Hey, I’m Dave Fritz.
Probably for my sister and I it was like a nominal Christian home – go to church every once in a while. And for me it probably became real when I became older. I’m an older conversion, unlike a lot of other people. I was 27 when I got saved.
Got warmed up into the faith by going to Florida State of all places. I came back from Santa Barbara, California where all the beautiful people are. But there was nothing out there. Nothing really in Santa Barbara, as beautiful as it was, and all the good times there was.
I found myself searching. And that’s really where it started to kick in with me – is the searching process of “Is this all there is?”
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean I was wondering, “Gosh, there’s gotta be more than this.”
So I came back to Florida State University in the mid-80’s and I finished up my degree. And I was invited to church, an invitation from a good friend of mine. And I found myself at that point, when I went to the church, I had no resistance at all, and I thought, “This will be kind of interesting to see what this could be like.”
Went out to Christian Heritage on North Monroe when I was confronted for the first time about “Have you been born again?” I went down up front, met the Lord right up front with Paul Ledford and John Johnson some 20 years ago.
I’ll tell you what I felt like was that I no longer had to turn left onto Tennessee Street, and go down along the strip, and now that I could go up on North Monroe Street. And in doing that I found that I had peace. I just felt this incredible peace and calm and serenity inside that I had never experienced before. I felt like, “I don’t have to go out on Friday night. I don’t have to go on Saturday night drinking anymore. I can just be me. I can just be me. And this incredible serenity came upon me.
Jesus started putting people in my life that helped disciple me along the way. One of them was Ivey Williams. And we would go through the Bible, and I had no idea what that was. Genesis could have been the last book and Revelation could have been the first book. I had never had a Bible, and back when I got saved somebody fished out in the back of the church out of the cabinet a Bible and said, “Hey, you need one of these.” And I just thanked him very much and I walked out of the church with a “one of these.”
It’s been not a destination, but rather it’s been a journey. You know, we’re microwave Christians these days. I know I was. God’s not afraid to, like He did with me, to put you on the back burner there, one of those little tiny burners there, and turn it down to about a one or a two, where you are wanting Him to turn it up real high. And you know, that’s what He’s done for me for the last 20 years, has been to put me on the back burner and just add a little bit here…stir…add a little bit there…stir. He’s going to have His way with you, but it’s going to take some time and some seasoning.
One of the big things He’s developed with me is patience. I came back from California at about -2. Just when I think I have enough patience He says, “Well, a little bit more…a little bit longer…a little bit longer here!” So He’s not afraid to have us on the back burner to do what He’s wanting to accomplish. And that’s been kind of the story of my life.
Also along with it is, He’s faithful. And He’s faithful and just to finish what He started.