Raised in a Catholic home, I had no illusions about my standing with God. The Sacrament of Penance(confession) always seemed hypocritical to me, but I played along, hoping my lack of understanding was simply due to my own denseness. Oh, I went to Confession, took Communion, sat through weekly Mass, observed the Holy Days of Obligation, and lusted, over indulged, lied, stole, and hated at every opportunity.
For years after leaving home, which my dad ruled with a papal fist, I continued hanging around Catholic churches, hoping one of the good fathers could fill me in on why I felt so filthy, even though I was a “good Catholic boy.” I attended Catholic young-people’s retreats, and Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes. I dated(and violated) good Catholic girls. But regardless how I searched for answers, none were to be found.
Around 1972 I moved my few, meager belongings—and myself, of course—to Montana, in response to my folks’ request to help with some property they had bought. Once here, I flirted with various Catholic churches in the same old quest for Truth and Righteousness, but I found something different: a group of young Catholics who were followers of Jesus himself, and not just the Church. They were full of love, acceptance, and, well, God’s Holy Spirit. And I even discovered a Charismatic, Southern Baptist family who attended the Christian Center Assembly of God church—and yes, that’s a mouthful.
Well, those folks invited me into their home, not to convert me from Catholicism, but just because I needed a place to crash on occasion when the weather got cruddy, which it is wont to do on occasion in Northwest Montana. We had some lively, but congenial, discussions about things spiritual, and I was a discusser from way back. Of course, the fact that their daughter Joyce happened to be singularly gorgeous didn’t quash my interest in the least.
Long story short, I didn’t get Joyce, but I did get forgiven, through the sacrificial work of the Lord Jesus Christ. During the thirty-nine years since then I’ve done everything I could imagine to interfere with God’s growth program for me, but despite my worst efforts, God has always remained faithful by welcoming me back when I, like the prodigal son, came to my senses and repented of my stupidity.
Now I’m filled with such gratitude that I can’t contain it, which is part of my motivation for this blog. God didn’t lie when his Apostle Peter wrote:
… and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (1Peter 1:8-9)
But wait!!! That’s not all! As a limited-time, bonus gift, you too will not only receive Eternal Life in heaven, but a New and Better life here on earth! That’s Right! For No Extra Charge, God will transform your life, enabling you to Love Your Enemies, Do Good To Those Who Persecute You, and maybe even Share in Christ’s Suffering.
Okay, I’ll never be much of a TV pitchman. But all of those “bonuses” will serve only to draw you closer to your Savior and deeper into his love. And it is indeed a “limited time offer.” No one knows which heartbeat or breath will be their last, and while God is patient, he will not wait forever.
My hope and prayer is that this blog will help someone break through that resistance threshold erected by sin, and once through, thrive in their new life provided courtesy of God’s one and only True Son, Jesus Christ.