AN INTRODUCTION TO ME
Before I start I want to introduce my wonderful, godly wife, mother, grandmother and friend of all who know her - my loving wife. Bev doesn't like being praised, but she earned it during our 44+ years and will surely hear a "well done" from the Lord!
Who I Am
I am a Christian - first and foremost! There are tons of erroneous views of what constitutes a Christian, and, to be blunt, I am sick of people who have never been Christians defining me through their observations of self-acclaimed Christians who hardly fit the mold the Bible demands. These people accept gross misconceptions of Christianity based on their total lack of knowledge of what true Christianity is all about. It is akin to aliens coming from space, looking over our society, and explaining it from their other worldly point of view. The absurdity of it would be plain to everyone of intelligence who lives on this planet. To clarify what I mean I will explain what a Biblical Christian really is.
1. The beginning of a Christian's life is when that person acknowledges that they are a sinner in need of a Savior. This is not some mental gymnastic, but a deep understanding of wickedness that is inherent in all mankind. The reality of sinfulness brings a person before the throne of God in meekness and humility knowing that they are unworthy to receive the least of all blessings from the hand of God because of their vile condition. It is at this point that real repentance becomes possible. To come in any other way than "Just as I am without one plea, but that the blood of Christ was shed for me" is outside the realm of spiritual reality.
2. The first step is an act of faith. Faith is possible for two reasons that I can think of right off hand. First because Romans 1:19-20 makes it clear that God has put the knowledge of Himself in every man. That coupled with the fact that the Bible also tells us that God has given to every man "the measure of faith" fulfills the two things necessary to salvation. The faith necessary to believe, and the proof of God that has been deposited in all mankind from birth. Because of this the Bible declares without apology "The fool has said in his heart; there is no God." I could expound more on this were I to consider the conscience of man, but suffice it to say that the conscience is the watch guard of the soul warning us when temptation to sin comes calling.
3. When the person comes to God soiled with sin and with a contrite and repentant heart by faith, God reveals Himself to them and a miracle suddenly takes place. A cleansing occurs that transcends the puny intellect of the greatest intellectual being to ever exist on planet earth. A person who heretofore cared nothing about what God thought and who lived without regard to God in any aspect of his life is suddenly forgiven of every sin he or she has ever committed and that person knows it intimately in the innermost recesses of his soul. The foul mouth learns to praise its Creator, the one who despised others loves them and genuinely cares about their welfare and their eternal future. The one who was apathetic about God suddenly becomes in the eyes of the unregenerate a zealot, old habits are thoroughly broken, old haunts become distasteful, music changes from worldly to heavenly. Church becomes desirable as a place to fellowship with like minded individuals, broken homes are reunited in love and harmony, life is bright and beautiful and has purpose, meaning and direction, morals become vitally important, and loving and serving God becomes the hearts most fervent desire!
The Bible is no longer just another book to a true Christian. It is water to his soul to refresh and nourish it. He cannot get enough of God's Word in his heart, and studies and meditates on it always. The Holy Spirit begins to teach him those things that he is able to deal with as a new Christian. Then he grows in faith as the truths revealed to him are deeper and deeper, and yet he knows that if he lived a million lifetimes he would never fully comprehend all there is to know about them. Spending time in God's presence brings closeness to God that becomes increasingly more fulfilling as time goes by. It is in knowing God and interacting with God personally that the Christian draws his strength to deal with all the issues of life. It is in God's presence that there is found fullness of joy. It is in God's presence that there is peace that passes all understanding. All the languages in the world, lined end to end with all the best possible combinations of words available, could not adequately express the excitement of one second spent in the presence of God. When He comes into the room with His glory and power and fills the soul of a man or woman or child it is blessing beyond measure!
This then is what I believe, not because I read it somewhere, not because I heard it in a church sermon, not because I heard someone tell it from their personal experience, nor yet because I read some testimony or testimonies from books. It is what I believe because God took this once time drug pusher and drug addict from a prison cell in February 1974 and transformed his life in such a way that it will never be the same again. It is the peace and true satisfaction that all men wish for but few find because they are looking for it in all the wrong places.
I have walked down the streets that many of you who read this walked. I experienced parental abandonment by my father and 23 years of hate for him that followed. I was separated from my mother for a total of 5 years in an orphanage because she couldn't care for five of us and work a job. I watched my stepfather strike my mother, get arrested and the second divorce that resulted. I was a drunken person for 12 years; sometimes so drunk that I could not get up and walk, and one time drank myself sober. During the last six of those twelve years of drinking I entered the drug culture, and purchased and sold drugs while living in a dream world that helped me escape reality. During that six years I attempted suicide once, and was married to a woman who attempted suicide as well and she ended up in a mental institution. Finally I ran from Pennsylvania to Florida to start a new life only to end up in Broward County Prison on drug possession charges. The police told me I could get 15 years for the drugs I had, but because I had no previous record I was given a misdemeanor and eighteen days. It was during those days in jail that I began to read a Gideon's Bible and ask questions about it. Nobody there knew the answers so I desperately prayed to God "God, if you are real, and you can prove it to me I will give you my life!" If you go back to the beginning of this article and read items 1 through 4 you will see what happened to me, and why I am a straight shooter today.
As I said at the beginning, I am a Christian first and foremost! I don't have time for games with people who love to use semantics (word games) to prove points. I am real 24/7. My word is my bond. When I say something, you can believe it is from my heart, and I will not relent or compromise anything that pertains to my faith or walk with God. I am not foolish enough to think I know everything that there is to know, so I'm teachable. After all, No man has all the knowledge on any subject at any time, so we can all stand to learn more about what we know or "what we think we know."
Some people who read my posts will be offended of necessity because they have not allowed God to touch their hearts and lives yet. Some fellow Christians will be offended by what I write because there are many who have compromised their faith or are bound by the idea that God is love and nothing else or perhaps simply because they have become used to the soft preaching of this generation. Some others will be blessed, because they are not afraid of a challenge, they love God more than they love the opinions of man, they have resolved to serve and honor and obey God through this life and on into the endless ages of eternity. They will love me for my truthfulness, however misguided it may seem or be in actuality, because they love anyone who will take a strong stand for the Lord!
This then is my introduction to me and what I believe. I may not write many articles or perhaps I may write many. Only God knows the future. Whatever the case be sure my first intent is to honor God and glorify Him in my thoughts, words and actions as long as I live. If I do that to the best of my ability, with the help of God, everyone who reads what I write will be challenged, exhorted, encouraged and blessed and find something that will draw them closer to God.