Saturday, September 15, 2007

3 Minute Testimony

In my contemporary evangelism class at school, we had to write a 3-minute testimony about our life before Christ, our conversion experience, and what has happened since. We were challenged not to use "churchy" words. Here's mine:

I grew up in a religious family. We went to church all the time, and most people would say I was a good kid. The problem was that I was an addict. No, I wasn’t an addict to drugs or alcohol. I was addicted to something more hidden: selfishness and rebellion against God. I wanted to do things my own way. I had a big problem with telling the truth. I would tell lies to cover up my actions and to try to make myself look good. I believed God existed, and I thought I was good enough to go to heaven when I died. I went through all the religious rituals, but nothing changed in my life.

Over time, I learned that I couldn’t be good enough on my own. Even one lie was breaking God’s law, which made me an enemy of God. This breaking of God’s law, which God calls sin, separated me from God and deserved punishment. I couldn’t outweigh my sin with good deeds. I realized that Jesus took my punishment and offered me forgiveness for my sins and a new life. If I accepted Jesus’ payment for my sins, renounced my sinful ways and committed my life to him, I could have a relationship with God and the assurance that I would live with Him forever. So, one night at church, I repented and committed my life to Jesus.

When I became a Christian, my life was forever changed. I didn’t enjoy sin anymore, and I wanted to please God. I started reading my Bible, and it started making more sense to me. Life wasn’t perfect, and neither was I, but I had hope and a genuine joy in my life that I had never experienced. I’ve gotten to know God better, and I have discovered His plans for my life. I have the sense of purpose and satisfaction that everyone’s looking for. I love Jesus and will do anything He tells me to do. Have you ever had an experience like this?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

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Well, things are in overdrive. This was the first full week for school, and I started my new job on Tuesday. I like the new job; the office environment is great. I get along with everyone. This week was more of an "easing into the cold water" (see pic of Blake in ice cold river water) week, but I'm pretty sure they're going to push me in next week. My biggest concern is time management, so if you have a couple of moments right now, will you say a prayer for me and my family? Thanks. It's just going to take discipline and flexibility.

I've been challenged lately in my walk with the Lord. As I've been reading from the book of Matthew and some other books for my church planting internship, I've realized that I've been trying to live the spiritual life apart from the Spirit. It has hit me like a brick wall. You'd think I wouldn't be this dumb...after all, spiritual has the word spirit in it! I've been frustrated over the past couple of years with not being consistent in my walk and not experiencing the power of the Lord. It's like I've been running on empty for so long, and I haven't noticed that the plug came out of the socket. The Bible tells us that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is power, freedom, boldness, and wisdom. Without the Spirit, we're no better off than those who don't walk with the Lord. Without the Spirit, my eyes are dull to the Bible...with the Spirit, the Bible becomes vibrant. I've wondered why when a preacher or my professor explains a passage, it explodes with life and depth that I've never seen. It's because they're walking in the Spirit, and the Spirit breaths life into Word. I heard a message the other day, and the preacher explained that in the Bible, Spirit and Word are inseparable. They're as inseparable as breath and speech. (See Gen. 1:2-3; Ps. 33:6; Luke 4:18; John 3:34; 2 Tim. 3:16). "When the word of God is expounded, the Spirit speaks." (R. Kent Hughes)

Here's some pics from our trip to New Mexico: