Steven Heinbach

There are certain rights of passage that I've had in this lifetime; some of greater impact than others. There is the most meaningful right of passage, which  involved the the most important choice that I ever made in life; and that was the decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to live for Him.

Before I accepted Christ, there were some good and bad times. I knew that there was a heaven and hell after we passed away. I believed that if we were good enough, and stayed away from sins such as stealing and hurting others, we could go to heaven. There were a lot of things that I used to do earlier in life that were not obvious sins, but they were sins nonetheless. I lived for going to college and working in my adult life but had no care for what my future or eternity was going to hold for me.

In 1988, I was reasonably satisfied with where I was at in life with working for the state, living on my folks property in a small guest house, occasionally  getting together with friends, and entertainment. I attended an AMWAY business conference,  which had a Sunday morning church gathering. I went up for an alter call without any idea why I went up there. Looking back, I feel that was how Christ started calling me to Him as I began to learn a little bit more about the church environment. At that point, though, I did not know about Jesus as Lord and Savior.  

I attended Cool Community Church sporadically from 1988 to 1989, thinking that the Church was too strict, but still not having a clear understanding of who Christ was or what God was trying to convey to me. I attended the Episcopal Church in Auburn, California and was counseled by some of the pastors there. Some of the counsel I received was good, but I felt that there was something still not quite right in my life. I was still holding to this desire to have a make believe life, which I maintained all the way from age 10 to age 26. I knew that had to change. I felt the Lord's leading to get rid of those ideals of make believe life and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and get into the correct Christian Environment. The Lord led me back into Cool Community Church and gave me a cleared vision of what a relationship with Christ is all about.  This all took place at the beginning of 1991. I was also baptized in April or May of 1991.  

My quality of life has changed for the better ever since. Knowing my eternal destiny makes all the difference in the world. I realize I can really enjoy the freedom that Christ has given; especially when we say no to our sinful ways and say yes to God.

Getting involved in ministry has been an inspiration ever since. I really enjoy serving in AWANA and I have been with that ministry since September of 1991 which was the year that I got saved. I now also enjoy serving in Church Leadership on the Deacon Board. These areas of ministry help me to know where I need to grow and believe me, I see a lot of areas where I need to grow.

As I mature in my Christian walk now, I realize more and more how much I still need to grow and become more like Christ. I always like that verse 'He who has began a good work in you will carry in on to completion'. Despite the sin still present in my life, I know the Lord forgives and my prayer is that He gives me the right perspective and mindset along with my desire to grow. I'm also blessed to have been given the gift to use scripture memorization in my  journey.  I started in 1994 by. memorizing 1 Timothy chapter 1 and am now memorizing Revelation chapter 2. Praise God for the resources and tools He has given us.