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    Wow, I have wanted to write for a long time the difference that was made in my life back in 1991. Following Graduation from Arizona State University I was heading for Gunnison Colorado to spend two months working and playing with high school kids in a camp setting. This program was very interactive with many team building and self disclosure exercises. Some of the coolest stuff was simply just sitting on the floor in circles and sharing one at a time the questions posed to us. Listening to one another was truly a gift that was implemented in each exercise. It was through this program that I noticed how much I loved this setting; people sharing some big, many times heart felt emotions. This was so refreshing to me to finally address stuff. I was drawn to a fellow who was in leadership who's name is Rick Martin and impressed me a great deal with what his insight, sensitivity and leadership. During a conversation I had with him, I asked him what he felt would be a good idea for my personal growth, and to my amazement he suggested Church. Church, I thought, what a random suggestion, yet he was not kidding and it was truly was a seed that was planted in my heart.

    As I returned back to Newport Beach, a string of related events took place. A long time dear friend Moya Sullivan invited me to a college and career Bible study, I walked into Nautica and was hired into a group of serveral Christians working there, namely Josh Warren and Julia Pate. Also, a High school friend was dying of cancer, her name Suzanne Huffman. Long ago, my sister Susie and her counterpart Karen Bultee tried to set us up but never happened. In fact, we never really got to know each other more than saying hi. We did have very close mutual friends, Chris Conlee and Dany Allen. Never to be forgotten was a called from my amazing friend Eric Spindler who suggested we take Suzanne out for breakfast as he had heard her time was very short. We went ! An invitation followed for both of us to come visit her along with several others at a beach house she was staying at. Low and unbenounced to me Suzanne signaed me out to go for a walk with her. As we approached some kids running in the ocean, she said "Steve, that is what it's all about". Kind of like Rick Martin recommending Church to me this comment sunk deep into my heart. Suzanne wanted to reach out to kids and help them. Why was she telling me this? Why did she ask me of all people to go on a walk? Clearly I see now she was sharing something that would become my life, and that was Christ.

    Back at Nautica, to my amazement Josh blew me away by reading the Bible in the manager's office during his breaks. The Bible study I went to blew my mind; over 100 of my peers enthusiastically gathered. Reminded me of the one of the many fraternity mixers, this time no booze. The Words coming out of Chuck Miller's mouth were blowing my mind. Fulfillment, Truth, Compassion, Power and Love were oozing out of the pages of one of the four Gospel's He was sharing. I wanted to go back, I did go back. Some time later he encouraged us to individually spend some itme t the different cross's that were gathered around and really talk with God. I clearly remember thanking Jesus christ for going to the cross for my sin. As I look back, I believe that night was the beautiful start of a real and vital relationship with my God and Creator. I did not stop to analyze my new thoughts, I just went with them and boy I was experiencing peace and joy like neve before. Some said I was "on Fire", I didn't care what anyone called it, truth was finally finding it's way into my life and I was so elated.

    Growing is truly such a neat thing. My lfe has been changed, and you know I am still not analyzing it because it is so good and I am so happy to know God, to have His love in my life, it feels so good, so very good. It is a complete honor to come along side my dear friends Rick Martin and Moya Sullivan and encourage you my friend to listen to Jesus' Words for you. They are for you; they are for you my friend. Yes His faithfulness is an offering for you too. One promise we are given "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you" James 4:8. I am so thankful to share with you my special and dear friend, God's love. Please know you can talk with me about any questions, hopes, concerns about your life or about Jesus Christ and the Christian faith and I am delighted to listen and point you to Him who truly has such great things for you, yes just for you. Like presents already wrapped just waiting for you to start ripping the paper!!

    Your friend,

    Stephen Herbert Kostlan

    "If I seek to please men I can not be a servant of God"

    Galations 1:10

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