Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Who I am, where I am

I came to Jesus 33 years ago. Or I should say that Jesus came to me, when I cried out to Him helpless and knowing that there was know reason that He should accept me, let alone love me. I was high on drugs that I used to fight off boredom, and shed inhibitions. But the room was spinning, and I was scared. A guy from college had asked me more than once that if I died tonight, did I know where I would spend eternity. The question had some relevence at that time. Ray spoke of a Jesus that loved me, and he lived life like the God of the universe loved him. Secretly, I wanted to be like him. He seemed to be more grounded. He wasn't subject to the whims and likes and the dislikes of others. I was a puppet on a string, trying to pull the strings on other people who were also puppets.

So I cried out, because I had no other choice. I knew that I was a hypocrite. I had been raised in a mainline church. I had heard the gospel, but didn't like it. I didn't like feeling condemned for the sins that I knew I was committing. And that was all that I heard. Ray told me that Jesus loved me, and that it was only admitting that I was a sinner, and that I needed His love could I ever live a different life. But I wasn't looking ahead to life at that point, I was afraid of death.

So I said to Jesus "I know that my life isn't worth much, but if you want it, it is yours."

And I felt such a feeling of being loved, like I had felt before, but never nearly so strong. And the room stopped spinning. I wanted to open my eyes because I believed that Jesus was in the room with me. But I was afraid that I would see His wounds, and I felt responsible for them, so I kept my eyes shut.

I had an immediate hunger for God's word, and went out and bought a bible the next day.

But, as I read, I started looking for loopholes. I wanted Jesus to provide me with eternal security, but not to yeild my whole life to Him. That came 7 years later, after running my own life had gotten me kicked out of graduate school, and fired from my first job. All that time, God continued to send Christians into my life.

After I moved to Rochester, I went to a mainline church (the same denomination that I grew up in). But people there really loved each other, and immediately accepted me. I wasn't used to that much love. I sneaked back to other churches in the denomination where I could be anonymous. Eventually, I stayed at the church, and embraced learning about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It was a church going through charismatic renewal. I grew a lot. But eventually knew when it was time to move on.

My marriage broke up about that time, which was also shortly after my son was born. In the breakup, I began to see some of my blindspots. It blew me away that Jesus saw the blindspots all along, and still loved me. Grace, and deeper love than I had ever experienced really threw me for a loop. I exchanged emails with friends, because I thought I was going out of my mind, or falling into heresy. It has been about 8 years since my divorce. And the whole time has been spent, growing in grace, letting love drive out my fears, trusting Jesus more (little by little), learning that I can't accomplish most things with God's help, but that God can accomplish anything with my cooperation.

I want to listen and learn from Jesus everyday, even every minute of everyday. So most of my lessons come from life. That is what this blog will be about.

I will allow comments, but will try not to respond to them, unless there is a request for clarification, or additional infomation. I am sure that there are people out there willing to agree that I am out of my mind, deceived, or a heretic. I will be sorely tempted to defend myself. But I don't see Jesus doing that. He didn't debate. I never see Him say "You are wrong." or "You are a fool." etc. He did say "You have heard it said ... but I say" I see no reason not to allow people to hear other opinions.

Sometimes, I will need to hear rebukes (Prov 9:8 - ... Reprove a wise man and he will love you. ) because I am wrong. I make mistakes. That is the other reason that I will respond, to admit that I am wrong.

God bless,