Even as a child I knew there was a God. My mother saw to it that I went to Sunday School and Church. We had a small plaque in the house with the word "Jesus never fails" and that phrase has always stuck with me.
As I got into my teens I was rebellious and ran with others who were rebellious as well.
When I got my draft notice during the Vietnam era: that was a wake up call. I found myself in the church yard sitting on a bench looking at sculptures. I made a "deal" with God: "bring me back home and not one day will pass that I fail to thank and praise you!"
Let me tell you truly, at that time and now as I look back 50 years later, there were several times that I'm not sure how I survived. But, obviously God saw fit to bring me home--wounded but alive.
After I returned I met and later married a fine Christian lady and began attending worship services with her. One Sunday following a message on the woman at the well, the pastor asked if anyone was uncertain about what were to happen to them if they were to die that day. My hand shot up! I committed my life to Jesus Christ that day, acknowledging Him as my Lord and my Savior. I trust in Him and want to obey Him in all I do and say.
That journey continues today with some ups and downs along the way. I want you to know that Jesus in my life has made ALL the difference in my marriage, my family, my work, and my church. I want everyone to know the joy and certainty that I have in Jesus.Dennis,
I had heard about God from before I was born! As a young child I was in 'church' every Sunday for Sunday School and worship, and for youth group in the evening. When I was six I heard a teacher explain that at the end of everyone's life there is a judgment. There are only two destinations: heaven or hell, with Jesus or separated from Jesus. She invited me to decide which road I wished to walk and I could not bear being separated from Jesus.
As I grew through adolescence and the teen years, still involved with the local 'church', I began to be distracted by interests that competed with my love for God (popularity, girls, sports, etc.). While I hadn't rejected God outright, my actions and attitudes did not reflect someone committed to following Jesus.
A couple of personal crises forced me to do a serious self-evaluation of what had gone wrong in my life. Following a lengthy time of searching I went to a series of evangelistic meetings and there I was challenged to "get off the fence": if God is God, then serve Him; if God is not God, then let 'er rip!
I could see that living according to my own ideas was leading me nowhere that I wanted to be. I heard the Four Spiritual Laws (God loves us; we have sinned; Christ has paid the penalty for our sins; we need to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior) and recommitted myself to Jesus Christ. A close friend helped me see my decision needed to be based on the objective truth of Scripture ("doesn't matter what country, language, or century... the Bible will always be true") and not on my emotions.
That was several decades ago now. It has been the absolute best decision I have ever made. Eternal life began that day and I am looking forward to the next big thing God is going to do in the lives of those around me!Charlie,
I had a very rough childhood. I began drinking when I was 12 years old. By the time I was in my twenties, I was drinking a case of beer a day with several days adding vodka and/or whiskey. That went on for about twenty years.
Then one day, after a day of fishing on the river, I was so drunk I had trouble getting my boat onto the trailer to drive home. As it turned out there was a fish commission officer not far away observing my ineptitude. When he saw me pull up out of the water and through the parking lot, his headlights went on and he stopped me. For some reason he said he wasn't going to cite me for being intoxicated while operating the boat, but neither was I going to drive anywhere or going to be allowed to sleep it off in the parking lot. Someone else drove my vehicle to a nearby relative's house and a fell asleep in the driveway.
After waking up, the first thing I told my wife was that I would never drink alcohol again. She laughed: as if that were possible!
But it was my last drink and it was over 18 years ago. Simultaneous to all this, someone had been continuously telling me about my need for Jesus. I couldn't or wouldn't hear what the person was saying but now my mind was clear and I surrendered control of my life to Jesus Christ.
Am I ever glad that I did! I have begun to live life to the fullest, with more joy than I ever had when I was drowning my sorrows in the suds!Barry,
My husband had recently died. The pastor (at that time) frequently came into the store and we had casually talked a number of times.
That day he noticed that I was very sad and asked if I wanted to talk.
God joined us in that conversation. A few minutes later, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.
Jesus got me through that terrible trial and has walked with me through some deep waters since. I cannot thank God enough for that pastor and for this congregation!Jody,