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Why I have chosen to be a Christian

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#1
Isaiah 6:8

Isaiah 6:8

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Hello I figured I wanted to share why I have decided to be a Christian. I am hoping other Christians will do the same. I do not want this thread to be debated, but a place to share our stories. Also as this is in the outer court, lets attempt to keep the "Christian Slang" out of the story!

As for myself...

I was raised in a Christian home, however that is not why I chose to be a Christian, nor why I chose to keep the faith. Many of the kids I grew up with in my church, decided that Christ was not for them, and left the church and Christianity completely as have some of my siblings.

Well, for many reasons, I have chosen to stay but it starts with me doing a course when I was around 14 or 15 years old. The course was about evangelism. The speaker was teaching on all the world religions. The speaker said something I'll never forget. "If what I tell you today about what any other religion makes more sense, then leave the faith and go to that one. I ask this as I do not want you to feel that you have the real truth.

This made me think very critically of the information he provided, and after much information all true and all I have verified in years since have made me decided that of the world religions that Christianity made the most sense to me.

Now this was an important part of my decision but not the full part of it.


I have also, since I was very small had a huge interest in science, history, geology etc. I have always been a nerd. Being so I did a lot of study into evolution and other thins of that nature, and they struck me to be non-scientific. (I do not want to debate that here! ) Due to this and a few other things I realized that atheism was not for me.

However, for the most part of my life it was something I did as I believed but it was more of a "it makes sense" and "Its the right thing to do" however it really never penetrate deep into my whole being, it was not a part of me, or very real to me yet.

That changed at teen camp run by the christian missions organization "Youth With A Mission" The speaker was challenging us to do more then make it a head decision, more then just a "Nice Church Guy" thing but something to really live, really to as he put it "Yes you can be a Christian and go to heaven, but do you want to really be on Fire for God? To really live your whole life for Christ and not just be a nice person who keeps the pew warm in church?" He said "If you want to really be on fire, come up to the front, as fast as you can, don't worry about bumping into others, you can apologize later, Show God your are serious."

I was in the back of an auditorium that had at the time at least 200 other teens. I was one of the first to the front, several folding chairs and one or two people gave way before me as I ran, There was a tiny spot at the very front I leaped over 2 people already kneeling and landed face first. (I was young and springy!) I was okay, and at that moment, I knew, that deep in the very depths of my soul that I was going to do what ever it took to be more then just a pew warmer, but to be 100% for God.

You see from that time on God became really real to me. I felt him speaking to me, in my head, and no I am not crazy. You see part of it is this. God has told me things about others that I had no earthy way of knowing.

Years later I was at a youth conference, and I was part of the "prayer staff" there were over 2000 teens from all over the world there.

We had one girl come and ask for prayer, for what initially I do not remember. However I remember the results. It was me and two other female members of the prayer team I had called over. (I do not think its wise for a young man to pray for a young lady alone). They all started praying for this girl. I was sitting back and quietly praying.

Now just as a note, I had never met this girl before in my life, and they were all wearing jeans and the official camp t-shirt. There was nothing about this girl that would have given me any insight to her.

As I was praying, I felt that God was speaking to me, and told me this. "She has placed her art above me, and she needs to put me first." I thought this was rather strange but I told her and her two friends with her. "You know, I feel like the Lord is saying that you made something more important in your life then him. Something to do with art."

Here response was immediate and surprising to me. Her and her friends exploded into tears. Her friend told me "She is an artist" I don't remember which one but one of them told me that "Art is her life, and that is all she does it is the one thing she cares about the most."

Now you see you may not understand if your not a christian what is so bad about art. There is noting wrong in it in and of itself. The point was, she had made Art her God. The thing she worshiped most. and I spoke with her about that gently and she agreed with me.

The point of this story was not about the art, but the fact that I knew something about a girl in a crowd of over 2000 people that was 100% accurate to what she was going through and thinking, even though I had never met her before that moment. This sort of thing has happened to me over and over again. I have seen many things such as this over the years, and this sort of thing has had me hang on to my faith over the years.

You see when I chose to believe and have my full faith in God, and let it be more then an intellectual idea, I have had my faith affirmed by such things. He has shown me he is real beyond a shadow of a doubt.

You see, the God I serve, is interested in having a relationship. Two way speaking and listening. Guiding and loving, and I know that he does in my life. You see, I love having a God who is not just there to punish but to speak to!

I do hope if you don't know this God that one day you'll get to meet him.

Isaiah.

#2
He giveth more grace

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Great idea and purpose of this thread and great personal post.

I am not sure that we choose to be a Christian, but I know what you mean.

In my own experience, going back to 1975, I was most unhappy with my life. I heard on the Radio a psychiatrist talking about a mind-set, I'm OK and your OK, so found this very psychiatrist and started going to group sessions. After a few sessions I began to see the futility and madness of it all. My dad payed for this and on my last session night I went to a large local airport to watch the planes take off and land.

Soon after I discovered an occult bookstore and went that way for a while, Taro Cards, astrology, etc.

I don't want to focus on how I sought for happiness, but where I was in my head when I began to have God in my thought, per the purpose of this thread. My life was very traumatic, with a Mommie Dearest kind of mother, unprepared socially to meet the world, and illness.

I when to a gas pipeline clearing that stretches several yards and I just walked in the woods trying to find God, came across the carcass of a decomposing cow, all in a effort to say, where are you God. I broke a twig off and carried it to my car. When I got back to my car the police was there. One of them saw the twig on the front seat and ask what it was, probably thinking that I may have a little plot of "weed" out there. I got furious and say to the officer, It's a piece of nature and if you think that is weird, I have a Bible on the front seat too. He said, calm down, in a understanding, fatherly voice.

I am conscious that I am turning this into a testimony and I don't want to. I began to look for God in the Universe, I looked to the stars and nature, but he was no where to be found.

Anyway, a cousin of mine's husband prayed that I would see that Man cannot help me and I repeated those words to my Mother, word for word. Amen

I just hope some of my post was in accordance to the OP.

#3
LuftWaffle

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I started out as something of a confused blob, spiritually speaking. I can't say that I was an agnostic because an agnostic knows that they don't know. I guess I just didn't think about religion much growing up. I considered myself a decent guy, and kind of wanted to just live an average life.

Later some things happened (this was many years ago) and I hit rock bottom. The details aren't really important; in short I had lost everything a person could lose, and hated everything about my life.
I found myself sitting on the kitchen floor, utensils strewn all over the place, with a knife in my hand, considering how to best kill myself.
For some reason I shouted out through the ceiling at whoever was out there - a God? Maybe? I shook my first at the sky. If there was a God or a devil or some conscious being or whatever that gave me this life, what exactly were they trying to do? "If there's a point to any of this, then let me know!", I screamed.
Many Christians draw near to God, in humility, before the cross, on their knees. God started working in my life that day, while I was cursing and challenging Him. Knife in hand, tears of sorrow and rage and dispair running down my face.
I fell asleep on the floor, and woke up sometime later, feeling kind of different.
I didn't get saved that day, I didn't meet God that day, not directly, I just felt like things would get better.

At the time that I had challenged and dared and cursed God, a Christian lady living many kilometers away down in the coast had offered her life to God and asked God to use her for His purposes, to send her to someone who needed Him. He sent her to me. We met through work and she flew up to Johannesburg.
She told me about Jesus and about God, she read scripture to me, and told me God is in charge. I struggled immensely with this and argued with her. I didn't like that God was in charge. Especially not the Christian God. I envisioned that if there really was a God, it would be something exotic, sophisticated and kind of classy. Not plain old God-of-the-Bible.
I was proud, I didn't want to submit and all I was really interested in was getting my life back. But I couldn't deny what had happened, how I was on the verge of killing myself, but didn't, even though my mind was made up.
What sealed it for me was a miracle so improbable that I couldn't deny it. A friend of this Christian lady told me that God had a new career for me. At that stage I thought he was just telling me what I wanted to hear. At that stage I was a foreign exchange bank clerk, but he said that I'd work with computers. I laughed it off. I didn't have a computer, I never owned one, I didn't have money for one, and didn't have money to study...It was simply ridiculous.

Then it happened: The bank had a competition running and those who sold the most traveller's cheques at each branch would win a trip on a cruise ship. I still hated my job, and had no ambition and I'm sure management at the branch hoped that I would just leave, so I didn't care about this competition at all. The friendly, professional girl working the teller next to me sold the most travellers cheques and she won, which I expected, because she was good at it. The next day she shoved the cruise ticket in my hand saying, "I want you to have the ticket, because my husband and I can't go..." I can't remember why they couldn't go, but I was elated. Bum like me going on an ocean cruise! WOW! I couldn't believe it.

I went on the cruise and had a wondeful relaxing and peaceful time.
On the last day of the cruise the ships crew announced that they were having a lucky draw. Whoever's name was picked out of a hat, would win an airline ticket to any destination in the country. They called out my name... I couldn't believe it, I had never won anything before!

Here's the kicker: The day after I got back home from the cruise, I get a phone call from a friend, and he says, "Dude, you want a computer? Our Cape Town branch has bought new machines and they're giving away their old ones. If you can get to Cape Town you can have one."
Gee, I mean I just happened to have this plane ticket to anywhere in SA...
Off I went to the airport. Caught a plane, picked up the PC and came home.
Long story short, after three months I walked into a large IT firm company as a junior programmer.

But, like I said earlier, I still hadn't met God and I wouldn't meet Him for quite a while still. God gave me what I wanted, a job, but all the travelling by ship and by plane to get to my new career would be mirrored in my spiritual journey.

I didn't know God at this stage. I liked Him for giving me a job, but I was an idolator. I worshipped a sort of cosmic genie in a bottle, who gave me what I wanted. I think to some extend I was like many of Jesus' followers in the Bible who ran after Him looking for healing, looking for water turned into wine, but not really knowing Him. More interested in what God could do for me than anything else.

A few years went by and I got involved in a Neo-Nazi cult, commonly called Anglo-Israelism. It's pure hatred, pride and arrogance. I rose up the ranks quickly in three seperate groups that I was involved in. I can't believe I was so stupid! Slowly the hatred started getting to me. There must be more to life than just hating jews and black people. I started noticing lies, twisting of words, and eventually I left all the groups. They accused me of being a government spy and an infiltrator. Others claimed I was possessed by satan. I got death threats, the works. This is typical cult mentality. In order to prevent me from talking to their subjects, they discredited me, as a damage control operation.

If God hadn't pulled my out of that mess I would have probably ended up in prison, like many others, bit God had a purpose with this: To humble me, and to teach me how ugly pride is, I had to become a pharisee. Ugh!

Sick of all the hatred, I went in the complete opposite direction. New age: where all is one and one is all, and the way to eternal bliss is to become one with love. The particular New Age belief system was a post enlightenment concept, which is a basically New Age mysticism with Christian wrappingpaper. Mostly based on the writings of Swedenborg, Jacob Lorber, Bertha Dudde etc.
I soon came to realise that this wasn't the truth. God lead me here, to show me that love or any other good thing, without truth is just as worthless and meaningless as hatred. God is the key. Righteousness without God, love without God, charity without God, knowledge without God, is useless. All these things come together in Him.

By this time I was rather fed up with lies. I had drifted from an non-religious whatever to a shallow self-centred Christian, to a white supremist, to a mystic. I was tired, and desperate. I withdrew from everything and started reading my Bible. I didn't want anybody to tell me anything about God, I would read my Bible like a feral human who was raised on island by seagulls and never encountered civilisation. I'll take it for what it says. No more influences and opinions and books. This was the first time I truly read the Bible. As with Chesterton I was looking to for some exotic God, but the more I searched, the more I was lead to orthodoxy: The classic protestant faith.

It was here where I met God face to face...almost!
The Bible made such sense, I started understanding it. The whole Bible from beginning to end is about Jesus and what He did on that crooked cross. He is the subject of the entire book from Genesis to Revelation. It's all about Him. It's incredible that a collection of books spanning centuries, written by so many authors, could be so coherent.
I was in awe of God, I so desperately wanted to meet Him. So I decided that I would go on my knees, and not get up until he showed up. Notice how after all this I hadn't actually learnt anything from my spritual travels. Here I am back on the floor, calling God to show Himself to me. Bargaining with God again.
This time though, I didn't curse, I just really wanted to see Him. I begged, pleaded and nagged. so stupid, thinking I'm worthy of the priviledge that Moses, Paul, John etc. had, to meet with God. But in reading my Bible it never clicked. What did these guys do when they met God? Did they look Him in His eyes and shake His hand? Chat to Him like a pal. I had to learn...

It happened and God came to me. I can't really describe it but it was like He was there with me, but yet drawing nearer, becoming fuller and more perceivable. It was there that I realised I was in big trouble. Very, big, trouble. I started feeling fragile. It was like my entire being was dangling over a chasm and all my weight was suspended by a tine thread held only by the will of God. It was like sitting on a nuclear bomb, the countdown timer on 0000, and as a neutron touches the core, God had pressed "Pause", and all it would take for the "play" button to press, for God to send me into that chasm was if He noticed me. If He noticed inside my heart, what I was. Moments earlier I wanted to meet Him, but now I just want to hide. Deep under the earth protected from Him. I can't describe how absolutely insignificant and tiny I felt at that moment.
I begged God to come no closer or I would simply melt into ash. I realised how utter unworthy I was. Oh, I am so grateful that He didn't come any closer. I had learnt one more thing. God isn't some feeble prince or human king, or a super hero, or an archangel. He is GOD!
Funny how only after that event I noticed, that each person who met God, was scared out of their wits. One reads those passages, but it doesn't sink in. John, who rested on Christ's chest, fell to the ground when Jesus appeared to him in glory. JOHN! If John the beloved was frigthened, what was I thinking?

I understood then how we deserve damnation. How small I am, how sinful I am, and yet how arrogant and proud and full of myself. I am grateful for the cross, and I'm grateful that He saved me.

God is love. I know this because of Jesus. God is truth, I know this because through all the lies, the truth becaome precious to me, and I found in in His Word, which is all about Jesus. God is just, I know this because of the price Jesus paid. God is wonderful.

This is my testimony of God and how He saved me. I'm still a babe in Christ and have much growing to do, but I thank God for being there every step of the way, guiding my life. It had to start with me losing everything, including myself.



#4
He giveth more grace

He giveth more grace

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Continuation from Post 2 in more detail:

My father's mother died when she was in her forties (1925) if I got my information straight, his father was an engineer on a lumber company spur rail, called a "Dummy Line", in Livingston Parish Louisiana, he was a drunker. After my father's mother died, my grandfather remarried and my dad was is a bad case with no solid Christian home to be raised. His sisters filled in as mothers and latter a family sort of took him as their own. My father grew up not knowing how to show affection and I came to adulthood never seeing my parents showing any kind of affection - none.

My mother came from a dominate mother and dominate wife to her father. She would tell my grandfather everything that he needed to do at the pertinent season. He told her saying, I hope I "go" before you because I would not know what to do. She had robbed him of his manhood.

So, I really came from a mess, a father who was hopelessly lost when it came to intimacy with his children in showing them validation, acceptance, and love. A mother of kept me from growing into manhood and instilled fear of her for years to come after I became an adult.

I was never encouraged to socializing with my peers my age and when the first grade came along I was totally unprepared for it. Through not knowing how to deal with kidding and play I began to see myself as trash dumped on the people I came in contact with. I began to check out of life, wall up my hearts, became untrusted of people I didn't know. I was fearful of being touched, a hug, impossible, it hurt to much. So school (which I flunked through) and employment was one big fiasco ; I am still struggling through live, but I have had some freedom and I took some manhood from my mother

That's about it , if Christ had not come into my life I would have killed myself many many years before. I do have a better live in freedom now than then.

Ronnie



#5
FresnoJoe

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Thank you fro the "Welcome" and if you look at my profile, I have been a Worthy Board Member since July of 2003 and well acquainted with George's TAOS. I have no problem with Scriptures, I Love Scripture, Jesus IS The Word of God. So we agree on their Authority and Importance. My whole question, you did not post though. You only picked out what seemed to catch your eye and you missed my whole point. Here it is again complete as I posted in addressing Christians:


Now, to All Christians who have posted in here:


In my question to Christians I said I was not being curt or snide but asking an honest question. If I offended you somehow, I apologize for that but still believe the question to be legitimate. I quote Scriptures all the time but, have learned to add their meaning and relevance and personal conversation in exhortation and friendly talk. The reason is they are just words and makes us the appearance of "Bible Thumpers" through scripture but no Living Water with them. The Word says His Word will pour out of OUR Bellies like Living Water. Without that, they are like "tinkling brass" most times. If anyone of us look back to those who reached our hearts before we came to Christ, we see it was a real application of Scripture in Words with His Word Living in them yet, not changed from their meaning. That is my point and I believe Jesus' point when He talked of Living Water. Look at His conversations with people, lowly non=educated common people. They were amazed at His conversation because they heard the Law in the Temple read by the priests and scribes But Jesus brought them to Life as did All His disciples/Apostles. Thing about it..

Blessings in Jesus,

Brother Ron Cruise

Point taken brother.
No offense.

Ron, you are a true brother.
Our Lord has some purpose in our discussion which will bring Glory to Him.

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." (Proverbs 25:11)

I know my Lord and He always leads me besides still waters and into the pastures I need.
It may have taken 23 years or so, but when He moves, it is perfect.
God also has an amazing sense of humor and I am beginning to laugh at myself as I see a little of what He is doing with our dialog.

Yes Lord and Amen!

He is so dear maybe I can sit at His feet for a few billion years or so and just drink Him in before I get busy with whatever He has for me to do!

I lead with my heart, so be assured brother, an honest answer.

I am not impressed with my words nor with the words of man.
However, My soul paints for His Word.

The Bible Bot in Chat is a personal favorite of mine at Worthy.
I would love to see it tag a Bible scripture at the end of each post on the boards.

The only thing that has saved my life since I was six years old is The Word of God and The God behind it.
God put the Bible into my young hands and people into my young life to teach me to read it.
The KJV was my reading primer when I was five, six and seven.
This was one of the first verses planted into my heart and it has never left me.

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." (Psalms 119:11)

The Christian parents in my young life brought extreme pain and suffering to me but God never left me nor did He ever forsake me.
I love them dearly and pray for them in their old age (Dad is slowly dying) and I look forward to spending eternity with them as I do with secondeve and emeralgirl should God be Gracious unto them and they respond. Cartwheels before The Throne?

The Bible was where I learned to truly love.
It is the only reason I still have a marriage and a passionate one at that after 37 years with my sweetheart!
It is the only reason I knew how to love my baby boy.

It is the reason I quit drinking stone cold when I got angry at my wife 28 years ago while drunk.
It is the reason I just quit smoking last summer after 46 years of a pack-a-day non-filters with no patch, no desire to quit and no conviction of sin!
I just wanted to get even closer to Jesus down here because He hasn't taken me home to Him yet.
Quiting cigarettes was all of Jesus and none of Joe.

The Holy Bible was a Mother's love and a Father's council to me as a child.
It is my everything and, along with the wife of my youth, my confort as I grow old and feeble.

The WORD through The Word is the most precious thing I have to offer the dear folks at Worthy.
Scriptures are my lifeline to God's Love and I post them out of love.

Please forgive me one more time but I do need to check the "tinkling brass" reference.
Ah!
Love!
The fruit of abiding in Jesus!

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."
"And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

Yes and Amen Lord!

Dear Brother, these "Bible Thumping" Words I post are the very words of life, love and hope to me.
I do not get the same joy and instructions from any man or woman until they begin to speak Bible Words.

It breaks my heart and grieves my spirit to see the tossing out of God's Word throughout the "civilized" Christen world.
Many of the through-the-Bible verse by verse Churches today, speed read the Bible in the evenings and talk and talk and talk incessantly about their personal views and their personal life's in the morning "application" service.
They used to show Jesus with every sermon even in Books like Leviticus but the anointing has left them or I came on the wrong days.

I am too old and sick for this nonsense so I fall asleep and then I snore and my wife has really sharp elbows so I can't sit there any more and my ribs still hurt! There are other health issues which also keep us away.

I hope and pray Christians will share God's counsel with any unsaved friends they love and fellowship with at Worthy.
I would hope and pray the unsaved would nail their Christian friends to the wall until they receive a true understand of who Jesus is and why He is the most important person ever to walk the earth and why it is needful to act now!

I know God says it far better then I can and, without posting The Word I'll probably get it wrong but here goes!

Sin is real and more deadly to the soul of the sinner than the venom of a viper and it is totally nasty in God's sight and cannot be in His presence.

Hell is real and eternal.

All have sinned.

God The Father so loved the sinner that He laid the lashes for all the sins upon His Beloved Son to save the few who will receive His Gift.

Jesus, God The Son, totally without sin, so loved His Father and the sinner that He went to and stayed upon The Cross and became sin and took all the lashes needed to full pay the sin debt of the whole world to save the few who will receive His Gift!

All you need to do is to turn away from your nasty old sinful self, repent of your nasty old sinful self and receive God's gift by faith.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

Which you can't even do by yourself except for The Holy Spirit drawing you to God and convicting you of your horrible sinfulness and Jesus' total innocence and totally breaking your heart for what you have done!

Perhaps you are correct brother.
My Heart will not allow me to past by a lost and hurting person without leaving a few of the Words of Life.
Maybe I should just give in and change my user name to Thumper!

A new apologetics is settling over Western Christendom.
One where God's Holy Word is not welcome, period.
Although Worthy as some of these young "Christian" Turks swarming around it, this apostasy has not and I think will not strike deep into the Worthy Boards or Worthy Chat.

You can discuss science, weather, news or anything you desire and you can quote anything or anyone except extreme profanities and most all obscenities but you can not post any Bible scripture whatever.
We have young ones coming onto Worthy claiming Christ as their Lord and Savior but hating God's Word and actively trying to stop it's appearance at Worthy.
They have poled the unbelievers on other web sites to discover what they are comfortable with and then these "Christians" actively campaign to keep all Bible quotes or any Christian references to "creation" off "their" boards here at Worthy.

It's the strangest thing I've seen outside of a cult!
Like some made-up fake Antichrist bolted together by a Frankenstein committee of Atheist Adults and Bible-less, Jesus-less teenage Church kids claiming to be Christians.
He is a all evolutionist, all symbolic Bible and all science is the savior of earth and Mankind but, somehow, still he is "Christian".

Ron, I am truly saddened when I hear the Words of Jesus which are life to me are just thumping to the lost and the hopeless!
You and I both know what a closed Bible means and it is a heart breaker!.
When I see this reaction, it does break my heart and sends me to The Throne and to plead for The Word and The Holy Spirit to act upon the Heart.

"The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:"
"The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:"
"The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)

"And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them." (Numbers 6:27)

Love, Joe

WOW Joe!!!

Now THAT be what I am talking 'bout! Scripture in there with a heart felt, heart rendering application and revelation of "What it means"!!! I believe at the first, you perceived I didn't want the Word put forth, just man's dribble. Not so and I know that won't work for Jesus said what is ni the heart of man. But, when the Word is Alive in a person, That Word will come forth with Living experience and application. You have touched on many of the same sore and ill areas of today's modern Church and it is saddening. I live in a suburb of Houston, home of Lakewood Church which recently took over the Compaq Arena seating well over 16,000 (30,000 plus members). I used to live in Oregon and remember John Osteen (died in 1999, son Joel took over at a count of 5,000 plus then), and I rememver John preaching the Truth of Hell and the Love of Jesus and His Desire to save us from hell. John even did a documentary on Afterlife with testimonies of those who died, saw hell, and came back to change and tell others. Billboards all over Houston used to say; "Lakewood Oasis of Love".

Shortly after John's death and Joel took over, the marketing started and first the billboards and TV ads went to a picture of Joel and his wife Victoria with the slogan "Discover the Chanpio in You". I had a "in my Spirit" problem since a Born Again person knows wwe "have NO Champion within ys" except we let Jesus, the only "Champion" in our hearts to reign. I used to listen to Joel in the early 2000-2003 but, while his words were of great comfort and very loving, I noticed a lack of sincerety of Jesus Christ and less Bible Scripture as he progressed from a "rookie preacher". And, the less Word and less Sincerety and Focus on just Jesus, the larger it grew and very quickly.

This sould have been a "Red Flag" to anyone paying attention but, few noticed it. Joel wrote a few books but, his hit; "Your Best Life Now".....(any problems with that statement?) promoted Joel Osteen and Lakewood to the forefront. People moved to Houston just to attend his church. I talked to people who do not even profess Jesus, hate relition and The Word (as you pointed out) but they love Joel and will attend his church.

After the book was a hit, Joel gave up his 300,000+ salary at Lakewood (I would too if the Chruch was helping to promote and sell my book to the tune of 4 million /year) and..., the billboards and tv ads changed again. Now, a picture of Joel, His name in big letters at the top next to his pic and, Lakewood Church near the bottom (if there at all) in small letters. I am not beating up on Joel Osteen but pointing out a very obvious and sound fact. How often does Joel say the Name Jesus in any service? I hear "God" maybe a few times. A lot of positive "self" change but not the One who Changes as our only Hope and Power to change. The man that isn't Christian but loves Joel's preaching said verbatim: "I like it he [Joel] doesn't preach the Bible and talk about Jesus much..." I'll leave that to speak for itself.

This is the kind of Church that is rearing up the "young Christians" of which you speak Fresno Joe. To combat this requires the Word of God consistently coming from out of us Alive in Testimony and Application in our Words along with the Word of God. Actually, our experience and life changed by His Power to fit His Word and not His Word changed to fit us or missing to allow us.

I believe we agree an every tenent! But, I do love the way you just posted it! Now, that was Alive! Perhaps a few more Scriptures next time though....lol!

In The Love of Jesus, The only One Who matters,

Brother Ron Cruise

PS: I do love that Scripture you posted: "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." (Psalms 119:11)
And therein lies His Power for us!



#6
liriodominican

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We are chistians because Jesus loved us first, and give us the right to be child of God

Great idea and purpose of this thread and great personal post.

I am not sure that we choose to be a Christian, but I know what you mean.

In my own experience, going back to 1975, I was most unhappy with my life. I heard on the Radio a psychiatrist talking about a mind-set, I'm OK and your OK, so found this very psychiatrist and started going to group sessions. After a few sessions I began to see the futility and madness of it all. My dad payed for this and on my last session night I went to a large local airport to watch the planes take off and land.

Soon after I discovered an occult bookstore and went that way for a while, Taro Cards, astrology, etc.

I don't want to focus on how I sought for happiness, but where I was in my head when I began to have God in my thought, per the purpose of this thread. My life was very traumatic, with a Mommie Dearest kind of mother, unprepared socially to meet the world, and illness.

I when to a gas pipeline clearing that stretches several yards and I just walked in the woods trying to find God, came across the carcass of a decomposing cow, all in a effort to say, where are you God. I broke a twig off and carried it to my car. When I got back to my car the police was there. One of them saw the twig on the front seat and ask what it was, probably thinking that I may have a little plot of "weed" out there. I got furious and say to the officer, It's a piece of nature and if you think that is weird, I have a Bible on the front seat too. He said, calm down, in a understanding, fatherly voice.

I am conscious that I am turning this into a testimony and I don't want to. I began to look for God in the Universe, I looked to the stars and nature, but he was no where to be found.

Anyway, a cousin of mine's husband prayed that I would see that Man cannot help me and I repeated those words to my Mother, word for word. Amen

I just hope some of my post was in accordance to the OP.



#7
Invisible

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I realised that I posted my original post in the wrong place (oops). So in the spirit of this section. I will try again :D

I chose to become a Christian when i realised that the world offered nothing but death. All the worlds religions that I looked into seemed to say "Do this and you MAY get to a better place, if my God wants you to". I found that there was no hope in those places, only vague promises and requests for money.

I have founds Christianity to be different, Jesus says "believe in me and you WILL get to heaven", this is a far greater hope than a "MAY get to heaven", this is why I choose to answer the knocking of Jesus everyday.

Edited by Invisible, 21 March 2012 - 10:22 PM.


#8
Floatingaxe

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Simple and beautiful testimony, Invisible! Welcome to Worthy! :emot-hug:

#9
MorningGlory

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I didn't really choose to be a Christian; I think I was born one. I don't remember a time when I didn't believe. It's like it's a part of who I am. Atheists, to me, are as odd as purple elephants. I simply can't understand their lack of belief and I feel a need to make them see His truth. The thought of so many souls going to eternal damnation is appalling to me. :(

#10
saved34

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I didn't really choose to be a Christian; I think I was born one. I don't remember a time when I didn't believe. It's like it's a part of who I am. Atheists, to me, are as odd as purple elephants. I simply can't understand their lack of belief and I feel a need to make them see His truth. The thought of so many souls going to eternal damnation is appalling to me. :(

That is a very interesting statement, MG. There was never a time in your experience where you had a burden of sin? What made you call upon the Lord? Christ said he came for sinners. Not attacking you, I'm just curious as your own experience is not unique. There are plenty of believers who have made the same type of statements that they have never NOT believed.


1Ti 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

Mat 9:12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.
Mat 9:13 "But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."


#11
saved34

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I tried reaching God through prayer. I implored him to make himself known to me. Nothing happened.

Celsius, what would have been satisfactory to you? How could God have 100% convinced you in that manner? (Keeping in mind that everyday his creation is yelling, screaming, doing back flips in revelation to you).

How did you pray to a being in whom you have no faith that he even exists?

Rom 10:13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
Rom 10:14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?

Jas 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Jas 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
Jas 1:7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.


You do not come to the creator of the Universe in such a fashion. If you lack faith, fall on your face and ask him to help your unbelief, if you do not even believe he exists, yet you want to challenge him to reveal himself, you'll be waiting for quite a while my friend. They that come to God, must believe that he is.

#12
avemaria

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Life is worthless and pointless without God.
Everything you gain can be lost at anytime. Anything pleasureable is fleeting. Who is benefitting from the pleasure they experienced a month ago.
Without God does it matter how we spend time on earth. Does it really matter if we kill ourselves when things aren't going well.
Faithlessness is total madness.

#13
D. OSAS

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Hi

Theology is crucial but it just takes us so far. You are right to note that Christianity is more than answers to a theology test. A critical aspect of Christianity is fellowship with God.

There will be many in heaven with bad theologies.
Dr. OSAS



Hello I figured I wanted to share why I have decided to be a Christian. I am hoping other Christians will do the same. I do not want this thread to be debated, but a place to share our stories. Also as this is in the outer court, lets attempt to keep the "Christian Slang" out of the story!

As for myself...

I was raised in a Christian home, however that is not why I chose to be a Christian, nor why I chose to keep the faith. Many of the kids I grew up with in my church, decided that Christ was not for them, and left the church and Christianity completely as have some of my siblings.

Well, for many reasons, I have chosen to stay but it starts with me doing a course when I was around 14 or 15 years old. The course was about evangelism. The speaker was teaching on all the world religions. The speaker said something I'll never forget. "If what I tell you today about what any other religion makes more sense, then leave the faith and go to that one. I ask this as I do not want you to feel that you have the real truth.

This made me think very critically of the information he provided, and after much information all true and all I have verified in years since have made me decided that of the world religions that Christianity made the most sense to me.

Now this was an important part of my decision but not the full part of it.


I have also, since I was very small had a huge interest in science, history, geology etc. I have always been a nerd. Being so I did a lot of study into evolution and other thins of that nature, and they struck me to be non-scientific. (I do not want to debate that here! ) Due to this and a few other things I realized that atheism was not for me.

However, for the most part of my life it was something I did as I believed but it was more of a "it makes sense" and "Its the right thing to do" however it really never penetrate deep into my whole being, it was not a part of me, or very real to me yet.

That changed at teen camp run by the christian missions organization "Youth With A Mission" The speaker was challenging us to do more then make it a head decision, more then just a "Nice Church Guy" thing but something to really live, really to as he put it "Yes you can be a Christian and go to heaven, but do you want to really be on Fire for God? To really live your whole life for Christ and not just be a nice person who keeps the pew warm in church?" He said "If you want to really be on fire, come up to the front, as fast as you can, don't worry about bumping into others, you can apologize later, Show God your are serious."

I was in the back of an auditorium that had at the time at least 200 other teens. I was one of the first to the front, several folding chairs and one or two people gave way before me as I ran, There was a tiny spot at the very front I leaped over 2 people already kneeling and landed face first. (I was young and springy!) I was okay, and at that moment, I knew, that deep in the very depths of my soul that I was going to do what ever it took to be more then just a pew warmer, but to be 100% for God.

You see from that time on God became really real to me. I felt him speaking to me, in my head, and no I am not crazy. You see part of it is this. God has told me things about others that I had no earthy way of knowing.

Years later I was at a youth conference, and I was part of the "prayer staff" there were over 2000 teens from all over the world there.

We had one girl come and ask for prayer, for what initially I do not remember. However I remember the results. It was me and two other female members of the prayer team I had called over. (I do not think its wise for a young man to pray for a young lady alone). They all started praying for this girl. I was sitting back and quietly praying.

Now just as a note, I had never met this girl before in my life, and they were all wearing jeans and the official camp t-shirt. There was nothing about this girl that would have given me any insight to her.

As I was praying, I felt that God was speaking to me, and told me this. "She has placed her art above me, and she needs to put me first." I thought this was rather strange but I told her and her two friends with her. "You know, I feel like the Lord is saying that you made something more important in your life then him. Something to do with art."

Here response was immediate and surprising to me. Her and her friends exploded into tears. Her friend told me "She is an artist" I don't remember which one but one of them told me that "Art is her life, and that is all she does it is the one thing she cares about the most."

Now you see you may not understand if your not a christian what is so bad about art. There is noting wrong in it in and of itself. The point was, she had made Art her God. The thing she worshiped most. and I spoke with her about that gently and she agreed with me.

The point of this story was not about the art, but the fact that I knew something about a girl in a crowd of over 2000 people that was 100% accurate to what she was going through and thinking, even though I had never met her before that moment. This sort of thing has happened to me over and over again. I have seen many things such as this over the years, and this sort of thing has had me hang on to my faith over the years.

You see when I chose to believe and have my full faith in God, and let it be more then an intellectual idea, I have had my faith affirmed by such things. He has shown me he is real beyond a shadow of a doubt.

You see, the God I serve, is interested in having a relationship. Two way speaking and listening. Guiding and loving, and I know that he does in my life. You see, I love having a God who is not just there to punish but to speak to!

I do hope if you don't know this God that one day you'll get to meet him.

Isaiah.



#14
sderic

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I remember being called to Jesus about ten years ago. I think we are called as Christians and it is an aided decision not totally made without help from the Holy Spirit. It was quite an amazing experience. I was working in a kitchen as a cook and really was an unhappy person, although I didn't want to come to Jesus just because I was unhappy. There was a sweet old Pentecostal sister who was the dishwasher at the time there and she used to witness to us all with great love. It was the love she displayed to us that drew me to commit my life to the Lord. I also remember being compelled by a an outside force to go pray with her that was the Holy Spirit, and I was baptised in the Spirit the next morning after dedicating my life to Jesus. Being baptised in the Holy Spirit was the best experience of my life as the peace I felt in contrast to the hopelessness I felt beforehand was amazing. I just knew that everything was going to be ok after that. So, I was compelled to become a Christian out of love. God Bless and much love in Christ :)

#15
robertos

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great thread

#16
The Cup

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Hello I figured I wanted to share why I have decided to be a Christian. I am hoping other Christians will do the same. I do not want this thread to be debated, but a place to share our stories. Also as this is in the outer court, lets attempt to keep the "Christian Slang" out of the story!

As for myself...

I was raised in a Christian home, however that is not why I chose to be a Christian, nor why I chose to keep the faith. Many of the kids I grew up with in my church, decided that Christ was not for them, and left the church and Christianity completely as have some of my siblings.

Well, for many reasons, I have chosen to stay but it starts with me doing a course when I was around 14 or 15 years old. The course was about evangelism. The speaker was teaching on all the world religions. The speaker said something I'll never forget. "If what I tell you today about what any other religion makes more sense, then leave the faith and go to that one. I ask this as I do not want you to feel that you have the real truth.

This made me think very critically of the information he provided, and after much information all true and all I have verified in years since have made me decided that of the world religions that Christianity made the most sense to me.

Now this was an important part of my decision but not the full part of it.


I have also, since I was very small had a huge interest in science, history, geology etc. I have always been a nerd. Being so I did a lot of study into evolution and other thins of that nature, and they struck me to be non-scientific. (I do not want to debate that here! ) Due to this and a few other things I realized that atheism was not for me.

However, for the most part of my life it was something I did as I believed but it was more of a "it makes sense" and "Its the right thing to do" however it really never penetrate deep into my whole being, it was not a part of me, or very real to me yet.

That changed at teen camp run by the christian missions organization "Youth With A Mission" The speaker was challenging us to do more then make it a head decision, more then just a "Nice Church Guy" thing but something to really live, really to as he put it "Yes you can be a Christian and go to heaven, but do you want to really be on Fire for God? To really live your whole life for Christ and not just be a nice person who keeps the pew warm in church?" He said "If you want to really be on fire, come up to the front, as fast as you can, don't worry about bumping into others, you can apologize later, Show God your are serious."

I was in the back of an auditorium that had at the time at least 200 other teens. I was one of the first to the front, several folding chairs and one or two people gave way before me as I ran, There was a tiny spot at the very front I leaped over 2 people already kneeling and landed face first. (I was young and springy!) I was okay, and at that moment, I knew, that deep in the very depths of my soul that I was going to do what ever it took to be more then just a pew warmer, but to be 100% for God.

You see from that time on God became really real to me. I felt him speaking to me, in my head, and no I am not crazy. You see part of it is this. God has told me things about others that I had no earthy way of knowing.

Years later I was at a youth conference, and I was part of the "prayer staff" there were over 2000 teens from all over the world there.

We had one girl come and ask for prayer, for what initially I do not remember. However I remember the results. It was me and two other female members of the prayer team I had called over. (I do not think its wise for a young man to pray for a young lady alone). They all started praying for this girl. I was sitting back and quietly praying.

Now just as a note, I had never met this girl before in my life, and they were all wearing jeans and the official camp t-shirt. There was nothing about this girl that would have given me any insight to her.

As I was praying, I felt that God was speaking to me, and told me this. "She has placed her art above me, and she needs to put me first." I thought this was rather strange but I told her and her two friends with her. "You know, I feel like the Lord is saying that you made something more important in your life then him. Something to do with art."

Here response was immediate and surprising to me. Her and her friends exploded into tears. Her friend told me "She is an artist" I don't remember which one but one of them told me that "Art is her life, and that is all she does it is the one thing she cares about the most."

Now you see you may not understand if your not a christian what is so bad about art. There is noting wrong in it in and of itself. The point was, she had made Art her God. The thing she worshiped most. and I spoke with her about that gently and she agreed with me.

The point of this story was not about the art, but the fact that I knew something about a girl in a crowd of over 2000 people that was 100% accurate to what she was going through and thinking, even though I had never met her before that moment. This sort of thing has happened to me over and over again. I have seen many things such as this over the years, and this sort of thing has had me hang on to my faith over the years.

You see when I chose to believe and have my full faith in God, and let it be more then an intellectual idea, I have had my faith affirmed by such things. He has shown me he is real beyond a shadow of a doubt.

You see, the God I serve, is interested in having a relationship. Two way speaking and listening. Guiding and loving, and I know that he does in my life. You see, I love having a God who is not just there to punish but to speak to!

I do hope if you don't know this God that one day you'll get to meet him.

Isaiah.



Hello Isaiah 6:8:

I'm new here (...I SIGNED UP YESTERDAY...) to the boards and, as I was exploring around a bit, I came across your posting here and I just wanted to say something about what I seen; I can see absolute pure "Spiritual Surender" enbedded deep within your words....God Bless you for such a bold open hearted testimoney...Thank you...!

GODS BLESSINGS AND KIND REGARDS FROM:

THE CUP

Edited by The Cup, 29 June 2012 - 05:24 PM.


#17
friendofjesuschrist

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Grace and peace to all,

Praise the LORD when I say I am overjoyed HE choose me, because I definitely did not choose Him in my life.
I was amazed by JESUS when I heard HIS name, what HE did, and believed in what HE did when I was young in Christian school.
But, following the actions of the love of CHRIST is where I was.
Was ignorant to the rest.


But, over 10 years ago I became HIS servant.
HE confirmed HE choose me, and recently I can say HE has changed me from servant into HIS friend.

He left me with the Holy Spirit for a long time.
GOD stepped in strong and stern as my FATHER.
JESUS caressed me with HIS LOVE constantly, and showed me what I was missing when I was young.
It's like a bit of the stories of Moses, Jonah, Job, David, and Paul, and how HE came showed them.
The meeting with Jesus was crazy some years back.

Wasn't knocked off a horse.
But was in a situation where HE pushed me back here; and my knowledge of the WORD was much higher than it was before.
I knew it was HIM.
He's been showing me it's HIM ever since.


Love of JESUS CHRIST to all of you.

#18
2404

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Enjoyed the reading
I also had my experience in the 70's.
Living like many young men burning the candle on both ends, then I received an unsolicited touch.
That was it, saved up my pennies and off to the seminary I went.
I came out of the Baptist seminary with my chest stuck out and my head in the clouds, but by His grace He is straightening me out.

The Christian life is not static.

#19
1peterlight

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I chose to be a Christian as a child when I first was introduced to church. I've spent my life since trying to live decent (though a messed up sinner) and then several months ago, I had a born again experience and have realized that while I chose the Christian faith as a child, Christianity has now chosen me and I am ever so grateful to the Lord. :mgcheerful:

#20
CaliforniaJosiah

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I was the one chosen.

But, I appreciate the spirit intended.



Ditto.....


I've had the gift of faith for longer than I recall.....

I was sung Christian songs, prayed for, etc. while I was still in my mother's womb - and like John the Baptist, I believe I heard..... and God gave me faith.

My parents at home have the OLD graining video tape of some children's program at our church. I honestly don't remember anything about it, but Dad was there with that HUGE video camara he loved so much.... And there I am. Maybe 5 or so. Cute, blonde/blue little boy (I look ALL like a girl), white shorts.... talking about "what Jesus means to me." When I was a teen, alone at home, sometimes I would dig out that video - and watch that kid.... listen to that boy..... STUNNED by his faith..... envious..... That little boy and I are "on the same page" again. Soli Deo Gloria.



Pax


- Josiah




.

Edited by CaliforniaJosiah, 09 April 2013 - 05:07 PM.





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