Saturday, April 23, 2016

New Post: "Experiencing God - Spiritual Inventory"

Spiritual Inventory

  • Around age twelve or thirteen, while on a Christian camp retreat I asked Jesus Christ into my heart and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior.
    • Moving between the homes of my divorced mother and father, there was little consistency or direction of what to do next, so no lasting 'fruit' was produced.

  • At age eighteen I joined the military, and my first exposure to death made me question God.
    • When my infant nephew became gravely sick, I grew angry. 
    • When I continued to find death around me, and no real answers from the chaplain, I turned my back on God and decided against wanting anything to do with Him.

  • After leaving the military, I moved in with a woman, then came to read a book that caused me to see God differently, and for the first time I began to allow myself to believe in Him again, but with great doubt and suspicion.

  • A few years later, I dated another woman who took me to her church, where I was re-introduced to a loving God who was real and personal.

  • For many years I lived for myself, and felt at odds with my idea of what a follower of Christ should act or be like.
    • This hypocrisy kept me from attending Church, until I came to understand that we are all sinners, living what seems like double lives, but that apart from Him it will never improve.

  • I made a decision to seek God on His terms, and began attending church, including a small group for men.
    • During this time I still lived in my old ways of sinfulness, but gave myself permission as I was an imperfect person still seeking forgiveness.

  • After some time after though, I began to live as a Legalistic person, condemning what was wrong in others, but excusing my own behavior.
    • At this point, life seemed pretty good, and I told God he didn't have to worry about me anymore because, "I got this. You can focus on those who truly need You."

  • When I entered jail, I came to recognize how much of a fool I had been.
    • I decided to re-dedicate myself to serving Him, and I set about learning to live within the mistakes I had made, and how to praise God in those struggles I created.
    • during the time I awaited trial, i took a marriage class with my now wife and we were baptized together.
    • We were married two weeks later.

  • After this and while serving time prison, I continued to seek Jesus, walking into the difficult places He led me, including ministering to other criminals who I was able to walk alongside.
    • After release, I was unemployed three years, but was able to volunteer, be a church greeter, lead small groups, even Mentor & Coach other men to help them learn about the way God sees them.

  • I now have two children, and God has brought me back to the employer where I first committed my crime.

  • What's next?
  • I work to become the man God wants me to be, seeking to know Him better as I look for the places He wants to lead me!

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