One of the very few times I will talk about myself.
My name is Peter. I was born August 17th 1969. I have pretty much always known God. Well, I have always known that God exists. I never accepted that all there was to life was going off to school, work, paying bills, and going home. That reality had to be more than merely existing.
I grew up in small town America. A little town, hamlet really, called Salisbury Mills NY. It was a different time. I do not believe that my Grandmother even had locks on her door. My earthly Father left when I was 13 months old, therefore I never knew him. Myself, Mother, Aunt, all lived with my Grandmother and Grandfather in a big three story home.
Growing up was the best time of my life. My Grandmother taught me the importance of caring for others. We always had a big, Thanksgiving style Dinner on Sundays, where we took turns bringing dinners around town to certain others that had no one to cook for them. Me and Billy would be outside and playing all hours. We never had to worry about the evils in the world. We would just live. Play. Have fun. Get involved. I would not change a thing.
My Grandmother also "made" me and my best friend, Billy, go to Sunday School on Sundays. We were in church plays, took part in bake sales, learned to sing songs, and where to find the Books in the Bible. My Grandfather had Parkinson Disease, so Grandma didn't go often, but she did attend the big occasions. With the help of others, in my early life, even Grandpa made a couple.
However, I did not really understand who God was, or who Jesus really is, until I started, completely unintentionally, a Spiritual quest. I was 19 years old. I was working as a Security Guard at a local Mall. I was working with two individuals. Both claiming to be Christians Both claiming to be "Born Again." Both telling me two COMPLETELY different things.
First was a young man named James. He told me that he was attending a church in the inner city. When I asked him about it, he asked me "Ever see the movie "Blues Brothers"?" Yup. He said that's it. Signing, dancing, healing. Praising God for hours. It was a true celebration. Every Sunday. He told me about Jesus dying for me, and that I had to be born again, and receive the Holy "Ghost", speak in other tongues, to be saved. I agreed to attend. It was, without doubt, an experience. Not really my cup of tea.
Then there was an older gentleman named Dwight. He shared with me that,,, Jesus die for me, and that I had to be born again, and receive the Holy "Spirit", and learn the ways of God, to be saved. I asked him about this "speaking in tongues" thing, and about Baptism. He told me that speaking in tongues was simply changing your language to speak on spiritual thing. He showed me where the Bible talks about it serving no purpose to speak unknown tongues. If people, including you, do not understand what you are talking about, what profit does it have. Good point. So what about this Baptism thing? He told me that it is a step of obedience and an outward sign of my Faith. That I was showing the world that I decided to accept the gift that is Christ's sacrifice through the water Baptism. He told me that God Baptizes with the Spirit. But that man could by no means do that. He invited me to attend his Church. I did.
Now this was the Church I knew. Sing songs. Sit, listen to the Teacher teach. It was indeed, through that church that I accepted Christ into my life, and was indeed Baptized in the name of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Now about this time, I hungered for knowledge. I wanted to grow in Faith. I wanted to learn all I could. I still listened to James, and heard of amazing things that God was doing, not just in my life, but the lives of many around me. Then I started seeing supernatural things happening all the time. Things that had no other explanation but God. Perhaps I will share some in time. However, there was one, that was a major shift in my journey.
One day, while working now as a Corporate Investigator, a young lady that worked for one of the businesses I was part of, came to me and said.. "Pete? I know you go to church. I understand that you know about this God stuff. My Sister, who is ten years old, has just been diagnosed with Cancer. Could you ask your church to pray for her. Please."
Of course. So I asked to meet with the Pastor. I asked him if he thought God gave man the power to heal. He said, to my absolute shock, "No." I asked him to explain. He told me that he believed that the signs and wonders of the Bible were that. In the Bible. They were only granted to the 12 to justify them and prove that they were truly sent by Jesus and that when Jesus was raised from the dead, the Miracles ceased. Still amazed, I asked if the church could at least pray for the little girl. Of course.
So that Sunday the Church did pray. The following week, the young woman came out of nowhere and wrapped both arms around me, sobbing. I thought the worse. I asked her how her Sister was. She said that they just came back from the Doctors who had to run extra tests, because they couldn't believe what they were seeing. Her Sister? Completely Cancer free. An answered prayer for healing, from church that doesn't believe in healing. THAT is God.
So my growth in faith began to take off. Many more things happened that showed me God is good. God is alive and well. Yes, God still gets involved. There really are true Miracles happening every day. I found myself having to move on from that church, do to the lack of believe from the Pastor, and found myself investigating Religion itself. I spent time in Catholicism, Judaism, Eastern Religions of various types. Then one day, I heard as clear as you would hear me talking to you now, "Stop trying to learn from the creature. Learn from the Creator." Also "If you want to know God. Ask him." From that day on, that is what I have done.
This is a new beginning for me. I allowed life to interfere, for far too long. It's time to get back to Faith. It's time to once again share the Truth. You want true hope and change in your life? "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33
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