Have you ever thought to yourself, “How can God use me? I’m not worthy or qualified to serve Him. How can I lead anyone?”
Did you know that the Bible is full of stories about people that were neither worthy nor qualified to serve or lead; men and women like Moses, Jonah, Rahab, Peter, Mary Magdalene, and Paul? God is in the business of doing extraordinary things with ordinary people like you and me. After experiencing years of trials, tribulations, and a ten-year growth process, Josh now finds himself wholeheartedly serving the Lord through the Rangers of Christ and Family Ministry.
In 2003, Josh started noticing a change in his marriage. His wife seemed distant, and he sensed she was thinking about leaving him. The day before Thanksgiving he came home and found a note taped to the television. It read, “I took the kids and went to live with my sister in New Jersey. I will call you when I’m ready.”
Josh was devastated. He began a downward spiral that involved alcohol, drugs, and sexual promiscuity. He spent nights crying out to God. “Why? Why did You take away my wife and kids?”At work, Josh confided in a friend named Johnny. This coworker prayed for him and invited him to Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, and Josh reluctantly agreed to go.
During the service, Josh felt the message was just for him. “As I sat there, I couldn’t help but feel that Pastor Bob was speaking directly to me,” Josh explains. But at the end of the service, when the invitation was given, Josh couldn’t bring himself to go forward to receive Christ. “I still couldn’t come to terms with what was going on in my life, and I felt angry with God.”
A month later, Johnny again encouraged Josh to come to Calvary with him. “He must have sensed the emptiness I felt inside, so I agreed,” Josh says. “The songs pierced my broken heart, and again the message felt as though it was specifically for me. When the invitation was given, I wanted to go up but felt chained to my seat. Pastor Bob asked if there was one more person sitting out there who wanted to go forward, and my friend offered to accompany me. I slowly made my way up to the front and received Jesus Christ.”
Even though Josh had accepted Christ as Savior, life wasn’t easy. He still experienced a great deal of pain and emptiness, and it wasn’t until months later at the Easter service that he finally had a breakthrough.
“After the service, I ran into Pastor Bob, and he spoke to me for a couple of minutes. What was so amazing about this interaction was that we called my wife; Pastor Bob spoke with her and prayed for healing and redemption in our marriage.”
Soon after, Josh made a big decision. He would move to New Jersey and attempt to reconcile with his wife. But after a year of trying to get things right, he and his wife split up again, this time for good. Empty and defeated, Josh returned to South Florida. He was angrier than ever at God, and his drug and alcohol abuse again spiraled out of control.
In January of 2006, Josh was in a serious car accident and spent three months in a coma. After finally recovering, he was suicidal and in serious need of help. So, at the urging of his childhood friends, Josh returned to his hometown in New York. He moved in with his mother and began looking for work.
“Being back in New York was great,” Josh says. “I was staying clean and seeing my kids every other weekend. I finally began to believe that God had a purpose for me and kept me alive to be a real father to my children.”
While living in New York, Josh applied for a sales job and was offered a position. He excelled in his work, and after three months, he was promoted to a team leader. He also began a new relationship with Christina, the woman who had interviewed him for the job! “It was an interesting time in my life, having reached a year of sobriety and being able to see my kids every other weekend,” Josh ex plains. “The wonderful woman who started out as my boss and then became my girlfriend made a great deal of sacrifices to ensure that I continued to see my kids.”
That wonderful woman eventually became his wife, and later she became pregnant. Meanwhile, Josh got full custody of his children, and the entire blended family moved back to Florida when Josh got a new job opportunity.
However, after several months of living in Florida, the family was still not attending church.“Christina told me how she wanted to go back to church,” Josh says. “I put it off for months until she finally said, ‘Either you bring me to church or I will find one on my own.’ So, in January of 2011, I introduced my wife to Calvary Chapel. It felt great to be back.”
Christian fell in love with the worship and the powerful teachings. The family started attending church every weekend, and within a few weeks, both Christina and Josh rededicated their lives to Christ.
A few months later, Josh’s family was baptized together, and his infant son was dedicated. Christina was on fire for the Lord, and she got connected with a women’s Bible study right away, but Josh didn’t get plugged in. “Christina kept encouraging me and I finally signed up for a Men’s Ministry event. While there, I saw a few tables of men wearing blue shirts that said ROC—which stands for Rangers of Christ. One of these men gave his testimony. The following Monday, despite truly horrendous weather conditions, I attended a ROC event, and I’ve been attending ROC ever since.”
Josh also had the opportunity to take part in a street evangelism outreach in downtown Fort Lauderdale, where he was paired up with Pastor Steve Williams. “I couldn’t believe God had sent me to witness in the place I used to get drunk, do drugs, and meet women,” Josh says. “I even got to see a few people receive Christ right there on the street! It was one of the most amazing nights of my life and made me realize how God uses us as instruments to redeem people.”
In September of 2013, Josh completed the Rangers of Christ basic training curriculum. He was inducted into ROC as a blue shirt graduate. Since then, he and his wife have begun serving with Calvary Kids, teaching fifth graders on Sunday mornings.
“ROC has been such an instrumental part of my life,” Josh says. “It has helped to keep me accountable as a man of God, husband, father, and mentor to the guys who serve alongside me. If you would have told me a few years ago that God had a plan to prosper, redeem, and transform me into a leader, both at home and among His people, I would have said NO WAY POSSIBLE. I didn’t believe in myself, but God believes in me, and now He is the ROCK that I can stand on with faith and confidence.”