In this blog I will be using the “I” word many times over because some people do not know about me and others have misguided conceptions.
In 1981, while suffering from a severe bout of depression, I was formally introduced to Jesus Christ by a man who had been introduced to him by Clarence Snyder one of the original members of AA. This introduction to Jesus and the experiences I had because of Jesus were all within a Christian 12 Step Program that Clarence had passed on. I continue to pass this program on today in the year 2013.
Andy (the man who took me through the steps), gave me a Bible when we were finished and told me that the Jesus Christ I just experienced was in this Book.
I was not convinced and had to read the entire Bible before the Holy Spirit of God revealed to me that not only was Jesus Christ God, but that He was also a Person in the One Unified Trinity of God with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Prior to these experiences and revelations I was not a speaker nor anyone who believed in sharing anything about themselves. In fact, I was in a VA Hospital for an eight week program and it took me six of those weeks to start talking.
But as soon as I had gone through the Christian 12 Steps and read the Bible, my phone began to ring off the wall. Everyone who knew me saw the miracle of God in me and wanted what I had. And I have learned that God does not just send those who are close to you. Many people from other states began to call me, in fact, just over a year ago a man called me from Mexico. You know when you have a calling from God when He sends people to you. I just received a call the other day from a woman who needs help for her niece in Louisiana.
I have learned many spiritual truths over the past decades, however, one Truth remains constant - “May we never boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the Word of the Cross is the power of God to us who have been saved. See the Book of Galatians 6:14 and 1 Corinthians 1:18
I have always known that it is never anything I do or say but the power of the Cross of my Lord Jesus Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit that saves and helps people. I am only a chosen vessel for God to work through while I am here on earth.
In the Gospel of John Chapter 15 Jesus tells us that we will testify of Him because the “Spirit of Truth” testifies to us- the Holy Spirit of God.
And in this same Chapter, Jesus tells us that His Truth will be a lasting Truth. “I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord”. John 15:16
And Isaiah 52:7- “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings of peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation!”
Yes, I have been blessed beyond measure ever since God called me to preach and teach His good news. I have seen lives changed and miracles happen right before my eyes. I know the power, mercy and grace of God because I have experienced it in my own life and have seen it first hand in the lives of others. A beautiful woman from my Church and I were having a conversation at our Church picnic. Our conversation was mostly about the Bible. I thanked her for talking to me about the Bible because I have found that many people do not want to talk about it even if they have read it and she said to me; “that is because they have not experienced it”. I knew right then that not only had she “experienced the Word of God”, but that she also understood me.
Now, trying or hoping or wishing that all people like me or understand me has never been my motivation while sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. But God comforted me today again with His Word from 2 Timothy Chapter 4- “At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.”
Persecution comes with the job.
Since 1981 all I have ever wanted to do was share the Word of God. God has blessed me with numerous opportunities since then and I cannot thank Him nor be grateful to Him enough for His overwhelming peace, grace, and unspeakable joy! Praise God thank You Jesus!
I know I have been faithful to His Calling. And I know that being faithful does not mean being perfect as my previous blog about the “Hall of Faith”. And in this light I want to reference a man who many of us judge and often shake our heads while reading about him and that is Jacob. In the Book of Genesis Chapter 32:23-33 we read that God blessed Jacob and even named the entire nation of Israel after him because he was human and struggled with God and men and prevailed (overcome).
Many, many years ago I used to write songs and one of them was titled “I am only Human Lord”.