HIS STORY: TIM

Tim grew up in the Natick area of Massachusetts in a typical American family. Dad worked and mom stayed home with Tim and his five siblings in a house that was just able to fit everyone. His Dad was a devout Catholic and his mom was raised Protestant, but later converted to Catholicism. “It was kind of an idyllic upbringing until my mom died and then it wasn’t.” Tim was eleven when his mom passed away. Dad remarried and a short six months later the marriage was over. “I think my dad was looking more for a mother for his children than a wife for himself.”
This began constant moving in young Tim’s life. At one point they moved in with his Aunt in Quincy and he attended a Boston area junior high school. “Yeah, it was bad. I got beat up in the bathroom. I got beat up on the bus. I got beat up everywhere. It was bad.” Finally after four different moves they ended up in Natick, Massachusetts where Tim’s dad met his future wife in a widow/widower’s group. Once they were married they moved to New Hampshire. “After all of those moves I was done. I moved out.” Tim moved in with another family when he was fifteen. He was finally able to settle down. “I was pretty much out of the church as well. I just walked away and didn’t look back.”

Tim went off to college and later joined the Air Force where he served as a fighter pilot. During his service he married his wife Laura and had two kids, but there was still no Jesus in his life. Then after the Air Force he went on to a job with American Airlines as a pilot for 20 years, but his pilot career came to a crashing halt when he began having sinus issues and had to have several operations. Soon after leaving the cockpit, he and his wife decided to move to New Hampshire.

Tim’s wife, Laura, grew up with family who went to church, but when she and her siblings asked why, they had no answer. There came a point where they just stopped attending church altogether. “They were doing it because that’s what you did. She grew up with no upbringing, where as I grew up as an altar boy and was completely submerged in the Catholic culture. So, it was a lot different. It was always in the back of my mind and I never questioned the existence of God, but it was nothing that I was engaged with seriously.”

Soon after their move to New Hampshire, Tim’s life began to fall apart. He quit his job with American Airlines because of his medical issues and his life started unravelling. After experiencing issues with public school they enrolled their two kids at Portsmouth Christian Academy and began attending a local church. “I was going to Catholic Church, we as a family were going to a Community Church and I just had lots and lots of questions.” He began to ask hard questions, but none of them were getting answered. “I remember sitting in one of the classes and the woman teaching the class said, ‘Remember, all stories are true and some of them even actually happened.’ Then she sort of rolled her eyes and at that point I went, ‘I’m done with this.’” Tim never went back to the Catholic Church after that.

During this time there was a Supreme Court case, The Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, where the Supreme Court decided it was the Boy Scouts constitutional right to refuse a homosexual from leadership in their organization. It caused an uproar amongst the people of Durham and the church that was sponsoring Tim’s pack was pushing Tim and the pack out of the church because they did not agree with the Supreme Court decision. “It put me in this place where I didn’t know. I had some feelings about what was right and what was wrong but I had nothing to base them on. It put me in this position where I actually started asking questions. ‘What does the Bible say?’ I started reading Scripture, first time ever, and I’m looking at it and going, ‘Okay. This seems pretty clear to me. I don’t know what I think of it, but at least I understand where the reasoning is coming from.’”

Tim began visiting several churches to get his hard questions answered. “I went into the different churches and I said, ‘Talk to me about this. What does this mean and how does this fit with what’s going on here.’ Every time I did that I got a version of, ‘I know that’s what it says, but if you dim the lights and rotate the book 90 degrees and squint real hard you can make it say something else.’ At that point I went, ‘I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but that’s not what is says! I can read what it says!’” Tim was struggling with the truth of the Bible and the many interpretations that other churches had about what it said. “Here I am going into churches and asking church leadership about what the Bible says and they’re telling me it doesn’t say what is says!”

During this time his church was threatening to pull his Boy Scout pack’s sponsorship, which would force the pack to cease existence. If the sponsor goes away then the unit goes away. So, Tim came to DEC. “It was the first time I had ever stepped foot in the door of the church. The first guy that I met was John Wiswell and I had two questions for him. The first was, ‘Would you be interested in sponsoring the Cub Scout pack?’ He said, ‘Absolutely!’ The second one was, ‘I have questions. What does the Bible say about this?’ And John pulled out a Bible and said, ‘It says right here…’ and he flips, ‘and it says it right here..’ and he flips some more. He showed me like three different places where it spoke very clearly the issue, which was stuff I had looked at, but everyone told me that’s not what it means.” It was a revelation for Tim. He still wasn’t sure about all of it, but he finally came across someone who believed what they said they believed. This started a journey for Tim, leading him to understand what a relationship with Jesus meant and accept Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Shortly after Tim became a Christian he had a vision. He wasn’t flying anymore because of his health issues and he was in between jobs. He was getting ready for a Cub Scout meeting when God spoke to him. God gave him a vision telling Tim that God had orchestrated his life from the moment he was conceived to bring him to the point where he was going to go teach at Portsmouth Christian Academy. “It was the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced. Coming from someone who has had multiple near death experiences, nothing even came close to that moment.” It was a moment that made Tim realize there was a being that had that type of power, and that being was God.

Soon after this vision Tim became a teacher at PCA. “I went from a non-believer, to a believer, to a small group member, to a student teacher, to a full time teacher in less than twelve months. It was the intensity of the vision that got me through that process. There were many days where I thought, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t do this. No. I know what I saw.’”

Tim is now serving with Intervarsity, a Christian ministry at UNH, teaching college students the truth of God’s Word. “There’s life in the Word. There’s just no question. I find that my decision making is better, I love people better, I worry less about myself, I’m not as concerned about what the future holds, and when I pull back from that commitment to study God’s word I spend a lot of time with me and it’s not a pretty place. That inpouring of the word, it’s just really clear to me, that’s life. That’s the source of life. The more you’re digging into it the more alive you will feel and the less you dig into it the more you feel like death. There’s nothing arbitrary about what’s in this book. Everything has a purpose in there, you just got to dig.”