My Shield

When I was a child and found myself waking up from a bad dream or fearing a monster under my bed, my first reaction was to find my father. I knew if he was near he would pick me up, hold me in his arms, and tell me there was nothing to be afraid of. This practice provided instant security …

Hope Is Not Lost

The personal salvation story of Glenn Parson—member at Valley Forge Baptist. Getting Lost I was raised in a middle-class family. My parents were good people; kind, hard-working, and good-natured. All in all, I had a pretty normal upbringing. My addiction began around age 15 or 16 when I started smoking pot. I didn’t drink much until I was 21, and …

Joining a New Church

It has been suggested that adults make upwards of 35,000 decisions each day. Some decisions are trivial while others can be life altering. One decision my wife and I made this year has already proved to be life changing: our decision to join Valley Forge Baptist (VFB). When Krystal and I moved from Philadelphia to Collegeville, the plan didn’t include …

The Year That Changed My Life

If someone were to ask, “What has been a life-changing experience for you?” what would you say? When I think of various experiences I’ve had in my life, one of the most life-changing for me was the opportunity to be a missionary teacher in Uganda, which was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. From August 2013 to December 2014, I …

The Power of Hope

On February 9, 2011, Dave Davis walked into the hospital for a “routine” diverticulitis surgery. Three surgeries later, he was taken to a hospital near Philadelphia. Infection began to seize his body. After Dave had spent 13 days in a coma, on a ventilator, and his kidneys were failing, the doctors gave his wife, Ellen, virtually no hope. But 80 days later, Dave …

Beyond Repair

I grew up in a home where both of my parents professed their belief that Jesus Christ is their personal savior. From the time I was a young child, I attended an Episcopal church with my parents every Sunday. I was always told that I was a “good kid.” I didn’t get into the kind of trouble that others around …

From Drug Dealer to Christian Dad

I Timothy 6:10 states, For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. This verse defines the early part of my life. I began working at age 13 with my father in the paving industry during the summers. I loved …

The Family Juggle

Marlon and Desiree Grant have been able to make life simple by adhering to certain big, important priorities. Desiree says, “If the big, important things are a constant, when the peripheral things careen out of control, we don’t crumble as a family.” What are their “big, important things”? Desiree’s husband, Marlon, a Jamaican immigrant, grew up in Philadelphia. At age …

Twice Liberated

Growing up in Poland in the 1970s and ’80s meant that my family and I lived under the oppression of the Soviet Union and its communist rule. It meant facing arrest and interrogation when expressing one’s negative opinion of the government. It also meant long lines for food, which was becoming scarce as the Soviet military surrounded and controlled access …

From Fear to Faith

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 I was raised in a dysfunctional family with a father who was addicted to alcohol. I lived in fear of him and eventually everything and everyone else. In school, I became a target for bullies. My family attended a Catholic church, but the idea that …