Personnally Speaking--Part 3
We spent New Year's Eve 1981 at my grandmother's house. It was after a long night of family celebration that I finally arrived home. 2:00 in the morning and I was exhausted as I lay my three month old son on the bed next to me. A new year, a new beginning--I couldn't take another year of life the way I had come to know it. I still remember the words God spoke to me that night. No, not an audible voice, but still so clear in my spirit. "Things can be different this year, if you let them."
Yes, it was time for things to be different. I watched my son as he slept wrapped in innocence. None other than God had made me responsible for this young life. I didn't want him to experience life the way I had. I wanted him to avoid the pain and discouragements that I had faced. I wanted something better for him. It was time for a change. I knew it, and God had spoken. For once, I was listening.
It was on that night and at that moment that God began His transforming work. Little by little I desired to serve Him again. After several weeks of allowing God to begin the healing, I found myself back in church. Up to this point, my wife wasn't saved and I doubt she even knew that I was. Being new to the church, we were first on the list to be visited by the pastor. He stopped by on a Thursday night and that was the night my wife was born again,
God seemed to be moving so quickly from that time on. A few weeks later as I sat in the church service, I listened to the preacher intently. The message seemed to be pointed directly at me. Before the service was over, God called me into His ministry. I would be starting Bible college in the fall to prepare for whatever God had in mind. Those were exciting times, but they were hard as well. I worked a full-time job, was very active in the church, and carried a full semester of college credits. I felt overextended, but yet God's grace kept me going.
God led me into church planting. We began a Bible study in an area north of Philadelphia. Things were progressing well for a while, but then God called us to the inner city to help another pastor with a new work. It was exciting, but things were different. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something was not the same. Still things were exciting and I was growing.
I loved being out in the streets among the people. I looked forward to the opportunities God gave me to witness for Him. There was nothing that could compare to it. After such a long time of being away from God in my rebellion, I just couldn't spend enough time with Him. Every moment He was on my mind. Every moment was about Him. My world was so perfectly pieced together. The fabric of my life was stretching, and stretching well-until it ripped.
Part 4 is on the way.