JCU Headquarters KidWise Media Shop

Dave's Bio | Statements of Faith | Friendly Links | Video: Dave & kids perform "UFight4Me" | Radio Interview with Dave
Articles: Bustrip to Eternity | Coach Jesus | The Potter's Wheel | Separation Claws
| Song Studies | Honey I Shrunk the Congregation

Searching for Eden
my journey to truth

by David Eden

Once upon a long time ago, I was a kid. I was born in New Lenox, Illinois, a small town somewhere between Joliet and Chicago. My parents loved me and we lived a quiet, middle-class lifestyle. My dad was an editor for a trade magazine, my Mom was a homemaker and held several part-time jobs. We were a "christian" home, but not really a "Christ-centered" home. Sure, we said our prayers at mealtimes and bedtimes, but we never really talked about, you know, The Big Three: religion, sex or politics! (I would need help with all 3 before it was over!)

I guess you'd say I was raised as a "church kid" but I wasn't a "Jesus kid." I enjoyed going to church, a little. Though our parents made us go, I did enjoy those cool Bible stories and fun VBS times. Still, I really had no clue what it all meant for me. No one told me that I needed to receive Jesus for myself. So, church was mostly boring.  

I watched alot of TV, mostly cartoons. I listened to my radio and record player, mostly rock & roll. And I played alot of sports, mostly baseball. From little league to daily pick-up games, I was always riding my bike around town trying to round up some players. But mostly, I kept alot to myself and spent alot of time alone, mostly drawing & daydreaming. Oh yeah, and I read tons of comic books, mostly super heroes.

Then, in the 7th grade a future love was born: I joined the school band and learned to play the drums! It was my Dad, a weekend drummer himself, who encouraged my music. It was mom who encourged my art.

Then came high school. At Lincoln-Way HS I dove totally into my sports, so I had no time or interest in church. I had a little athletic ability but alot of desire. I played 4 years of basketball & baseball. I was also discovering girls, but I was too much in training and a little too shy for much socializing. Yet, I was beginning to feel my old childhood independence turning into a real loneliness inside. I also lost interest in the school band and became a drummer for a succession of local rock bands, one appropriately named The Dark Ages!

I graduated with honors, got a scholarship to Illinois State University and began studying to be an art teacher & PE coach. I made the freshman college basketball team as a walk-on. But by this time, I was spending more hours listening to my music than hitting the books. We were getting some good paying gigs for The Krosswinds, a local college band. My grades were declining, my friends were becoming the more weird & hippie variety. My Mom had threatened: "If he comes home from college with a beard, I'll kill him." It wasn't long before I did-- but fortunately, she didn't.

After 2 years, to my parents' dismay, I dropped out of college to be a full-time rock&roll drummer. I loved the creativity of writing songs, the thrill of the stage, the applause of the crowd and just the fun of making music. (for my whole music saga, click Music Dept.)

By now I had completely left any remnant of my moral roots for the pleasures & playthings of a lost generation. My spirituality dwelt mostly in my head but never traveled those vital 18 inches to my heart. My new studies became: drugs, sex & rock-n-roll. What a recipe for self-deception and self-destruction! Like many of my freaky friends, we had too many wars inside to change a war torn world! We'd rejected all authority: church, government, parents... And what were we left with? --Our Feelings, as we chanted: "If it feels good, do it!"

I remember sitting under a tree on campus watching the students hustling on their way to...where? For the first time I wondered: Who am I? and Why am I alive? But I got deeper into my music, hallucinogenic drugs and the cosmic circus that was the hippie lifestyle. I knew I needed to change myself first. I knew I needed something. But since Christianity seemed irrelevant & boring, I thought I'd try eastern religions and began practicing yoga meditation and following new-age gurus.

It was the Summer of '69. We met some crazy new friends who were “Jesus Freaks”- street preachers who were all into Jesus.  They convinced us to look into the Bible seriously. They told us about a real Jesus, who was more than guru, wizard, holyman or hippie hero. More than: "I got a friend in Jesus!". But this Jesus was the only Son of God, the Lamb killed for sin and raised from death, the one way to Heaven! We had lots of intense debates, as we argued with them about Buddha, Mohammed and our new-age ideas. But when no one was around, I'd feel it again-- that gnawing soul hunger. a sense of loneliness and emptiness...

Then in 1970 it happened. One day, while meditating in my yoga-prayer-closet, I felt some huge questions swelling up in my heart. I began to question my gurus, my lifestyle, myself. I began to wrestle with a bigger question than “Who am I". I found myself getting out of my yoga position, falling on my knees and crying out:
"Oh God: Who is Jesus?!”

And I heard these words clearly in my mind:
All Authority is given to Me in Heaven and earth.
I hold the keys to hell and death.

I hadn't read it, but I knew Jesus had said it. (Mat.28:18, Rev.1:18) And the lights went on! God showed me myself and my need for Jesus.  God showed me Himself, His Word, and His unconditional love for me in Christ. So I admitted my sins and my emptiness, and I gave my heart to this God who was calling me. And He forgave me and began to change me from the inside out! He took me to the cross where I saw what my sins had cost. He showed me what His Son’s awful death and awesome resurrection meant: that His death was my death, and His life was my life! Now my fears were turning into faith, my lusts & loneliness were turning into love, and a monster was turning into a minister! I felt like a child again!

The other guys in our band were also finding Christ. That summer we were all converted, reborn... saved! Instead of our candle-light meditation sessions, we began praying and reading our Bibles together. We all got baptized to show our death and destiny in Jesus. We were so hungry for God that we'd go to a different church or store front service almost every night!

Those were incredible Jesus days! We didn't know it, but we had become part of the "Jesus Movement" that was rocking America and rescuing thousands of wayward children like ourselves. And suddenly, our band had became one of America’s first Christian rock bands! We called ourselves "E" which stood for Emmanuel. We rocked for Jesus in churches, colleges, high schools, rallies in the parks and festivals! And we saw hundreds of our peers turn to this same Jesus who had revolutionized our lives! Our one passion became to tell the world His story!

I praise the Lord for the last 35 amazing years of adventures & fun, blessings & friendships, ministry & miracles as His servant, His musician, His husband & father...His kid! What an awesome ride it's been! God has given me sweet gifts & grace! As I've painted my signs, He's used me as a sign! As I've drawn my cartoons & art, He's made me His funny masterpiece! As I've sang for Him, He's made me His song! He's helped me be a friend because He's the only True Friend! As a prison & children's minster, I've had the privilege of sharing His freedom & childlike faith with multitudes of prisoners, children, families and mostly, with guys like me. Any success I've had has been because of His mercy working in my life and in the lives of those who've loved me and I've walked beside.

But it's not been all glory. No, Jesus has taken me through many heartbreaks, dark times, mistakes & lessons: A failed marriage, several failed ministries, 3 slipped discs, financial reversals, the loss of a loved one...

But it's all been about Jesus and His tansforming grace at JCU! He's been teaching me that the deeper the wound, the deeper His Grace...that He is Lord and I can trust Him.

Through many dangers, toils & snares I have already come. Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
and grace will lead me home...

I'm so blessed to have raised 5 incredible kids! One is Aaron, who has "graduated" to Heaven. He had Down Syndrome & Diabetes, but was hit by a car in 1990. God used Aaron's birth, life and death to teach me up close & personal most of what I know about being a child before Him, about keeping the big ideas of God simple & real. I can't wait to see my buddy someday soon...

So here I am, much older now, and yet I love to tell people I'm 58 going on 12! Why? Because it's true! and it's a joy to be His child... forever!

Dave lives in Wylie, TX with his wife Diane and 4 kids:
Jeremy, Bethany, Jonathan & Charity.
They own Eden Signs & Murals.
Diane also works at Wal-Mart.
They attend New Hope Christian Church in Wylie.

Dave creates cartoons & articles for the local newspaper
and on several websites. H
e is also a songwirter and
public speaker. He travels to other churches & prisons
for ministry or to paint murals.

Some good sites for Down Syndrome---
National Down Syndrome Congress
National Down Syndrome Society
International Mosaic Down Syndrome Assoc.



Click here to download
Radio Interview
with Dave
Dave talks of the
70s Jesus Movement,
and his musical life.

The Archive
FM90.3 WJTL Lancaster, PA
Host: Terry Phillips

We believe the Bible! ...the inspired, perfect history of God’s dealings with man. God's Word, all 66 books of the Old & New Testaments, is the only book given totally by the Holy Spirit and contains zero mistakes!

We believe in 1 God!  ... Who lives forever as 3 eternal beings: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

We believe in Jesus!  ...Who is from God and is God’s only Son, being one in nature with God. We believe in Jesus’ miracle birth from Heaven into His earthly mother, the virgin Mary.  And so, Jesus is 100% God and 100% human!  He is the only Heaven-born, eternal Son of God and Son of man.  We believe Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, performed real miracles and showed us what God is like and how to know Him.

We believe in the cross!  We believe Jesus, as God’s sacrifice lamb, died on the cross as the world’s ransom. He took all mankind’s punishment for sin. His holy and human blood is the only perfect offering for our sin. Only His sacrifice fulfills God's holy justice and provides salvation to all who trust in God through Him.

We believe in the resurrection!  We believe that Jesus was totally dead, but that He rose totally from death!  Then He lifted up bodily from the earth to enter Heaven, where He rules at the right hand of God the Father, praying for us and working in us. He is the only true ambassador between God and man. 

We believe in the Holy Spirit! 
He is the only way we can live supernaturally in Christ.  We believe Jesus poured out His Holy Spirit to His first disciples so they could live in Him and go for Him to the whole world.  We believe the same power and mission are for us today.  The Spirit’s goal is to make us like Jesus!  So we believe the fruits & the gifts of the Spirit are for believers today, by faith. But we believe that love is more important than the most spectacular gifts!

We believe in 1 Church! ...and the unity all real Christians in Jesus. He commands and empowers us to be one, to express His Gospel and make disciples in all nations. The church is not just a building or one group of Christians, but His army, His body, His family, His team on earth, wherever they gather.  We believe the only foundation of this unity is God's supernatural, unconditional love given to each believer. We believe that church rituals, membership or good deeds do not make a real Christian, but only a new birth into Jesus' life. 

We believe in the Fall of the Human Race! ...that we were created in the image of God to be His unique, Heavenly creation, His children, His friends!  Not like angels or animals, but unique, living souls-- with spirits to walk with God and bodies to serve God on earth!  But our ancient grandparents chose to reject God and be their own gods instead!  By that selfish choice man made themselves aliens to Heaven. Humans turned into weak & wicked creatures who cannot & will not love their Creator.  So we all need rebirth.

We believe in Heaven & Hell!  We believe that there are no mortal people!  Everybody, saved or lost, young or old, religious or not, will live forever... somewhere!  At death, the believer enters into eternal, felt fellowship with God in Heaven, and awaits the raising of his body to everlasting glory. At death, the unbeliever enters into eternal, felt separation from the Lord in Hell, and awaits the raising of his body for everlasting punishment. We believe that all people, including children are, by nature, at war with God and answerable for their own sin.  We believe forgiveness is freely offered to all by God's mercy.  And when a child, no matter what age, race or religion, turns from sin & self-rule to Jesus as Savior & Lord, he is born from Heaven and given God's new Spirit; all sins are forgiven and he becomes a child of God, destined to live forever with Him!

We believe in God’s present & future Kingdom!
 ...that Jesus will come again to earth in person to complete history & the plans of God. But for now, His Kingdom exists wherever His Kingship is received.

Oh Father!  May Your Kingdom come, may Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
For Yours is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever! 
Mat. 6:10, 13


JCU Children’s Manifesto: What We Believe for kids!
thanks to calvarychapel.com

We trust God's Word that children can be saved. 

We believe there's an "age of accountability" when children become responsible for their life before God. 
Of course, only God knows that age.  Until then, as scripture says, their angels watch over them.  
We believe that the salvation of kids is totally from God's undeserved, free grace and is given not because of human works or goodness, parental goodness or heritage, religious ceremony or tradition.  Someone once said: "God has no grandchildren" - each child must come to faith in Christ for his (or her) self. 

We believe that all people, including children, are, by nature, separated from God and responsible for their own sin, but that salvation and forgiveness are freely offered to all by the grace of our Lord Jesus. When a child turns from sin and accepts Jesus as personal Savior and Lord, trusting Him alone to save, that child is born of God in the Holy Spirit. All his/her past sins are forgiven and he/she is given a new spirit of love and holiness. God gives His grace and right relationship to all children who put their faith in Christ alone.

We believe that at Infant Dedication, parents devote themselves and their child to God. They trust that someday their child will choose to personally believe and serve God through Christ. At that time the child should be baptized as a statement of faith and accepted into the community of Christ.

We believe worship of God should be spiritual. Therefore, we help children to remain open to the inner voice and the written word of God, to His revelations and leadings of His Holy Spirit to guide them.

We believe worship of God should be inspirational. Therefore, we give great place to music and the arts in children's worship.  We encourage kids to express their heartfelt devotion, emotions and creativity to God.

We believe worship of God should be intelligent. Therefore, our ministry places great emphasis on the teaching of the Word of God so He might show children how to worship and how to live.

We believe worship of God should be fruitful. Therefore, we look for His unconditional love, outrageous acts of service and creative ministry (especially at home) in the lives of children as the evidence that they have a real faith.  We help them realize that they are God's small soldiers & missionaries to their world.



God's attorneys, American Center for Law & Justice!
American Family Association, Culture Warriors!
bigidea.com & bigideafun.com
Incredible edible nutrition for kids!  Veggies rule!
Pals Mike & Mary Damrow: old Jesus freaks unite!
Big Apple fruit & faith with Jim & Carol Cymbala.  What real testimonies!  What a choir!
The Christian Broadcasting Network has been saving souls, strengthening the Church, and fighting the culture wars.
Focus on the Family, keeping homes strong
for 3 decades! with Dr. James Dobson.

Powerful & relevant teen ministry & more!
with insightful speaker Ron Hutchcraft!

LA angels of the Spirit Life!  with world-shaking teacher-pastor Jack Hayford!
MOH.org & ultimatecore.net
Winkie Pratney: youth teacher, author, revivalist extraordinaire! And favorite bro on the planet!
Creative kid’s resources, puppet supplies
and those outrageous RPM parodies!

John’s one of the best painters & friends I know.
Strengthening men for 2 decades!  Including me!

My favorite young praiser!  & my cool nephew!
Famous preachers.  Red hot, revival messages!
Challenging, heart-felt messages & resources
from premier teacher Alistair Begg.

A big platoon of God’s awesome missions army!