Perhaps you've been following the story of the two former Navy SEAL's who are currently serving a life sentence for committing murder back in 1995.  Billy Joe Brown and Dustin Turner were both convicted of the murder of Jennifer Evans outside of a bar in Virginia Beach.

At the time of their arrest, the two defendants accused each other while proclaiming their own innocence.  Turner did, however, admit to helping his former SEAL "swim buddy" dispose of Evans' body and cover up the crime.

The story has been in the news again recently because Brown is now testifying that Turner is telling the truth.  Back in may, Brown appeared in court and gave testimony saying that he alone was responsible for the murder and that Turner was only responsible for helping him cover up the crime after the fact.

The hearing was convened to determine Brown's credibility.  Of course the big question that everyone wanted to ask was, "Why change your story now?"  Brown testified that it was because he had become a Christian.  He told the court room that he was "here to glorify Jesus Christ by telling the truth."  Later he said that he "knew immediately in (his) heart (he) had to tell..."[*]

Just recently, the circuit court judge found Brown's testimony to be credible.  Turner is petitioning for release from jail based on the time he's already served for his part in covering up the crime.

This is still a tragic story.  Brown and Turner both committed a terrible crime.  The Virginian-Pilot article included a picture of Janet Evans' mother wiping away a tear at the hearing.  Brown's confession can only do so much good.

But it's compelling to hear Brown talk about how his relationship with Christ has changed him.  Part of me is cynical about this sudden conversion.  But it's hard to tell how Brown has anything to gain.  At the end of the day he went back to the jail where he'll spend the rest of his life.

In court, Brown was asked what he expects to happen next.  Brown replied: "Whatever the good Lord wills.  I'm not worried...because I have a clean heart before God."

God's grace can bring people to offer up pretty powerful testimonies.  When God changes a life, it's hard for that person not to talk about it.  The question for us this morning is: "What would our testimony be?  What do you have to say about how God has changed your life?"  I hope you'll think about it this morning.

[*] All of the quotes from this story come from Bill Sizemore's article in the 5/29/08 issue of The Virginian Pilot.