Personal Statement of Faith

I am fortunate to have realized my faith in Christ at a very early age, being taught by my parents to look to Christ for my salvation and to Him alone. As a result of my upbringing, memories of my faith are among my earliest; I can remember no marked conversion, though I have certainly seen renewal of faith. I claim today nothing but Christ's righteousness as foundation and His blood as security for my salvation. My faith is the result of God's gracious gift, and arises from no inherent goodness or cleverness of my own. I live only, therefore, by the grace of the one true, sovereign and merciful God, whom I rejoice to call my Father.

As if to illustrate His immense grace and mercy, God drew my heart back to Him after I fell to my wandering priorities while in college. During those years (at Whitman College, a secular liberal arts college) the weakness of my commitment in life to those ideas that I had grasped intellectually while growing up became evident. The "child-like" character of my faith waned as I launched into life on my own. I was committed enough to attend church sporadically during my college years with my wife-to-be (who was at the time just beginning to explore Christianity) and faithfully while at home on breaks, but my walk with God was clouded over by my own sense of self-sufficiency. God is incredibly long-suffering, however. In His patience, He simply waited for me to recall the grace He had granted me in my life and to return to an acceptance of my absolute dependence upon it.

I recognized at last, as my wife and I moved on for my graduate studies at Northwestern after we married, how much I had failed in my devotion to Christ while at Whitman. Upon our arrival in Illinois my wife and I became determined to find a church home. We were introduced by friends to a wonderful PCA church and quickly became part of the body there. God blessed us with just what we needed at the time - a solid church in which we could learn, gain maturity and serve, and with good friends and fellowship which fostered each of these things. As a result of God's timely intervention and guidance through these years, my faith grew strong, and perhaps for the first time since junior high school, it truly became a defining characteristic of my daily life. I was revived from dormancy and "bare trust" into fresh realization of God's grace and newness of life.

After seven years in Illinois, we moved to Ithaca NY, for my current position. The Lord again provided a good church home for us, New Life Presbyterian Church (PCA). I currently lead one of the church's weekly Bible studies, teach adult Sunday school as needed, and organize the monthly prayer meetings and early Sunday prayer time for the congregation. In the last year of our sojourn in Ithaca, I served the congregation as one of its Ruling Elders.

As I look now at the past decade, I thank God for those who have been a help to us and to me in particular as mentors. Through the friendship and shepherding of our pastors in Illinois and here in Ithaca, I have made the jump from a nominal faith to enthusiastically embrace the Reformed faith. I am strongly convinced today that the system of doctrine embodied in the Westminster standards is a correct summary of Biblical truth.

These men have taught me the importance of embracing Christ with both my heart and with my mind. One thing I appreciate most from my pastors’ guidance through our time together is my growing appreciation for the devotion and efforts of such men as Edwards, Owen, Sibbes and Flavel. As I have grown in my faith and understanding of God's grace, I have found great encouragement and comfort in the insights of these men. Their dedication and love for God's truth and for God's people is evident in their works. They have been strong prompting for me to devote myself continually to God's Word and to prayer.