More About the Author
Jon has recently been blessed and privileged to have been called in December 2008 by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church as the congregation's pastor. He has been the pastor there since January 2009.
After fruitful pastoral ministries to the Aleut people of the remote Alaskan fishing village of King Cove and to the Yup'ik Eskimos of the remote Alaskan fishing village of Scammon Bay, he and his family left Alaska on January 23, 2008 when symptoms that were once thought to be Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (aka ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease) began to manifest in 2006.
After extensive testing at Loma Linda University Medical Center, and continued testing at Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center, a diagnosis was slow to come. When it did, it was rescinded. Although the symptoms are just like those of ALS and PLS (Primary Lateral Sclerosis), his ailments were labeled "unidentified."
Finally, in our seventh year with these symptoms, and after three years on crutches, Jon began taking some antibiotics for a severe chest cold. His dexterity and coordination began to slowly return and his strength also increased. When the antibiotics ran out, he began drinking a very strong ginger tea twice daily, which was made by his mother-in-law. Soon thereafter he moved from crutches to a cane and began walking two to three miles per day. Still drinking the ginger tea twice daily, Jon has been functioning with only slight residual symptoms.
JON'S PERSONAL TESTIMONY
Jon was born in San Diego, California on August 25, 1960. His father, a navy man, passed away in 1963 while in military service and his mother married another sailor three years later. As a result, his family moved all over the country... and as Jon often jokes, "My family moved several times between 1966 and 1971, and I found them every time." By the time he graduated from high school, he longed to travel again. After a semester of college, he dropped out and joined the US Navy with hopes of being a "frogman."
Climbing the ranks quickly, Jon found favor with his superiors in the navy diving community; yet, he was empty and troubled. Assigned as a 2nd Class Diver onboard the U.S.S. McKee in 1984, "God surrounded me with Christians who loved me, prayed for me, and answered any questions that I had," says Cardwell. For the entire month of May 1985 he was under conviction as a hopeless sinner doomed to eternal punishment. On June 3, 1985, after nine months of Christian witness and conviction from the Holy Spirit, he went to one of the Christians. He found Vincent Lawrence and asked Vince to pray for him because, as Jon relates, "I somehow knew that if I didn't repent before God, I knew that I was utterly and eternally lost; yet, I also knew that I couldn't possibly repent until God changed me and made me capable of repenting." Vince invited Jon to kneel and pray with him. As they knelt together in the divers' berthing compartment, again Jon describes it this way:
"I supposed that I repeated Vince's words; however, I know I didn't hear a word Vince said until the very last 'amen.' While kneeling with closed eyes, I KNEW that I was a totally depraved sinner with no hope; yet because God poured out His just and holy wrath upon Jesus Christ for my sins, and that Jesus lovingly and willingly paid that price for my sins, that God made me right with Himself by what He accomplished on the Cross of Calvary. From the depth of my soul I groaned for forgiveness by His atoning blood, and in a moment, an indescribable peace came to me. I remembered saying, 'amen,' and opening my eyes. I stood up as a new man. I was different. I was transformed. It was noticeable to the other divers I worked with. Although I couldn't understand all of it, I had a love for God's Word and couldn't stop reading it. I also had a love for God's people and wanted to be around them whenever I could."
JON'S PREVIOUS PASTORATES
Scammon Bay Covenant Church, Scammon Bay, Alaska
King Cove Bible Chapel, King Cove, Alaska
First Filipino Methodist Church, Riverside, California
JON'S STATEMENT OF FAITH
Jon and his family are in general agreement with the early English Baptist confessions, such as the 1st London Baptist Confession of Faith (1644/1646) and the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith (1677/1689), as well as the early American Baptist confessions, such as the Philadelphia Confession of Faith (1742) and the New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833).
Additionally, by God's grace, in his faith he strives to be Reformed in theology but not exclusive; Calvinistic in bibliology but not fatalistic; evangelistic in soteriology but not pragmatic; amillennial in eschatology but not dogmatic; puritanical in praxeology but not legalistic.
JON'S FAVORITE AUTHORS
John Bunyan; Jonathan Edwards; Charles Spurgeon
JON'S FAVORITE BOOK
"Other than the Bible, my favorite book is John Bunyan's classic allegory, THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS," Jon confides. "I've read that book at least once per year every year since the Lord has saved me, and sometimes more than that."