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Living Proof of the Living Christ

Don’t you love Before and After pics? Well, these two photos are more than just years apart, they’re worlds apart. I was 21 and Lisa was 17, the year was 1979, and our worlds were about to be rocked. I had survived a horrible car wreck and an even worse alcoholic home. But I was circling an existential drain. We had dated for 3 years, but were going nowhere. Until spring, 1980.

Spring is a special time of the year for us.  Last month, I celebrated my 31st year as a believer. This weekend, Lisa will celebrate hers. It was a culmination of a grueling spiritual quest that led me through occultism, drugs, mysticism, to the open tomb of Jesus Christ. In March of 1980, I finally surrendered to Him. The next month, my girlfriend did. It was at an Easter sunrise service, no less. We were married later on that same year. Four kids, 3 grandchildren, 31 years of marriage later, and spring continues to inspire nostalgia. Where would I — where would we — be if that Spring hadn’t arrived?

Indeed, some of the most compelling evidence for the validity of Christianity is the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. What caused a ragtag group of followers to change not only a religious system, but inevitably, the shape of the entire world? Well, it’s the same thing that caused us to find hope and meaning, a Reason for living. No. We’re not perfect. Our 31 years are riddled with fits and failures. But we have endured and He has blessed us at every turn. We are living proof of a living Christ. And, in the end, isn’t that some of the most powerful proof there can be?

Here’s wishing you and yours a blessed Easter!

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{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Johne Cook April 22, 2011, 5:56 AM

    Amen, man. Happy Easter!

  • Luther April 22, 2011, 6:17 AM

    Glad we don’t have to show before and after
    Pics of the inside

    • Mike Duran April 22, 2011, 6:38 AM

      Yikes! Now that would be something. Thanks for commenting, Luther.

  • Steve Mason April 22, 2011, 6:31 AM

    You took me back 30 years when we first met. You and Lisa were a big part of the beginning of our church. Like all of us, Oasis has had it’s ups and downs, but God has been faithful in spite of our faithlessness and failures. Thanks for the example of endurance you and Lisa have shown in your lives, your marriage and your faith in Jesus. You inspire me.

  • Nicole April 22, 2011, 6:31 AM

    Love the pics. My husband was saved in March of 1980.


  • Jay April 22, 2011, 7:25 AM

    Who’s the stud?

  • Linda Gilmore April 22, 2011, 7:36 AM


  • Katherine Coble April 22, 2011, 8:06 AM

    Lovely testimony.

    Breeding lilacs out of the dead land.

    Spring is God’s annual picture of the resurrection; it seems very fitting that you would embrace that.

  • Jill April 22, 2011, 8:17 AM

    Beautiful. I love to hear stories like this.

  • Melissa Marsh April 22, 2011, 11:20 AM

    Awesome, awesome post. Happy Easter to you and your family!

  • R. L. Copple April 22, 2011, 11:27 AM

    Cool story, Mike. May God continue to bless and change you into His vision of who you are to be. Loved the pics. And have a wonderful Easter.

  • J.J. Lancer April 22, 2011, 12:31 PM

    It’s really refreshing to read a blog whose author is a fellow brother in Christ. Praise God that He brought you and your wife back home 31 years ago!

  • Tracy Krauss April 22, 2011, 1:25 PM

    I love before and after pics, but more importantly, I love to hear stories of how Christ has changed people on the inside. Congrats and all that!

  • Neil Larkins April 22, 2011, 1:50 PM

    Wow! Awesome witness to the power of the resurrected Christ to completely change lives, the very proof of that resurrection. Now I really HAVE to get a blog so I can tell my story of how Teresa and I met the fall of 1964. She went to be full time with our Jesus 14 years ago this coming July and has been praising His name the whole time.
    Blessed Easter to you and yours.

  • Sally Apokedak April 22, 2011, 5:29 PM

    What a couple of cute kids you were.

    Still cute, and you still look like kids, in fact.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Patrick Todoroff April 23, 2011, 5:39 AM

    He is Risen indeed.

    Good testimony, thanks.

  • Alan Oathout April 23, 2011, 7:19 AM

    Your “before” picture looks suspiciously like a member of the Allman Brothers Band…did you ever play Southern rock? Hmm…

    Seriously, thank you for sharing a bit of your story…and for serving Him with all your heart, mind, and strength for 31 years!

    A blessed Resurrection Day to you, and everyone in your online community…

  • Marion April 24, 2011, 12:16 PM

    Great Testimony, Mike!

    I’ve only been married for 3 1\2 years and hopefully my marriage can reach 31 years like yours and I can still live to talk (or blog) about it! LOL!

    Happy Easter!


  • Cathy West April 24, 2011, 1:26 PM

    Beautiful, Mike! Thanks for sharing that and I hope you both had a very special time of remembrance and celebration in Him today! He is RISEN!!

  • Beth K. Vogt April 24, 2011, 5:57 PM

    I always love to hear other believers’ stories. Thanks for sharing.

  • Brandon Clements April 25, 2011, 10:43 AM

    Awesome. Love this so much.

  • Melody Fredricks April 25, 2011, 10:22 PM

    Good job guys, happy spring.

  • Mark Howard April 27, 2011, 3:07 AM

    very commendable congratulations! great witness to faith and its works

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