When I was young and dumb, and had no sense, I can remember moments as a child when I would look up into the sky and wonder if there was a God and how everything came into existence. My grandparents from my mother’s side where Roman Catholic, so my mother was raised as a Catholic, but when she became an adult she stopped attending church. She was a single parent and raised my two older brothers and I without any faith in God. We never went to any church, but when we were teenagers she began to seek God, and started studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. My two older brothers and I started attending the Kingdom Hall and home Bible Studies with her. My brothers didn’t continue very long, but I loved learning more about God, until I became a teenager and was diverted into other vain interests.
One day my next oldest brother brought a stranger home that he met at the recreation center downtown. This man was from Harlem, New York. He had very peculiar habits, but he was friendly and generous. He was a Minister, and used to hang out with the teenagers at the recreation center to talk with them about Jesus. He began to tell our family that Jesus was God, Who came to Earth as a man to die for our sins. We did not agree with him, because the Jehovah’s Witnesses taught us that Jesus was just another god, not Almighty God. This Minister continued visiting us, used to buy us food, and take us out to play baseball, fishing, bowling, arcade games, etc. He eventually rented a room from us, and we became well acquainted with him, but we thought he was really weird, because he used go into his room to pray out loud in a strange language that we didn’t understand, which he called “unknown tongues.”
He used to hold Bible Studies in our home, and when the Jehovah’s Witnesses would come over, he would attend their meetings, and they would get into arguments together. My mother started watching the 700 Club on television with him, and one day she prayed with the Minister on the television and received Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. The Minister moved out into his own house and started a church. My mother began to attend his church meetings and invited our closest Aunt to go with her. My Aunt also was Born Again at the Minister’s church.
When I was 17 years old during the summer time, I used to ride my bicycle down to the local beach to join my cousin that worked there parking cars. We used to hang out together, look at the pretty girls, and talk about finding parties for the weekend. On one day, I can still vividly remember riding my bicycle to the beach, and saying out loud to myself, “There has to be more to life than this!” A short time later, when I was in my cousin’s car with some friends, we got into an argument over gas money. I have always been strong willed, so I just got out of his car, and started walking home. I lived about 10 miles away, but before I got ½ mile down the road, my father, whom I hardly ever saw, drove by, picked me up, and took me all the way home.
I stopped hanging out with my friends on the weekends and just stayed home watching the television. It was very boring watching the same shows over and over again, but while I was home every weekend, I noticed my mother and my aunt coming home from church every Sunday. They were always very happy with a new excitement about life and Jesus. The Minister invited me to church several times, and I think I may have even went once, but I was not ready to hear the Gospel at that time. One of those Sundays while I was watching television, they invited him over after church, and he invited me to one of their Sunday evening services out of town at another lady’s home, and I went with them.
This time when I heard the Gospel message, that Jesus died on a cross for our sins, was buried in a tomb, and rose again from the dead on the 3rd day, I was ready. At the end of the message, he asked me if I would like to receive Jesus Christ into my life and be Saved. I said, “Yes.” He asked me to get on my knees, close my eyes, and say a prayer with him. While I was saying the prayer after him with my eyes closed, I saw a Person that was a Being of Light coming down from Heaven, and He came down inside of me. When that happened all of the sorrows, hopelessness, fears, guilt, shame, and rebellion that was in my heart lifted off of me. I felt like I was a brand new baby! When I opened my eyes, it seemed like everything was alive and brand new! It was like I just started a brand new life! I can remember when I left the lady’s house that night, that I looked across the street at the harbor, and I had this revelation, “Just like a fish thinks the ocean is the only world there is, but when he bites on a hook or gets caught in a net and pulled up out of that ocean into the Earth’s atmosphere with the big sky all around, he realizes that there is a whole new world out there that he never knew existed before!” That’s how it was for me! I knew God existed! He was real! I knew Him! He was my Heavenly Father, and I had a new relationship with Him! I was Born Again!
From that night on, I was in love with God, and all I wanted was to know Him more! I stopped riding my dirt bikes after school and left all my friends. Before that time, the first thing I did every day after school was jump on my motorcycles and ride with friends till it was dark. Now, all I wanted to do was sit on the couch in the living room, read the Bible, listen to audio tapes, and watch ministers on the television to learn more about God till I went to sleep! My life has never been the same since I met The Lord Jesus Christ, and now I have a purpose for living, and a vision to accomplish in His kingdom plan!
Jesus is LORD!