My Testimony - Jim Redmile
My mother was raised catholic, and I call my father a secular humanist, who ultimately believed in himself and the goodness of people. It took him awhile to get there though, because he had a bad experience coming back from Vietnam. As a kid, my mom took me and my sister to many churches here in town, but nothing very consistent, and my dad didn’t come with us.
I was supposed to do well in school, and by middle school we studied the theory of evolution. Not coming from a strong bible background, I was confused about how God created the world in 6 days but science told me the universe was billions of years old.
I did have some belief in God though, from where I’m not really sure, because if we were losing in baseball or football or whatever game I was playing at the time, I would make deals with God telling Him how I’d stop doing this, or start doing that, if only he would use his superpowers to help us win the game.
As a junior in high school, I transferred to a private religious high school in Philadelphia and learned about a man named Emanuel Swedenborg who wrote what he believed to be the internal meaning of the bible in the 1770’s. I didn’t have much biblical background at the time, and was more interested in sports and girls than I was in studying or theology. Most Christians would call the Church of the New Jerusalem a cult, but I didn’t know any better.
After graduation, I lived and worked in Philly for about 4 years and began my new career in drinking alcohol and doing drugs (mostly just smoking weed).
But I wasn’t making barely any money and wanted to go where there were a lot of girls, so I got myself into a private religious college, Newberry College in South Carolina. There I met a lot of fellow drinkers and smokers, many of whom were studying to be Lutheran priests.
I graduated with a 3.4 GPA (not too bad) and went to work in Clemson, South Carolina, where my girlfriend and soon to be ex-wife was finishing up school. But student loans were starting to come in the size of small mortgages and I moved back to Florida to work in the family appraisal business.
I got married but we continued our party life, which wasn’t sustainable. We divorced after a couple of years, and I continued in my partying ways, living a lost and dark life (at least that’s how I look on it in hind-sight).
And then one day I met this girl, 13 years younger than I was, and I pursued her. I was still living the same way, but she was different. She gave me grace (I didn’t know it was grace at the time) and I tried to push her away at one point, but she woudn’t let me. She wouldn’t let me continue in the pattern I was accustomed to.
Soon I learned - as I got closer to her and her family - they were Christians, and most of their beliefs contradicted mine. But I came to the conclusion that I could live with these people, and after three years I asked her to marry me.
Later I learned that my soon to be mother-in-law practically forced pastor Dave, from Christian Church in the Wildwood (CCW), to marry us, because he was against marrying a Christian with a non-Christian; two people who were unequally yoked.
But it was during one of these pre-marriage counseling sessions that the light turned on and I realized I was lost and needed a savior.
I was baptized on August 21, 2005 and we were married on January 7, 2006. But I still struggled for nearly a year with alcohol and drugs.
On October 7, 2006, I finally surrendered to Jesus, to the Holy Spirit, and I believe I was delivered from drugs and alcohol completely.
I’m nowhere near perfect, and as I mature in my relationship with Jesus, I realize how far I have to go, and that I need to pick up my cross each day in my feeble attempt at Christ-likeness.
But my life has been a 180 degree change, realizing dreams that I’ve had since I was a kid, with a wife who is daily a positive example, and two children, the older Luke who has, as a 9 year old, surrendered his life to Jesus, and Zeke, 7 years old, who is on his way.
We are a part the GoChurch, an intentional church plant from CCW meeting at Deltona Elementary in Spring Hill, Florida with a mission to “Go and make disciples.”
The apostle Paul said in a letter he sent to Timothy, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. Now, Paul may have been the worst, but I feel like I was a close 2nd. And if you talk to someone who has come to know who Jesus is, they’ll probably say they were the worst. But I do know this… if he can change me he can you too.
If you’ve actually read this far, and would like to talk to me about how Jesus can change you, please feel free to call or text me at 352.540.5185 or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless.