Original MySpace Post on Thursday, February 21, 2008
I was AWOL from church for 7 years after that. But God found me on the campus of Texas A&M. That was a place where I found myself to be very insignificant. God had a mouthpiece by the name of Jeff Fitzhugh, a guy who lived in the room next to mine in my dorm. It was through Jeff that I began to see what a Christian looked like. One day Jeff used a phrase like, “I’m just trying to find out what God’s will for my life is.” That phrase got me thinking. God having a will for our life, or even my life? That was a concept that was just too big for my pagan mind to wrap itself around. But it got the ball rolling. Jeff was a wonderful example of a Christian servant, for whom I am very thankful I met. He had a profound impact on my life.
This would be the section that I would include the two “miracles in the rain” in my testimony, but because of space concerns, I will include them in my next blog.
I failed miserably at Texas A&M. Environmental Design was my major, which is the Aggie way of saying architecture. Since I was a little boy, I always wanted to be an architect. But at A&M, I discovered that I didn’t cut the mustard when it came to the artistic side of design. I was very dejected when I saw my hopes go down the drain. Because of financial problems, I returned home feeling like a failure.
Upon returning home, I rekindled a friendship with a former co-worker, Steve Iafelice. He, too, just returned home, having gone through a divorce. But, he was rekindling his relationship with Jesus Christ. And that’s what I saw, and that’s what I wanted. I saw that he had every reason to feel like a failure and be dejected and depressed, despondent. But it was just the opposite. He had a peace while in the middle of the storm. He had joy and purpose, and that’s what I wanted.
Over the next few months, Steve began to invest his life into mine. He asked me questions, and he answered mine. We studied the bible together. He shared the good news of Jesus Christ repeatedly with me, or at least, he shared the Christian life with me that was relevant to my everyday problems. We went to church a few times together. He was a member of Parkside Baptist Church. All of this took place between the months of August of 1991 to November of 1992.
On December 18, 1992, at !:40 pm, I was taking a walk in my neighborhood. And God began to talk to me. Now when I say God talked, I am not speaking of an audible voice. I am talking about a level of conviction of the heart and mind. But what I discerned God asking me was this: “Will you die for me?”
Some folks would interpret this as a physical death that He was asking of me. And maybe that is part of the request. But what I know He was asking me at that time was, “Would you deny yourself, take up your own cross, and follow me?” (Luke 9:23) I didn’t even know of the verse at the time. But I knew the essence of it. God was asking me to crucify my Self, my sinful nature, (the beast within) by receiving His gift of forgiveness, and identifying with Him in His death. His death became my own. I no longer lived, but Christ would begin to live through me. It was a onetime event that led to a daily commitment of dying and surrendering to his life.
So, I said yes.
God was also asking, “Will you start doing things My way?” Would I turn from myself and selfishness, and turn to Him? Would I start living in His Kingdom, according to His purposes and ways? Again, I said yes. I said yes to everything God had to offer, because essentially I had nothing, and could do nothing apart from Him.
So, in the jargon of the church, that was the moment I was saved. The little prayer I said when I was 11 years old suddenly took on flesh. Or maybe, it was given life.
Next Week, Membership