Sunday, July 31, 2011

Born Again

I grew up in the ghettos of Philadelphia, PA. My dad was a violent abusive alcoholic. We weren't Catholic but my mom put me and my sister in Catholic school to get a good education. We also got a good dose of religion. At five years old I began to learn about God and being a good student I developed quite a knowledge of religion. I was taught many facts about God but also taught that when you die, God would weigh your good against your bad deeds and if you were good enough you would get into heaven. So I determined to be good and try to please God. I became an altar boy at eight years old, learned the mass in Latin and served in church at every opportunity. My goal was to become a priest because I thought they were holy men. By the time I was an adolescent, I knew that something about the Catholic church wasn't quite right. I became disillusioned and stopped going to church at age fourteen.

Home was very dysfunctional because of alcoholism. I hated my father and tolerated my mother. When I became a teenager, my parents both became Christians and got involved in a Baptist church. At that stage of life, I wanted nothing to do with religion and began hanging out with the hippies, living an immoral life, ingesting any drugs or alcohol that I could get my hands on. At seventeen I left home to attend college in Tennessee, which was just a continual party. A year later I was back home working with my dad in the construction business. For the next three years, I was in and out of college, working various jobs, partying with my friends, trying anything that would bring happiness to my troubled, wounded soul.

I was 21 years old, driving home from work one Friday and stopped in a Christian bookstore. Every day I noticed this store as I drove to my apartment and was curious about what would be inside. The bookstore owner greeted me and let me browse through some Bibles. We shared a brief conversation and he obviously could tell that I wasn't sure what I was looking for. Before I left he invited me to church on Sunday. I reluctantly agreed and quickly left the premises.

I had no intention of attending church but by Sunday morning I changed my mind. The people at church greeted me and expressed their joy at seeing me there. The church was a very simple storefront building compared to the elaborate architecture of a Catholic church. That morning for the first time in my life I heard the gospel message. I already believed in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ but that morning I understood the significance when I heard this message, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast" Ephesians 2:8,9.

I knew that Jesus died for me, bore the penalty for my sins and I desperately wanted a fresh start. I prayed and asked God to forgive me, take over my messed up life and change me. I gave control of my life over to God because I couldn't live a good life on my own and I wanted to be saved.

The changes were miraculous! I stopped taking drugs and alcohol, stopped having premarital sex and had a hunger for the Bible. I spent many hours in my little apartment reading my Bible and talking to God. I told all my friends that Jesus was now in control of my life and I was going to heaven. They ridiculed me back then but now some of them are Christians too. Since that day I have been far from perfect, but I know that the Spirit of God lives within me, my sins are forgiven and my purpose in life is to honor Him. My life belongs to Him and I am totally submitted, surrendered and dependent on God. I am assured of my future in heaven and every day I spread the good news about Jesus and the change He has made in me. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" 2 Corinthians 5:17.

God loves you too and wants make you a brand new person. Talk to him now, ask Him to forgive you for your sins and take control of your life!

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved" Romans 10:9,10.


jbradford214 said...

Blogs need a "like" button! I learned something new about you today. I don't think I'd ever heard your story. :)

Flower Freak said...

Great testimony!

koritsma said...

Hi! i was just surfering in the net. I am a sober alcoholic, and therapist. But first at all. since 6 years ago almost. when i was 28 started drinking, and stopped when i was 33. nobody in my life could beleive it. because i was a normal teenager. and my mother was also a neurotic. my parents never drink. plss excuse my english my mother lang is spanish.
but what i have learned in life being in A.A. and being in church, and being in inner courses, is that everybody has to mess up in life. to be born again as you said.
God give us a new heart, everytime we repent. doesn`t matter what religion we are, but it is necesary to say it by our mouth there is wherer the miracles come. Hope you understand my words =:)
I was also rised by a religous catholic way, by the fear of god. and i am still catholic, but today i understand that God and Jesus doesn`t need a religion, they just need a repent heart. It is the human that do wrong or mean things "in the name of the lord". and we must ask for the light in our mind and heart to take the best way. Was very nice to read you. God bless you, and keep going.

yeti said...

praise God!

jlo said...

I'm working on turning my life over to god. Someone came into my life who was a believer and he made me think and now I pray to god and I want to get my own bible and who knows I may look into going to church! It's an exciting path I'm headed down.

Rock Life Unlimited Band said...

You're testimony shows the power of the living Lord. May He use you mightily to make your new life found in Christ tell others that there is hope and greater purpose for everybody in the heart of a loving and forgiving Almighty God.

RLU, Manila Philippines

Saesme said...

Enjoyed and inspired by reading your testimony.

Iva said...

What a beautiful testimony of God's love, mercy and grace. I am so thankful you met that Christian book store owner. :) It proves, once again, that we may tell others of the gospel wherever we are. It will be nice being in Heaven with you some day. :) Pax, Iva

James D Morrison said...

moon, thanks for an authentic blog, one about a man's walk through the trenches of it all. God is a healer and a lover of one's soul for sure.

In Christ,
James said...

Enjoyed and inspired by reading your testimony.