I was sitting with my daughter Hailey getting ready for this message.
She sat in my lap with her bible as we read together.
She would repeat the words as we read as if she was reading.
And I just sat and enjoyed that time with her, and I began to think… I wonder how much of this she will remember.
Think back to what you remember?
What is your earliest childhood memory?
Many of you know my testimony of how I came to Christ.
few know the events leading up to that night because normally that’s where I start it.
The full version is a bit longer.
So, Hi I’m Ryan.
I was born September 1989 in San Antonio, Texas.
I am the oldest child of Ann and Rod.
I still have memories of Texas and our house.
I remember my room, that was blue with my bunk bed and ceiling fan and baseball wall paper trim that went around the entire upper wall.
I remember when I was 5 my dad got a new job and it was going to require us to move to Colorado
I hated the idea of moving.
So much I would go out to the real-estate sign and take the flyers and hide them in my pillow case.
Nonetheless my efforts were futile and we ended up moving.
We got in to what seemed to me at the time to be the biggest yellow truck ever and moved to Conifer, Colorado.
In the mountains.
I feared that we were going to fall off the mountain.
I quickly realized that life was great.
We had this white stuff called snow, that you could put a plastic thing on and instantly there was a slide you could speed down a hill on.
In the summer my Dad and I went camping on the deck.
But the most life changing event I can remember from that time is when I walked inside from playing outside, and seeing my dad sitting at the table crying.
My mom told me to go upstairs.
I walked inside from playing out side, and seeing my dad sitting at the table crying.
My mom told me to go upstairs.
Shortly later my Mom came upstairs and told me that they were going to be getting a divorce.
I did not know what that meant, except my mom told me that they would not be living together any more.
We were going to be moving again.
Really, what I got out of it, is mommy and daddy are still going to be friends and I get to have Christmas twice...
At 8 years old My dad bought a house at Saint Mary’s Glacier.
North West of Idaho Springs.
A mountain town nestled in the rockies.
We decided to move in during the winter.
Keep in mind this house is at 10,000 ft above sea level… in the winter… we’re talking 30-40 mph winds all the time with micro burst up to 120 mph.
And snow.... lots and lots of snow....
That summer is when I meet Jimmy, on Memorial day.
He was trying to find me to hag out because i was riding around on a dirt bike.
and Him and another kid were riding around on bicycles.
I told them about free hot dogs and that was it.
we had our first sleep over that night and he soon became my best friend.
It was the making of a friendship that is still going over 20 years.
I consider him a brother.
Endless summers and adventures.
When I was in 7th grade my dad broke his neck.
He worked at a mine
Almost died from a staff infection
It was the start of WC Construction.
And what better place to get cheap labor than from two kids who will clear a forest for nothing more than paint balls and slingshots.
But something else was happening at this time.
Remember I had two lives now.
The mountain life with my dad.
And the city life in Longmont with my mom.
I was being raised Catholic.
I had gone through catechism.
Kind of like Sunday school and such, but at the end, around 8th grade you go through what is called conformation.
At the end you get confirmed into the catholic faith.
But one Wednesday night catechism something different happened.
Instead of learning about bible stories or the sacraments.
The priest came in to do a question and answer session.
I was excited because I had recently started reading my Bible, and having discussions with Jimmy and I had some questions
I asked, “the bible says there is one mediator between God and man and that is the man Christ Jesus.
so why do we have go to you to have our sins forgiven..... ?”
needless to say I got in trouble and I told my mom I did not want to be a catholic, something seems off......
she said as long as I was going to some church.
My first confrontation with my dad on alcohol.
J. Let us eat drink and be merry.
I. Eventually I was struggling with this double lifestyle.
I wanted to be a christian, or as i called it at that time a “Super Christian” or Straight arrow.
as others said.
I struggled with different sin issues during that time, that I was dealing with and I though if I can just move up to the glacier.
all of these things will go away.
Dare to share conference.
Evangelistic version of Aquire the fire.
I decided I wanted to share my faith and learn more.
Still rooted in sin, I came up with a way to convince my mom I needed to move in with my dad.
A house full of rules and structure to a house filled with alcohol and much less structure.....
I spent my sophomore year of High school going to school At Clear Creek.
I went to bible studies at a small refuge called the rock house.
But eventually my good friend was moving away.
So the majority of my time was spent alone on a mountain.
I had no friends, no christian roots.
The rock house was full of other christians who compromised.
At the motocross track, the same.
So slowly my sin that I was trying to flee started to grow bigger and soon I found myself at a cross roads where I eventual decided I was not going to follow Christ.
I denied him just like peter.
I had made pledge to go saying that I would never do it.
And through a tear-full conversation I called up Jimmy and told him that I was not going to be a christian.