Thursday, September 30, 2010
Happy Birthday Jesse!
Happy 38th Birthday to my amazing, loving husband! I love you so very much and I'm so blessed and privileged to have such a strong man of God in my life and our kids lives. You are such an amzing father and nothing makes me happier than to see you pour your love on them. I would not be the woman that I am today without your help molding me, pushing me and loving me over the past 12 years!
I was sitting here this morning thinking about Jesse's birthday, I was overcome with how many lives he has touched in his 38 years. I thought how awesome it would be for me to just share with you a little about Jesse and what makes him so very special. So, here is a little of his amazing testimony:
"I was born in Cicero Illinois September 30, 1972. My father was a pretty violent guy and was murdered when I was 2 years old. I grew up in a very dysfunctional home but was fortunate to have a mother who loved me very much. At the age of 18 I was the first of my family to graduate high school. From their I received a college scholarship to play division I baseball at Northern Illinois University. I had some good success in college but found myself falling into the traps that many in my family had. I was drinking regularly, experimenting with drugs, and indulging in very unhealthy premarital relationships. As college wrapped up I was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers and was excited to pursue a life as a professional athlete. As I entered into what many would call a dream opportunity I found myself participating in nightmarish behaviors. I sunk deeper and deeper into a life of despair. At this time a number of incredible things occurred. One, I was reunited with my brother Mike. When we had last seen each other 5 or so years earlier he was a drunk violent guy. Now he was what he called "a born again Christian". I was floored by the change but thought he was a bit crazy. Next I met another Christian on the Brewers who was all over me about Jesus and the Gospel. Finally, I sustained a knee injury. My injury gave me a lot of time to reflect and when I was at my darkest time in the off-season my Christian buddy from the Brewers called me and said that he had inured the same knee and was rehabbing in Arizona. I was floored by his call and even more floored when he invited me to come rehab with him. There he took me to Bible studies and got me involved in the baseball ministry. This still was not for me and then a final amazing thing happened. A old high-school friend called and asked me to come visit. When I arrived she told me she was a Christian! Wow...I couldn't get away from these people. I spent the night at her house, on the couch of course, and the next day she MADE me go to church with her. It was there that I was introduced to the saving grace of Jesus and my life was forever changed. Because of his sacrifice, my life's direction took an about face. Baseball ended, and a new life began. I have since met the love of my life, have 3 beautiful kids, and am blessed to be living for the King."
Even though Jesse's birthday is September 30th his true "birth" day was January 12, 1997 because that is the day he became a New Creation! I want to share just a few snippets from some of the people that Jesse has touched over his life span.
"Your witness, encouragement, and living by example have impacted me in such a positive way"
"Thanks for your friendship, guidance, and love and know that you have had a profound influence on me."
"On a daily basis I have situations that need someone like you to remind me of the Christian answer to give or the Christ like way to act. You brought me closer to the Lord and I can never thank you enough."
"You came into our lives when we definitely needed Christian leadership."
"It is an honor for me to speak about the impact Jesse has had on my life. In a sentence, he, other than Jesus, is solely responsible for me coming to know Christ."
"One thing I love is that you are bold about your faith."
"He has always made me a better man, a better husband, a better father and a better Christian, by his example."
"Your steadfast love for Christ is and will always be an inspiration to everyone that meets you."
"I remember you giving me your testimony and you said, "I can't believe He saved me! He saved ME!" A truer statement was never said."
"Your Godly like character and steadfastness when things are good or when troubles come has been a blessing to me."
"It is fantastic to see someone who lives faithful to his God, his family, and his friends."
"You were the first to introduce me to Christ."
All this is not to put Jesse up on a petal stool. He knows he is not perfect (well maybe he doesn't know, but I do...kidding). The difference is that he strives daily to live a life after God's heart. When he stumbles, he gets up and keeps going. He's not scared or ashamed to share what God has done for him. He is just trying to do what we all should be doing....sharing the gospel of Christ!
So to celebrate Jesse's birthday today, share your love for God with someone. And if you don't know God, today is a great day to get to know Him.....He's waiting with arms wide open!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSE LON RICHARDSON!!!!!!