Christian Testimonies - Share yours?

Share how you became a Christian, or experiences from your Christian life.
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Judah
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#46

Post by Judah » Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:03 am

In my dream I returned to visit the house I had lived in with my parents and brothers as a very young child, the home of my earliest memories.
I was surprised to find that it was on the market, and I had the opportunity to wander through it again. It was very similar to how I had remembered it, but had been renovated and redecorated. It was far better than my memories... it was made perfect for me and had everything I could wish for in a home of my own, and even more besides. The atmosphere within was incredible - a wonderful peace with beauty of surroundings and a feeling of great love. I lingered for a while, just enjoying my very first home made over new.
I sought the price of it and learnt that, while very expensive, it was just possible I could buy it... although it would mean quite some sacrifice.

Shortly after that, I awoke with the words of John 14:1-6 on my mind:
1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going."
The sacrifice... I would have to give myself to Him.
The sacrifice... He had already given Himself for me.

Yes, I awoke knowing there was no turning away, no going back... I had arrived.
I had indeed entered the Kingdom of Heaven.

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#47

Post by CountryBoy » Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:59 pm

Judah,

Very touching! Thanks for sharing that.

CB

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#48

Post by Jay_7 » Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:37 am

.......

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#49

Post by Deansnder » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:49 pm

It's not long :wink: , but it explains how I found Christ and decided I'm going to enter ministry:

When I was in early elemetary school, I had friends. But as time went on I had fewer and fewer of them, finally my last (and I thought my best) freind betrayed and left me my 5th grade year. When i got into Jr. High I was ridiculed and mocked. The way i was treated made me think "Why should I worship a God that allows this to happen to me?". I wasn't an athiest, just angry at God for stupid, pittiful reasons. I stopped going to church and I left the public school to homeschool myself. My treatment didn't get better. Kids would come to my house just to make fun of me. Finally my parents thought moving would be the only way to end it. I, on the other hand, hated that thougt. I had developed such low self esteem I thought it was ma and not kids. But my family moved anyway. To a small town in eastern Illinois.

About the time I was being treated badly, a couple of states over , a youth Minister by the name of Matt Willis was being treated unfairly by a small group of older people (including all of the elders) at the church he worked. It eventually got so bad, the rest of the church decided to split and go somewhere else, but before that could happen the older people started spreading rummors the Matt was sacraficing to satan in the basement of the church. This led to him being fired. He moved to the same town I did, about the same time I did. And he was God's gift to me.

I started making new freinds. I became a liked kid. I started going to church again. I found the church matt was now working at and decided it was a good one. Before the end of my first year there, Matt baptized me. And after hearing what happened to him in TN, i realized God has a purpose for everything. I know he wanted me and matt together, because through Him i've decided to become a youth minister. I'm now 18 and have plans to attened Central Christian Church of the Bible and get a BA in youth and family ministry. No matter what you are going through, God has a plan for you. He loves you and will never give you more than you can bare alone...just be patient. :D

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#50

Post by kateliz » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:00 pm

Dean, that was a beautiful tale of God's Sovereignty, kindness, and guidance. Thoroughly appreciated! :)

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#51

Post by Jac3510 » Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:42 am

This is good stuff . . . thanks to everyone who has posted. Very uplifting :)

I was born into a Christian home, and by the time I was seven I had come to understand that I was a sinner and thus separated from God. Better, I had also come to understand that He had provided the means of salvation through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, and that I simply had to trust Him for my salvation. It is a bit funny how that came about. My earliest memories are of my parents reading me Bible stories, and our family's favorite pastime was Bible Trivia. So by the time I was seven, I was pretty well versed in the stories and themes of the Bible. But then came the Great Crisis.

We were at church--Calvary Baptist Church in Savannah, GA--when the commune plate was passed around. I really didn't know what was going on, but I saw everyone getting a piece of bread, so when I figured I'd do the same. But, my mom said no. Same with the grape juice that came around! Of course, I didn't understand. Everyone else, including my parents, got some. When I asked her why, she said, "Because you aren't a Christian yet." It was like a dagger went right through me. On the way home, I immediately started asking questions, which was the first time the gospel message was REALLY explained to me, rather than just Bible stories.

Of course, I wanted to go ahead and "get saved." I asked my parents for weeks if I we could go talk to Dr. Turner, but they kept saying I was too young . . . I didn't really understand. So, finally, standing in the kitchen all by myself at the ripe old age of seven, it dawned on me that I didn't need my mom, dad, or pastor to tell me I could trust Jesus. So I got down on my knees there on Cobb road and received Christ. I told my parents what I had done, so that Sunday, they reluctantly took me after church to see Dr. Turner. He asked me all the right questions and concluded that I did understand (duh! ;)), and prayed with me. I was baptized the next week.

I spent the next several years in the same routine . . . church, Bible study, Sunday School, VBS, and, of course, Bible Trivia. I started becoming a little theologian, and then came Great Crisis II . . . Middle School.

I had mostly homeschooled up until that point, so it didn't take me long to realize that most people were not nice Christians! The catch phrase for "how to get saved" in my home was "give your life to Christ," and the important verse was Rom. 10:9-10. So began my legalism. These people clearly were NOT Christians, because they sure didn't act like it. And Paul said that Christ had to be Lord! For the next ten years, I devoured the Bible like never before. I got into apologetics. I discovered C. S. Lewis, Lee Strobel, William Lane Craig, J. P. Moreland, and the rest. My idea of evangelism became this: show people the logical nature of Christianity. They were separated from God by sin, but God provided the means to reconciliation through Jesus Christ. All we have to do is give our lives totally to Him and we would be saved.

You should know that between the age of seven and about fifteen, I had led a good handful of my friends to the Lord. I'd prayed with many of them to receive Christ, just as I had. But, the last part of those ten years, I didn't lead anyone to Christ. It wasn't until I took a youth ministry position that I led a couple of kids to the Lord, but that wasn't by my "tried and true method" of "Convince them they are a sinner, convince them to give there lives to Christ." In fact, just the opposite, while I witnessed to more people than ever before during that time (because, after all, no one was really saved! It was obvious by the way they lived!), I found people less and less inclined to receive the "gospel." I remember one time in particular in which I spent about two hours explaining Christianity to a very, very good friend of mine who was lost. When we finished, she admitted that everything I said made sense, and that it was probably true. But, she just wasn't willing to submit her life to Jesus. She wanted to live life her way. She walked away, not hearing the true Gospel of salvation by faith in Christ.

Of course, all of this had a strong impact on me. I became very, very harsh. I was very judgmental. I doubted almost everyone's salvation, at times, even my own. I would pray, "God, if there is anything I've not given to you, take it now!" I prayed that so often . . .

I had responded to the call to ministry during this time of my life (I'd known since I was four, but that's another story), and ultimately enrolled at Luther Rice College and Seminary, where I took Theology 101 from Hal Haller. In that class, he explained that Christ's death covered all sins, and that the only thing between man and God was unbelief. That hit me like a ton of bricks . . . it changed by theology dramatically. I finally got around to rejecting the last of the Calvinist points (Perseverance), and felt somewhat liberated. Then, a few months later, he invited me to attend a Grace Evangelical Society conference. It was there that I heard, for the first time in seventeen years the simple message that salvation was by grace through faith alone in Christ alone. I remembered, that is what I had done as a child!

The liberation was immediate. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I came back from that conference a changed person. I used to be told on a regular basis that I lacked the gift of compassion, and that I was too cold . . . too harsh. Now, I'm told just the opposite at times. I'm too forgiving and too gracious. But how could I not be? Christ saved me, not because I deserved it or gave my life to Him, but because He wanted to. He offered me a GIFT and I took it. I can't begin to describe the freedom and joy.

I used to wonder how people could get so choked up when they talked about God's grace. I just figured that they were naturally emotional and that I was naturally more logical, so things didn't affect me that way. I used to tell people that I couldn't relate to that sense of bondage that many people--many of you, in this thread--talked about. But I do now. I couldn't relate because I'd forgotten what grace meant, and I'd been living under a type of legalism.

God is awesome. He is gracious, and I absolutely cannot thank Him enough for what He's done in my life. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it! ;)
These users liked this post by Jac3510:
1over137 (Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:33 am)
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#52

Post by Judah » Fri Apr 14, 2006 3:31 am

Good one, Jac. :)
I'm glad you have swapped legalism for more compassion. I am always very impressed with your Biblical and theological knowledge, and that combined with the love and grace you have received from God makes you a great witness for His Kingdom.

I have a little extra to add to my story. I mentioned a dream that I had wherein I returned to the home of my earliest memories.
The loveliest thing has happened since I posted my testimony, and regarding that home.

Some time ago I registered my details on a national "old friends" website where old school friends can trace each other and renew contact again. Just before Christmas I was contacted by someone who had been a boy in my class at high school. I did remember him. Why he wanted to make contact was that he happened to be the current owner and resident of my old childhood home. He and his (late) wife had bought it quite a few years ago, loved it greatly (it has a wonderful feel to it, he said) and had since made certain alterations and renovations consistent with its original character and style.

I was absolutely thrilled to hear from him, and that my old home was owned by someone I knew and who was taking good care of it. We now email back and forth regularly, exchanging news and memories of the house.

My friend has since sent me a copy of the original house plans with the new alterations marked on them, and described the renovations he had since done. Would you be amazed to know that these were consistent with my dream? And the other thing... when his wife died (cancer, and far too young) he had thought of selling it as he was so upset without her. So he was deliberating about putting it on the market at the time of my dream. However, he decided to keep it instead as the house is actually quite a distinctive one, receiving many visitors who comment very favourably on it, and it is just too hard to part with now, he told me. I am very pleased he has decided to keep it.

Later this year I am planning to fly back there to visit him and my old home. He is planning to have a special celebration for when I am there. I am so looking forward to this - to see inside it again, to remember, and to meet an old friend from school days.

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#53

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:22 am

OK. Here goes.

I don't know that I've really given a strong testimony of who I am and where I am coming from here. This seems to be a good place to do so.

I am 43 years old. I was born and raised in Ontario Canada. My mother's background was Catholic. My Father's background was United Pentecostal Church of Canada. When they were married, they split the difference and we attended the Anglican Church until I was 12 years old. I was an server (altar boy) in the Anglican Church. I underwent Anglican Catechism and was confirmed in the Anglican church at the age of 12.

My father was an Alcoholic. At the age of 8 my mother left him and took my 2 brothers and I (I am the oldest) home with her to her parents in Northern Ontario. After 3 weeks of separation, my father decided to go to Alcoholics Anonymous and on the basis of his willingness to quit drinking we returned.

Dad never did drink again. Unfortunately, he never really addressed the issues that he was drinking to escape and so while he as sober, he was a very distant, severe and at times abusive father and those elements had a very significant impact on me and still do, although I am learning to heal and let God work in these areas of my life.

At the age of 12 my father ws influenced by some AA friends to take more seriously and personally his relationship wtih Christ. As a result he went to an evangelical Church in Burlington Ontario called Park Avenue Church which was part of the Associated Gospel Churches of Canada. In terms of doctrine and polity, this would most closely equate with the Evangelical Feee Church. My mother shortly after this made her own commitement to Christ.

In 1974, at this Church, I saw the film, Thief in the Night, and based on my fear of being left behind should Christ return, I made a decision for Christ, and I believe I was genuinely saved at that time. As I grew in my Christian walk, I've since come to see this as a somewhat coercive experience and frankly, come to resent a little bit that my concversion experience was manipulated in this manner rather than there being an appeal to meet Christ as a loving Savior, instead of a divine fire escape. That probably sounds strange, but I've made it a point in my own life and evangelism since very early in my Christian Walk to appeal positively to the message of Christ primarily, rather than using fear. It's not that I doubt my salvation. I cognitively know that fear in that regard is a legitimate emotion and response and basis for a decision to follow Christ. There's just always been a regret that this was the basis of my experience.

In terms of outward evidence, there was not necessarily a lot. Shortly after this time, I remember my parents were in a car accident. Mom was hurt pretty badly and suffered severe whiplash, a broken nose and lesions in the brain. She convelesced at home and we began to have live-in housekeepers. I remember often praying to God to heal my mother. On a few occassions I promised God I would commit myself to ministry if He would heal my mother.

At the age of 15 in 1978, I was a rebellious and angry teen. Probably more so than many because of the coldness and indifference I felt from my father. I was drifting away from my previous decisions and commitments. It was at this time that my church, still Park Avenue, underwent some pretty serious issues in leadership. I was only 15 at the time and some of this was not known to me, but there had been something of a split take place between the Senior Pastor and an associate and the board had split over it and leadership was in quite a bit of disarray.

Leadership responded by inviting Ralph and Lou Sutera of the Canadian Revival Fellowship, come to our Church for a 2 week revival. This was in April of 1978. The meetings were to be every night for 2 weeks. My family committed to be there.

The meetings began at 7 pm each night and sometimes went to 11 pm. I remember the themes were very basic Christian teaching with an appeal to drop the masks, be honest with God and each other, repent of secret sin etc. A prayer room was established where anyone was ancouraged at any point in the service to go to deal with any issue that God dealt with them on. Following that, regardless of the time in the service, when they came out they were encouraged to give testimony to whatever God had dealt with them regarding.

It started slow, but some amazing things began to happen. Attendence grew steadily. People began dealing with some very serious issues and going public about them. People confessed to tax evasion, affairs, dishonest business dealing, prescription pill addictions, alcoholism, in addition to the common issues of unforgiveness, lust, lying etc. Furthermore, people were taught and encouraged to make restitution and resolve issues where they could and then report back.

The meetings grew in size and momentum until the 2 weeks were approaching a conclusion. Based on the continued growth and momentum of the meetings, they were extended for a week and then another week and then another.

Our Church became too small and other Churches in the area hearing what is happening, began to cancel their services and activities and encourage their people to attend these meetings. Larger Churches began to open their facilities when our church became too small to accomodate the crowds.

I was very impressed over time with what was happening. At first I was angry and rationalized that it was all a show and that this really wasn't what Christianity was like. Then elders in the Church that I knew and respected began to confess publically their shortfallings and secret sins and I began to be curious about why they would do that.

The Split that had occured in leadership was made public. The associate pastor who had left and taken board members with him was approached by the pastor and the remaining board and they apologized to him for their part in the dispute and asked for his forgiveness. He granted it, made his own apologies and the two factions agreed to publically appear togethr before the congrgation to admit their sin in the conflict, proclaim their forgiveness of all involved and publically reconcile. The associate did not return to staff. Our Chruch however, endorsed his new ministry and there was public as well as financial support given to help him in his new work.

All in all, pretty radical Christianity on display.

In the evidence of all of this, I finally reached my own point where I met with God, confessed my rebellion, reprented of it and gave myself over to Christ fully to not just to the minimum, but instead to walk with Him daily.

The change in my life was radical. From barely passing in my classes, within a few month period, I rose to the upper levels and earned high grades. I became deeply involved in my church and youth group. I gave up anything that I saw as hindering my Christian Walk including secular music that glorified sin.

My family moved shortly following this to the United States and South Florida. I finished 11th and 12th grade in a Christian School where I became a student leader. I was recognized by the faculty and fellow students for being a leader and encouraged by many to go into ministry.

I graduated High School and enrolled at Oral Roberts University where I made it to the final semester of a degree in Biblical Literature with a focus on New Testament. I had married my Senior Year. For reasons I did not understand at the time, I had something of an emotional crash and could not stay focused on completing my degree.

I left school and returned to South Florida where I drive a truck and pretty much gave up on any hope of doing anything else. I felt like a complete failure and abandoned by God and blamed myself for this failure.

Withing several months, I began having additional problems. I began passing out at work due to the heat I thought. My eyes began to bulge, I lost weight, I became very nervous and eventually s customer I delivered material too at a pharmacy, noted that I had a bulge on my neck and he convinced me to go see a doctor about it.

Long story short. I had thyroid cancer. I underwent surgery and radiation treatment and I tried to rebuild.

I enrolled at Palm Beach Atlantic College in West Palm Beach Florida and completed a degree in Business Administration with a Bible minor based on my previous work.

Graduating I went to work for a Methodist Church handling their finances. Concurrent with that, I attended a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church were I was eventually asked to serve as the Assistant Pastor and I went through a 2 year denominational program for Ordination.

I was ordained in October of 1990. In December of 1990 I accepted a call to a small church in North Western Ohio where I served for 3 years. After a years hiatus from ministry I accepted a position with a C&MA district office as the Business Manager overseeing the finances and management of the Distreict which served about 90 churches. I trained pastors and lay leaders in areas of Church Finance and Law.

I left that position after just under 5 years of service, spent 2 years as an accountant in the private sector and then took a position as a Church Administrator inside the Washington DC Beltway where I served for 4 1/2 years.

I left that position a year ago and have been doing Government contractor/consulting work since then.

I still attend the Church I worked for, a member of the PCA denomination.

I've just enrolled in a Master's Program and will be working the next year on a degree in Organizational Leadership and consulting for the Department of Homeland Security.

While I'm not in formal ministry now, I help in my Church as an instructor when called on and am currently helping with a course on Creationism, Evolution and Intelligent Design.

I also do ministry with the American Cancer Society where I am a chaplain. I've wrestled over the past 20 years as well with depression, which is partly physically caused by the changes that losing my thyroid glad caused and issues related to my relationship with my father. I'm beginning to experience some victory there to a greter degree than I have in the past.

So, there you go. Probably way more than you wanted to know, but that is an introduction to my testimony and who I am.

Peace and Grace,

Bart

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#54

Post by FFC » Fri May 12, 2006 8:17 am

Here is mine though it is not as exciting as some.

My dad dragged me and my sister to a Baptist church when I was 5 years old or younger and I hated every minute of it. The idea of religion was just all so mystical to me and I equated it to fairy tales. I did “believe” in God and was even taught by my unsaved Mother that I could talk to Jesus about anything like He was a friend. But I couldn't figure out why the Sunday school teacher insisted on teaching us about people who never seemed to exist like David and Samson and Jonah….I never heard about these guys in regular school.

When I was about 13 my buddies invited me to go to a Bible Fellowship church in Royersford, Pennsylvania. I had matured a little by then, but not much , and kind of got into hanging out with my friends in church and goofing off in the pews. It was great to try to make each other laugh, and then even funnier to try to keep from laughing in this solemn place full of staunchy old people.

One Sunday night after evening church I heard some people talking about getting saved and I asked my friend what Saved meant. I don't think he knew either so he took me to the Pastor's office, shoved me in, and told him I wanted to be saved. I remember he told me some stuff, and gave me a bible, and told me to start in John and read it every day. From then on I figured I was saved because I did what the Pastor told me to do but I was wrong.

When I was about 19 I was working at one of my first jobs and I met a guy name Al Dipeiro. He was an independent Fundamentalist Baptist. I didn't know what that meant but I found out pretty quick. He asked me if I was a Christian and I said yes, for about 6 years. It didn't take long for Him to show me how little I knew about the most important decision to be made in life and how practically everything I did and what I did believe was wrong. It was one of the most frustrating times of my life.

I finally got to the point that I broke down and confessed to God that I didn't know if I was saved or not, and that if I wasn't I wanted to be. I told him that I believed and was putting my trust in Him and His word. From now on it would be all about him. That is when I experienced God taking over my life. For the first time I meant business regarding God and my life changed. It was like a light bulb went on! All of a sudden everything made sense and I wondered how I could have been blind all that time. It really was all God in His time.

I would love to conclude that my life in Christ has been one of perfect obedience since then but I can't. I have backslid big time several times. The difference between before I was saved and after, to my dismay (at the time), was that the Holy Spirit would not give me any rest until I came back into fellowship. Praise God. He is so good!

I forgot to add that my Mother got saved 3 or 4 years after I did...despite my legalistic approach and she is on fire for the Lord. It just goes to show that God can still use jack asses to speak his word like He did with Baalim (sp). :P
Last edited by FFC on Fri May 12, 2006 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#55

Post by FFC » Fri May 12, 2006 9:45 am

God is awesome. He is gracious, and I absolutely cannot thank Him enough for what He's done in my life. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Amen. I was so legalistic when I first got saved that when I finally did hear about what grace was it seemed so foriegn to me. I don't have to work to keep God's pleasure? When we abide in Christ the fruit comes effortlessly? It sounded like heresy.

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my testimony... up until now

#56

Post by madscientist » Tue May 23, 2006 6:38 am

So ya. Lucky 2 b born in a fully christian family rtc weih everyone a few generations all christians.
But ya. My life changed. Although im not at all old (!) today i feel religion, mostyl issues of christia life and theory about god hav becom moire important. Ive always been intersetd in science (i nam still today) but i know religion, salvation is more iumportant. Thuinking to go to university 4 science (biochem) but i wanna keep philospohy as a background to not forget my aim of life. After im sure to be saved i can spend my life doing science...
@least wat i think up until now...
hope god will help me 2 accomplish my plans!

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#57

Post by kateliz » Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:00 pm

To tag on to Jac's comments on not getting emotional over forgiveness, I have been like that most of my life. I also concluded I was just being logical and just wasn't as emotional as everyone else. I now know that I thought too highly of myself, and resultantly didn't feel the shame that others felt and the consequent gratefulness for forgiveness.

God has been doing serious work on making me more humble these past few years, and He's doing that by showing me just what is in me. Our sinful natures and wicked, rebellious, selfish, utterly sinful and deceptive hearts are quite the cesspools! (sp?) Because I'm more aware of my awfulness, God's kindness and mercy towards me can now reach me on an emotional level. Why, just this morning I was confessing a many month long sin, repenting of it, and cried when I thought of His willingness to forgive me for it all!

I thank my God for His working on our hearts like He does! Do we ever need it!!!

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#58

Post by Vash » Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:21 pm

Mine is kinda simple-sounding when on paper, but when it's experienced, it's amazing.

Firstly, I was theist all my life (well, with a brief stint as agnostic, but that's passed). But as far as Christianity goes, I was going through non-situational depression. I mean deeply. I became a hypochondriac. I would feel a small bit of pain in my thigh and think I was getting a blood clot, or my chest would hurt a little and I'd think I was getting a heart attack, or my back would hurt and I'd think I was going to end up paralyzed. I mean I was FREAKING OUT over these small little aches. On top of that, I didn't really want to do anything with friends anymore. Making plans was scary for me because I would worry about whether or not I'd be alive to fulfill those plans. Sounds crazy, I know, but that's what non-situational depression does to you. Also, I started wondering what the point of life was.

Anyhoo, I ended up getting medication. But after having just experienced all that bottom-of-the-barrell-ness, I still wondered what the purpose of life was. I mean, my nerves were eased now, but that God-shaped void in my heart just seemed so much bigger now. I didn't realize that's what the void was at the time, but the point is, it seemed a lot bigger.

Then on Christmas Eve of last year, coincidentally (well... from an earthly standpoint), my mom got me an autobiography of a guy who had just passed away. Right when I opened the book, one of the first words that I saw was "God." That's all I needed to hear. Right at that moment, I felt that there was hope, with my questioning and all. So I read the autobio and the book is just FILLED with Christianity. The guy was apparently a dedicated Christian. Right when I read that book I started chasing after God and still do today. I feel like God was watching out for me by giving me that book.

From a life-changing standpoint, I'm still a relatively new believer, but my mom (and others around me, but mainly my mom) keeps telling me how much I've already changed when it comes to compassion.

In short, God rules. :D

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#59

Post by bizzt » Thu Aug 17, 2006 7:39 am

Awesome Testimony Vash and Indeed GOD RULES :)

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Canuckster1127
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#60

Post by Canuckster1127 » Thu Aug 17, 2006 7:59 am

Vash,

Great testimony! I can see a lot of growth just in the time you've been here. Glad you are here! Keep interacting and asking questions!

Bart
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

//bartsbarometer.com/

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