Mark Mulvey

As far back as I can remember, I would (at least periodically) look for some

purpose, some meaning for life. Besides making mud pies and hunting frogs,

snakes, mice, and crayfish, a friend and I had some interest in searching for

artifacts of past ages. There was an older boy in the neighborhood who had a

rich collection of Indian arrow heads. My Grandfather had also given my dad

some Indian artifacts. These objects would bring out much curiosity in me. I

would search in the fields of my village for ancient relics and fossils. I

once found a perfectly preserved fossil of a Trilobite; an extinct marine

creature. This one was oval shaped and about two inches long. Of course I was

no scientist; I was a curious boy. Where did such things as this Trilobite

come from?

School was interesting to me as a young boy, but as I grew older, my interest

began to wane, as did much of my interest that had been growing in what could

be called, a crude form of archaeological research. My greater interest

clearly became following the Green Bay Packers, and later included the

Milwaukee Brewers. Grades in school fell steadily after the seventh grade. I

graduated in the class of Seventy five after finishing in summer school. Now

the question came. What was I going to do with my life? It was as though I

was thinking that things would begin to happen when the time came. As though

things would just sort of evolve. My life continued to degenerate further. I

soon became involved with people who spent most of their time either partying,

or preparing for one.

At the age of nineteen I was bar-hopping and began to smoke pot.

One afternoon I was over at the house of a party friend; and as we were

listening to the latest on the rock music scene, there was a knock at the door.

There was a young man at the door accompanied by his mother. My party friends

mother answered the door and let them into the house. He kindly greeted us. I

was soon to find that he had something to say about God. I was interested in

hearing him at the time to be sure. Jeff had a Bible with him and the best I

can remember, he was fielding questions from Mark W. and I. I was interested

in finding out more of what he had to say. He befriended me and would often

make arrangements to meet with me and talk with me about God.

At his church he presented me with a box of various Bibles and New Testaments.

He told me to choose one that I would like to read from. I remember choosing

the Amplified New Testament. The only other Bible that I had any awareness of

before this was the Catholic Bible that my parents kept in their bedroom.

Nowadays I read the King James version (kjv). After getting that New

Testament, I read through it in a few days. I was intensely interested in the

person of Jesus Christ. In his earthly ministry he was pure, undefiled,

humble, innocent,and loving. I know that there are many other gracious words

that could be used to point to his character. And it was obvious that he was

more than a man. Yes, what a man he was! A man's man. A perfect man. And he was

God! (1 Tim. 3:16) One evening, about the month of April in 1977, Jeff took me

to an evangelistic meeting in Zion Illinois. At the close of this meeting the

question was asked the people at the meeting. "If you were to die today, or

tomorrow, do you know that you would go to heaven?" !you are not sure, Please

raise your hand so that someone can help you." I realized that I simply was

not sure that I would go to heaven in the event I died. I raised my hand. Soon

afterwards, a man was explaining to me that I needed to call upon the name of

the Lord to be saved from my sin. Jesus had suffered and died in my place and

he was buried, and he rose again for my justification. I asked Jesus to come

into my heart and save me and I know that he did. "Therefore if any man be in

Christ, his a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things

are become new."

Now that I had received Jesus Christ as my Savior, I had a whole new life

to live and a purpose to live for. But the change in my life did not appear to

be a radical one. I was not drinking nearly as much and was staying at home

more often. I don't remember if staying home was due to wanting to stay home

or if it was because of my drivers license being suspended for six months,

starting around the month of April in '77. I had my stereo in my room and I

hadn't given up rock music; Not yet. I continued reading the Bible but not

consistently. As far as church attendance- I wasn't attending a church any

where. Jeff had been coming around with less frequency. He attended an

Assembly of God church at that time. I had been raised Catholic. My Dad no

longer required me to attend the mass by the time I had reached about 16 years

of age, and I took full advantage of the privilege to abstain from attending.

Even so, my emotional attachment was still with the system of religion that I

was raised under. There was something revolving in my mind that was notable for

that time. It was a sense of need to be busy doing something, and to be

responsible for providing for the basic material needs that I had.

What was I going to do now? I had lost my last job and I had no drivers

license. I had sold my car. Television was a big attraction for me. Sometimes I

didn't know what else to do with my time. Back then there was always a

commercial sponsored by the U.S. Navy with the slogan, " The Navy, It's Not

Just a Job, It's an Adventure." That may have given impetus to the idea of

going to the armed forces for work. When I walked into the recruiting station,

the first person that I met was the man that I bumped into in the hallway.

The navy recruiter. Shortly after this time I enlisted.

The day before I left for bootcamp in Orlando Florida, I attended mass. It was

the first time that I had been there for probably a year or more. Once in

bootcamp, I found that chapel services were held every Sunday; Catholic and

Protestant. I'm not sure that I knew what Protestant was. I continued to

attend the mass. After being in the Navy about half a year, it came to my

attention that the Protestant chaplain was holding a Bible study and all were

welcome to attend. I was persuaded to go since I didn't think that I could go

wrong by attending a study of the Bible (Gods Holy Word). Through these

meetings I met some former enlisted men who were involved in a ministry to

sailors and marines called the Navigators ministry. This was in Long Beach

California, where I was stationed for about a year while the ship that I was

assigned to was in dry-dock. These men operated a service-men's center in

town. I had the freedom to spend much of my free time with them and was helped

tremendously. It was as if I had found a pool of cool water after wandering in

the middle of a desert. They encouraged scripture memorization (the right

thing to meditate on) and helped me to see the evils of such things as rock

music more clearly. I also had the privilege to attend, along with these men,

the Bill Gothard seminar (Institute of Basic Youth Conflicts).

About December of "78, the USS Bagley was restationed in San Diego; About 100

miles south of Long Beach. On the weekends I would take the bus back to Long

Beach to have fellowship with my new found friends. They encouraged me to take

root in San Diego after a couple of months or so. I I looked through the phone

book for a church to attend in San Diego. I found a Baptist that I attended the

last 3 years of my enlistment.

The church of my choice did not have high standards that a Bible believing,

Christ honoring church ought to have. I never did think that the Christian

rock bands (so-called) were edifying for a blood bought, will-of-God-seeking,

sin hating child of God. One group of musicians began with the "Praise" type

songs and subtly progressed to "hard" rock. It was troubling to me. There

didn't seem to be anyone in the church who thought it should be stopped,

although there probably was.I don"t know that there weren't people leaving

because of a lack of standards, but it was a very big church and it wasn't

noticeable to me.

Today I am happy to say that I am serving God in a God-fearing,

Christ-honoring church, with real standards. I believe that my love for God

and my understanding of his dealings with me is due in a large part to the

ministry of Henry Stiller whom I've known for about 4 years now, and a preacher

that pastor Stiller has joined in the Lords work with, Pastor Williams. And

there are others that have been a real blessing to me. I don't want to mention

more names because I wouldn't want to leave one out. I'm thankful for all the

help I've gotten. There is another person though that I ought to acknowledge

and express a debt of gratitude. That is The Holy Spirit, whose operation is

always consistent with the revealed word of God. I also believe that I I

realize now more than I ever have before that no man is an island. No man is a

self-made man. If a man is going to amount to any thing for God, it is the

result of godly men that have fought and have gone before him, and for godly

men that have with him and beside him.

Testimonies of people changed by the power of God!

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