I wanted to share my testimony about
coming into a real and living relationship with the true Creator and God of the universe
Jesus Christ. There is a bit of reluctance because many things I have done reveal the
vanity, pride and sinfulness of my heart. Oh, did I tell you that the God of the Bible
says we are all under the "power of sin" (see Romans ch 6). Well, my personal
experience and behavior has confirmed that for me.
I was raised in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada from about age 5 until age
19, from there I went to the University of Calgary and have resided in Calgary since then.
My parents attended the local Lutheran church in Drumheller. It was
there that I took the Confirmation classes, which cover the basics of the Lutheran faith
and upon completion allows you to take communion. At that time in the mid 1960s I
dont recall anyone urging me to repent of my sins and receive Christ as my Savior or
to be born again by the Holy Spirit. The Lutheran Church had a much lower key approach and
perhaps assumed that a living faith would somehow take root and begin to grow.
I do remember God speaking to me in my thoughts when I was around
twelve years of age prompting me to turn my life over to him. But at that point I made
what would become the first of around 13 years worth of bad decisions. I said to him, that
I didnt want to decide for him or against him yet, but would like to see if the
world was really like his Word said it was. In putting God off for a while I headed away
from the light into the darkness of sin. It did not take long to find it because the world
was just hitting its stride in the 1960s with sexual promiscuity, partying, drugs
and rock and roll. Once I made that decision it was not long before attending church
became a distant memory. The lure of the sins of the world had captured my eye and my
mind. I dont know for sure, but it was like God stepped back a bit and gave the
devil a chance to lead down a number of sinful paths. Im not trying to blame the
devil for my behavior but Ephesians 2 v 2 says that "wherein in time past ye walked
according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience". So, the combination of
my own behavior with encouragement from the devil led to the inevitable place of
Through my teen years there were many "moments" which
captured my state of mind. I remember in grade 7 winning the prize for the highest grade
average for boys and receiving applause as I went up on stage and received a crest and
$10. I remember being puffed up a bit but when I sat down in my chair I thought, "Is
this all there is?" The applause of others was gratifying but it did not satisfy. The
lure of the party lifestyle was very powerful in Drumheller and in my generation. The
tantalizing prospects of girlfriends, drugs, alcohol and music was an intoxifying
atmosphere in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I basically spent the next six
years from age 13 to 19 pursuing those past times. It was these years where the power of
sin in my heart really blossomed.
In the Bible, it says that sin allures and entices with its offer of
pleasures and highs but its end is slavery. I remember the good feelings and loads of
laughter the first few times I was intoxicated on alcohol and stoned on smoking dope. I
remember when the subject of doing psychedelic drugs came up with myself and a couple of
friends. I mused within myself that I would only drink and smoke dope and not indulge in
the harder stuff. A better decision but I never really escaped from the inevitable lack of
pleasure and slavery of drinking and smoking dope.
I remember when I first listened to Led Zeppelin I and II while
drinking where my girlfriend was baby-sitting. The rock music of this time had a powerful
impact. I was astounded at their "spiritual" rock. I remember going to a Jethro
Tull concert in Calgary astounded again at the type of music being made. While in the
concert it was like I caught a glimpse that there is a supernatural event happening here.
It was like God revealed to me the spiritual dimension that you could not see but its
presence was there. I remember seeing the movie Woodstock in 1969, another powerful lure
to living for pleasure with no real purpose. Its not the destination but the journey
thats the main thing, enjoy to the fullest The times were intoxicating and the
pleasures of sin for a season beckoned.
Other moments were not so intoxifying however. God definitely used my
circumstances and sins to humble me and bring me closer to the point of surrender. Of
course I did not like to see my shortcomings and sins and resisted. A humbling moment was
around 16 when I was at the point of needing to wear glasses. My vanity and pride did not
want to accept this hard reality of the frailty of the human condition, a big downer.
Anyways I did not wear them full time until I was around 19 and basically had to. I still
rankle at wearing glasses but in hindsight I have been blessed with very good health so
far in my life. I see many younger than me facing big health problems of all kinds.
I remember the intoxicating feelings of dating and having someone
interested in you and vice versa. I did not know that God had already counseled people to
guard their hearts until they were mature enough to make a real commitment. Its just
the way of the world to date in the teenage years. Needless to say it led more to being
hurt and hurting others, than healthy relationships which take into account the fallen
human nature. I am still ashamed when I think of some of my prideful and rude behavior. As
you can see things were definitely heading downwards at the end of my teen years.
At this point I made an effort to go to University, but because of all
my sins I really felt like a guy walking around with a dark cloud over my head. Lets
just say if you met me, I was not the guy with the charismatic personality. I remember
reading a job resume where the guy was asked if he had any references. The guy, give him
credit for honesty or twisted humor, said that he didnt have any, because he had
left a trail of destruction behind him as far as relationships go. I could identify with
Well, University was a beginning of a change of lifestyle. I proved you
could not party and pass university courses. I remember getting drunk and stoned from the
night before until the next morning and then going to write a psychology exam. Guess what,
yep, I failed. LOL! (LOL = Laugh out loud) Anyways, I began to party less and apply myself
more to my subjects. As I came back to reality, I think it took at least a year to clear
my head (please dont legalize pot Canada) I became more active in sports. So, while
I adopted a healthier lifestyle I still had the nagging thoughts "Is this all there
It was after University that God again began to deal with me. I began
to read my Gideons New Testament which everyone in those days received in grade 5. I
was in my 26th year and had not read the Bible in 13 years. Here are a few
passages, which God used to show me my condition before him. Needless to say I was shocked
Matthew 5 v 20-22, 27,28
V20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed
the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom
V21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not
kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
V22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother
without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say unto his
brother, Raca (empty headed one), shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall
say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hellfire.
V27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not
V28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after
her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
I remember reading this passage with great concern as I realized that
just the thoughts in my mind were enough to condemn me. And not only that, I had acted out
many of my sinful thoughts. I recognized I was doubly condemned. Needless to say, not a
comforting position to comprehend yourself in.
Galations 5 v 19-21
V19 Now the works of the flesh (sinful nature) are manifest
(clearly seen), which are these; Adultery, fornication (sex outside of marriage),
uncleanness (morally corrupt), lasciviousness (not caring what others think about or being
ashamed of your behavior),
V20 Idolatry (putting other things as more important than God),
witchcraft (occult practices including drug use), hatred (wrong attitudes towards others),
variance (disputes with animosity), emulations (jealous or malicious rivalries), wrath,
strife (provoking and arguing), seditions (rebelliousness towards authority), heresies
(false teachings about God),
V21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (living to party and
pleasure seeking), and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you
in time past, that they which do such things (i.e. practice as consistent behavior) shall
not inherit the kingdom of God.
These verses were really hitting the nail on the head as it pretty well
described my behavior the past 13 years. The next set of verses reveal Gods view of
my condition and the outlook was not pretty if the Bible was true.
Romans Chapter 3 v 10-18
V10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
V11 There is none that understandeth; there is none that seeketh after
V12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become
unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
V13 Their throat is an open sepulchre (grave); with their tongues they
have used deceit; the poison of asps (snakes) is under their lips:
V14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
V15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
V16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
V17 And the way of peace they have not known:
V18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Wow! What a reality check these verses are. Was I righteous, not
even close. Did I seek to do Gods will, no, just my own selfish will. What was my
tongue like? Well, full of cursing at the right moment, many times speaking out of selfish
motive, many times boastful, many times full of empty and foolish talk, and perhaps
sometimes reasonably kind and caring (probably God helped me on the kind and caring part
and I didn't realize it LOL). Had I practiced the way of peace? Exactly the opposite, when
people crossed me I would cut them off or just not hang out with them for awhile, when I
had offended people would I go back and apologize, not likely. Youd be lucky to get
me to admit Id done anything wrong or Id put the blame elsewhere justifying
Well, needless to say I was totally undone. I saw the ugly reality of
my own sinfulness and said within myself, it is impossible to get to heaven. How on earth
does one get to heaven?
God, in my reading led me to Matthew chapter19.
Matthew Chapter 19 v 16-26
V16 And, behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus), Good
Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
V17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none
good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
V18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou
shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
V19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself.
V20 The young man saith unto him, All these things, have I kept from my
youth up: what lack I yet?
V21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell
that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and
come and follow me.
V22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away
sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
V23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a
rich man shall hardly enter the kingdom of heaven.
V24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through
the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
V25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who
then can be saved?
V26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is
impossible; but with God all things are possible.
In reading these verses we see a man who had made a pretty good
showing on his own efforts to merit heaven. Some peoples sins are harder to see, I had
worn my sins on my sleeve, easily seen by all. Therefore I was under no illusions that I
could be good enough to be allowed in heaven as the rich person was hoping for, but I did
notice that God said with men it was impossible but with God it was possible. My reading
in Matthew and other parts of the Bible were ruminating in my mind for around a year when
it came to a head one night in August, 1980. I came home from work one night having come
to the conclusion that the world was the way Gods Word said it was and worse yet I
had fully come to realize the power of sin in my own life. In my thoughts I asked God how
to get to him. Immediately the thought "Jesus Christ" came to me. In my
thoughts, I said that I havent been able to believe. God replied in my mind with a
definite, "trust me". I began to reply that if Jesus died for me but God said,
no, he did die for you. So, I began again and said I did believe that Jesus died for me
and loved me and that I would surrender my life to him because I had not done anything
good with running my own life. At this point, a warm flow entered me and washed down from
my head to my feet and a noticeable burden seemed to lift from my shoulders.
I did not fully comprehend what had happened but I had what seemed like
a new set of eyes and a peace. Over the next three months I indulged in quite a bit of sin
but when I came home I had this unusual grieving in my spirit. I had yet to learn that
when the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in your heart and life it is not a free
license to sin but He is given to set one free from sins power. It was actually kind
of humorous how I began to get some sound spiritual food. I had a few dates with this girl
who I thought needed more help than me, LOL! So, I went to a bookstore and looked in the
religious section and found a book by Hal Lindsey called "The Liberation of Planet
Earth". I brought it home and started reading it myself and lo, it described how God
gives a sinner a spiritual rebirth when he turns his life over to Jesus. It covered how
God took the penalty for my sins and laid them upon Jesus 2,000 years ago satisfying his
justice and now he can extend mercy and forgiveness to any person who will come to Him
through His Son. Needless to say, I was blown away when I realized the new birth was the
way into Heaven not any of my efforts, sadly lacking as they were.
I remember running up and down the hallway of my apartment doing the
high five as I read chapter after chapter of the good news and all its meaning.
1 Peter Chapter 4 v 1-5
V1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm
yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased
V2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh
to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
V3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the
will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings,
banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
V4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same
excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
V5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and
Well, after I was born again by the Holy Spirit, things got worse!
Dont be surprised; because once you get saved you really enter a battlefield. First
of all, Satan now knows you are saved and he has eternally lost your soul and he will try
to make life as tough for you as he can, within Gods permission though. Secondly,
though you are saved you still have a lifetime of wrong patterns of action and thinking
built up, crowned by being self-willed and not heeding God. Thirdly, you are still
burdened by the flesh and its sinful desires, which many times you find yourself yielding
to. Fourth, God has a plan to conform you to be like His Son in your daily life. And last
but not least, if you werent on the cutting edge socially as an unbeliever
dont expect a rise in popularity as a believer. LOL
Since becoming a Christian over 20 years ago there have been many highs
and lows. Ive experienced the Holy Spirit give me victory to a much greater degree
over the lusts of the flesh, the tongue and the mind. Ive not yet attained spiritual
maturity, and am not sinless but I do sin less. I made a self-willed choice in marriage,
not waiting for Gods best choice, which ended in divorce after 7 years. I have two
daughters and we enjoy biking, hiking and camping together. God has led me on some great
outdoor trips to the Grand Canyon and Mt. St. Helens as I was studying the Creation
versus Evolution issue. God has taken me to India and back on a short-term mission.
The cost is definitely high to follow Christ but it is infinitely
higher not to. For what profiteth a man if he gains the whole world but loseth his own
soul for eternity. To give up your will and surrender to Christ so he can give you his
forgiveness purchased on Calvary and his life through the Holy Spirit would be my counsel
to all. For he is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to get what he cannot lose.
Promises to You
John 3 v 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the
world; but that the world through him might be saved (in love for you he paid for 100% of
your sins on the cross)
Acts 20 v 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the
Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (agree with God on
your slavery to sin and trust Jesus alone for your freedom and forgiveness, surrendering
your will to him)
Luke 13 v 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all
likewise perish. (quit trusting in doing your own will and hoping for the best and
comparing yourselves to others)
John 3 v 5-8 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
except a man be born of water (repentance from sin) and of the (Holy) Spirit, he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is
born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said, Ye must be born again. The wind
bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it
cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. ( a spiritual
birth is required to enter Gods kingdom)
John 1 v 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power
to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which are born, not of
blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. ( once you
repent, trusting in Jesus alone, and put your will under his, God effects the spiritual
Ephesians 2 v 8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.