Michael Paparella

Elder

I was born and raised in Connecticut, the oldest of 4 children.  My mother was Jewish who came to faith, and my father pastored 2 churches for several years (one of which he planted).



I grew up in the church, but like many of us so often do, I drifted away after graduating from High School.  I enlisted in the Air Force the next year and after that went to college, got married and basically wandered through life without direction or purpose.  Years later, I met a friend who was a believer and we started talking about Jesus and the Bible.  I then began, slowly at first, to delve into the Scriptures and listen to Bible studies on the radio.



It took me a while to get saved because I already knew God was real and that Jesus was His Son. This led me to unknowingly create a wall between myself and the truth, as I thought I already had the truth.  Listening to a Bible study one day, something the teacher said struck me, and even though I was learning God’s word, I remember actually saying out loud: “Oh my God, it’s true!” I finally had my first real glimpse and understanding of who Jesus really was and what He did, and my heart was changed.  I gave my life to Jesus, and I’ve never looked back.



My favorite Bible verse is Psalm 119:71 “It is good for me that I have been afflicted that I might learn thy statutes.”  The first 2 plus years of my walk were mostly spent working and caring for my increasingly ailing wife, Sue.  Having the radio on when I was in the car listening to Bible studies was something that kept me grounded and focused.  After Sue died, I began to open the scriptures daily and really study them.  While reading Psalm 119, I got to verse 71, and realized, in a certain sense, it was a truth I was living out.



For Sue’s memorial service I selected Romans 12:9-21 to be read.  Shortly after I asked God, “Now that I don’t have to take care of Sue anymore, what do You want me to do for You.”  That was when ministry began for me as God put on my heart to study the scriptures, and to write.  I then started sending what I wrote to everyone on my e-mail list.  This also led to what I call my Homeless Ministry, loosely based on Romans 12:20-21.  It started with giving a bottle of water with a dollar bill secured to it to people standing at the entrance to Walmart.  As God began to bless my little ministry, I wrote a gospel tract and put it in a baggie along with what God had blessed me with financially, and secured that to the bottle of water.



Early on, when I began to realize it was God directing my path, it told me something about how personal our relationship is, something I hadn’t fully understood. This fueled in me a desire to want to know Him better and to finally learn what it really means to walk with Him.  I decided to set aside some time every day for what I refer to as my prayer closet time, and my personal prayer and communion with Him has really blossomed.  This led to conducting my life from a God-centered perspective in everything.  I’m still a work in progress, as all born-again believer are, but making it my top priority keeps me focused on what really is important.



I love to walk, taking in God’s creation, sometimes praying as I go, sometimes just marveling at what I see or what Jesus has done in and though my life.  I really enjoy reading and preparing for our Men’s Bible study.  I have 1 son, 2 daughters, 11 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren.  I’m humbled when I consider just how blessed I really am.  Thank you, Jesus…

GIVE

 

God has really blessed us here at Calvary Chapel Cascade County in 2017, and is beginning to use our fellowship in some wonderful and exciting ways. If you would like to support what God is accomplishing through us, so that in 2018 and beyond we can reach more souls with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and really make a difference in people’s lives, please prayerfully consider donating, but only if God lays it on your heart to do so. For your convenience you can either send a check to Calvary Chapel Cascade County, PO Box 1508, Great Falls, MT, 59404, or you can click the Paypal button below.