your statement as to what you believe. Very uplifting and affirming. It is what I was raised to believe and do.

    1. It was good to see you yesterday, Karen. I took the liberty of adding you to my email update mailing list (they go out about once every two months). I hope you have a chance some time to check out the web site and see what it is I’m doing now.

  2. a question…
    please dont quote something i wont understand…
    this is coming from a completely non-religious upbringing…
    If I have always been under the believe that we stand for all our own choices, all our own thoughts, all our own dreams…
    and none of which have worked out in my favor, at all apparently. Am I at fault for not believing in the right way, or am I just bad at handling real life?
    I know without specifics, no one can really say, but I have to at least try to ask a community that believes in something close to what I do.
    Thank you for hearing my questions

    1. Thanks for writing. I hope we can talk back and forth as much as you like. It helps to hear your background (at least a little). I agree with you and think it’s true that we stand for all our own choices, thoughts, and dreams, especially if by that you mean we all have to find our own path through life. I think what ultimately matters is that we have to not just find a comfortable way through life, or even what makes sense to us, but we have to find what’s true. I think it’s safe to say that none of us wants to follow a path through life that is false. As I look at the political war going on right now, everybody thinks that what they are thinking and following is right—nobody follows what they know to be false. The problem is, they can’t both be right. Just because we are convinced, committed, and comfortable with it doesn’t mean it’s right.

      When I read your message to me, since things have not worked out in your favor, it seems you are stopping to wonder if you’re either “bad at this game” or have followed what you thought was true but turns out not to be. It’s very hard to comment without specifics. You say our community believes in something close to what you do. That makes conversation a little easier.

      Your specific question was: “Am I at fault for not believing the right way, or am I just bad at handling real life?” That’s pretty tough for me to comment on, since I don’t really know what you believe or what life choices you’ve made. I would love to talk more, though. Perhaps if my response here is comfortable enough for you, you’ll feel free to write back with more information for more conversation. I’ll wait to hear from you again.

    1. Hi. Sorry it has posed a problem for you. I have to create a “code” that will fool most of the spambots, and occasionally I fool humans along with it. The answer to the question is “spaniel.” Typing “spaniel” should allow you to register. If that doesn’t work, write to me again. Thanks for visiting the site.

  3. RoseMary Baty-Willcox

    Dear Jim, I attended your online class at Arundel Christian Church back in 2020, The End Times and if I remember right there was a section or verse on when God will no longer hear or except people asking for forgiveness somewhere in Revelation?
    Thank You

    1. Hi, RoseMary. Thanks for writing. Um, I don’t recall that Revelation says such a thing. I’m skimming through it, and I don’t see an idea like that, nor do I remember talking about it. The Bible certainly says that in Isaiah 1.15, but I can’t think of a place in Revelation.

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