“… for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
(Philippians 2:13)


God@Work in the life of Gary Goldman

“I now live by Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

My name is Gary Goldman, and I am 65 yrs. old. I was born and raised Jewish. Like any other Jewish kid, I had a bar mitzvah at the age of 13. Basically, that was the extent of my life as a practicing Jew. My family gradually got away from practicing our religion. We moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., a large Jewish neighborhood, to a Maryland community with only a few Jewish kids in my high school. Being Jewish was not a part of our life.

Years later, I married a Catholic who never practiced her religion either. She never attended church and nothing much was ever said about it. We have since divorced. It was not a “match made in heaven”; however, my daughter was a gift from our marriage.

Up until about two years ago, you could sum up my life in three words, “adrift at sea.” I had no direction. Neither Judaism nor Christianity was a part of my life. That all changed with an invitation from a friend who attends FAC.

Thirty-two years ago, a Christian family moved into a house across the street from me. We became good friends, and I watched their children grow up. They have attended FAC for many years, and they invited me to join them on Sunday mornings. I had a part-time job on Sundays and wasn’t able to go. The family began attending on Saturday evenings about two years ago so I started going with them to evening services.

Pastor Marty has had a significant impact on me. From the first sermon I heard him preach two years ago, I was hooked. I love listening to his sermons. When Marty talks about “Commitment to God,” it makes me think about what is really important in life.
My friends suggested I sign up for the Alpha course to get a better understanding of who Jesus is and what it means to be a Christian. My friend’s son, who is a strong Christian, knew I was uncomfortable so he signed up with me. I will always appreciate his support and be grateful for the influence on my life. First, they encouraged me to attend FAC. Then they bought me my first Bible, and then they encouraged me to sign up for Alpha.

I attended Alpha last fall, and it helped me understand more about who Jesus is, how He lived, and why He died on the cross. Alpha has helped change my life. I would recommend Alpha to anyone who would like to explore the Christian faith. It will help you answer your questions. Plus the dinners served there are delicious!

On the last night of the Alpha course I attended, one of my group leaders who I became friends with asked me to stay afterward. We had a deep conversation about my newfound understanding of who Jesus is. He asked me if I felt prompted to accept Jesus Christ into my life. Honestly, I hesitated because I was new to all of this. I thought I needed to learn and know more. The more we talked, it became clear the decision was not about what I knew or still had to learn. It is about whether I believe and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I did believe and on Nov. 18, 2015, I accepted Jesus Christ into my life. I vowed to follow Him the rest of my life. I distinctly recall a feeling of relief. I will never forget the moment I became a Christian. I was born again in my spirit. I received salvation. It has made me a more caring, giving person, and that is a wonderful feeling.

Ever since I gave my life to Jesus I feel His presence wherever I go. He is with me during good times and bad. I now live by Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I wish I could have felt this feeling much younger in life. As for today, I am being discipled and enjoy attending the After Alpha course. My walk with the Lord is transforming me into a better person.

In the past, I struggled with anger issues and the language that accompanied it. Looking back, I certainly am not proud of the way I acted. That is definitely behind me now. Now when things don’t go my way, I do my best to just take it in stride, and I thank God every day for my newfound inner peace. Ecclesiastes 7:9 has been a source of comfort and teaching too: “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.”

“I now live by Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Do I still get angry? Of course, I am human, but I deal with it much differently now. I have a better grip on how I perceive things and on life in general, and I owe it all to the Lord. I look to the Lord in times of need, and He is always there to help me through difficult times. I never question Him when I have a problem. I always praise Him for the good times and the bad times. I feel blessed because now I have direction in my life, and I am following the narrow road that leads to Jesus. I know I still have a long way to go, but I am loving the journey. I am no longer “adrift at sea.”