I became a Christian at age eleven, during a week of youth camp the summer after my 6th grade year. I’d been brought up in a godly home and taken to church twice a week for as long as I could remember, but that didn’t make me a Christian. I’d been a soloist in my youth choir, sang my first “Pass it On” when I was in kindergarten, but that didn’t make me a Christian. Though my parents were divorced, my mom taught a ladies’ Sunday School class, but that didn’t make me a Christian.
I knew what Christ had done for me, but had never spoken to Him about it. I’d never accepted His gift of salvation. More important, I’d never invited Him to be Lord over me. Not until that Friday night – campfire – with tears streaming down my face fresh from the touch of the Holy Spirit.
But that Lordship part? It’s not a one and done type of thing. That’s the “take up your cross daily and follow Me type of thing.” Putting Him in charge of our lives is essential to the plan He has for us. He is to be “Lord and Savior,” both of them, together.
The change in me came right away. The evening after my return from camp, I grabbed my Bible and headed across the street to evangelize the bully who lived there. A friend of my mom suggested that I should be a “closet Christian” (IE: locked away) until I calmed down a bit. I’m glad my mom blew her off.
The same way I blew off the comment made by a well-meaning friend when my own son felt the Spirit’s call. Awakened and refueled with the Lord’s presence after a short period of seeking after the world, my dear boy started blogging, pulling no punches about how Christ is the Only Way to the Father.
“He’s going to make people mad,” my friend told me.
“That’s okay.” I replied. “When people get mad, they tend to fester and that will make them think about what he wrote even longer.”
I’m glad I didn’t advise my son to tone it down. (Wow, I can’t even imagine toning down the delight of salvation through Christ!) He is now in Africa, still intent on proclaiming the Good News. Amen.
The main character, Mara Adkins, in my book that is releasing this month, A Dozen Apologies, also deals with new faith in Christ. Her conversion isn’t dramatic, but the effects are stunning. With a long history of enjoying the humiliation of others, she commits to giving personal apologies to 12 particular men that she delighted in embarrassing and betraying. Her story of brokenness and surrender is available, one chapter at a time, for free at Write Integrity Press.
May we all enjoy a fresh Spirit of renewal in a return to our First Love!
Thank you Marji!