Sunday, March 12, 2017

Who Am I

Who Am I?

I wrote this article some time ago on an older blog however since I haven't published an article here in ages I thought it apropos that I re-introduce myself since I am feeling better and of a mind to get back to writing once a week.

I have MS - the Progressive kind, you see, and there are times when I am simply physically unable to do much more than take care of myself and try to help out around the house as much as I can. Fortunately my wife is a truly wonderful woman and both my adult children live close enough to come over and help out when I am particularly stove up. I'm 55 at the writing of this and have had MS for 18 years or so. Don't feel sorry for me!! I am really and truly blessed despite this.... "affliction".   

I'm Mark, by the way. Nice to meet you. So you know: I am a Christian and that will color everything I write so if this offends you then please feel free to move on. I don't debate. I will answer questions asked from an open heart and mind but if you wish to engage in endless debate there are lots of sites devoted to exactly that. Otherwise, welcome!  I intend to produce one article a week... Perhaps two. The subjects will be varied - everything from dealing with a Chronic Illness to Current events and Biblical Prophecy.

So, without further ado Here's:             
How I Found Salvation in Jesus Christ 

It has been in my mind for some time to share this. This is a testimony of my faith in Jesus Christ. If that immediately turns you off then feel free to move on. I just feel compelled to share this:

Growing up, my family was not spiritual at all. In fact, circumstances in my life had caused me to resent, even hate God. During my late teens I became a devoted atheist. The great astronomer and physicist, Carl Sagan fascinated me with his explanations of physics and I studied his books and videos with great interest. By the time I was in college majoring in Computer Science with a great interest in Astronomy and Physics I was convinced God did not exist.

Still, as time went by I found myself wrestling with the nagging feeling that there was more to the whole God thing than I thought. After some time I got tired of constantly dealing with that strange feeling and decided to smother that nagging feeling by proving to myself beyond the shadow of any doubt (as if I had any doubt anyway... Ha!) that the whole concept of God was nonsense. I began by reading the bible Genesis to Revelation. I was happy to find that there were many "inconsistencies" and "contradictions" in the bible. Then, of course, there was the immense gulf between scientific “Fact” and biblical “Myth”.

Proving this to myself had required studying the bible and asking a lot of questions as well as reading various literature (there was no internet in those days). Most of  the books I read were written by atheists and focused on debunking the bible. That was fine because that was what I was after anyway. After several months I was confident that there was no God, Heaven or Hell.

Then, one evening, as I was trying to summarize everything in my mind, completely out of the blue, I got down on my knees and I accepted Jesus as my lord and savior. Go figure!

How did that happen? Well, remember that nagging feeling I talked about. During and especially after my research that nagging feeling became overwhelming. The more I felt it the harder I worked at not believing. For years I was torn. I didn’t know what I believed, yet somehow I did. Unlike many Christians who accept Jesus and immediately act differently, after I accepted Christ I went on much the same as I had before. This went on for a long time. I was what you would call a “closet” Christian I guess. I had no Christian friends and, to be frank, was afraid of what they would say if I shared my new found faith.

Then, one day I stumbled on a radio show that focused on responding to the “problems” with the bible, science and Christianity in general. You know, all the supposed Biblical "contradictions" and "inconsistencies" I had "found".  Each day this show took calls from skeptics and believers alike. They were fearless and tackled every question no matter how hard. After they answered a caller’s question they always followed it by insisting that the caller do their own research and verify everything they said by checking it against scripture. I began listening every day.

It didn’t take long before they had covered every one of the so called criticisms I had with the Bible and more I hadn't even come across. Their answers were convincing but I took their admonition seriously and did my own research as well. I got the old materials out and some new ones as well. The internet was still a baby but even then it was full of websites that dealt with both sides of this issue. I took full advantage of them and poured over every issue.

While it took some time, the reservations I had regarding the bible, the existence of God, Jesus and the reliability of the Bible were resolved without reservation. It was well over twenty five years ago that I accepted Jesus as savior. The changes that didn’t happen over night happened gradually but dramatically. The most rapid and dramatic changes happened fifteen years or so ago when I realized that while I had asked Christ to be my Savior I had never fully submitted to His Lordship in my life. Once I made that commitment I felt the difference in my mind and heart and more than ever I feel the leading of the Holy Spirit. I also attend a wonderful, Bible based church and live a truly blessed life. Its funny, but I’m thankful for the time when I worked so hard not to believe in God because today, when I am assaulted by doubt and worry, I pray and often reflect on that time and how God never gave up on me. The Lord often brings the things I learned to mind and I am reassured.

Faith is a mystery and a gift. It doesn’t come from the intellect. But, that doesn’t mean you have to leave logic and reason behind to believe. In fact, I think it is just as important to know why you believe as it is to know what you believe.

Why I am writing this now after so much time I don’t know. I just had this nagging feeling…

God bless,
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