My thanks to each of you for sharing your thoughts this past year. Quite honestly, I am in awe of the grace our God pours out so richly upon us. Some of you have shared your hurts, griefs, and extraordinary circumstances; through it all, our God remained faithful.
I wanted to take a moment to answer a question (asked in my last post) from my brother in Christ, and fellow blogger, Ian Curtis (What's in a Name?): "how things are going with your church?"
I'm not sure if this question is in reference to a post I wrote some months ago on worship or if I have somehow erroneously communicated that I have a church. I am not a shepherd (pastor) or teacher.
It was a year ago that I asked God to pull me out of the pig sty I wallowed in for so many years. Years ago, I attended church and then I simply stopped. I could give you a number of reasons, but none would be valid or should find sympathy. What I came to realize towards the end of December, 2009 was that I needed Christ in my life. Why? I was miserable and I made life miserable for those around me.
I began to pray and read the scriptures, at times, I fasted. For months, the Lord remained silent to my voice. I say that God was silent but he actually spoke to my heart with a direction to begin writing. You could say, "God asked" and I refused.
Fortunately for me, I wasn't swallowed up by a whale, but I did have a Jonah-like experience that led me to the place of humility. It wasn't until March, 2010, that I agreed to begin this blog. I wanted to remain unseen. I didn't want to create any controversy. I thought God should be happy.
As I began reading and writing, I met so many Christians who spoke of a faith that challenged their life. Christians who wrote with passion and concern. So many of you challenged me to stand on the ground of faith in Christ Jesus. So many around me were standing as a kind of cloud of witnesses that I began to stand up from my fetal position and walk.
I was still asking God to speak to me but He remained silent. I begged for just one word, anything, Just say something Lord. I wondered if what I was doing was worthless, that I should just give up. But something in me wouldn't allow it. I cried to the Lord and confessed, "Even if what I'm doing is worthless, pointless and useless, I'm not giving up. If my name is the last one in the book, it will be just fine by me Lord."
Something happened, I can't point to a single, significant event, but I will say that, God restored the joy of my salvation. His word became alive in me. I no longer concerned myself with an external image and concept of myself; I just wanted to worship and serve the Lord with a comittment. I have a passion for Jesus Christ and I'm learning to love my neighbor. I've come to realize, that serving Christ without a passion is exactly what the devil desired of me. I have no desire to go back to that old life, a life lacking in love, passion and joy. A life without peace. A life of just going through the motions of living, but not experiencing any fullness of joy for life.
One of the things the Holy Spirit has been revealing to me, is the height, depth and extent that God's grace traveled to release me from my prison. I cannot grasp that kind of love, but it is so appreciated. God's grace has given me a true revelation of love and forgiveness; I can do no less than what was given to me.
There are so many Christians, my wife, family and friends (both near and far) who've encouraged and supported me. I want to honor our Lord and each of you by the life I live for Christ.
Blessings and peace.
“Burke’s Revenge” by William Brown
2 hours ago