Chuck Ripka Story

My name is Chuck Ripka. I am a mortgage loan officer and the founder of Rivercenter International Network of Christians.

My book "God Out of the Box" is filled with God stories in the marketplace. Here's where my story really began...

At 21 years old, I invited Christ into my life. Growing up in a Catholic church, I had knowledge of God but didn’t have any relationship until I invited Jesus into my life. I began reading the Bible for the first time ever. When I read 'God is the same yesterday, today and forever'; I said, "Lord, if that’s true, as you spoke to them, speak to me. I want to hear your voice. I want to know your will in my life. I want to have dreams. I want to have visions. I need to hear your voice. So if you’re real, speak to me."

Be careful what you ask for because I sensed that God was beginning to speak to me. One of the first things He told me was “Chuck, you’re going to have 4 to 5 children and if you have them, I promise you I will provide for all of them.” My wife and I met when we were 17 years old, got married when we were 20. By the time I was 25, we had 4 children. “Lord, you said 4 or 5. I have 4 so am I done or is there one more?”  He gave me a picture of a hand and the thumb was not filled in yet. So he said, "Five and it will be a boy." One of the very first things God spoke to me about was family. So I’m going to share about business but I want to encourage you that in God’s heart, it all starts at home.

In my journey with God I said, “Speak to me, I want to hear you, I want to know your will in my life.” In 1985 he spoke to me when I was working at a furniture store in St. Paul, MN. “Chuck, someday you’re going to pray with a customer.”  I didn’t know you could do that or you couldn’t do that. All I knew was what I heard and I tell people, “I feel like I get tricked into things sometimes.” Well, what He said was 'someday'. "Oh well, no problem, I can do that. I’ve never done that before but I can do that."  I worked with a lot of people for the next three months and never heard the Lord tell me anything about anybody or anything. The only person I had ever prayed with was my mom.  I was 25 years old when this gentleman walked into the store, and the Lord said, "He's the one." 

I knew right away what he meant. I’m thinking...“No Lord, I can’t. I’ve got a bad week going. I’m on commission. What if he thinks I’m a nut and he walks out of the store?” I started coming up with all kinds of excuses that I couldn't do this. As he approached me, I took a deep breath and then said, “Okay Lord, I’ll do it but I don’t know how.” This is still my number one prayer today, “Lord, open the door. If this is you, open the door because I don’t know how to do this.” The stranger came up to me looking for a mattress and as we walked down the aisle and I showed him a mattress, all of a sudden he began to tell me the troubles of his life. He’s divorced, he’s got custody of the kids, life really stinks...and he stops and says, “Why am I telling you this?” I say, “Well, I know why. God spoke to me 3 months ago and told me someone like you was going to come into the store and I was supposed to pray with you to invite Christ into your life. Could we do that?” He said, “Okay.” It was that simple. One thing that I tell people is I’m finally getting comfortable being uncomfortable. I just get used to it. That’s one of the first signs I find when people say. How do you know if it’s God? Well, are you uncomfortable? If you are, that’s probably the one of the first signs to me that God’s in it.

So this gentleman prays and invites Christ into his life and something really important happens right after that. He bought the mattress! God spoke to me and said, “Chuck, I've just proven that you can do ministry and prosper at the same time.” So at 25 years old God had begun to speak to me about doing ministry and doing business at the same time.

My desire is to follow God, whatever he tells me to do, wherever he calls me to go. I want to encourage you, some of you it might be your first time to invite Christ into your life but I’m going to ask if you want to go beyond knowledge and into a relationship with the Father, then let’s pray together.  “Lord Jesus, I come to you today and invite you into my life. Thank you for dying on the cross for me and I ask you to forgive me of all of my sins. You also died to present us to the Father. Father God, I don’t want to just have knowledge of you. I want to have a personal, intimate relationship. I want to hear your voice. I want to know your will in my life for me. Holy Spirit, come. Fill me, speak to me and guide me now.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.



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