I grew up in a split-up family in the rural coastal town of Tillamook in western Oregon. Neither of my parents ever really went to church. Growing up I attached myself to science and mathematics. I quickly studied and accepted a natural explanation of everything that had ever happened. I was a sharp atheist and in high school I actively attacked those who clung to any mind-numbing "religion". I was always ready to use reason, and logic, and all that science had theorized in this attack.
While in high school I thought that I was basically a "good guy". I never got involved with drugs and I received good grades in school. However I had no reason to be a moral person, other than to make people think more of me. I had no purpose at all in life, so took this along with the fear that I would be forgotten and I invented my own purpose, to make a name for myself. I had always wanted to be an astronaut and I decided since everyone knows of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, I would become the first man on Mars, to make a name for myself.
My senior year a good friend of mine from a volunteer program (outdoor school) died of sudden kidney failure. One of the last times I spoke to him he had shared some of his story and how Jesus had made an impact. I was moved to discover who and what this Jesus guy was all about.
I spent a lot of effort and time learning all about the Bible, and its message. There was a lot of solid information regarding the historical nature of the events recounted in the Bible. As I studied the Bible I discovered that God wanted people to use their minds to understand Him and His ways; rather than to try to be religious, which does not save anyone. By studying the Bible I learned that God is perfect and totally good, man is not. As a sinner there was a penalty, which was death. Beyond just physical death, but a permanent eternal separation from God because God cannot let anything that is imperfect to be with Him. However, God had a plan to save me. Because I didn't have the power to save myself from my sin, He sent down His Son, Jesus the Christ to die and to be my death for my sin-debt. By putting my trust and faith in Jesus' work, His death on the cross 2000 years ago, I am free, once and for all, and have been reconciled to a right relationship with God.
With my newfound trust and faith in Jesus Christ I passed from death to life. I found my life changing all around me. I was no longer afraid of being forgotten because I was known by God. Instead of trying to live a moral life just to please people, I had a reason for doing what I always thought was right. I even had a complete way of understanding the world around me without making assumptions about things as scientists are forced to do. Although its difficult to quantify, I had a joy and peace about life that I had never experienced. Everyday I see more and more of Godís presence and blessings in my life. Although I am by no means perfect, I can see how God is working daily to make me more like Him. Best of all is that I know that I have eternal life in relation with God in heaven.