Ward Cushman

Pastor, Bible teacher, and Writer in Lake Zurich, Illinois

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I am a pastor and Bible teacher passionate about equipping people to confidently stand firm in the faith.

My relationship with God defines me more than anything else.

Some who know me would say that I'm a religious person, and I wouldn't disagree but that misses the point. To be religious is to follow patterns that are associated with recognized and accepted religions. I'm not interested in the form of religion but the function.

I was raised in a home that was Christian in appearance but not in practice. The best thing my parents ever did for me was to take me to church.

It was there when I was only nine years old that I understood the truth of God's love and salvation and accepted it.

It was there when I was 13 that I felt drawn to pursue a life of service to God.

It was there in my late teens when I came to understand that the Christian life is about being rather than doing.

It was there in my 30s that I came to understand that what really happened when I was nine years old was that God the Father accepted me into his family, not the other way around.

I am the kind of person who wants to understand how something works. The way I know I understand something is by being able to explain it to others. Since I was a teenager I've been on a quest to understand what it means to be a Christ follower. I have read and studied the teachings of Moses, Jesus, John, Paul, James, and Peter and others and failed more often than I have succeeded in following them. But I've never given up. I won't give up and I have learned many things along the way.

It's my quest to continue to grow and become more like Christ and to understand how that happens so I can help other people in their quest.

I'm a husband, a father and grandfather and each of those relationships gives me great joy and satisfaction. There are many people who share those joys.

Yet there is a different joy that I get from knowing God the Father, walking with Him, serving Him and introducing others to their heavenly Father. It's not greater than the joy I get from my family but it transcends it. It's in addition to it. How does one measure joy? You don't. You just bask in it.

I hope you, too, experience the joy of knowing God as your Father.