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Some of my background

April 14, 2009

A friend from one of our network churches asked me to share a little about my background, so here goes.

I ran from God much of my early life. I was an agnostic who wished he was an atheist. I always knew if I acknowledged God he was gonna ask me to do something I didn’t want to do. Fast forward to 1997 when a Christian women’s organization hired me to handle their conference merchandise operations. (Insert lots of crazy God-ordained backstory on the hiring). I was responsible for merch sales and flew home with $120k to $150k in cash from each event, and threw it in my closet until Monday morning when it went to the office. One weekend I piled it all up on a coffee table, counted out $120k and was scared/excited at the same time. I managed to put it back in the bag that week, but not the next week. Over four months I went nuts and stole about $75,000 from them. In August 1998 I had this moment of lucidity where I woke up and said, “I don’t do this, this isn’t who I am.” I committed to ‘do better’ and only stole about $10,000 over the next year.

Unable to ‘do better’ I tried to leave the company several times, only to hear a voice “Somethings not done yet”.  So I stayed. About June 1999 my depravity and the beauty of Jesus begin to collide more. After feeling like “I was gonna become one these Christians” I started reading Mere Christianity and The Cost of Discipleship. I was right. It was gonna cost me everything and God was gonna ask me to do something I didn’t want to do.

After some more God ordained moments resulting in inspired conversations and many anguished tears, I repented and trusted Christ on August 12, 1999. I was absolutely wrecked for Christ and had a new passion for my work. But I had this unconfessed thing hanging over me. I wanted to walk in to my bosses office everyday for six weeks, but I was a coward and didn’t. On October 2, 1999 God orchestrated a way for me to ask for His strength and to confess to my employer what I had done. They called the FBI and the FBI contacted me. I cooperated, pled guilty and received a 17 month sentence in federal prison. My time in prison was kind of like seminary for me. I devoured the bible and any books I could find in the prison library. God was gracious to me my entire life and continues to be to this day.

Since being released from prison I have reconciled with many of my former co-workers, now have a wonderful God-loving bride, two young children that are freaking awesome, God brought me to The Village Church where I went on staff as a pastor, and now God has seen fit to send me to Austin, TX to start a new church here. We started a Sunday morning service this Easter (last week) and had 56 people, many of them renewed by the gospel through Soma Austin over the past six months. Not much in the overall picture maybe, but a glorious thing to participate in, and a glorious gift to me and my family.

Last night we had our SomaAustin Men’s meeting at a local coffeeshop. A homeless girl (Kelly) asked for some money for beer. One of our guys (who has recently been renewed by gospel truth) offered her a beer and invited her to sit with us. She did and we had our men’s meeting and talked about Jesus. During our conversation, God gave us some great gifts.

To an ex-con that ran from God and stole from a para-church organization, they are God’s precious gift of grace and mercy. Please pray for Kelly, and for our small church in Austin.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jimmy Thoma permalink
    April 15, 2009 12:32 am

    I love you brother am thankful for you and praying for you. How great is Jesus and his gospel.

  2. April 15, 2009 8:16 pm

    Great story bro…God is good!

  3. April 30, 2009 7:29 am

    Jacob – thank you for sharing your story. Glad I got to hang and chat with you. I hope we can connect again soon.

  4. Greg Bobbitt permalink
    June 15, 2009 10:12 am

    That’s my brother Jacob!

  5. October 22, 2009 10:31 pm

    praise God…what a great story!

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