A Cross Between Indiana Jones And Billy Graham
I’m a huge fan of Bob Goff. I read two of his books in 2018, Love Does and Everybody Always. I can’t recommend these two books highly enough. They really helped me to see what it looks like to love like Jesus. One thing about Bob though is I feel he can be a little intimidating. He’s the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Uganda. He established schools for kids in Africa. He set up safe houses for women and children in third world countries at war.
He pilots a DeHavilland Beaver seaplane for crying out loud.
Bob Goff is sort of a cross between Indiana Jones and Billy Graham.
Maybe you’re not either. So, although I’m inspired to great heights by Bob Goff’s life and writings, I thought it might be helpful to talk to some more ordinary men who have extraordinary love for Jesus, and follow Jesus extraordinarily well. Someone whose example is perhaps more attainable than a guy like Bob Goff. Toward that end I interviewed a friend of mine who I feel falls into that ordinary category.
He works for Costco for crying out loud.
His name is Curtis Zeigler.
How An Ordinary Man Hears God’s Voice
Let’s start with your testimony. Tell me how you came to follow Jesus.
I guess I was always fairly moral. I grew up in a moral home. I can remember praying a little bit as a kid the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer. We had a little picture frame on the wall with that prayer in it. We didn’t really go to church. But my best friend, his parents were Christians, his mom in particular was pretty devout, so she was always trying to get us to go to youth group or other church things. I would go with him sometimes. There was nothing too serious about it but somewhere in there I know I got saved. It must have been pretty early on because I don’t really have a recollection of not having a strong conviction from the Holy Spirit. And often times that conviction would go farther than the morality my parents taught me.
When did you start to own your own faith?
After high school I decided to start going to church on my own. Around 5,000 people a weekend attended this church I went to. I was super introverted and shy. I went there for two or three years. I usually went by myself. I actually didn’t know anyone in the church for most of those years because I was so introverted. I wasn’t really there to make friends or talk to people, I just was learning and listening to the Bible. It took me multiple years just to sing out loud. After awhile they were asking for help with children’s ministry and I’d always loved helping with kids so I jumped in. Then they started asking for help with the high school group so I started doing that. Then I started helping with the college group.
Around this time you were going to school to become a mechanical engineer.
Yes. But I felt like God called me to Bible college. I wrestled with that for awhile because I was three and one half years in to my mechanical engineer program. So that was a big shift. I didn’t have very many Christian friends at that time. My parents still aren’t Christians to this day. And my parents had helped pay for college so I thought they would be super upset. I thought my friends would think I was just dumb, because growing up in public school, religion wasn’t the smart person thing to do. Smart people thought Christianity, or the Bible, or religion in general was a destructive force and not good and all that stuff. So it was a bit of a hurdle for me, being so shy, and caring a lot about what other people thought, it was really intimidating to try to follow that. But that was the first major step of faith. So I did go to Bible college. And interestingly, my parents and friends were supportive.
I did a semester in Jerusalem. The last semester I did in Kauai. And I ended up on staff at the Bible college in Kauai after I graduated. I was there for six or seven years.
It sounds like you were pretty well established with a good job in an island paradise. What led to your leaving the Bible college?
God called me to plant a church in Portland, Oregon.
That reminds me of Abraham when God called him to an unknown land. And he obeyed.
Yeah, the way I view it, God has different relationships with different people, and the way he communicates is different. Just like we communicate differently with the different people in our lives. And for whatever reason with me, there’s been these times where there’s really clear communication. The characteristics I’ve noticed over time, it’s generally a soft quiet voice in the back of your mind. I’m not claiming any audible stuff. It’s kind of a quiet voice in the back of your mind that a lot of times comes out of nowhere. It’s something you hadn’t thought before or hadn’t wanted before. Like when I was called to go to Bible college, I was going to school to become an engineer and all my thoughts were directed on that path. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere in the back of my mind I started to get this thought: you should go to Bible college. It was gentle but it was something that I needed to act on. But it wasn’t pushy or forceful. And it stood out because it was really foreign to my thinking at that point. And so that’s why I discerned it was from God. And then it just ended up being a huge blessing as I walked in obedience.
And the huge blessing was?
(To be continued.)