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BC and AD

The man from Gadara was in bad shape. Naked, out of his mind, and living in a graveyard, he was so out of control that he broke the chains of those who tried to restrain him. Yet, what really tormented him was the thought of being approached by Jesus (Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28).

In Gadara BC, the neighbors must have told some bizarre stories about this crazy, evil man. Yet what seems to have frightened them even more was the day they found him sitting clothed and in his right mind (Mark 5:15; Luke 8:35).

What happened AD is worth retelling. The man who, BC, had been more tormented by the teacher from the other side of the lake– than by the demons that oppressed him– now begged to go with Jesus. But the neighbors pleaded with Jesus to leave them alone (Mark 5:17-19; Luke 8:37-38).

This was not the first or last person delivered from a living death by Jesus. Neither were those neighbors the first or last to be afraid of what Jesus wanted from them.

So many years later, I find myself looking forward to meeting that man someday. I identify with him so much. Even though our stories sound so different, I need as much mercy as he did. I too owe my life and whatever sanity I have to the same Jesus that rescued him.

What about you. Would be good for all of us to hear some stories of what “the Teacher from the other side of the lake” has done for you… BC and AD… Can you identify with being afraid of Jesus before… and scaring others after?

P.S. Am so thankful for the conversation that is going on in the “comments” below. If you don’t have time now to read the whole string, I hope you’ll come back later to do so. Whether you are struggling today or not, I think you’ll find here a co-traveler you can identify with and learn from.

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40 Responses to “BC and AD”

  1. BobbiLee says:

    BC, I think we all are in one kind of bondage or another: whether it be a false religion, that of a substance, our fears, or even wrong thinking. The “bondages” are many. For myself, it was a false religious system based on works. As someone has said, there are two kinds of religions in the world – one based on having to do something to gain heaven, and one based on Someone having aleady done something.

    I remember, BC, loving and searching for God, but never able to find Him. I was “crazy” and in chains because of my frustration and longing. When I did find Messiah Jesus, and based my eternity with Him on what he accomplished on the cross for me, I was in my right mind for the first time in my life. Did I scare others? LOL, I guess I did! I couldn’t stop talking about my Savior, Jesus. At the same time though, I realized that my Savior requested something from me – I could no longer keep what once nourished me and fed me. All that wrong thinking, belief system, self-sufficiency had to be sent into the lake to drown, just like those swine. From then on my sustanence was in Him alone. AD requires a responsibility to not just follow, but to tell others, and make disciples. Does that often make people angry? You bet. Does it scare them? Yes. That I leave with the Lord.

    Today, after over 35 years of serving Christ, and studying His Word, I teach others God’s Word…and make disciples. What a privilege! What a Savior!

  2. daisymarygoldr says:

    When the healed man in his right mind obeyed and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; his neighbors were no longer scared of him rather everyone was amazed at what he told them! This is where it is awesome to see God’s enduring mercies in always reaching out to those who spurn and reject Him.

    Was never afraid of Jesus but accepted Him as a child because I was afraid of going to Hell. Not sure if the village folks were scared of the healed man… they were afraid of Jesus… because they loved darkness more than light… Scaring others? Never! Was ridiculed, hated and looked down upon… but when calamity struck, those same people sought me out!

    Cannot relate to BC and AD but will never hesitate to testify about the Lord’s eternal mercies because of which I am not consumed…I feel so privileged to enjoy His mercies renewed every morning that follows the darkness of long tearful nights. It is a privilege to be a vessel of His mercy and be comforted by His rod and staff.

    Every time I look at the cross, am reminded of His mercy that did not excuse my sin instead God paid the full price His justice requires for my sins by laying down His own sinless life to save a wretched sinner like me. How can I keep quiet and not proclaim the mercies of the Lord forever?

  3. pegramsdell says:

    I was a total wreck BC. Couldn’t sleep, always in fear of something or other. Then AD, I had peace, new spirit, more loving, nicer. Some were happy (especially my kids), some were mad, and some were scared.
    When Jesus touched me, everything changed. I became new. However, some liked the old me. Oh, well, their loss.
    I love Jesus and I am not going to be quiet about it.
    He died for me and you. “Everybody ought to know”!

  4. MarkieMark says:

    I cannot relate to BC fully, because I accepted Christ at a young age. But the BC in the world has been allowed to rear his head in my life from time to time. Sometimes things get pretty bleak, like now, but I always seem to resonate with AD in the end and I am very grateful for it.

  5. poohpity says:

    I accepted Christ when I was nine and by the time I was 14 I started using drugs and alcohol. During those years of using drugs which came to about 21 years I did a lot of things. I sold drugs, I sold myself, I stole things, I stabbed someone, I had an abortion, I gave up a child, I was in jail in four different states, I crushed my parents, I had three illigitamate children and the list goes on.

    I was a sheep that went astray but He never let me go. I was protected from so much during those years I can not even begin to tell you. Then in a state of psychosis from speed I went to a church in 1989 and prayed, Lord I can not do this any more I give up, please help me. By August 5th 1989 I was on my way to a better place but a tough road to hoe.

    I had 2 little boys one was 9 months and the other was 2 years old and we were living in the back of my van when my mother opened her doors to us. She was in the middle of a divorce after being married 32 years to my dad but had accepted Christ 2 years before. I watched as she read her bible every morning and listened to Christian music. I started to go to church with her but only at night because I only had 3 shirts and two pairs of pants and could not dress like the crowd that went to church on Sunday morning. Later I learned God does not care about the outside. My mom bought me a bible that Christmas and I was like a sponge. I would like to say I have not put it down but I did for a four year period and started using pain pills which caused me to become addicted again but He caught me again.

    The change in my life with Christ more than anything was to discover that it is all right to be me because that is who He created me to be. I can not be like anyone else. I have never felt so loved and accepted by anyone as I feel in Christ. I love His word which taught me that just because you mess up does not mean you can not be used by Him for the purpose He had in store all along just like the Israelites. My sons who were high risk youths are so wonderful and the Lord was their Father and my mothers and mine husband because he always took very good care of us. He showed us we could achieve more than we ever imagined or hoped for.

    Do not beleive for one moment we have not been pushed sometimes beyond what we thought we could bare but He knew we would make it through with Him. We are at that time again when we are totally relaying on Him. I can think of no one I would rather be in the fire with than my mom and Jesus. I bet we come out not even smelling like smoke. Any way that is only a morsel of what the Lord (AD) has done in our lives. Gosh I love Him and yes my faith falters often but He always brings me back. He will NEVER let me go!!!

  6. macsisson22 says:

    Lookin for love in all ther wrong places and trying to find comfort in chemicals, herbs, and bottles. Met my wife at a bar where she was painting vampires on a bar window for halloween. When she was with child, decided to check out what this “god thing” was all about. Went to the only “church” we knew, listened to a lot of soft soap stories and got involved in a couple of areas. Was gambling in a pool hall with a guy that carried a big black bible. When he was loosing he became agitated and frightened. After a couple of hours I had lost a bit to him and decided it was time to quit. Something inspired me to inquire how much money he was carrying and he went through the roof and started cursing and screeming like the Gadarean. I threw his money at him and went to the other side of the hall where another biker type dude walked over and said, “Not everyone that carries a big black bible is a Christian you know!” Later he shared the Gospel through Romans and I told him about my religion. That was when he asked me that question that I shared a few days ago, “What can you do to impress a Holy God that has created everything and given everything to you?”. Later that evening while driving home I asked Jesus to come into my heart and life to save me. Needless to say I did not have my head bowed or eyes closed. He came in anyway. About two weeks later with all the tact of a newborn I asked my wife the question, “Do you know your going to Hell?” When she answered “Yes” and I shared with her what the biker shared with me on September 15, 1988. The rest is His-story.

  7. SFDBWV says:

    This is an excellent post both for reflection and testimony. And biblical truths.

    My mother seen to it that I was raised from an early age, in church. Sunday school and worship service. So I can’t remember not knowing about my relationship with Jesus. As a child I knew who he was and as a child does, I accepted all I was taught about him. Because others whom I respected and influenced me also accepted him. However I had a lot of difficulty understanding scripture. Especialy the OT.

    As I grew I prayed for many things even then. Not for earthly things, but for peace in my family. My parents were having big personal problems. And the tears and suffering I saw had it’s effect on me.

    I would even then rise early, and climb to a high point on a hill overlooking my small world. There alone with nature and God I would just absorb all I could. Asking for somehow God to make everything ok.

    I was given, dreams and visions concerning my life.

    I would suppose I relate more to the prodigal son more than the demon possessd man mentioned here in today’s post.

    I choose a life from an early age of attempting to prove something to myself and others. Of being what I thought being a man was all about. The road I choose was not the straight and narrow path Christ said was the path to him. My path was steep and twisted with rocks and obstructions…..But God never left me alone in my self made wilderness. He was always there. Brokenhearted at my reckless control of my life. Ready to protect me and guide me if I would return to my childlike trust and love of him.

    Somewhere in my later 20’s I returned to church, warm and happy people welcomed me there. I began to read that Bible that had confused me as a child. Though this time my wife bought me a Living Bible. I could not put it down. I had to read this Bible every waking moment I had. I even found myself getting up at 4am and sitting with the Bible drinking coffee and feeling a startling renewal within me. I was changing.

    The new me that emerged was strange to old friend’s. I was different no more drinking nor more worldly ways. Scary to my friends who only understood the world they were comfortable in. Slowly all thoes “friend’s” dissapeared.

    BC AD whatever your story, Jesus has a stark and amazing change in store for you, once HE enters your life…

  8. blowentw says:

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. When God does for one of us what no one else could, it is indeed scary to those who don’t understand. Because in the doing is power.

    Like some of us I, too, accepted Christ as a child. But I found that as I grew up I needed to give over my newly understood responsibilities and freedoms to Christ. In college I was faced with a decision to give the whole course of my life to Christ, or just let him have the tithe. I wasn’t into drugs or alcohol (I was a “good” boy), but if I had chosen to give the tenth, I would have seemed a good Christian, but I’m afraid it would have been an external faith – all show and no go.

    I think that God works in our lives as we grow in Christ, so there are many smaller decision we make where we move from BC to AD, in areas where the Spirit has given us new understanding of how God wants us to live. They are not often scary to others (they probably don’t even notice), but can be to us, like letting God have the final say in our finances, or our children. And we can try to run from Jesus the same way the Gadarene demoniac did.

  9. rokdude5 says:

    I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 6 years old but I didnt let Him be Lord of my life until my divorce 30 years later when I finally realized that my approach and attitude to life didnt work at all.

    Interesting about your story about the man from Gadara. I worked in the Mental Health industry for over 20 years. Those poor folks rarely get visitors and usually written off by their families and the government. Various churches do set up children and regular hospitals. However, churches rarely get into charity for the mentally ill because of so little amount of “bearing fruits” plus the enormous cost “warehousing” them. Matt 25:40

  10. MarkieMark says:

    poohpity – Wow, your post brought tears to my eyes! I have been reading your posts over the past few weeks and have been so impressed with your writing and your heartfelt thoughts. God has truly blessed me with your insight and you should know how inspirational your words have been to me and others I’m sure! Thank you and oh yeah …keep being you!

  11. drkennyg says:

    Wow this is great to hear from y’all. So for me in my loooong BC time I was completely non repentant. For openers at age 10 I decided that fearing God was a dumb idea (I did not understand what it meant). I then got highly educated in organic chemistry and got a Ph.D. degree. Got married and divorced – no kids yet. Lots of fornication and alcohol abuse with some drugging. Got married again and had 2 kids- i of each. Stopped drinking and another divorce – this time she left (unfaithfully) and I was a single parent for 5 years. She moved to LA and married an abusive wealthy man. I was a little reluctant to let her have the kids but there was no indication that he might harm the kids (he didn’t). Then I moved to SF and started my own business in vintage race cars. It failed – lost all my dough. Started drinking again – 4 more miserable years. Joined AA in 1988 and that has been a good idea – no drinking since. However, no spiritual growth and with an invented god who did not exist I was not too happy but sober anyhow. In 2002 I got emphysema – almost died but stopped smoking. Then I started to listen to the Lord. I started to seek Him and after long talks with my brother (a born again Christian) I finally asked Jesus to come in and we have been close ever since. Baptism in 2003 and I’ve been growing in my faith daily. Life with the Lord is very satisfying in spite of some troubles with it along the way. So AD I’m a much poorer man ($) but much richer in Christ. I’m now a grateful citizen of Heaven.

  12. Mart De Haan says:

    Good idea. Thanks for your suggestion for a subject that I’m going to take offline.

  13. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart, Why didn’t you share your personal BC-AD story… were you afraid of Jesus before… and scaring others after? (Sometimes you do scare me out of my wits!) You don’t have to answer the Q if you don’t want to…but my curiosity is almost killing me:(

    Others, Thank you for sharing all your beautiful testimonies…God is indeed glorified and all of us are strengthened and blessed to hear you share God’s transforming work in your lives!

  14. poohpity says:

    Thank you MarkieMark. I was just laughing about it is not unbelievers that are afraid of me it is usually my brothers and sisters in Christ go figure!!!

  15. wretch-like-me says:

    I relate to the BC side of the story much more than I can identify with the AD. While I live in relative confort, mine is life of mental torment, self-doubt, depression and anger-management. Despite knowing God at age 8 and surviving an abusive family, I have a load of baggage that continues to dominate. I escaped to all the wrong places early on further complicating my life. The successes I enjoyed were self-indulgent, ego-boosting and destructive. I realized that I needed Christ at age 29 and confessed as best I could that I am a sinner in need of a savior. At age 35 I engaged in 3 yrs of intensive Christian Counseling to discover the reasons for my behavior. I truly wish I could say that ‘clouds parted and a brilliant light shown’ However, as I near 60, my life verse is best summed up in Prov.26:11. Despite milestones and altar stones erected along my path testifying to God’s faithfulness, each day begins in uncertainty. When you live in the pit, clawing your way to the top is a slow and trying process measured in inches up and sometimes down. I am faced with consequences from the wrong decisions I have made and I have little control over each days outcome. (Attitude/Faith is my only weapon) My one consolation is knowing that at each day’s end I have hope for a better tomorrow and that on that greatest of days I will awaken in heaven a new creature unshackled of this world.

  16. daisymarygoldr says:

    If the brothers and sisters in Christ are scared of us then it should be clear that they have never known the heart of the Father. So now with a fresh taste of His love, it is our turn to go out and woo them back into the house!

    For some reason the “scared” concept is sounding really strange to me…

  17. SFDBWV says:

    To quote my favorite “BOOK” Mark 2:17 “When Jesus heard it, he said unto them,They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick:I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    We all share the same doctor. I am happy for each one of you.

  18. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr, my BC/AD moment came early; grew up in a happy sheltered home. The result is that I identify with the statement, “to whom much is given, much shall be required”.

    In spite of all of that, the peace, joy, and security that I have in Christ is often mixed with intense inner struggle. I identify more with wretch-like-me than with those who seem to have mastered the spiritual life.

    As I’ve indicated in posts, I often feel like my heart is a mess, which is probably one reason I come back repeatedly to what Peter wrote in 2Peter 1:1-13 about bringing order to our inner world.

    I find to my embarrassment that too often I don’t like and even am afraid of fellow Christians who act as if they are “on top of their game.” I often feel that if the Lord doesn’t help or rescue me, I’m not going to make it.

    Having said that my life is also filled with far more joy, love, friendship than I deserve– including deep peace mingled with real torment.

    So daisymarygoldr, you smoked out a brother who owes everything to Christ and loves the company of those who realize that without the grace of God– they’d be sunk.

    I hope those who have followed my posts up until now will see the relationship between what I’ve written then and here.

  19. poohpity says:

    Amen Mart!!!

    The inner struggles you face can seem overwhelming at times but one thing is for sure we can not change the past but I often turn it around to look at those things as life lessons. What did I learn from the experience and understand at times we can be our own worst enemy. I want you to know that You are loved and very much cared for and in my prayers.

    Maybe scared them may have not been the right word. I believe that there are different levels of how much we give ourselves to God. I was thinking that some Christians had it together more than me by their outward appearance. I learned that just from what someone looks like on the outside does not reflect what is in their hearts. Their fear sometimes is because I am very open about everything and it causes one to look inside and sometimes that is very hard for some people. God’s word says that all things are common to man but some just do not want to talk about it. People keep secrets and that is not healthy because they then feel alone and will never find out if anyone is going through what they are. I talk about everything and that pushes some away but it opens the door for some others to say gosh I feel that way too.

  20. teena says:

    This entry really resonates with me. What really struck me was your statement, “Yet, what really tormented him was the thought of being approached by Jesus (Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28).” I have never quite looked at the story in this way before, and I suppose it is true for so many .

    I also accepted Jesus into my life at a very early age and grew up in the church. I grew up in the church, but I guess I did not really know what it meant to be a follower of Christ. Basically, I took it all for granted. I tell you, I did not really like going to church every week and mid-week and Sunday night and Awana—but as Proverbs says, “train a child in the way he should go and in the end he will not depart from it.” I learned that truth much later on after rebellion and trials and tribulations; and so I thank God and praise Him daily for blessing me with parents who “trained me” right. I really was listening! I had just not applied what I had learned to that time in my life. Choosing to follow Jesus can be daunting, but oh the freedom you gain and the awesome love that is shown to you once you admit your dependence on Him.

    God is so faithful and I still cannot completely comprehend Jesus coming into this wretched world to save us. What a wondrous love it is.

    This is a wonderful site to read and meditate on daily. Thank you Mart, and everyone, for sharing your thoughts and struggles and triumphs.

  21. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart, sigh… sigh…this is so sad:( Regretted the moment I posted that Q and hoped you would not respond…but after reading your reply am glad I asked. This has certainly helped clear all confusion that was literally driving me to my wits end. Some of your previous posts do make sense now and it is a huge relief to see this agonizing puzzle solved. There has been a terrible misunderstanding on my part and I really want to express a very big sorry. Sensed your dislike and must admit it hurt, but now I understand. Cannot speak for others, but never think of myself as having mastered spiritual living…hence I hesitated to share my story initially for fear of being misunderstood as “bragging”….don’t claim to be on top of the game either. It is just an undying love for His word, a passionate desire to please Him and a burning zeal to enthuse my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to enjoy the same…but guess it only added to your pain…Sorry again, to you and the others. Hope some day you will experience His healing to love and accept those “on top of their game” fellow Christians as children belonging to the one and same household of God. Never experienced this situation before…do not know what else to say… will be praying for you and wretch-like-me…that the God of all peace may comfort your troubled hearts and mind (Isaiah 49: 13).

  22. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr, I really do like you– especially your honesty, and please understand– I also identify with what you describe as your deep desires… But, it’s also true that we probably do “scare each other” :-). That’s one reason why I think it is so good for all of us to listen to one another, and to try not to jump to conclusions– as Job’s friends did. Please continue to express your heart as freely and as honestly as ever. I want this to be a safe place where we do not judge one another on the basis of incomplete understanding… that only our Father has.

  23. SFDBWV says:

    Mart, don’t sell yourself too short. We must, all Christians, uphold oneanother and with love guide when needed.
    It has to be tough on you coming from a family of already accomplished People. I am sure you feel the weight of responsibility. I think you bear it well from what little I know of you personaly.

    As far as people who seem to have it all together….Well, people all wear masks and hide behind their public behavior. Only God truly knows the heart of anyone.

    I read in scripture where in the coming Kingdom we will all have new names. I have often speculated that our new names will bear the reflection of who we truly are.

    Hank Williams jr say’s in one of his songs,” The TV preacher tells me to send my money to God, but then gives me his address.” They give people the impression they know it all. But then they are, selling something.

    PRIDE…Anyone who thinks they have it all together is in danger. Jesus warned us in Luke 12:1 “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

    Long ago Billy Grahm helped me out by explaining that there will always be a struggle in you, be worried when there is not.

    We all struggle together.

  24. BruceC says:

    First off let me say poohpity that your little bio really grabbed my heart and it strengthens me to hear “meat-grinder” stories like yours where God comes in with victory! WOW!
    My BC was not very eventful. Nothing really traumatic happeened to me. I was blessed by God with a decent and loving family and attended Sunday school for years as a kid. When I got to be a teen I got wild but only “pushed it” just so far. In my early 20’s one Sunday morning, I found myself in church with my friends family while suffering from a hangover and stinking like a brewery. It made me really think. I knew who Jesus was and many things about Him but didn’t open my door to Him. So I went ahead, spoke with the pastor the next week and accepted Christ. I struggled for many years as the battle began and it is still going on every day. But it is worth it! Not enough room here; but for me life without Christ is not life at all. What He has done for me, shown me, touched my heart with, and all that He is in my life–there are no words that can describe it.

  25. mruspm says:

    Like all of us I have war-stories of the many battles on Earth….sexual, marriage then divorce, child with cancer, substance-addiction, unemployment etc….

    My latest battle though that transcends all of these has been to realize Jesus is more then God demanding repentance and a perfect Life, while that is surely His Goal for each of us, there is a process and it’s something that starts with understanding, recongnizingg, and feeling His Gracious Unconditional Love for me, no matter what I do (sometimes again and again) he never leaves me.

    HOWEVER in my past battle (the one that transcends all of these) I would let my own discouragemnt of failure or continued falliure to meet this ‘perfect’ Goal, separate me from Him….and we all know separation from God is not good. I felt less than, and unworthy of being in His presence.

    NOW I realize that Jesus has never left me, never foresook me, and never judges me because there is no judgement (condemnation) for those who are in Him. He knows best our humanity and it’s failings.

    JESUS relishes not in our continued failure but sees the Progress, how little it may be at times, we are making as we continue to stay in communicattion with Him. He is the one who fellowshipped with sinners, eve the ‘worst’ of that time, the tax-collectors and their henchmen…so he fellowships with me, as often as I invite him into my house.

    THANKS again for a great topic!

    Chris S Warner Robins, GA

    “Saints have a histtory, and us Sinners have a future”

  26. violet D says:

    Thank you for sharing your stories – I’ve learned that I should never judge anyone until I’ve had a chance to hear where they are coming from. My own ‘story’ – I was brought up in a ‘religious’ home but was too afraid of God’s judgement to be ‘bad’. Even so my selfishness brought me 6,000 miles from my parent’s home, married and worldly minded. Years later after a divorve and remarriage I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. The one defining moment came after my husband retired and had surgery and was told his remaining kidney was shutting down – THEN I realized God was ‘shouting’ at me – do you love me more that him? – After agonizing prayer I accepted the fact God indeed must come first. For years after that – with my husband’s help – I became very involved in serving the Lord in many different capacities. After my husband’s death I moved to be nearer my children and remained very active in church. In the communtity in which I now live I was involved in a church ‘start’ and we found that people are very polite but not interested in the Gospel message. The leadership changed and I no longer felt I was able to serve there. I’ve attended many of the other denominational churches in this community and haven’t found a ‘home’. I find myself re-evaluating my beliefs and have my own own inner struggle with how much of my present position is due to my own failings. However I KNOW Jesus loves me and has HIS own plans for me. For now – this blog is my daily encouragement – God bless you all.one

  27. witness2031 says:

    Hello. I am new to this forum. In fact yesterday subject of Sodom was the first time I had been here. Today’s subject and your invitation, Mart, seemed to call to me to speak out. poohpity, I identify with your comments more than the others. Although I didn’t get into drugs or alcohol, I am a sex addict and was convicted of child molestation. So, I understand the battles of the mind you probably went through and still fight. Although I was baptized at the age of ten and grew up in the church and continued to attend church as an adult, sexual immorality was the wedge Satan used to attempt to destroy me. It began at age 11. I knew who Jesus was but didn’t have a close relationship and so didn’t really know him. When I was imprisoned I was scared out of my mind. I began praying in earnest. I would ask Father to shield me and it really was like a shield came down around me. I could feel it fall and sometimes thought I could actually see it. I eventually got my bible brought to me and began to read. For the first time I was actually able to understand much of what I was reading and relate it to my own life. I could actually understand the words of the prophets and meaning behind the letters of the apostles. I was so excited. This was the beginning of two years of intensive study of God’ Word, Jesus. As Father revealed new understandings to me I found I had to frequently revised my understanding of what went before. I was trying to understand what had happened to me and why, but I was still looking for an excuse for my behavior – I had not yet taken responsibility. I felt I was a victim of the increasing immorality of society and was looking for someone to blame. Then I came across James 1:14, “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” I felt like I had run full speed into a wall I hadn’t seen. My behavior was my fault and no one elses. There may have been many contributing factor that influenced me but I made the decision to do what I had done. And then Father taught me the meaning of 2Peter:5-11. This was the pattern or blueprint by which Father would help me rebuild my life according to his will. I learned that I had to practice what I was learning and put it into practice. This verse also taught me that I may fail at times but it was expected I would pick myself up and restudy the word and practice again. This passage has become the blueprint by which I now live. Although I have no job ( I rarely get interviews) and am not welcome at most churches, I now have an inner peace I never knew before and know without a doubt that I am loved and welcome by my Father in heaven and my big brother and Lord, Jesus. I so want to be like him and I talk to him daily just like I would a friend. I hope I have not offended anyone (that too has happened frequently in the past when I begin to tell my story). If I have, just tell me and I will no longer impose myself on you. May God bless you all and keep you.

  28. DarleneJoy says:

    Hello, friends!
    I’ve been blessed from this blog over the last month and I want to be able to share in this encouraging ministry as well.
    Like many of you, I chose to make Jesus Lord of my life when I was young (age of 6). I grew up in a pastor’s family and so, from young, I was taught and discipled in the faith. I don’t remember much BC and, although I had some significant turning points in my journey, it was more of a continual growth pattern.
    Often, in my teenage years, I would listen to dramatic testimonies from believers and would wonder if I was somehow missing something because I didn’t have that – but God has shown to me that my experience is just as much a testimony and witness to His faithfulness and grace and sovereign work in a person’s life as theirs – because it’s not about us…it’s about Him! (Who am I, a song by Casting Crowns, speaks of this truth.)
    I praise the Lord that I can share and rejoice with brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world – and thank you all for your openness and honesty.
    Blessings in Christ’s name.

  29. Mart De Haan says:

    witness2031, thank you for telling your story. Sounds like you’ve really been through the fire. So good to hear your thought process, your faith, and that you have found a life-giving acceptance with the Father and our Savior!!

  30. NDgal says:

    It is such a blessing for me to read these testimonies. Violet D –-my story is SO MUCH like yours. I, too, was brought up in a Christian home. I married young and divorced –so many selfish regretful choices I made. I really started to come back to my faith after remarriage. My husband was a new believer and his happiness and thirst for the Word drew me in. I started to read the Bible daily so I could find answers to his many questions! My turning point was when our youngest son was born premature. We were told he had suffered a brain bleed en-utero. One night after returning from the NICU, I walked out into the cold winter night violently angry. Boy, did I have a lot to say to God. One of the last phrases I had in my conversation was “YOU don’t know what it’s like to lose a child. YOU don’t know what it’s like to lose a son or to see him suffer like me! Then the reality really hit me. HE DID. HE DID KNOW. I sobbed out my prayer that this child was His and no longer mine. Thy will be done… We celebrated my son’s second birthday a couple of weeks ago. A few weeks prior to that, he was dismissed from a disability program that was working with him due to their failure to find any disability with him. Soli Deo Gloria.

    Over a year ago, I took a job in my church (a large protestant demoninaton). Day by day they seem to be moving further and further from the body of Christ. One of our pastors told me the other day that there was no hell. So why did Jesus talk about it then? He told me that Jesus might have been misquoted. So here I am again. Talking another leap of faith… praying for the courage to leave my job –to put Him first. Thank you, everyone, for being my community of faith.

  31. violet D says:

    NDgal Thank you for your story – Know that you and your family will be in my daily prayers.

  32. daisymarygoldr says:

    What exactly are we talking about in terms of mastering and having it all together? – SFDBWV. What is God going to reward us for? Is it for succeeding as the President, as the Mayor, as a PhD, as a freedom fighter, as a doctor? Are we going to present Him our earthly achievements, the degrees and medals that we have earned, the titles to our names and the power or positions that we had in our mortal lives? Of course not! God will reward us for achieving Christ who alone merits as the sinless one in God’s eyes…So, my exuberance, enthusiasm, optimism, boasting, rejoicing on this blog is not me but Christ who lives in me because “I am dead to myself and it is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me”… it is all about Him!- DarleneJoy.

    What did we do to master this spiritual living? Absolutely nothing! He has done it all and we accepted it as ours by simple faith- you got it rdrcomp! Dearly beloved, do not look at your shortcomings, failures or downfall by looking at others. Look at Him…on the cross, His nail pierced hands and feet, His crown of thorns and the very last drop of blood that trickled down His side…He gave His all so you and I may have it all! Do you really think we can add anything to what has already been perfectly finished?

    Don’t know about you but as for me I “know” Him…He is Good, faithful, full of truth, grace and mercy and yes, He is love! I am no longer mine but only His, my heart beats in sync with the heart beat of my Creator… His will is now my will, His purpose is my purpose, His love is now my love, His joy is my joy, the burden of His heart is the burden of my heart, His pain is my pain, His sorrow is my sorrow, He weeps and so do I!

    Jesus wept… not to mourn death or sickness or hunger or poverty or pain. He could have easily wiped all of it away with one word of His mouth. Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus when he saw their lack of faith in failing to recognize Him as God the giver of life. Let us have faith…it doesn’t cost us much except for laying aside of the “self”!

    So Mart, if you do identify with my deep desires you will not look at me as Job’s friends but as a fellow Job. Are you still feeling bad about being smoked out? Cheer up! Struggle is common to all Christians. Yes, you are the leader and much is required of you but then you are human and not a god. Although, I am smarting with pain to see you squirm and writhe in pain, I think this pain is for good and its ok to struggle…you will certainly come out of this stronger than ever. Then when the testing is all done, your posts will be similar to those Christians who are “on top of their game.” because then it will not be your thoughts but Christ’s thoughts reflecting through you! No more scaring each other:) but first you must stop and then I’ll stop and promise to listen to you… because like it or hate it all of us are going to spend eternity with each other!!

  33. sitsathisfeet says:

    Dear Mart Encouraging you to perservere through this blog; apart from Christ we can do nothing. What an encouragement it is to me when we can exhort, reproof, rebuke in Love one another through our discussions, leaving all at the foot of the cross. BC I was dead in my sin and didn’t know it. I didn’t know God, and guess I felt didn’t really want or need him. But Praise God through the circumstances in my life, and his drawing me that changed. I accepted him as my Savior as an adult and never regretted that decision. Am I perfect? Do I have anything apart from christ? No, but I do have His Spirit, His Joy, His Peace and His Wisdom, that passes all understanding. In the Bible it says the woman who washed Jesus feet with her tears Loved much, because she was forgiven much. And so we too Love much, because we have been forgiven much. Even if Jesus did only one thing, to die on the cross for us this was more than I deserved. And yet he continues to be my Savior every day interceding for me in every way. What a wonderful Savior!

  34. poohpity says:

    Can you define compassion or love for me? I am so confused by your post! Sometimes they are like night and day.

  35. Mart De Haan says:

    Let me try something. I think one thing that is on the table is whether we can experience a real change of life at the BC/AD turning point– and still have profound inner struggle…

    Seems to me that David was a man after God’s own heart– yet look at what he tells us about his inner self in his Psalms.

    Paul was a man of joy, peace, and great love, yet he could write of intense inner struggle (Romans 7) and say things like, “And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering (Romans 8:23).

    The point of BC/AD results (for openers)in a new identity, adoption into the family of God, forgiveness, everlasting life, and the gift of God’s Spirit. But the change is not without new experiences of brokenness that, at least occasionally, push us to the point of despair so that, in the words of the Apostle Paul, “we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead” (2Cor 1:9).

  36. cctouch says:

    I think I relate more with the A.D. than B.C. being saved at the age of 12. My walk with the Lord has been somewhat of a struggle but I gotta say God has brought me through alot and He’s not finished yet! Mr. De Haan I’ve learned so much through your posts and everyone elses comments. Thank you and God Bless!

  37. Gena says:

    BC I was oblivious. AC Less oblivious and continuing to be less so. But I’m getting ahead of myself… In the mid-80’s I was pregnant with child when I had a dream that was so strange, but stayed with me. In the mean time before and after the birth of my first child, I searched hi & low for God/Jesus. Went to a couple of churches – He didn’t seem to be there, but I didn’t know what I was looking for. Even searched libraries for Him – in books! One day I placed my child in the crib for a nap and then took a nap myself. When I woke fearful of death, but I couldn’t understand why. Fast forward years later, I accepted Jesus as my Savior and one day while studying Revelations I understoon the dream. The dream…. I was pregnant with child running from a serpent… after studying Revelations, it dawned on me that God found to find a way for me to identify Him by relating my pregnant state with Mary who was pregnant with Jesus – running from the evil one. God will find a way to connect with you so that you can know He loves you very much.

  38. erwin says:

    It makes me think of this passage in the Bible: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (Jn 3:19-20)

    BC, I was entrapped in an addiction that I was ashamed of: I never really thought that this addiction was bad for me, but I always lived in the fear that it might be known to others. Now in AD, I think that my shame came from the fact that, deep down, I knew that that addiction was bad. All men have a sense of God, tells the Bible: “Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. […] So that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and theur foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.” (Rm 1:19-22)

    I had what I call that “sense of God” inside of me since I was very young. My parents always had been believers, and I remember, as a young boy, dreaming of what I would call “the wrath of God”. In those dreams, I never saw God, nor did He told me that He was angry with me. But I remember waking up and knowing that I was afraid of the wrath of God.

    So, all those years before BC, I kind of always lived in the fear that something inside of me would be discovered by others and that it would mean a great sense of shame for me, which was practically like dying, to my eyes.

    But since AD, the contray tends to happen. More and more, I’m kind of waiting for the truth that has been poured inside of me to come out to the open! My inner dream is now to shout the truth to multitudes and to see them changed by the light of God!

    BC, I was living in the fear of people coming into my inner most being. AD, I feel like a conqueror, ready to go out toward people to expose the truth as it has been showed to me.

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