My name is Ian Shepard and I live in Castle Rock, CO.  Born and raised in Denver, CO, I’ve lived in four states (Tampa, FL, Folsom, CA, and Raleigh, NC), but Colorado still has my heart.  I lived as an unrepentant God-hating wretch until I was 27 and God saved me.  In order to get me to a point where I would be willing to ask Him for forgiveness, He had to adjust my life.  From 2002 to 2003 God removed my job, responsibility, wealth, independence, and my family.  I was a man who had everything and lost it all in a little over a year.  When I looked at all that my wife had put up with, it was amazing to me that she would stick around for a day, much less five years.  My kids who used to beam at me when I walked in the door, now shunned me and tried to stay as far away from me as they could.  I was a broken and worthless man who was relying on my own goodness to save me in the day of wrath to come. 

Then God lifted the barrier that He had placed over my conscience that had kept me from seeing the truth about how bad my family life had become.  When I saw how much of a jerk I was to my family and how far I had fallen from the man I thought I was, I utterly broke down.  It was at that point that every one of the ten commandments I had remembered from my youth came to mind and I prayed to God, asking Him to forgive me.  I knew that I was incapable of saving myself and that it would be God alone who would have to bear the burden of my sins.  I rejected my own goodness, and repented of my sins:   Living a life where I stole things from people and from my work by not working as hard as I could.  I repented of murder as Jesus says that even speaking in wrath against someone made me a murder in my heart.  I repented of lusting after women through the use of pornography.  I repented of blaspheming the name of God by calling myself a Christian but living as a wretch for all the world to see.  I repented of every sin that I could remember committing and I asked God to do the work of saving me because I knew that every time I had previously attempted to do so had ended in me returning to my old ways.  I told Him that all I wanted was for Him to save me from my sins and that if He were to save me, it would not matter to me if I kept my family because they deserved far better than the man that I had been to them.  I told Him that if He wished to restore my family, that I would appreciate it, but only if it brought Him glory. 

God heard me and that night He completely transformed me.  My desires were changed: I no longer was able to watch shows with adultery or blasphemy in them.  I used to mock Christian preachers that I would hear on the radio, reasoning to myself that it was a “Sunday pasttime” and that it had no place on the radio, and now that’s the ONLY thing that I could stand to listen to.  I began to read my Bible and read other books to find out how I could learn more about God and what my role was in our relationship. 

How did it impact my family life?  My wife said that I went to bed the same jerk she’d known for the last five years but woke up as the man she married.  In fact, she refused to believe that this transformation would stick around and decided to give it six months to see what happened.  Where are we now?  FOURTEEN YEARS LATER I’m STILL the transformed child of God who seeks to see His name glorified in everything I do.  She complained that she was sick of hearing me talk about Jesus all the time until just a few years ago when God reached into her life and transformed her as well!  Shortly thereafter, my daughter and son were converted by the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

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(e.g., John 1 or God's love)

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