Every Good Thing In My Life
I was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa in the heart of farm country, but I am a city boy. I was raised in what most would consider a "religious" home. I went to church every Sunday morning because that was the expectation. Outside of Sundays, I seldom gave much thought to God. Though I was taught Bible stories and learned "right from wrong," it made little difference in how l lived. There was no question that I knew enough about God, but any sense that I needed to know Him or relate to Him beyond Sunday morning, just did not compute. The church our family attended required confirmation classes, so I went through the eight weeks of classes and was issued a certificate and given a Bible. At 12 years of age, I assumed I had done all the religious gymnastics necessary to make it to heaven.
As I moved into my teenage years, my parents grew increasingly discontent in the church of my youth. As they went on a "spiritual quest" for something more, my uncle extended an invitation to them to join him at his church – the Church of the Nazarene. I assumed it must be some strange type church, because they had so many services: Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. After months of my parents attending on Sunday nights, they thought it would be nice if I started going with them, so kicking and screaming at 15 years of age, I was dragged to church twice on Sundays, and eventually on Wednesdays. Over the next year and a half as I was exposed to a weekly dose of the gospel, in both word and deed, I found my heart quickened and my spiritual appetite awakened by God. On Sunday morning in April at 17 years of age, as the pastor gave an invitation, I sensed the Spirit say to me, "This is your time, Steve. Give me your heart and life. Today is the day of salvation for you." That morning, for the first time in my life, God became more than a name I used in vain. I gave God my sins, and He gave me the free gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. I came to understand Ephesians 2:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 5:17. I knew that John 3:16 included me and that 1 John 1:9 was a promise I could claim.
Looking back over the years, I can trace every good thing that has ever happened in my life to the decision to invite Jesus Christ into my heart and life. Later that year, following the Iowa District Camp meeting, I was sanctified when I surrendered my "self" to Christ. I died so He could live. I emptied myself of self and was filled with His Spirit and power. I gave my all to Him and gained everything. I yielded my kingdom interests so His Kingdom could come and reign supreme in me.
After graduating from MNU in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion, I enrolled at Nazarene Theological Seminary, graduating in May of 1982 with a Masters of Divinity degree.
Following years of pastoring in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and Kentucky, we moved back "home" to the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma area and went on staff at Mustang Church of the Nazarene. I also serve as a Prison Chaplain at a medium security facility outside Oklahoma City with over 1300 male inmates. In addition to teaching at NBC, I teach for two other sister denomination’s universities.
I have completed my 37th year in pastoral ministry. In March of 1999, I received my Doctor of Ministry degree from Bakke Graduate University in Dallas, Texas. I taught extensively in the Bible College extension programs for 24 years and have enjoyed the experience of online education the last 21 years. I enjoy sports, spending time with family, and reading. My wife and I have been blessed with three children (in addition to one child that died in childbirth) and five grandchildren. God is good!
Dr. Steven Ruby has been teaching for NBC since 1999.
Filed Under: Communicator Published: 08/17/2020