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#467862 - 07/22/14 05:24 AM Re: calling all christians [Re: Jim1961]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Now that I reflect backward on my life - journey, I realize that God tried maybe a half-dozen times that I can think of, to pry open the door of my heart and let some light shine in.

As a 6-year-old in Sunday School, there was some kind of an enlightening that I can't quite remember. We were sitting there in those little chairs they have for children. We were doing that thing with our little hands...fold your hands...Here's the church, here's the steeple (index fingers) the church and here's the people (lots of little fingers).

The Psalms had a big effect on me. In 2nd grade the Sunday School teacher gave the lesson about the lamb that had fallen into the abyss. I was intrigued. The shepherd left the other sheep to look for the lamb. When he found it he reached down with that long cane called a shepherd's crook. He hooked the lost lamb and lifted it to safety. It was many years before I realized the prophetic nature of that lesson to me.

When I was 12, months after the terrible abuse I've described, our neighbors invited my family to go with them to the Billy Graham meeting. During the meeting I couldn't really understand what was going on. Afterward, though, I had a strong compulsion to "go forward". I didn't obey that compulsion because it would have meant leaving the others of our group.

Things got worse and worse.... We moved to a different city. My Mom was very depressed and had lots of problems. I was very depressed. I was socially isolated. I couldn't talk. At school after eating lunch I would find an empty classroom and cry. I was 15. Then one Saturday night I "Called out to God" for help. Things started to change immediately. On Monday morning I went to the office of the social worker and gave her a written statement that I couldn't talk. She arranged for me to go to speech therapy once per week. I got to get out of Latin class early and walk to the other school for speech therapy. The speech therapy wasn't working but I liked getting out of class to go. After several months of the speech therapy I found enough courage to tell the speech therapist that "I really CAN talk". She hesitated for a few moments, stunned. The speech therapy was over. She made an appointment for me to talk to a child psychotherapist instead. I went to perhaps 10 or 12 sessions with that therapist.

When I was 17, I still felt intensely lonely, isolated, and had only been speaking a short time. I searched the library for books which might help me. I didn't consciously know that my problems were centered around aweful abuse I had experienced. I found the book by Billy Graham, Peace With God. About 2/3 of the way through the book, I put it down and suddenly it was as though the curtains of my mind were drawn aside and I realized that Jesus had died for me and my sins and that I was therefore one of his lambs. I was never the same again.

I still had a foul mouth. At college, one of the other students confronted me about my foul mouth. Then on Saturday as I was riding along with my Father, a radio preacher confronted me about using God's name in vain. I did it all the time. But now I knew I needed to stop that and I did.

I got baptized in a little church in the college town. I still had lots of problems but now there was light. Things were different. I began growing closer to God.

Enough for now.


#467935 - 07/24/14 10:41 AM Re: calling all christians [Re: victor-victim]
CheerfulJohn Offline

Registered: 08/22/10
Posts: 149
Loc: England (at the moment)
Thanks for that Pufferfish.

I know The Maker is understanding of our pasts(more than we are many times) The abuse makes it very hard for us to get what is there when it is and to see it too. My first pastor who I owe my life to (he lived a life of sacrifice to get the gospel into one of the darkest places in London) was slow to say I was ready for baptism, I was so sure I needed it and I did not want to push for it so I filled the bath and immersed myself. (I also got immersed in a baptist church a few years later)

My understanding of baptism (immersion or Mikveh) has changed somewhat though the concept is simple enough: Cleansing/New Beginning/death and birth. It is another outward sign of an inward reality through trusting in The Maker's goodness and His power to care for me and restore me. Symbols are powerful.

I no longer live to survive or please myself only to serve and go where ever He says......30 years later I'm still seeking to obey. Hurdles like always wanting someone else to follow instead of going alone if need be. He is faithful and kind but He is not mocked. No wool over His eyes. I love Him because He first loved me.

Thinking of you Victor and your thorough preparations for 10th Aug

.......keep going deeper!

Wolves will live with lambs. Leopards will lie down with goats. Calves, young lions, and year-old lambs will be together, and little children will lead them.

#509646 - 04/28/17 05:17 AM Re: calling all christians [Re: victor-victim]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
mission accomplished.
baptism: april 15, 2017.

it took longer than i had planned, but i had to make sure i was doing it for the right reasons.


#509694 - 04/28/17 09:58 PM Re: calling all christians [Re: victor-victim]
LinEar Offline

Registered: 06/02/15
Posts: 361
Loc: USA
Great, v-v!!
Spotlight...get me out of this spotlight.

My silence is my self-defense.

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