Ron Hoesterey Story

My first real prayer was the day my first son Sean was born.  He was sick and jaundiced, and the doctor said he wouldn't make it.

My wife was weak from hemorrhaging, and we could not tell her.  Home alone, I prayed to God to save them both. Even though I had not yet accepted Him into my life, He answered.  Four years later our second son Kevin was born without complications.

We love Indiana Jones!  Why? Because he is on an adventure.  We admire people who leave the routine of life and face danger for a purpose.  In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jones encounters snakes, guys with swords, and Nazis.  Tonight, I have been invited to share the many adventures of my life and how that journey has shaped my purpose, actions and beliefs.  There are three aspects of a successful journey - The importance of faith and friends on your journey; what you learn through daily struggles; and how your life is affected because of those challenges.

Our family moved to Tustin, California, and we met Chuck Puckett, five doors down from our new home.  Chuck invited me to a free breakfast-- I like to eat free. So, the next Tuesday morning at 7:00AM we arrived at the Christian Business Men’s Committee breakfast.  The speaker referred to James 1:2-3 (NIV) “Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.  For the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

I muttered “BULL.  How can you be happy getting the tar kicked out of you?”  Months later I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.

As a new Christian, I viewed God as taking care of all my possessions and needs.  I had a great job as mayor of a city, and held many prestigious titles. Life was Good!  God is Great!  As Mayor, I ran into Dave Baker, the Mayor of Irvine. He later played an important role in my life.

My boss called me into his office one morning. “Ron you are doing a great job, but..”  I hate the word but.  Nothing good ever follows. “...but, the company is closing this business. We are all being let go.”  I was devastated.

After a year of searching for employment, I was reduced to reading junk mail in the kitchen.  A flyer jumped off of the table. “Buy successful businesses with other people’s money!”  After a three day seminar, I became an expert in business acquisition. I purchased Royal Mattress.
Things were going great!  We bought a big house on horse property.  I did not realize then that my "self worth" was tied directly to my "net worth."

Two years later, my largest customer went bankrupt, and very thing unraveled.  I escaped to the Crazy Horse for lunch.  Alone in the corner was Dave Baker; his life also was in shambles.  We began meeting Tuesday mornings to encourage each other and invite others over time. Our small group was based on Proverbs 27:17 (NASB), “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Only two rules existed.  Show up unless you are sick or out of town.  Everything said at the table stayed at the table.

Tuesday mornings, I learned God’s ways as we sought answers to our problems.  The question haunting me was “Why me, Lord?”  I learned prayer, perspective, and perseverance.  The group survived over 23 years.

Each crisis seemed like the last, but we persevered.  Through the struggle, I learned two important lessons.  When you use other people’s money -- they want it back!  And no good news comes by certified mail!
We lost the house, moved into a rental, and barely keep the business afloat. My “self worth” crashed with my “net worth.”  

On March 15, 1996, after a tough day at work I arrived home and pressed the button to open the garage door. I found my son Kevin dead in the garage.  Suddenly, all of the past years' troubles became meaningless. I was then surrounded by my wife, police and friends. Phil 4:6-7 (NIV) pops into my head, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God that transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ.”  At that moment a peace comes over me that defies all logic.

James 1:2-3 then filled my mind.  I thanked God for all of the struggles.  For I now understand, He was preparing me for this moment.  God was more concerned with my character than comfort. Through the struggles He taught perseverance, character, and hope. The lessons from our group now carry new understandings.

I now understand  when in Phil 4:12 (NIV), Paul said, “He has learned the secret to being content whether in plenty or need.”  My self worth is no longer tied to my net worth.  Just like Job, God restored us to a level that has exceeded where we were.  What is different is I now know my purpose is to share this journey to help others.

“Why me?” is answered in John 10:10 (NIV) “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.”

John 16:33 (NIV) states “In this world you will have trouble but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”

I am not being punished; I am part of a larger battle between good and evil on this earth.

I now approach life with the understanding that life is not a problem to be solved; it’s an adventure to be lived.

Today’s problems are viewed differently now.  Indiana Jones had it right.  Life is not a problem to be solved, it is an adventure to be lived!  Live the adventure with fellow believers and with God.



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