My Bro Steve. I've always looked up to him, which wasn't difficult because he was always taller than me.
Steve was one of those ROTC guys in high school – you know, wear a cool uniform, learn to march around, learn to shoot a rifle, say “Yes Sir!” a whole lot... After shooting things up at school on the Rifle Team and winning some trophies, and playing his guitar in the ROTC stairwell during lunches, he decided to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. He said that he needed some time before college to get his head screwed on straight. (glutton for punishment)
Steve was stationed on the East Coast and worked on airplane electronics. He went on a couple of deployments to luxurious Okinawa, (and a few other places far east of here). He spent his free time playing guitar, and pursuing his dark side. You might say he fell in with the wrong crowd. The military has lots of opportunities for folks to get ahead, but it also has lots of opportunities for them to get behind.
Steve came home from Okinawa for a short stay in 1980, and would go out with friends partying and carousing until all hours. He'd have to wake me up at 3a.m. to let him in the house. (Mom and Dad didn't trust that Steve with a key.)
He staggered back to the East Coast to finish his tour of duty. When he came back home the next time, it was as if Steve had died and Billy Graham had taken over.
Gone were the all-night parties, the hell-raising, and the crude jokes. In place of them was a clean-cut Marine Sergeant, carrying a Thompson Chain-Reference Bible and a Strong's Exhaustive Concordance.
Steve told me that he knew that he needed to get saved. He had friends (and a Mom) who were praying for him (the RIGHT kind of friends this time) who told him of his need.
Steve decided that the Lord wouldn't TAKE him, as messed up as he was, so he decided to 'clean himself up' before coming to Christ. Steve found out that our human nature, and the things we get ourselves into are often too strong for us to overcome in our own power.
Steve learned that God meets you where you ARE. HE does the changing. You just have to surrender. SO... one evening, driving back to the barracks, Steve just GAVE UP. He surrendered the whole shebang. And GOD moved in and took up residence.
Gone was the self-destructive stuff, the things Steve
couldn't quit on his own. He said that even the 2-pack a day
cigarettes no longer had a hold on him... In Steve's case, it really
was a night/day transformation.
Steve is active with his church - he sings in the choir, works with children's Sunday School, the Youth Group, and helps out where-ever needed. Steve plays guitar for the little kids at church and helps them to praise God in song. He continues to encourage them musically as they graduate into the Youth Group, where he helps them lead worship. Together, they truly make a joyful noise!
For his birthday this last year (2005) his family pooled their
resources and bought him a 'real guitar' so now he lords it over us
poor unfortunates. I wouldn't tell HIM this, but I gotta admit that
guitar of his has ours beat all hollow. I guess you really DO get
what you pay for...
Steve has an absolutely breathtaking baritone voice, as you can tell on the 'Prophet, Priest, and King' clip here. He's also featured on 'His Royal Word'. Check it out!