Jim B.

Jim B.

from KS
Story #191
Growing Up

I did not grow up in what you call a Christian home. My parents did not belong to a church. I do recall one summer going to a Vacation Bible School once when I was younger. As I grew up I witnessed what I will call a lot of religious fakery. I recall one time going to what was purported to be a revival meeting only to see a guy who called himself a preacher, take out his false eye put a patch over his good eye and tell everyone God gave him the power to see without eyes. He proceeded to walk through the crowd and “read” information from attendees such as a driver’s license number etc.

After he had the crowd believing he had the power, he began to point out many people who he said had cancer and other diseases. They were told he could heal them – it was quite a show. But it was not for me. I can also recall in my younger days people trying to “Save” me. It was always situations where the sale for being saved was very high pressure and I wanted no part of it.
Before I found the Lord, I did not want or need what I thought “Christians” had. I felt others needed it because they were not strong enough or smart enough to stand on their own and be their own person. I was really hardened against what I defined as religion. I did not like going to church. As an example of how terrible I was, I figured that I knew the reason they passed the plate only after the communion was because they felt if you were given some grape juice and a cracker you were more inclined to give them money.

How it happened

In my early 40’s I felt I had worked really hard to get to where I was and I had literally earned everything I had. In my mind I had more that most and that was only because I worked harder than most. I had worked two or three jobs, and gone to school nights and weekends to earn the two degrees I had. I had a nice home and a decent car, a family consisting of three daughters and even a dog. I must say however during that time I had been befriended by a guy who was an assistant minister at a local church. He was a nice enough guy and his wife and mine became close friends. He had something we did not and even though he would talk about it if I asked, he kept it low key and never tried to force me to his way of thinking. He never tried to “Save” me or force me to accept the Lord. He and his family just lived the Christian life style. In short, he had me wondering about it.
I was transferred, “Promoted” and had to move to Kansas from Illinois. To skip the long gory details and they are long and gory; let’s just say our family suffered a setback that shook me to the core. I would be glad to share all the details but it probably is not best to do it here. Something happed that I could not fix no matter how hard I tried. I was about to lose everything. No matter how hard I worked or planned there was just nothing I could do to fix the problem. I had no hope. I had given up. I was broken and had nowhere to go or no one I could ask for help. I believe this was the Lord’s way of breaking me. I remembered what I had been told by my friend about God and decided I had to give my life to Him. After I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior, the problems did not all disappear but I must say they did become manageable. We suffered but had the Lord on our side and learned to deal with adversity with God standing beside us.

Today

Because a person who truly knew the Lord befriended me and let me know how the Lord worked in his life simply by living a Christian Life style, I knew where to go when I realized I had not earned anything I had. It was only by the grace of God we as a family had what we did. It was not earned. The problem I noted earlier did not go away. As a family we continued to have hardships and problems as time went by. Two of the most severe problems were when I lost my eldest daughter at the age of 38 due to alcohol and drug abuse and my wife after almost 47 years of marriage to complications to MS. Yes we still have trials, some of which seem insurmountable. I can only say that without the Lord by my side I would not have been able to make it. I truly wonder how anyone who does not know the Lord can survive this world.