Episode 1 : Introduction

It's not the most exciting video in the world, but hey - we gotta start somewhere, right? Just a little about me, where I'm coming from, what my goals are, and what you can expect.

I was saved at the age of 12 in September of 1986 at Calvary Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. Pastor Johnny Smith gave the message that day, just like he did most every Sunday. (There's just something about the preacher that leads you to the Lord...) I don't remember what he spoke on. Not one bit. All I remember is something moving inside of me and bawling my eyes out. Next thing I know, I'm standing in front of him during the altar call telling him I want to be saved. (I didn't know back then that it was the move of the Holy Spirit within me.) I was baptized a few weeks later after going through the "pre-requisite" classes. Mind you, they just did that to make sure you understood what salvation was all about (eternal anyway) and what you were doing. And what a journey it's been since then!

My martial arts training started a couple of years later in October of 1988. I got my black belt in Tae Kwon Do then moved on to learning some Aikido, boxing, jiu jutsu, and kung fu. I studied an American version of Isshinryu karate for a while then took a break for about 6 months. I found my into an American Shotokan club where I ended up teaching most of the kids classes and many of the adult beginners. At that school I earned my first degree black belt. I then went to Zagreb, Croatia to study tradtional, JKA style Shotokan karate. I came home, opened a club with a friend, and later received my 2nd degree black belt in that style. I ran a club of my own for a while after that before making the switch to Shito-Ryu karate, affiliating with a phenomenal organization out of San Diego, CA. After years of hard work, I was honored to receive my 4th degree black belt and title of Junior Master Instructor. I ran my club in NC for about 8 years before my family grew and I had to get a "real" job and started teaching private lessons. LOL

As much fun as teaching martial arts is, and as much success as I've had with it, the Lord has really impressed upon me to take my gift of teaching and apply it to His kingdom. I enjoyed sharing the martial arts with people to build their self-esteem as well as teaching them how to protect themselves if they were ever attacked. Poor self-esteem is devestating mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. A lack of self-defense skills can lead to getting hurt if attacked. And it's the same story for God's people. They are destroyed for a lack of knowledge of Him (Hosea 4:6). That's one reason Jesus said to make disciples of the world, not just get them saved (Matthew 28:19). We have to be taught, trained up in, and practice the Way. Yep - just like karate-do is the way of the empty hand, Luke called Christianity the Way in Acts 9:2. After all, Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

That's why we're here: discipleship. My aim is to teach the Way, giving you not only instruction in the Word (as well as some occassional correction), but practical ways to apply it to your daily life. Just like a martial artist has to continually keep practicing what they're learning, so do we as followers of Christ. Hence my tag line, slogan, moniker - whatever you want to call it:

Practice the love of God.

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