It wasn’t long ago that I reasoned there had to be a God, but had no idea who or what He was. Churches were like cars, and I didn’t know which was the right one. It was somewhat confusing to see so many different church names, making it impossible to pick one, and worse, to pick the one that was the truth.
My family never went to church, but didn’t discourage either Bev (my sister) or I from going. I think we went for a year or so in our pre teens. Sunday school was fun and the one thing that stuck out for me was the person Jesus. He seemed nice, friendly and caring. Christmas was a big deal at our house, especially thanks to mom who made sure Christmas was special for us, but it had nothing to do with Jesus. Our Christmas focused on Santa Claus, decorating and lots of good home cooking. Jesus didn’t really fit Christmas at our house, even though as kids, we did the Christmas story at school. Picturing a man with sandals and a long robe didn’t go with the snow covered landscape we lived in, or mesh with the North Pole, Rudolph, Frosty or a beautiful Christmas tree. What did work, and what we did love was the Christmas carols. Away In The Manger, Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Joy to the World were welcomed songs that we loved to sing and I credit the words from those carols to pointing me to the truth.
I drifted from any desire to go church in my teens and wound up in tons of trouble over the next few years. That’s when I met Nonie. We married after 2 years and within 3 years we had 2 children, David and Shirley. Nonie spent much of her child hood going to church. Her mom, Deborah, was a born-again Christian. I refused to go to church with our kids even when Nonie asked. I felt I would be a huge hypocrite if I went to church, especially when I spent a lot of time telling jokes about Jesus and church people.
God’s grace was amazing. There had to be hundreds of times that He could have taken me out and I would have deserved that fate. But His grace and His love for me were amazing; I would eventually, with much struggle, see the light and surrender to Him.
There were many people over the years that witnessed to me. Some during those few times in the Sunday school. Nonie’s mom Debora, her Uncle Art, my insurance agent in 1984 who was a missionary and set me straight on some things. A co worker, Frank, not only spoke the same message as the others, but stirred in me a desire to seek the truth. This journey would take a few years and would end in a confrontation. The abrupt halt was due to the most profound question I would ever be faced with.
Who is Jesus Christ? It was the answer that made me stumble.
I knew I was a sinner, I believed in a God, and I hoped there was a place called Heaven. The Bible mentions all these things, although at that time I couldn’t verify any of them because I didn’t have any interest in reading it. My story is quite in depth and perhaps I will add parts of it on this page. For now I want to get to the original question of my religion and what I believe, and that profound question, who is Jesus Christ and what about Him was a stumbling block?
My search ended abruptly when I was told that Jesus was God. I could never accept that. I was angered and frustrated that someone would tell me that Jesus was God. Perhaps this was the time of God’s greatest grace in my life. I was about to walk away, give up and hope that from that time until I died, I would have more goods than bad and God would let me in. I was hoping my pluses were more than my minuses when the game was over. Somehow that didn’t sit very well and the struggle got worse.
Very soon after that final hurdle, the statement of Jesus being God, all those questions and doubts were answered with some very simple truths. Only God could do the things that Jesus did; only God could rise from the dead, only God could forgive me. Jesus made those claims, and they were written down in the Bible. The facts were there and I was left with a choice. I chose Jesus.
tThat we all are sinners
tThat we all need forgiveness
tThat Jesus death on the cross paid our debts
tThat His resurrection from the grave showed His power over death
tHe did it for us.
tOnce we surrender, and truly believe we receive the Holy Spirit
tWe are sealed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
tWe have a guarantee that one day we will be with Him in Heaven
I attend Flamboro Baptist church. It’s a Bible believing church that follows God’s word pointing always to Jesus. The people in this church showed Nonie and I such love. We were over whelmed by how much they cared for us.
There are thousands of Churches in the world like ours. They are called Christian. I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus. I’m not a Baptist, but I love my church and the people in it. We are part of a bigger family of churches, all with different names that believe in Jesus.
When I race God wants me to race in a way that will show others that Jesus is my Lord. I shouldn’t be banging or hammering people. I definitely cannot leave Jesus in the pits when I race. I must always race knowing that the most important aspect of racing is the people. No matter what my competitors do to me, I am reminded that God loves them and Jesus died for them to. I confess I’m not perfect, but my prayer and the prayer of my family and crew, are to race so people will see Christ. Winning a race is great; winning a soul to Christ has no imaginable reward.
Life’s short, we need to use every chance we get to be loving, kind, forgiving and compassionate to others. When we live that way, we show the foundation of our faith.
There are over 12,000 scriptures in the New and Old Testament’s. They’re all important or God wouldn’t have had them printed. The one I’ll leave for you is this: 1st Corinthians 15:57, “but thanks be to God, He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”.