When I first started showing signs of being a changed person, people didn't know what to think. Word went around town that I'd become a religious fanatic. Even when it was obvious that I was getting my life together, some people just couldn't handle my new faith.
Cynthia Hinckley supposedly told a lot of people that I was gay. That's the first thing said about me that bothered me, by the way. (Some girls just can't accept that not every guy is eager to hop into bed with them.) Then, after my businesses were doing well, another wave of opinion about me started going over.
They said, "Jason is wonderful for this town!" "Good, upright guy. Looks ahead. " "Why don't you run for mayor?" (I had to laugh at that; but I was honored, too.)
Anyway, then it re-surfaced that I was a Christian; in fact, a shameless Christian. I expected people to be honest in their business dealings, and I was more interested in my church's activities than the Chamber of Commerce's agenda.
(Make no mistake: I am a businessman. I financed the pool complex and moved my gym there, hoping to increase profits, which happened. But I also wanted to provide something good for my community, and that happened, too.)
I get some flack now and then because my weight rooms are filled with signs from the Bible. Things like, 'The glory of young men is their strength." (Proverbs 20:29a) Or, "He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze." (Psalm 18:34)
You know what? It encourages the guys [who are training], and it encourages me. God surrounded King David with a special force of "mighty men of strength." And King David honored these men. I am honored that God saw me when I was at my lowest, and weakest, and made me the man that everyone looks up to, now. I'm honored to be strong, not just in my body, but strong for Christ. And it's an honor to me to help other men grow into their strength, and to tell them about Christ.
He's the real strength. I'm not afraid to say it.
And my businesses will reflect what I believe.