My wife, Debbie, and I were married young. Some said the marriage would not last past two years; we have now been married since July 28, 1975. We both thought I was a Christian when we got married, in fact I went to work for the church we were a part of at the time. I later started driving truck for a living. Then I started partaking of the "pleasures of sin."
In the church we grew up in we were taught that we had to become perfect before we could get to Heaven. As I was driving along one day I realized I could never be good enough, so I gave up and started doing everything I could to prove I was not a Christian. I even tried to break up my marriage. But, God had blessed me with a godly wife, (even though I did not see her as a blessing at the time) so that is how our marriage stayed together.
I have said many times that it is said you can never get away from your mother's prayers. But, when you have, not only your mother, but also your grandmother, your mother-in-law, and your wife praying for you, well, you might as well give in, and that is what I did.
How God answered all those prayers was that He got me to a chapel service in the TV Room of what was then the only TA truck stop in Ontario, California. The only reason I went to the service was because I was so bored I did not know what else to do. I learned the Biblical truth about salvation and gave my life to Jesus Christ.
Being raised in a church that said they were the only true church, and yet I knew they did not teach the truth, I did not trust any church. That, and my being on the road, was my excuses to not take my family to church. So God had to use a back injury to remove my excuses so I got my family to church. We got discipled in the Lord so we started growing in our personal relationship with Him.
Some months later my doctor released me to go back to driving on a trial basis. My back got worse and I had to hang up driving as a career, or start a series of surgeries with the odds not in my favor that I would be able to walk after the first surgery. It was during my recuperation time after getting off the road that I had time to spend one-on-one with God. He then put a burden on my heart for my fellow drivers and their personal relationship with God. I could hardly wait to get out and start doing something about this.
In 1987 Debbie and I started volunteering with the trucking ministry I was saved through. In March 1988 they asked me to get the training to be a full time chaplain. Nearly five years later we left them to stay home and take care of problems at home due to residue from my life before Christ. Our plan was to take about a year or so off from full time ministry. Near the end of that year I received a phone call from another trucking ministry. The caller said, "I understand you are no longer with the other ministry, is that true?" When I told him it was true he asked me to come on with them as their mobile chaplain - driving and being the chaplain on an 18-wheel mobile chapel. After three months or so of prayer and phone calls to the ministry asking questions we knew that is where the Lord wanted us so.
After serving the Lord with them for about two and a half years we answered God's call to start Steering Wheel Ministries. God is using what He taught us through my mistakes as a husband and father in this ministry. I asked God to take all those wasted years and turn them into something for His glory, and He is doing just that.
To God be the glory!!!
Steering Wheel Ministries