Chris Lenoir

Chris Lenoir

I did not seek God, He pursued me. I did not choose God, He chose me. It is written in

“there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God.”

I was an enemy of God and antagonistic to those who claimed to follow Him. As it is written in , I truly was alienated from God and an enemy in my mind, doing evil deeds. Prior to my salvation I was a self- proclaimed atheist. I believed there was no God and anyone who thought there was a God was foolish and stupid for believing in something so incredibly silly as an all-powerful being who watched over everyone. I would relentlessly ridicule those I came in contact with that professed there is a God. Thankfully God chose to show mercy to me and manifest His Grace in my life.

God decided to set things in motion that in the short term were terrible experiences but that He ultimately used to put me in a place that I would hear the gospel and respond to Him. When I was about 12 years of age my parents divorced. My father stayed in California where we were living and I moved with my mother and sister to Council Bluffs, Iowa. I hated Iowa for a lot of reasons, I was angry that I had to live in Iowa away from friends and family, I was angry my parents were divorced and my father chose another woman over his family. A year later I received the news that my father had committed suicide. I had been angry with my father and had little to do with him since the divorce and now at such a young age I was touched with the finality of death. Was life nothing but a time to enjoy to the fullest at the expense of others as my father had done, or was there something more to this life, were the questions going through my mind. After my father’s death due to some loop holes in California law my mother found herself back in possession of the house we had lived in. We moved back to California for several months to sell the house. The sale of the house took longer than expected and when we finally moved back to Iowa I had missed the first two months of the school year. The public school I had been attending told me that I had missed too many classes for the year would have to take the year twice. This was unacceptable for someone like me, I was in all the top classes and refused to be held back. We began looking for a private school that would work with the situation. We didn’t have a lot of money and had to settle for a very small Christian school that had Kindergarten through 12th grade. There were less than 50 students in the whole school, there was a dress code, and there were Bible classes I would have to take. I didn’t like the school but my desire to not be held back in school won over my antagonism to the things of God. It was at this small Christian school that God began pursuing me.

At this Christian school I found myself at I was daily confronted with the as it was referenced in every single class. I resisted greatly at first but over time God began to soften my heart to the Bible through science and history. I had only looked at the history of mankind and science from a very man centered perspective and over time what I held to as truth began to crumble and look to the idea that God was the creator of all things as a legitimate possibility. Once this idea took root in my mind I had to know more. I began reading the Bible, reading theology books, reading church history as well as Old Testament history. My entire man centered world view came crumbling down and was replaced by a God centered world view. One day I found myself sitting on the steps outside the apartment complex I was living at talking to a number of the neighbor kids about God and the Bible. It was at this point I realized God was at work and it scared me. I had allowed God to change my world view but I still held onto my pride and was not trusting God for my salvation from my sin. God used a number of people shortly after that to ask some very pointed questions which pierced my heart and made me realize I was a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness and Jesus Christ’s righteousness. Not wanting to make a scene about it in December of 1995 in the middle of the night I finally let my pride go, asked God to forgive me of my sin, and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

My life was forever changed after God saved me. The anger I had toward my father that was only compounded by his selfish action of suicide was completely gone. I had a new father, my Heavenly Father who would never let me down, never leave, nor forsake me. It is written in ,

” Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are!”

My desires and goals in life changed because I was no longer living for self but for God and as a result any time I tried to pursue my own desires I self-sabotaged them which probably looked like the actions of a crazy man to friends and family. It is written in ,

“For if we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we have a sound mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.”

11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God. (ESV)

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, (ESV)

3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (ESV)

13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (ESV)

Elder, Youth Leaders
Tim & Jonna O'Tool
Lead Pastor
Greg Pollak