Q: My first recollection of being in church was.. :
A: It’s hard to pinpoint a first recollection as it is the overall early impression. My parents regularly took us to church but my memories harken to when we lived in Kansas City and went to St. John’s Methodist Church. And if you watch a movie from the 1950’s or earlier regarding a typical protestant church that would be it. A stately sanctuary, well-dressed friendly people, polite, well-mannered; the minister a well-dressed, soft spoken, bespectacled intelligent and kind man. That was much of what it was like. Being in church itself was, like for any kid, a bit beyond me – kind of boring – sermons were well above my head. Afterwards our family would have a meal at the country club (fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas [ick] rolls, etc.) all served family style.
Q: The closest I have ever felt to God in my life was.. :
A: Like for many, it was my conversion experience – probably because of the ‘night to day’ quality that it conveyed. Suddenly, the Lord was very real; His forgiveness was not simply an idea but an experience of release – as if a great weight had been lifted from me that I had no idea I was carrying. And we would have a running conversation all the time.
Q: The time I have felt the greatest doubt or distance from God ..:
A: Before my conversation God was just assumed – a very nominal belief. I didn’t struggle with doubt because, in fairness, I never took my faith seriously. After my conversion there are always scheduled “dark nights of the soul” but I never stepped into serious doubt. I think my most enduring struggle was dealing with the issue of predestination.
Q: If I could thank God for just one incident in my life it would be..:
A: Oh my, too difficult. Hmmm.. if I must settle it was His healing of my wife, Tina. The reason is two fold: first, because what she means to me (a bit selfish); second, because of the means of the healing – it was without question supernatural (attended with words of knowledge and culminating in a complete restoration of her heart that could not happen naturally).
Q: If I could thank God for just one person in my faith journey – and why?
A: Again, not fair. Though we are all beholding to a great cloud of witnesses in our life, I will settle on Dr. Billy Abraham. He was a mentor to be sure – but more, we were so alike with our peculiarities and interests – interest in what others would consider esoteric theological and philosophical issues and yet grounded in an inexhaustible divine reality – a reality so full of life and truth that we will never be able to plumb the depths of it. He walked not only in the depths of wisdom, he never lost his appreciation of the gospel, the work of the Holy Spirit, the wonder of the Lord Jesus who has hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Just by being who he was, I realized it was okay to be me.
Q: If I could name a turning point in my life for my relationship with God it would be – and why?
A: It’s not ‘turning point’ it’s turning points. I am in the midst of another one now. But if you force me to pick one it is realizing, really realizing that God knows me and really loves me – me – really. That God is so good – not just to all but to me – that there are no words adequate to express it. Why? Because when you know, really know, there is a rest in it. We enter into His rest. And from His rest flows His life, His power, and His love.
Q: If I had to tell someone why I’m a Christian I would say …:
A: Wow. Because it showed to me the paths to life. Christianity points to the focal point of all reality, the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In Him, we find life and the paths that lead to ever-increasing life. In Him, we know God – first, about what God is truly like – and then in Him, we know God personally as the Father and as we progress, grow in intimacy with Him. In this relationship, we see the kingdom, perceive reality, receive the Holy Spirit, receive spiritual blessings, walk-in security, discover our destiny, and become a blessing to others.