My full name is David Emerson Root, Jr. (but call me Dave), and I was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (USA), on March 11, 1961.
I grew up in an Air Force family, and we moved a lot. Sometimes we stayed in one place for 6 months, sometimes for a year, and sometimes even for two years (lived in England twice and traveled all over Europe). By the time I went away to college, the longest that I had ever lived in one place was two and a half years! My brother (two years younger than me) and I always enjoyed moving to a new place, but now I realize that it was because we didn't have any of the adult responsibilities to deal with. Moving isn't quite as much fun now that
have to deal with those things!
I went to college at the University of Texas at Austin, and I graduated with a B.A. in Computer Science in 1985. I almost envy those who were Christian during their college years, because I kind of went the other way (drinking, experimenting with drugs) and wasted those years when I could have been growing in the Lord and serving Him on campus.
Right after graduating from college I married the girl that I had been living with. We moved to Houston, Texas, and both began working for a major oil company. I am still working for the same company, developing software and enjoying what I do.
After about four years of marriage, we got divorced (no kids).
While I was single I enjoyed social drinking with friends but I wasn't really a "party animal," and I didn't want to meet a partying type of girl at a club. One day it popped into my mind that a church might have a twenty-something group, so I decided to go to church in order to meet girls! I went to church the following Sunday and sat in the back row and tried to blend in with the wall, feeling way outside of my comfort zone. But the sermon just totally nailed me, and week after week it seemed like the guy was speaking directly to me. I still wasn't saved, but I became aware of something deep down inside of me that was drawing me to God. I
that it was God, but I was reluctant to take the plunge and become a Christian. Finally one evening in my car I quit fighting it and turned my life over to Christ, and I haven't been the same since!
A year or so later I met my wife, Gina, and we now have two precious kids. I really enjoy being a dad!
A couple of years after that (in 1995), the Lord prompted me to start this online ministry.
Bible teachers say that if God hasn't given us something new to do then we should continue doing what He last told us to do. So if there haven't been any recent updates in this section then it's because I'm continuing to do what He last told me to do (which involves a full-time job plus lots of family time plus working on articles plus answering emails).
One year ago we started a Bible study at work. I have been helping to lead or facilitate discussions, and have really enjoyed it! In the past few weeks, though, the Lord seems to be moving me into more of a teaching role. Now I'm preparing lessons and teaching them during the Bible study, and sending out the materials to those who couldn't make it to the lesson.
Back in November I thought that the Lord was prompting me to leave the Baptist church which we have attended for a few years. It's a seeker-sensitive church, and neither my wife nor I nor our kids were being "fed" at this church. We were hoping to leave this church, but I didn't want my desires to deceive me into thinking that God was telling us to leave, so I asked Him for a confirmation. To my surprise, He prompted me to go to the new members class. My wife and I obediently went to the class, and at the end of the evening we were required to sign a membership covenant. It turned out that my wife and I could not sign this covenant in good conscience because we didn't agree with some of the requirements. Since God had sent us to this class knowing that we could not sign their covenant, we took this as a sign that God was moving us out of that church.
Now we are happily back in a Spirit-filled non-denominational church.
In my previous update I mentioned a house church, but every time I tried to go to it they weren't meeting that day (for different reasons). Instead, for the past year and a half the Lord has had us in the Southern Baptist church that I mentioned. I believe that I have been in a "wilderness season" for several years (for more on that, see my article called
Why Isn't God Delivering Me from My Suffering? Why Isn't God Answering My Prayers?),
and when this season of preparation is over then I'll re-visit that house church in case it was the right place but not yet the right timing.
Every time I have thought about visiting several churches as I pray for discernment about where God is leading us, the Lord seems to say "No." Therefore, I have been patiently waiting on His timing. Last year I had put together a list of email addresses of local house churches, but the Lord doesn't seem to be allowing me to contact any of them. However, a friend recently sent me the email address of another local house church, and I'm sensing that this might be the one! They meet on Saturday nights, but not for any doctrinal reasons. In addition, we have started taking our kids to a nearby Baptist church so that they can go to Sunday School and Kids' Church with some of their friends. I'm thinking that we might go to this house church on Saturday nights (which doesn't really have a kids' ministry), and then go to the Baptist church on Sunday mornings.
Recently I had been sensing that the Lord is telling us that it's time to leave that house church, which was somewhat confusing to me since we have only been going there for about 9 months. But every time I prayed about it, I felt strongly that we are supposed to find a new church. When I called one of the leaders of that house church to let him know that the Lord seems to be placing us somewhere else (although I don't know why), he cleared up the mystery for me. Apparently that house church is disbanding! I hadn't gotten the word that they were disbanding, but that was a confirmation of what the Lord had been speaking to me. I have prayed about the churches that are around us, but my sense is that the Lord is sending us to another house church.
The Lord has led us to a local house church, and it's a nice intimate feeling of worshiping with a small group of brothers and sisters in the Lord!
I have never shared this with anyone beyond my family, but I am sensing the Lord prompting me to post this update today. Around July 4, 1999, the Lord spoke to my heart and told me that I will someday be involved with Rebecca St. James and her ministry. In the last few years I believe I have received many confirmations from the Lord about this, so I am patiently waiting for Him to bring it about in the proper way and in the proper timing. I am excited about the prospect, although I'm not a musician and I can't sing and I don't know anything about the music industry, so I'm frankly not sure what function I might have in her ministry. I don't want to allow my "flesh" to interfere with the Lord's timing, so I have never contacted her about this, and as far as I know she has never heard of me (every time I think about sending her an email, the Lord tells me "no"). I have been waiting three and a half years for a certain "event" to happen which will be my signal that the Lord is about to move me to Franklin, Tennessee, but for now I am content to wait on the Lord's timing and direction.
On 06/23/2002 my pastor spoke a word of prophecy to me from the pulpit. Here's what he said (from the sermon tape for that day):
"Brother Dave, I just feel like in the next 90 days God is going to make a way out of some stuff that maybe not even everybody else even knows about, but you do. Something's going to change in the next 90 days. The last time I felt that, the Lord gave me that word for Phil, and just about 3 days shy of 90 days the Lord turned that situation around for him. I'm praying for the same thing. Father, in the Name of Jesus, I pray for a visitation of the Holy Ghost for my brother. Lord I pray that just as the word You poured into my spirit that in the next 90 days You will turn it around, in the Name of Jesus make a way that he hasn't even thought of, that nobody else has put in a book yet, that he hasn't schemed or planned, but supernaturally begin to open a way for him in the Name of Jesus."
On 09/12/2002 (9 days before the 90 days would have been up), God told my wife and me to stop home-schooling and to put our 8-year-old son in a private school. We had never considered doing such a thing, but we both "knew" it was right. God had led us to a nearby Christian private school, and He really smoothed the way for us to get into this school. Our son was excited about going to this school, and we were excited about it as well. However, after a day or two we were feeling that some of their policies were confusing, and we asked about these things. They ended up having an administrative meeting and changing some policies, and they said they were glad that the Lord had led us to them to bring a new perspective on those matters. So the Lord has really been doing a work in this! That was one unexpected area in which the Lord turned things around, but He is also calling us out from our current church. We don't know yet where He is leading us, and it is sad to be leaving the people whom I have grown to know and love, but new beginnings are always exciting in their own way.
I told my pastor and his wife last Thursday night (09/19/2002) that the Lord was calling us out to a new church. That night they both drove home in different cars. When they got home, they discovered that the Lord had given
of them the same phrase for me. What the Lord said to them was, "The enemy has changed tactics." We don't know what it means, but I'm trusting in the Lord to reveal it to me at the right time.
We have started a new parking lot greeting ministry at our church, which at the moment consists of me and my kids. Various Christian leaders say that the sermon begins in the parking lot, and it's a pleasure to be the first greeter that our guests meet, and to make that first impression for our church.
Also, here's an incredible testimony to the goodness of the Lord: As of last month, my family is now debt-free! No credit card balances, no loans, no mortgage, and all the credit goes to God (no pun intended). In the natural it doesn't seem possible to be debt-free in today's society, so the glory is all God's!
Our church has temporarily moved to a bigger building (we're meeting in the auditorium of a local elementary school as we seek the Lord's guidance for a new location). For family reasons I stepped down from the head usher position in our new location, although I am still involved in ushering. Also, I am now in charge of the Adult Sunday School and I'm the main teacher, which means that I am no longer in charge of the Youth Sunday School (because they both take place at the same time).
Gina worked for the same company that I work for, but last summer we sensed the Lord telling us that she should quit working and begin homeschooling our son. We submitted ourselves to His plan and waited for Him to tell us when it was time for her to leave, and earlier this year we knew that the time was at hand. She "retired" last month and received a nice severance package, which she would not have gotten if we had not waited on the Lord's timing. The Lord is awesome!
At the beginning of 1999 God placed my family and me in a small non-denominational charismatic church called the River of Life. When we started going to this church it was only a year old and it only had about a couple dozen members, but it is wonderful to be a part of a small church family where everyone knows each other and where you really feel like family! My wife was one of the leaders of the Kids' Church for awhile, and I am the head usher. For over a year I maintained the church's financial records of tithes and offerings (until the church bought a new software package and I turned that responsibility over to someone else), and helped organize the monthly men's breakfasts (until our baby was born). I also run the sound board when needed, which fortunately isn't all that often (not my best skill!). In 1999 our church hosted a New Year's Eve concert event for the youth, and I helped plan this event and served as head of security at the concert. The following year I led the team which planned a similar event, but we had to cancel it due to circumstances beyond our control. I also helped to start up a youth ministry at the church, and I am now the leader of that ministry. I say these things as a testimony to the Lord, because it is all His doing and His leading. Praise His mighty Name!
Consider visiting my other websites!
A collection of some of the best self-working card tricks around (no sleight-of-hand required!).
Lots of amazing/funny/fascinating/interesting videos from around the Web which are clean and family-friendly.
Reviews of numerous fun and educational (and free!) computer games that you can download.
Instructions and pictures which teach how to tie dozens of the most useful rope knots.
A huge collection of cool science tricks and other fun stuff to try using things around the house.