My mother raised me mostly without a father and we moved around a lot. As a young man, I had few friends and was prone to uncontrollable anger. I only cared about myself and my desires, which I indulged at every opportunity. That ended almost forty years ago.
While hunting elk alone one winter on a mountainside in Montana, that selfish, angry young man died. A new and different man was born. Once an adamant skeptic, I was no longer fatherless, but became a son of the Father of all who believe in his son, Jesus Christ.
After that, everything about me changed for the better. It was a genuine miracle. You can ask anybody who knew me back then. It wasn’t self talk or wishful thinking; I’m not that strong. Nor was it absent father syndrome or mass delusion.
But the greater miracle is that the Father of mercies came down for every one of us in the form of his own son. Through a miraculous birth, he submitted himself to the same barriers that we have and became a servant of us all. Then he surrendered his life to his enemies and opened the way back to the Father. What could be more miraculous?
This Christmas, I challenge you to rethink what you’re celebrating and to dare to believe in miracles. A new life could be waiting for you.
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30 Comments Add yours
Amen to your story, and thank you for sharing! That concise version leaves me hoping to hear more about you “mountaintop” experience, and what influences drew you to that point. I do hope you tell us more, but whether or not our Lord tells you to share more specifics, please know that you have already shared a blessing. Merry Christmas.
This reads like a Readers Digest introduction, but you left me hanging While hunting elk alone one winter on a mountainside in Montana.
What was the key to unlock that selfish, angry young?
Did you find a rudder?
Thanks for a great reminder. And thanks for all the great info and projects.
Happy Holidays to you and yours.
I have long suspected that you were a fellow believer in our Lord, I just never had proof until this morning when you shared your wonderful post! You have consistently portrayed a healthy attitude, family values and an excellence in how you pursue all things sailing. That made me wonder.
My story is very similar to yours, and I rejoiced to see your boldness in sharing it. Many will appreciate hearing your story. Some will not. No doubt, God was glorified in you telling it and He will use it for his glory.
You have (many times) been helpful to me with emails that I sent you asking you how to do things with my Cat 22, and I sure appreciate your helpfulness.
So I am especially thankful that I know I can call you brother.
A fellow sailor to the glory of God,
Thank you for sharing this. I hope some pay attention and take it to heart.
Thank you for this post. I always enjoy your posts. I will enjoy them even more now that I know you are part of the family.
Merry Christmas, $tingy!
I can relate to this post. I was in the same boat being fatherless for the most part and the anger and self centered. I found faith in Jesus and has made everyday CHRISTMAS and has changed my life.
Amen brother! Nice to know that you are a believer too.
Merry Christmas to you and the First Mate.
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Now we want to hear the details of your conversion.
Have a blessed Christmas. Thank you for sharing a heartfelt story of your family healing. I always look forward to $tingy articles, but this was totally about free generosity.
Merry Christmas and God bless.
Thank you for sharing. It’s my belief that there are a lot of young men who were like you, and me. Fortunately, we took the right path. Merry Christmas and may you have a Blessed New Year. Ben
Merry Christmas! You are a great person and a respected sailor… Thanks for sharing your journey. I don’t ever know what tomorrow holds but I know He holds tomorrow so I have no worries even when I’m alone. Thanks again.
At Christmas Eve service with tears of intense joy, standing with my wife , daughter and son in law , and holding one of my four grandchildern , I realized the angry young man I was at 26 years old , has grown thru faith in christ in to a peaceful, happy, and assured 58 year old healed son of god .
Merry Christ mass and happy new year..
And may it be a great new year for sailing and following the stingy sailor thank you for keeping up this site
Great story Ken ! I am completely with you on this, my brother, I wish you the best of blessings this Nativity season and all days of ever year. We are all our brethren helpers as well as “keepers” you help us all enjoy the gifts our true father has put here for us, such as the breeze and water we sail in/on; and woodlands and wildlife, and our innate God given skills of dexterity, all are miracles of Dios, to us, for us , and from “heaven” God Bless all here today, thank you for bringing it up Ken , I am very proud to be your brother.
Sailing , like trekking thru the woodlands, enables us to experience our father’s wonderful world and the forces of nature at one with us. Great leaders , like Ken “stingy” Billings were not born that way, they come to be in & thru the enormous power of the God’s love of mankind and the creatures and habitat our wonderful world , created by our loving father have granted to us. No one would say life is “guaranteed to be fair” or just, we have free will, to make of it what we will. But on this Christmas evening, I give thanks for all the opportunities we come upon to know one another as true brethren , all sons of our heavenly father. (( and thanks to Ken for reminding us today))
I so enjoy your sailing posts and adventures. Sailing and gliding are two of the most appreciated gifts that we can do one earth. I get my sailing fix from the simplistic beauty of my Catalina 22 and your blog
Thanks for sharing your testimony! Well done!
Todd Harris Hutchinson, MN
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
Thanks for sharing your story.
Merry Christmas Ken,
A wonderful personal story that truly warmed my heart. Like the rest, I am intrigued about the rest of the details! Looking forward to a New Year!
Praise God! Bless you for your courage to share your story and commitment to him. In today’s troubled world, I struggle trying to share that I believe in God and his son Jesus. I believe the purpose of life is to honor and love him and acknowledge and share his gifts.
Countless sad lost people, whose lives are disoriented, painful, and aimless have determined they are in life alone, no one is looking out for them. They feel foolish when they miss an opportunity to take from the world. They don’t understand their bitter emptiness. They don’t know what to do but they are certain that God and his son are myths or a fairy tale or dead or a construct of men who want to control the masses. I don’t know by what gift I feel his love and presence, but I thank you for sharing your story.
Thanks for sharing your testimony of the Savior. Without Him, we’d be nothing.
I cant help but notice how carefully curated your walled garden of comments are…
With all due respect, Vin, you assume too much. I’ve only withheld one comment and that’s because it was derogatory and not even a complete sentence.
My skin is not so thin that I can’t tolerate dissenting opinions. On the contrary, I welcome respectful, rational, intelligent debate on the subject of this post. However, I will only do so privately and not in comments on this blog because that’s not their purpose.
My faith is central to who I am so since this is my blog, I will make reference to my faith at Christmas. Those who do not share that faith are welcome to ignore that one post out of the dozens that I post the rest of year. But any hateful, inflammatory, obscene, violent, or demeaning comments will never see the light of day here.
Well put, Stingy. A blog is what the author wants it to be. You have that right. If you want to share a heartfelt and honest story about yourself, then, by all means. And if you don’t want your blog to turn into a war zone of comments and debate, that is your right. It’s your story. Why do people think they have to be able to “comment” on a person’s life story. Welcome to the digital age I guess. All that to say Stingy, good work, God bless you, and may the Lord continue to fill your sails through life and testimony!
I came across your blog looking for ideas on adding a Bimini top to my sailboat. It was so well written I read several more posts and then came across this one. What a delight, thank you for sharing.