Chris Burge Story

 I was born in Lampasas, raised in San Antonio, and my father’s name is Billy Bob, I guess that makes me a true Texan.

I have two younger brothers who I can count on and boss around for fun. I am forever grateful to have a father raise me on the wisdom of God and a mother to bring strength and unity during our times of struggle. When I was seven years old I was upstairs in the guest room of my Nana’s apartment just about to go to sleep. My prayers usually went like this, “Lord please keep me safe from the robbers and don’t let the bugs get me, amen.” This night my normal routine was wonderfully interrupted by a voice. I heard a voice and it said to me, “Do you love me?” I replied, “Yes I love you.” When He spoke even as a child I knew it was the lord. Then He said, “Why haven’t you invited me into your heart?” and I said, “I don’t know.” The last thing He said was, “Would you like to?” and I replied, “Yes I would.” Without anyone around I climbed out of my bed got on my knees and committed my life to the Lord. I climbed back into bed and I can still remember the gentle breeze from the ceiling fan above me and the serene stillness in the room. I laid there and felt this incredible amount of peace and completeness that seemed to fill the whole room. I woke up the next morning feeling so refreshed with this excitement and joy that was just bursting from every part of me. I went into the dining room and sat down at the barstool to ask my Nana what she was cooking. When I opened my mouth all I could do was tell her that I asked the Lord into my heart. She screamed and since I was only seven it scared me.  I thought I had done something wrong. Then she told me how proud she was and with tears of joy streaming down her face she called my parents so that I could tell them what had happened to me. My life was changed forever.

 

Time went on and I got older. We moved around a lot and money got tight. I had been to seven different schools before high school so I learned to make friends fast. Nothing was ever permanent.  I was involved in every sport I could play, but none of them seemed to give me what I was looking for. I went to visit the city I grew up in, San Antonio, and a friend got me interested in aggressive inline skating. By the next summer my friend had taken up another sport but I was still going strong. After a few years I began winning competitions and traveling to places like Las Vegas and California. This was bringing a lot of attention my way so I decided one day to direct that attention to Christ. I knew that the Lord had given me favor with people all around me through the gift of skating so I wanted to use it for His glory. I began signing autographs followed by one of my favorite verses, Proverbs 3:5-7 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” This verse guided me through many crossroads and decisions in my life and because I allowed God’s word to take root within my heart it has sustained and protected me throughout many storms.

There was a time I planned on going to Dallas to skate so I asked the Lord to send someone my way that needed to hear about His Love. My heart suddenly became heavy for a particular individual; we will call him John, for privacy purposes. As we began skating I decided that since I had been using skating for His glory that I “deserved” a day all for myself without having to do anything for Him or anyone else. As soon as I made that choice I could feel something lift off of me but I wasn’t sure what it was. Guess who shows up next, that’s right, John! Well I had already made my choice so I made no effort his direction. I made a few attempts on a rail I was skating and was doing well until my final attempt. I was grinding down a kinked rail and half way down I bailed out with no problem, except that my foot got stuck in the dirt which caused my ankle to be twisted and broken in three places. Ouch! At that exact moment I knew because I had decided to turn my back on God, it had moved me out of His divine will for my life and the enemy was just waiting for that perfect opportunity. As I sat on the ground, not feeling much pain, I repented and asked the Lord to forgive me for what I had done. Not once did I feel anger or God’s finger pointing at me in condemnation. I only felt love and forgiveness all around me. Then the pain kicked in. I was rushed to the ER and they confirmed the breaks. There were only two surgeons in the U.S. that could do the surgery that I needed and one lived only an hour away from me. He did the surgery and said,” That was the smoothest surgery I have probably ever done; a complete success.” The Lord was in that doctor’s room that day. I talked with John later on and found out the week I was supposed to encourage and pray with him was the week drugs entered into his life. This was the verse that became real to me that day:  John 10:10 amplified version, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” The plans of satan are real and staying in the will that God has purposed for your life is a necessity.

Two months went by and I was back on my skates.  One evening I made yet another foolish selfish decision, to do what I wanted with my gift. I was skating a handicap rail and while I was doing a 540 spin out my ring caught the side of my skate, I could not let go. I ended up breaking my other ankle in almost the exact same three places. After making the same poor choice two times in a row I began to see what the root of my real issue was. The Lord had graciously given me a wonderful gift and I had never given it back to Him. That is what I was missing all along. I had acknowledged and received my talent as a gift from the Lord but I had never surrendered my use of it. My hand gripping to the side of my skate was the sign that allowed me to see what my treasure was really was. Because I would not let go of the gift I had received from the Lord it was beginning to consume me and would eventually destroy me. I was so busy trying to accomplish God’s plan in MY OWN WAY that I was getting nowhere. In fact four years went by with no improvement in my skill. But because I had learned to put God first above everything else in November of 2002 the Lord allowed me to qualify to go to Los Angeles, California where I took second place in the ASA World Finals Championship. I believe the Lord appointed second place to me to help me to remember that the Lord must always be first in my life.

Since then I have been featured in a skate magazine, I am working with a ministry to do skate shows where we minister to all who attend, and I hope to open my own skate park soon. The greatest treasures the Lord has blessed me to love are: my wife Amanda and my two girls Reagan and Kinsey. I now travel the U.S. telling others of my Father’s love for them and use my talent of skating to draw others into His wonderful plan for their lives. Being a professional skater I love living life to the fullest. I have never found more fulfillment and excitement in my life then walking with Jesus, you never know what He is going to do next and it is always good. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “ For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

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