Brother Ron Barnes
Founder and Pastor

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Brother Ron answers your questions about religion, spirituality and ministry

Gatebuilder Ministry
A ministry to ministries. We want to help you become a more effective servant of our Father and your community.

Living Smart
Outreach Ministry

Equipping people to be positive,  productive members of the community.

Prayer Ministry
Prayers and prayer resources for Baha'i, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Native Americans, New Age, Pagans and other faiths.

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Religious Education
Resources to expand your knowledge and understanding of the world's major religions

Music Ministry
Ron's original gospel songs and links to Christian music web sites.

Resource Directory
Where to find help for medical problems, abuse, finances and other issues.

Career Planning
How to identify the right career, locate potential employers and get the job you want.

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May the Lord continue to bless and preserve you.


                      How Do I Forgive Myself?                  

Dear Brother Ron

How do I forgive myself for my past? I grew up very fast. At the age of 13, I was hanging out with much older people. I started abusing drugs, alcohol and having sex at 13. I made some VERY poor decisions and I chose to live a fast lifestyle for a long time.

I'm now 23 and I'm on the right path finally. I'm running my own business now. I still party but in moderation. I have been clean from drugs for 3 years now. I don't hook up with random guys anymore. I'm proud of myself for getting my life together but I still can not forgive myself for letting myself down and my family down for so long.

I go to counseling now and it does help to extent but my counselor says I have to find it in myself to forgive myself. Have you gone through anything similar to this? If so, do you have any advice?


Dear Busybabe

Like you, I grew up fast. By the time I was 14, I was already six feet tall, shaving every day and a veteran of sex, alcohol and tobacco. As a musician, Marine and sales professional, I have broken every one of the Ten Commandments and a few that Moses never dreamed of. When I talk to people about drugs, alcohol and promiscuity, I speak from experience. When it comes to sin, you are just a rookie.

Realizing your mistakes is a good thing. Wearing them like shackles on your legs is not. Do you know what you call someone who makes mistakes? Human. Unless I am writing to a machine, a plant or an alien, I assume you fit that description. It's nothing to be ashamed of. There are billions of us.

You can regret your past. You can agonize about your past. You can have nightmares about your past. You can not change your past. You may be familiar with the prayer "Lord, give me the strength to change the things I can change, the patience to endure the things I can't change and the wisdom to know the difference". This should be your daily mantra.

You have obviously made a commitment to change your future actions. Great. Focus on that. Reinvent yourself into the great person you want to be. Devote your full time and attention to becoming the great person you want to be and you will be too busy to grieve about the person you used to be.

Best always
Brother Ron