Thank you for taking the time to visit the most important part of my web site. In case you haven't figured it out by now, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Some of you may be here for that very reason while others may be here to learn more about the Herbie fanatic that created this site. Rest assured, you are in the right place.
Let me first address those who are not Christians. This is not a site to force you into joining a church or a particular denomination. I was not a church goer, nor did I have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I have always believed there had to be a God but I never really gave it much thought. My goal here is to let everyone know how I found this relationship with Christ and how the Lord changed my life forever. This is a message about hope, understanding, forgiveness, joy and eternal salvation. It is something that can benefit anyone who reads it. What you are about to read is a very personal chapter in my life. And most of you know that by revealing personal facts anywhere (but especially online) opens you up to further persecution. Such is the life of a Christian. God asks us to witness to others. He changed my life. If you open your heart to Him, He will change yours.
When I was a teenager I felt all alone in the world and it made me very depressed. No matter what I had, nothing in the world could truly make me happy. One day I was in a severely depressed state of mind and I was laying in my room. With no hope for a future I really had no will to go on with life. Why should I? What did I have to offer the world? I'm insignificant and don't matter. Life has no meaning. I thought about this over and over. But one day, in my darkest hour I was suddenly struck with a message that changed my life. Even though I didn't believe, I honestly think God spoke to me that night. No, I didn't hear voices in a literal sense, but something put a thought in my head completely contrary to what I had been thinking. I believe now that God was speaking to my very soul. What I "heard" was that life has meaning, I was here for a reason, and that there was a purpose for my life. Eventually, I found out that God has plans for each and every one of us. Even if we don't believe, God can still use us for his purpose. Maybe it would be to inspire another human being or to save someone's life. Who knows? I didn't think much about it at the time but this message did change my life. And looking back now, I know just how great a life change it truly was. During my teen years Satan was tearing me down with the negative thoughts. He was winning. But the Lord inspired me to get back on track with my life. Although I still didn't believe in God at the time my life was changing for the better.
Fast forward to 1997 when I started the first Herbie page on the internet. Through this site I met a lot of great people and made some new friends. Herbiemania was created with the idea of preserving the memory of my beloved childhood "hero" named Herbie. My web site proved quite successful and the was the number one hit on the web search engines for many years. I was proud that I had created something from nothing, and I was happy to see that Herbie was making such a positive impact on so many lives across the globe.
Life was going pretty well for me until 2000. There was trouble with my career path and it was causing a lot of stress in my life. Because of this, I made the decision to leave my current career and start over in another industry. Unfortunately, this change resulted in taking a pay cut of nearly 40% per year! The upside was that my new job definitely gave me a sense of peace that I desparately needed. I never understood why in the beginning but the real reason would soon reveal itself. My new job exposed me to a completely new group of people. What I didn't know was that these people were Christians. What really stood out was that the attitudes of the people I was working with were different than any people I had ever worked with before. What was going on? What kind of world had I been living in for the last 15 years? My new co-workers were kind, sincere, supportive, and very generous. On my first day a new friend presented me with a photocopied piece of paper with a message that read, "Everything happens for a reason." Yes it does, I thought." I have always believed that, even when I didn't believe in God. I also noticed something else about my co-workers, many of them had Bibles on their desks. I thought to myself, "oh brother, these people must be some of those born again Jesus freaks." One thing I knew for sure was that I didn't want to hear about Jesus . What I was doing was rejecting Him. I never really believed God existed. But if He did, I had always thought that He didn't really care about what happened to me. Where was God when I cried out for help for so many years? If he existed, why did he let me experience so much heartache and pain? But my co-workers never once spoke to me about God or Jesus, instead they lived by his example. Maybe they weren't "freaks." In fact, they were really great people.
My new job had me speaking to customers on the phone. Through many conversations I was able to speak to people of all walks of life. Time after time people would proclaim to me their Christian beliefs and relay amazing stories. Some even witnessed miracles! All of these stories were causing my heart to soften and soon I began to open my eyes and ears eyes. Then one day I received a call from a woman who was very distraught. She had been diagnosed with multiple serious illnesses, was taking cae of her final affairs, and expressed to me that she had no hope left in life. She too felt that God had abandoned her in her time of need. I am a sensitive person by nature and I truly care about other's so I began to talk and encourage her. I felt for this poor woman. What happened next was truly amazing. For months I had soaked in all those stories about what God and Jesus had done for so many of my customers. I never thought I believed any of it but something made me share what I had heard with this poor woman. I told her that God is with us in sickness and in health. The devil is the one who tries to steal our joy in times of sickness and pain. I expressed that we all are set to die one day. I then told her, " If you put your faith in God, no matter what happens to you He will save you. The devil won't win. You will be victorious!" We talked for probably 45 minutes, and just before I was going to hang up the woman started crying and told me that she needed to tell me something. When I asked what, she said, "I wanted you to kow that you gave me hope again." She also said that my words had changed her life forever. She then thanked me and told me that I helped her restore her faith in God! Then it hit me. I suddenly got a feeling and was covered in goosebumps. The message I had received so many years ago as a troubled teen came rushing back in my head. "Everyone is here for a reason. I have a purpose for you. Your life has meaning." It was a revelation! God's plan was unfolding! The events were set into motion! The Lord had allowed Satan to beat me down (becasue of my stubborness) so that He could lift me back up. Everything I had been going through was shaping up to a new realization... but I wasn't quite ready yet..
I had another issue going on in my life in 2000. I had a falling out with a close friend. I later found out that this "friend" had been heading a slander campaign about me on the internet. This grew into a group of individuals who believed that my destruction was their main goal in life. It was indeed a time of great stress and the lies deeply troubled me. I was doing my best to deal with it. Unfortunately, the problem with most gossip is that if you say it often and early enough it becomes fact even if it is fabrication. I had little hope of stopping the vicious cycle of lies and half-truths. Even worse, people whom I had considered good friends refused to come to my aid because they didn't want to get involved in the conflict. They didn't want to choose sides. Unfortunately, If you know the truth and don't speak it then you are choosing a side. I cannot understand any person, especially a friend not wanting to do the right thing, especially when they see someone suffering unjustly. This compounded my frustration and tested my limits. My stress was at an all time high. Something had to change. I was looking for answers. There had to be more to life than this. The sad part was the answers had always been right before my eyes but I was still too blind to see them.
At the time I was also in the middle of planning the first ever Herbie Days at Disney Herbie car show (which was set to take place in November of 2000). To prepare, I was collecting items to give away at the show (AKA Herbie-Con 2000). A friend informed me that NEW MAN Magazine had done a feature on Disney actor Dean Jones. Dean was pictured on the cover of the magazine with Herbie. I thought this would be a GREAT item to give away to show attendees so I asked NEW MAN if they would be willing to donate some issues for me to give away to the participants of the event. NEW MAN really came through. They provided their entire stock of back issues FREE of charge! This was incredible! Everyone who attended the Herbie Days car show received a copy. What I didn't know at the time was that NEW MAN is a Christian magazine. When I got the boxes of magazines I read the article on Dean Jones. The article talked about Dean Jones' life as a Christian. It was very fascinating. When I had met Dean in 1998 (for the interview on my web site) I had no idea of his Christian background. I was so fascinated with Jones' story that I began searching for the autobiography about Dean (that was referenced in the article) called "Under Running Laughter." Unfortunately, the book was long out of print. I tried searching Amazon and other online retailers and found nothing. I was ready to give up and then I decided to call a local used book store. To my surprise, they had the book in stock and it was priced at only $3! I asked them to hold it for me and then I rushed over to get it that day! God was at work again! The book covers various aspects of Dean Jones' life and explained how his life turned around thanks to his faith in Jesus Christ. I began reading and became glued to the book. It was unbelievable! I finished it in two days! Both Dean and his wife experienced their own personal miracles that cemented their faith. I was inspired after reading the book and wanted to experience what Dean and Lory had but was still battling my own personal problems (including the internet slander). However, litle did I know that God was about to make another move. My life was on the verge of change in a big way. One day, a friend invited my family to attend her church. I was reluctant to go but since we were all going to go out to lunch together so I figured "why not?" When I got there the Pastor began teaching out of the bible on Psalm 55. I'd never read the bible before but when he began to share this my ears and eyes fully opened. Psalm 55 deals with the very same subject that I was going through! So I began to think, "who told this guy what I was going through? How did he know what I was experiencing?" This message spoke directly to my heart! The pastor was speaking about David in the bible, and David shared similar struggles with me, another David! How strange! I was amazed by this and wanted to learn more! I couldn't believe that the Bible had answers concerning my problems! Once I found this out I had a new quest for knowledge that I never had before. What else did the bible say about life? I had to know! So, I began to read the Bible and learned that every aspect of our lives is covered in this book. It took most of my life to put the puzzle pieces together but the Lord finally got through to me. I eventually gave my life to Jesus in 2002 and began to live a new life living according to God's will and not my own. I began going to church and studying God's word. Oh, how sweet that decision was! I cannot begin to tell you what feelings flowed into my soul. I was at peace and truly fulfilled for the first time in my life. It's a feeling that cannot be accurately described!
Now the skeptics out there will immediately jump on this. I've received the e-mails and comments. And it's ok. I've been on the other side. But what I am sharing is the truth of my personal experience. Some may ask, has every dream has come true in your life? Or, has God provided you with tons of money and a stress-free life? They will also want to know if the Lord has given me perfect health. The answer is no. God does not promise any of those things. His promise is for salvation through Christ and eternal peace knowing that I am forgiven, saved by grace, and that one day I will have eternal life in heaven. So I don't expect all roses and no weeds. In fact, Christians are told we will experience trials and hardships in life. It's a promise. But I choose to live my life the way God wants me to live. I am still not perfect and never will be. I may never be wealthy or famous, live in a fancy home or own an expensive car. None of this matters anyway. Hapiness is not found in stuff we buy, but in how we love others. One of the most difficult things for people to realize is the fact that a person's drive for the material objects in life can never fill the void we all have inside. God designed us in such a way that only HE can fill the void. I once lived for the thrill of buying VW after VW. I was addicted to cars. I also was addicted to collecting things. Back then, finding a new collectible or something hard to find (cars, toys, etc) gave me a temporary rush of happiness. But nothing can compare to the ongoing joy and happiness of knowing the Lord Jesus! I have been set free from the chains of this world through Christ! However, although the old days of persecution with lies no longer bothers me, I have another persecution to deal with. I am a Christian. The Bible tells us that to become a Christian invites persecution. God knows this but is with us every step of the way. Looking back now, I realized that have always approached things from a Christian perspective without really knowing it. God has given every one of us a conscious and the ability to choose right over wrong. He's that voice in your head telling you the right thing to do. Since becoming Christian does that mean I now live a perfect life? No way. Being a Christian does not mean you are perfect. In fact, being a Christian is admitting that you are not perfect and you need God's grace. The bible is God's word. God tells us that all have fallen short of His glory. That means WE ALL have sinned. Every one of us. No one is good enough for God. Not one single person deserves heaven. We deserve hell because we have all broken God's laws (the Ten commandments). The bible states if you have broken just one you are guilty. That means we ALL are guilty. God is pure, holy and perfect. He cannot tolerate sin. Sounds like we are all done for, right? Nope. God loves us so much that he provided a way to pay for our sins. He sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross as payment for our sins. All we need do is to accept Jesus as savior, turn from sin and the bible says we are given His grace and become a new creature in Christ . This is what is meant by the term "born again." We are "born" into a new life with Christ. Why am I telling all of this to the entire world? Because I think that everyone deserves to know the truth and have this inner peace that I possess. Everyone deserves the chance for eternal salvation. Salvation is a FREE gift from God. You only need to ask. I can't explain how it will change your life. It must be experienced. But the choice is yours. Nobody can make you accept Christ as your savior. I've been there. I was prideful and wanted to be in control of my own life. I didn't think I needed God. I didn't want to hear anything about God or Jesus or anything about Church. So I know how some of you feel. I've been in your shoes. But if my story is at all inspiring wouldn't it be worth taking your own chance? What do you have to lose? I know what you will gain. Open your heart and hear my words. Pick up a Bible and read it. You will be amazed. If my writings can inspire one person to walk with Jesus Christ then they will have been worth it. It is my duty to spread the good word. If you have questions about God please feel free to e-mail me. I don't claim to have all the answers but will do my best to help answer your questions. The bible says seek and you shall find. If you truly open your heart to God he will show you the answers. He did that for me. I pray you let him do it for you.
May God Bless you all.
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