Friday, February 23, 2007

What's this place all about?

I suppose that the initial post on "As For Me and My House" ought to be about me and my house! The short story is this: my wife (Sonja) and I have been married for nearly 10 years. Our children are 8 (Trey), 6 (Ashleigh), and 3 (Elijah). How's that for brevity!

Approximately 7 years ago, the Lord began doing a work in our home. When my wife and I met, I was on the run from the Lord. I had graduated from one of the best Christian high schools in the country, attended Northland Baptist Bible College for a couple of years, and worked the Wilds of the Rockies Christian camp for two summers and a fall. During that time, I had the opportunity to sit under some of the greatest Bible teaching and preaching that Fundamentalism had to offer. Yet, I often turned a deaf ear to it all.

When Sonja and I met, she was in the process of changing her lifestyle. Without getting into too much detail, I'll just say that she was involved with a rough crowd of people. When we met, she saw me as a nice guy who didn't drink very much, didn't do any "hardcore" drugs, and who wasn't abusive. That seemed to be enough. Her parents liked me, she liked, and I liked her. Within 6 or 7 months we were married. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn't it?

If the Lord hadn't done a marvelous work in our lives during the first few years we were married, I have no doubt that we would be nothing more than another failed marriage statistic.

About a year and a half into our marriage Sonja began going to church and taking our infant son with her. I never went, however. One Sunday morning she laid such a "guilt trip" on me that I decided to go. That week, God began doing a work in my heart. We continued going to that little Southern Baptist Church, and the Lord continued to work. It was during that time that I surrendered my life completely to God's work. It was also during that time that Sonja came to know Christ as her personal Savior. I praise the Lord that He intervened and saved our family! It's truly remarkable to me to look back on our lives - what we were and what we could have become - and to see what the Lord has done with us and for us! My wife has become a closer friend than I ever could have imagined, and the Lord has added two more beautiful children to our family.

These days, we are involved in a youth ministry as well as a young adults ministry in the local church we attend. I work in manufacturing management and my wife is a "stay at home mom" (BTW, her job is much more difficult than mine). We decided about 6 years ago that we would serve the Lord with our all. The name of this blog ("As for me and my house") is really our prayer and desire.

The purpose of this blog is to be an edifying place of Christian fellowship. I hope to add to it once a week or so. I suppose that sometimes it will be more often than that, and at times it will be less often. My ultimate desire is that the Lord will be honored in all that is said and done here.


Amber (Jansen) Olson said...

Ellis, I was so thrilled to come across your name on Sharper Iron, and then to see your blog. You wouldn't remember me, but I was at Challenge Christian Camp forever and ever and remember the year that you came to help. I taught your "O'Leary" song to campers in Canada later, by the way. Anyway, the last that I heard of you was that you were away from the Lord, and I'm so excited to see that you and your family are living for HIM! We so often hear about fellow believers who are running, it's amazingly encouraging to see when one turns around! Thanks for your testimony! Might God bless your family as you serve Him!
In Christ, Amber (Jansen) Olson

Ellis Murphree said...

Great to hear from you, Amber. I wish I could remember you....

My oldest son is old enough for Camp Challenge this year, so I'll be attending with him and helping out with the program. We're having camp at a different facility this year (air conditioned cabins!).

For the record, the "O leary" song isn't mine. I think it originated with Mike Manor.

Amber (Jansen) Olson said...

Yes, but can one truly be spiritual in an air conditioned cabin? =) By the way, your church supports us as missionaries to Toronto, Ontario.

Ellis Murphree said...

I was over visiting Pastor Johnson last night when I mentioned your name - as soon as I said "Amber Olson", I said, "Wait a minute, we support them as missionaries, don't we?". I was trying to remember the last name "Janson" - oh well...

I still don't recongize you as a "camper", but at least I know who you are now!

By the way, I'm convinced that air conditioned cabins helps one become more spiritual!