Sunday, April 09, 2006

Happy 11th Birthday to Me

Spiritual of course.

On April 9, 1995 I attended the service where my pride and arrogance broke - and I came to Christ. For those who haven't read it, and want to know something about who I am, my (four part) testimony is critical to understanding me (if that matters - I do not "expect" that it should).

I know for many the concept of being "born again" makes you crazy. Sorry, I was.

Amazing Grace

Loosely based on: Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

It was also a Palm Sunday; and the week before Easter. I think this is the first time in those 11 years that Palm Sunday is on the 9th and Easter on the 16th.

There I was, on my knees weeping with no one but Alan R and his wife there with me (gotta read the testimony). They were not sitting with me, but saw me "alone" and came down.

While I wasn't made blind, I understand Paul on the road to Damascus: I to was an enemy of Christ (
"Why are you persecuting me?") and God and met Him there in Spokane.

My first Sunday as a Christian in my home town was Easter.

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Absolutely in the first hour. By the end of that day I had accepted the Bible as the word of God; and vowed I would trust it over my own understanding and experience (which had lied to me for 16 years) until it was proven wrong. It has not been.

I also learned to say rapidly - when deciding to do the right thing - that I did not "want to talk to God about that later". I learned to fear God.

I also know that I am forgiven; and that I need not fear God at all by His Grace and love. Of course, while "wisdom came through the fear of God" I now want to obey and follow Jesus because of what He has done for me; He is worthy of obedience; and it is the least I owe Him.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

I had said before I came back to Christ that when God paid my rent I would believe in Him. Now that He has paid my rent so many times, I realize that He wasn't going to pay my rent so that I would believe in Him. God had done in Christ what He would do for me; and it was my response that was necessary - God was not to be bargained with.

He has brought my wife and me through so many "dangers, toils and snares" that I am amazed looking back over the last 11 years.

As I embark on the building of Westport - I know that - in His service - the dangers, toils, and snares will only increase: God is not interested in my comfort - He is interested in my character. God will bring me through these also.


When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.

Now that is something to look forward to.

Amen

2 comments:

  1. Happy, happy birthday! Thanks for sharing your spiritual journey with us. It's a blessing.

    ReplyDelete

How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly