Chronicles my lifelong, rocky road to the ministry...

Bob and Joan at graduation from the New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, New Jersey

My friend Harry thought I was hell-bound. I never thought so, but...? For years he tried to lead me to Christ. Then one night at his home Bible study, he challenged me with Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”

He said, "Bob, you rely too much on your intelligence and learning. You need to trust in the Lord first and foremost."

That night I lay awake wrestling with God. "Lord, why did you give me these gifts if I'm not suppose to use them? Am I to leave my brains at the church door?" And on it went through the night.  

The following morning while driving to work I tell of an adventure that changed my life. By the time I got to work, I was a different man.

From there I take the reader back to my small-town beginnings in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania where my family's influence was a mixed bag. So were my school friends as you will see in various chapters.

One Christmas my brother Johnny came home from the Navy and introduced me to Christ by sharing his own born-again experience. He led me to a new understanding of Christ. But one wonders, “Did it really stick?”

From Lock Haven to Mansfield State Teachers College to the Mannes College of Music in New York City, Sodium Balls takes you over my high roads and down my low roads—most of the time I didn't know which one I was on. I vacillated from wanting to be a singer, a scientist, a pilot, an astronaut, a teacher, a librarian, until finally Scholastic, Inc., the educational publisher (who brought us Harry Potter), immersed me in corporate America. That added another totally unplanned dimension to my life. But it was all part of God's long-range plan. Could have fooled me! I still wanted to sing opera.

All the while I parried the persistent nudges from the Holy Spirit to become a pastor. My up-and-down faith journey takes you for a bumpy ride indeed, and will keep the book at your side until you finish it.

Sodium Balls concludes with my wife’s and my first church, to which we were called as co-pastors. Suddenly God's plan for me became clear. All my experiences came tumbling together in astonishing ways to lift me into the pulpit. You'll see!