I am a semi-retired Electrical Engineer with a penchant for performing folk music concerts. My day job has had me traveling the globe on short notice which made it difficult to schedule concerts. That status is now changing owing to my now more flexible schedule.
1. God and my family - practical applications of the Gospel
2. My country - the USA - as originally envisioned and designed by its Founders
Ed Stockton has been performing folk and similar music on 6 and 12 string guitar and 5 string banjo for over 40 years. He has performed all over the world including Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Ireland, The Philippines, South Africa, Venezuela and of course the USA. In 2015 he became an official member of his favorite band, the Grammy Award-winning New Christy Minstrels, http://www.thenewchristyminstrels.com., starting with four concerts on their New England tour that fall.
I was born very young - at about 9 months of age as I recall. I grew up thinking I was a Christian because on the rare occasions when we went to church my family would choose a Christian church instead of a mosque or synagog.
As a teenager I fell in with some guys involved with fast cars and vandalism. Our behavior would inevitably have lead to either my incarceration or death, but something happened.
A friend invited me to an evangelistic meeting, carefully disguised as a concert. When the musicians left the stage a preacher I did not recognize (Rev. David Wilkerson) came out and explained the Biblical definition of a Christian. I realized that I did not fit that description. A well-known phrase in the culture of that day was, "Jesus died for the sins of the world." I figured that meant that everyone was now going to Heaven. But I hadn't realized that what Jesus did constituted an OFFER: The Bible says, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12, NLT
Salvation is a gift which is offered to everyone, but it's up to us whether we choose to receive it.
I chose to accept His offer. He rescued me from the gang, changed my interests, and taught me to play the guitar.
Since then I have been growing in my understanding of what it means to be a Christian, particularly how the Gospel can and should inform every aspect of my life. This is the key to enjoying a close personal relationship with my dear Lord and Savior.
A number of books have helped me in this journey. I particularly recommend:
The Cross-Centered Life - C.J. Mahaney
A Gospel Primer for Christians - Milton Vincent
Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
The Calvary Road - Roy Hession
And for fun:
The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
All of the Doc Savage fan fiction novels by Mark Eidemiller
This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness - Frank Peretti
In the Sandbox - Ryan Stockton
Homeseekers - Flight to the Mountain - S.B. Broshar