Lessons Learned (part two)

It is not at all uncommon for someone to ask me to explain my “Enthusiastic attitude.” Wow. I never thought of that. Well, when Jesus revealed himself to me for real, I was so overwhelmed with His Life that I haven’t been able to settle down.

What I mean is that I had certainly heard about Him all my life, but I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do about it. I attended church every Sunday because that’s what my mom wanted us to do. Occasionally my dad went, as well, but it was mostly my mom.

I have told this story many times, but I sense I needed to share it once again. You see, during the summers, as I was growing up, I would spend a week at Camp Geneva, which was a church camp in Holland MI. I am sure that every year I went there, they presented a Gospel message, but it wasn’t until I was in 7th grade, that I actually “raised my hand” during one of the chapel meetings, and I was oddly aware that something profound happened to me. I couldn’t really explain it, but I truly gave my heart to the Lord! Sadly though, no one told me I was supposed to do something with that new faith. I did share my experience with the “counselor” of our cabin. But he seemed to dismiss what happened to me. I don’t know, maybe he had never experienced such a move in his heart so he dismissed my experience. I often explain that during that time, I became a “Timothy” without a “Paul.” Friends, I hope that never happened (or happens) to you!

For the next several years, I wandered around trying to find the answers to what happened that day. I experimented with all kinds of different faiths and belief systems (Baha’i, Buddhism, Taoism, and several others. I even memorized “The Prophet,” from Gibran). One day a friend introduced me to someone who lead me through some Tarot cards. lol. She told me that I had deep questions and was “searching” for Truth. I guess the cards were right on that account. (Or at least, my quest was pretty obvious).

I remember I would get visits from Jehovah’s Witness Missionaries and many others from various churches, and sometimes, Mormon missionaries came to the door. When I was 16 or so, a couple of Mormon missionaries came to the door and I invited them in. I listened to their message. and afterward, I was intrigued but didn’t respond any special way, so they asked me to pray . . . I remember saying, “God, I really want to know you, can you show me how? Whether it’s through their message (the Mormon Missionaries) or some other way, show me the Truth.” They were impressed with my prayer but they didn’t have the answer to what I needed. I am sure they were disappointed, but we just shook hands and parted ways. They never came over again.

The answer didn’t come for several years. That is, not until I experienced times filled with regrets; pain; sadness. I totally wasted my high school years: One year through fighting; the next year trying drugs (nothing serious, just casual stuff); the next year truancy (I found the metro park across the street from our High School far more interesting than school). But interestingly, during High School, I hung out with church youth groups from a Bible Church and their gatherings. I did find peace there, but I never made a real connection.

I survived High School and finally, on Saturday, October 27th, 1979, at 2:40 in the morning, in my parent’s basement, I found a book entitled, “You Shall Receive.” I remembered leaving it upstairs in my bedroom but had no idea how it ended up on in our basement family room. Anyway, I began to read the book and by the time I finished the third chapter, I desperately called out to Jesus. The experience was so profound I remember each detail as if happened this morning!

As I said, I read the first few chapters of the book and I thought I was reading my own life story. At the end of the third or fourth chapter, the author posted a prayer with the instructions the read: “Get on your knees, lift up your hands and pray this prayer” . . . then in Bold print, he added: “And this time mean it!

Oh, I meant it! I was on my knees, with my hands lifted up, tears streaming down my cheeks, and I read each word of that prayer . . . suddenly, beginning at the bottom of my feet and rushing through my body, I felt, and I can’t think of any other way to describe it: cold rushing, refreshing water! Oh, Glory to God. I still remember that day all these years later!! I can’t find the words to describe the wonder and joy that was suddenly flooding my body . . . it was almost as if I was being cleansed from the inside out!

The second that rushing water flooded my head and exited the tips of my upraised hands, I began speaking in tongues! I had no idea what it was or what I was doing but I said to myself, “I don’t know what this is, but I love it!” It was my personal day of Pentecost! I began to pray in tongues; sing songs in tongues, and had a “Holy Ghost Revival” right there in my basement! The whole time I was weeping and praying in tongues!

Then, I read the rest of the book and it explained what had happened and how I could receive that baptism of Holy Spirit — with the gift of tongues. Well, shoot, that already happened, but at least I knew what it was — Yippee!

Now I could sing with Don Francisco:

He’s alive yes He’s alive
Yes He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide

He’s alive yes He’s alive
Oh He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide

He’s alive yes He’s alive
Hallelujah He’s alive
He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide

He’s alive He’s alive He’s alive
I believe it He’s alive
Sweet Jesus

“He’s Alive” Don Francisco

So, yes — Salvation is instantaneous! — it is exhilarating — exciting and life-changing! Also, you can receive the Holy Spirit at any time. It can happen the moment of salvation or later, but it is also instantaneous — and you don’t always have to have all the facts before you receive. You don’t have to be a Bible Scholar (In fact, sometimes, the more you think you know, the more you miss the most wonderful things within our Father’s world).

Within Scriptures, every time the Holy Spirit came, it was immediate and unexpected. That was certainly how it occurred in my life! I encourage you to just allow the Holy Spirit the freedom to move on your behalf!

Posted in A Perfect Heart, A Time of Elightenment, Daily Thoughts | Leave a comment

Where Do You Find Refuge?

When you were a kid, who did you call when you faced a situation that was overwhelming or challenging? In most cases, you ran to your Mom or Dad. [Ideally] they provided safety and protection. They were big and strong and knew exactly how to take care of us. They would protect us from any danger or harm. They would kiss our boo-boos and everything would be all better. They were often our shelter and place of refuge. Continue reading

Posted in A Perfect Heart, A Time of Elightenment, Daily Thoughts | Leave a comment

Lessons Learned (part one)

I will add to this occasionally because I want to share a few things I have learned over the years. As many of you know, I came to the Lord back in 1979, and I realize that it hasn’t been that long ago, but over the years the Spirit of God has taught me a few things that I want to share with you. Continue reading

Posted in A Life of Prayer, A Time of Elightenment, About the Holy Spirit, Daily Thoughts | Leave a comment

My Prayer for You

I am continually encouraging you to fall in love with our Savior; to fall on His Grace and worship His Holiness. The aim of my encouragement is well stated in this song: Continue reading

Posted in A Life of Prayer, A Time of Elightenment, Daily Thoughts | Leave a comment

Learning To Delight

One verse that is often misunderstood is Psalm 37:4. All of us love to quote it, but do we truly understand what it means?

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart” (Psalm 37:4) Continue reading

Posted in A Life of Prayer, A Perfect Heart, A Time of Elightenment, About the Holy Spirit, Daily Thoughts | Leave a comment

You Choose

I want to give you a brief history lesson. After about a year camped at the base of Mt. Sinai, Moses lead the people to the oasis of Kadesh-Barnea [Numbers 10, 11]. Kadesh was on the southern border of the land of Canaan (the land they had been sent to claim). It was a pretty rough area and a very difficult place to live. Continue reading

Posted in A Perfect Heart, A Time of Elightenment, Daily Thoughts | Leave a comment

Facing The Realities of His Love

I want you to turn the clock back a little and think about what it was like as you grew up. Whenever you faced a time of difficulty or something that was frustrating or a situation that left you confused, who did you run to? Was it your Mom or Dad? I mean, didn’t they provide a place of safety and protection? They were big and strong and knew exactly how to take care of the situation. When you were lost, did they protect you from any danger or harm? They would kiss your boo-boos and everything would be all better. As a child, they were your shelter and place of refuge, right? Continue reading

Posted in A Perfect Heart, A Time of Elightenment, Daily Thoughts | Leave a comment