Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

His Story…My Story

There’s no question that the gospel story so far surpasses in importance, value and power the various stories Christians have of their own coming to Jesus. This is so clear that it might go without saying…and yet…isn’t there also a real value in us sharing our own stories of how He came looking for us, how He kept on until He found us, and how He has changed life for us by not giving up on us…and by shedding His grace and love freely within our hearts?

I think I have been too content for too long to allow the song writers to put words in my mouth about how I feel toward my Lord and what He has done and is doing for me. Yes…I love the wonderful songs they have written that say it so well. But…have I nothing at all to say on my own? I want to sing the wondrous story. I want to sing it in the words of talented songwriters, or of inspired songwriters (like David), but I also want to sing (as it were) my own story in my own words out of my own grateful heart.

Our individual stories are not the focal point…not at all. We shouldn’t make them that. But folks who know us…who have some kind of relationship with us…who maybe even care for us…might they not be very interested in hearing from our own lips what great things our God has done for us? Yes…fill your heart and soul and mind with the greatest story ever told…that “down from His glory, never-ending story, the Son of heaven came. And Jesus was His Name. Born in a manger…to His own a stranger…a Child of sorrow, toil and agony. Ah how we love Him…how we adore Him…our Breath…our Sunshine…our Hope and Stay. The Great Creator…became our Savior…and all God’s fullness dwells within Him.” But also…let others know that your experience of Him is in keeping with the all-glorious, saving message of Jesus Christ

Here’s a short story that better says, what I’m trying to say. A new believer was with some co-workers when one of them begins to criticize Christ and Christians. The speaker said something like this, “And what about the story where Jesus was supposed to have turned water into wine? I’d have to see Him do that in order to believe it.” At this point the somewhat timid, new believer mumbled out a few words that went true to their mark. He said, “Well…I sure never saw Jesus turn water into wine, but I know about Him turning wine into furniture.” “What are you on about?” said the loudmouth. “Well…for too long in my life, drink had a hold on me. Too much of the money I made went for wine, while my family suffered on with less than they needed. When Jesus got to me, that all changed. The money that used to go down my throat, now buys furniture and food for my family’s needs.” Needless to say…there ended the discussion.

Jesus has made all the difference in my life too. I can’t hold it in. I can do this…I can tell people, with whom I get a chance, about what great things He has done for me. And if He could do this for one such low-life of a sinner like me, think what He can do for them!

Would you be willing to share with me, even a bit of your story of His love of you and of His saving of your soul…your life? I am so glad He found me…and that He found you. May there be multitudes more who live to see such a grand re-union!

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5 thoughts on “His Story…My Story

  1. I’ve told a lot of my story on various blog posts, so I’ll just give the condensed version (which will no doubt still be too long!) I was baptized into a new life with the Lord when I was pretty young. I made a lot of poor choices that led to a “public sin” situation. At that time, I compounded the bad by marrying the man that had brought the trouble into my life. I was disowned by my family. I quit the Lord. I turned my back and ignored Him. I fell deeper and deeper into a pit…I really thought I would just stay there and die in that misery. I tried to come back to the Lord, but my bruised heart and some thoughtless words and actions from others kept me from really coming Home.

    Then God crossed my path with a friend from my past. Rex emailed me and invited me to come to a little group of folks where he was teaching. I went, even though I was scared to go. I was hurting and so wounded from things that had happened and that I had done. But in the little upper room out by the Boom Boom (later relocated to the OPEN) I found a place I finally felt safe. God ran to meet me and welcomed me back Home. I found the strength there to stand. And once I was standing, I could see what needed done to save myself and my children. I got out of my miserable, abusive marriage and started trying to show my children a better life…a life more like what God intended for us.

    Now, God has worked so much good in my life. I feel healing starting to take place…I see wonderful things in my kids. I have had the opportunity to teach a few times for a group of ladies at our Open place and that has been a huge blessing. I have crossed paths with a few people that have had some simliar events in their lives, and God hs made it possible for good to come from my bad. May I always use the chances He gives me to share my story for someone else’s good…and always always always for His glory.

    SHERRY, YOU AND FATHER GOD, HAVE A WONDERFUL STORY OF LOVE TO SHARE. I AM BLESSED TO READ YOUR WORDS ABOUT THE WORD WHO CAME TO YOU IN YOUR MISERY. THE WAY GOD ARTFULLY USES HIS DEVOTED SERVANTS TO REACH OTHER PRODIGALS LIKE US, IS A THING OF BEAUTY. WE KNOW HE IS BEHIND IT ALL…WORKING ON OUR BEHALF. AND WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THE PEOPLE HE FITS FOR SUCH FAITHFUL, LOVING SERVICE TO THE BROKEN HEARTED.
    YOU USED THE WORD “SAFE” AS YOU SPOKE OF THE OPEN CHURCH. ISN’T THAT A WONDERFUL WORD…A WONDERFUL CONCEPT? TO BE LOVINGLY HELD ONTO, NO MATTER THE DEEP DARKNESS OF OUR SIN…TO BE GIVEN, NOT JUST A CHANCE TO HEAL, BUT EVERYTHING WE WE NEED FOR HEALING INCLUDING THAT CHRISTLIKE ACCEPTANCE OF US THAT HELPS US UNDERSTAND DEEP DOWN INSIDE OUR BROKENNESS THAT WE ARE NOT ON A PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE…WE DON’T HAVE TO MEASURE UP…WE CAN LET DOWN OUR FULL WEIGHT IN DELIGHTED WONDER THAT WE WILL NOT BE REJECTED, RIDICULED, OR FORCED INTO “QUALIFYING” IN ORDER TO BELONG…THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH HEALING PLACES LIKE THAT IN OUR WORLD, ARE THERE? SAFE IN JESUS…SAFE IN FORGIVENESS…SAFE IN GRACE…SAFE IN HIS CHURCH…SAFE NOW…SAFE TOMORROW…SAFE FOREVER. ISN’T THIS WHAT WE ALWAYS NEEDED BUT DIDN’T KNOW WE NEEDED IT? ISN’T THIS WHAT WE MOST WANT FOR ALL OUR BELOVED? ISN’T THIS WHAT WE WANT FOR EVERY SINSICK AND TRAVEL-WORN SOUL EVERYWHERE? THANK YOU FOR TELLING HIS STORY, ESPECIALLY WHERE IT TOUCHES SO BEAUTIFULLY UPON YOUR STORY. GOD BLESS YOU, SHERRY.

  2. Well, Doug, I don’t have a story that is dramatic or life-changing in the usual sense. I was blessed to grow up in a Christian environment, surrounded by Christian people (including a father and mother, two sisters and a future brother-in-law), so grace and it’s affect on my life has been gradual and progressive. Or maybe I should say it has been “fitful and sporatic” as I’ve tried to look to Jesus for life and happiness.
    But I have seen His grace moments in my family…like the time we had taken a sabbatical in Rolla, Missouri and ran out of money. I began to panic, but Nancy said, “Let’s pray.” Two or three days later we received a letter in the mail with an unsolicited check for $1000 and a note from Nancy’s Dad that simply said, “I heard you praying.”
    He (God in Christ) never ceases to amaze me with His grace and mercy – His story in our lives.
    Thanks for the reminder, Doug

    IT’S REALLY ALL OF GRACE, AS SPURGEON SAID, ISN’T IT, MY BROTHER?
    I REMEMBER PART OF YOUR GROWING UP YEARS. I REMEMBER DOING THINGS WITH YOU. YOU WERE SUCH A GOOD KID…THE BEST. BUT I ALSO REMEMBER MY SELFISHNESS…HOW I LEFT YOU OUT WHEN I WENT ON IN PURSUIT OF MY OWN INTERESTS. AND WHEN I THINK OF IT, I NEARLY GET SICK TO MY STOMACH AND I FEEL MY FACE GROW RED WITH SHAME. I DIDN’T REALIZE IT THEN, COULDN’T SEE HOW I WAS MAKING IT ALL ABOUT ME. HOW YOU ALL PUT UP WITH ME, I DON’T UNDERSTAND, EXCEPT TO SAY…GRACE OF GOD…GRACE OF GOD. IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER, AND COULD KNOW THEN, WHAT I KNOW NOW, I WOULD DO IT SO DIFFERENTLY. I WOULD BE A BETTER BROTHER…A BETTER FRIEND.
    AND, I KNOW IT IS THE GRACE OF GOD EXPRESSED BY HIM THROUGH YOU THAT WE HAVE THIS RELATIONSHIP TODAY…IT IS A BLESSING TO ME BEYOND WORDS TO SPEND TIME IN YOUR PRESENCE…TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR WISDOM IN THE WORD AND YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH CHURCHES.
    YOU HAVE A TRUE HEART…A DEEP FAITH…A GENUINE LOVE FOR FATHER GOD…FOR FAMILY…AND FOR OTHERS. I LOVE YOU, JOHN. AND I LOVE TO HEAR THE “WORLD’S GREATEST PREACHER” TELL THE STORY. KEEP ON!

  3. My grandfather took his life when I was seven … my best old man friend down the street took his life sometime when I was little. These two deaths confused me as a child, but also put in my head that we had an option whether to stay on this planet or not.

    I went to church for the first 24 years of my life. Always feeling fake … left out of some secret … led by my FEELINGS rather than my knowledge. My heart was always condemning me. I finally couldn’t do it anymore.

    This fakness that I felt, combined with a sleep disorder led me to look for things to make me sleep so I could “not think” for a while. Alcohol and sleeping pills did the job. Eventually, they made me so depressed that all I could think about was that “opt out” idea I got as a child.

    I ran away to a place where I would not have to be fake anymore. I was able to get help with my addictions and learn that God was not being mean to me when He didn’t “take me out” like I had asked. Being real saved my life. I learned to live by what I KNOW not on what I FEEL.

    One day I barely escaped sliding off an icy bridge and my first thought was, “Not now God.” I realized I wanted to live (at least more than before).

    From there God led me back to a friend who began leading me back to God. The turning point for me was at a retreat in January of 2006. They had prepared the Lord’s Supper on a table and we were supposed to just go take it when we were ready. I did not plan on taking it … didn’t think I could … I had been away for almost 10 years. My friend took my hand and invited me to take the supper … walls fell and God came walking in.

    From there on I’ve been learning about a Jesus I never knew … a God I never knew. I’ve learned about God being greater than my heart … and loving me enough to send His Son while I was still His enemy. The answer is always in what He has done not what I have done.

    I thank God for the story He and I have. He has held on to me since the day He thought of me and will continue to hold me even when I’m safe with Him at Home.

    DEAR PAIGE,
    I WEPT AS I READ YOUR STORY. SAD TEARS. WEPT OVER A WORLD FALLEN SO FAR FROM PARADISE…WEPT THAT WE LIVE IN A PLACE WHERE A LITTLE GIRL HAS TO TRY TO DEAL WITH THE SUICIDES OF LOVED ONES…WEPT FOR THE ISOLATION YOU ENDURED AND THE DOME OF SILENCE SO MANY CHURCHES INVOKE IN ORDER TO NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH “REAL” SIN…WEPT FOR YOUR LOST YEARS…WEPT THAT FOR YOU THE ONLY “HELPS” YOU WERE ABLE TO TURN TO WERE PILLS AND ALCOHOL. BUT I WEPT GLAD TEARS TOO…THAT JESUS AND YOU WOULDN’T LET YOUR STORY END IN SUCH HOPELESSNESS. WEPT THAT HE WAS ALWAYS THERE…WORKING IN WHO KNOWS HOW MANY WAYS BEHIND THE SCENES IN YOUR LIFE…SAVING YOU THAT DAY ON AN ICY BRIDGE…BRINGING THOUGHTS TO YOUR HEART THAT YOU HAD LONG SINCE THOUGHT DEAD AND GONE. WEPT THAT HE BROUGHT INTO YOUR LIFE SUCH A FRIEND WHO TOOK YOU BY THE HAND AND SHARED WITH YOU THE SUPPER OF THE LORD. WEPT TO THINK OF ALL JESUS MEANS TO YOU AND ALL HE IS DOING THROUGH YOU NOW. WEPT TO THINK THAT EVEN NOW…THE BEST IS YET TO COME…ONE OF THESE DAYS…ONE GLORIOUS DAY…ONE DAY WHEN THE WAITING IS ALL OVER WITH…ONE OF THESE DAYS WE SHALL SEE HIM, FOR WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM. AMAZING TRUTH! THIS IS OUR DESTINY! SECURED FOR US AND TO US BY THE ONE WHO TOOK THE FALL THINKING OF US ABOVE ALL. ONE OF THESE DAYS…
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY/HIS STORY. WE ARE BLESSED BY YOUR HEART…YOUR INSIGHTS…YOUR LOVE OF YOUR SAVIOR, HIS PEOPLE, AND THE LOST.

  4. Born afflicted with Asthma. Had to move to live…Somewhere in the Southwest preferably. Born into a Catholic family with all my relatives of the same persuasion. Settled in SW where I could breath. Just out of High School met a girl. Boy was (still is)she cute. She was Church of Christ. Almost 40 years later, here I am. Teacher, Deacon, Elder, Minister, all by the Grace of God. Still have Asthma. Must give thanks to my Father for it. Where would I be without it? His Grace, yes His Glorious, unfathomable, unmeritted Grace has been, is and will be sufficient for me. Praise His Name, He is not through with me yet.

    AH BROTHER MIKE,
    SO WELL SAID…WHAT WONDERFUL BLESSINGS FATHER GOD BROUGHT TO YOU AND THROUGH YOU OUT OF ADVERSITY! THIS BRIEF VERSION OF YOUR STORY CAUSES ME TO BE EVEN MORE TAKEN WITH HIM. HIS STRENGTH MADE PERFECT IN “WEAKNESS”…HIS GRACE SUFFICIENT WHEN EXPLANATIONS ARE DEFICIENT…HIS PROVIDENCE SO MUCH BETTER THAN EVEN A POSITIVE ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS. IT IS GREAT TO REALIZE HE IS NOT FINISHED WITH US. THERE ARE MORE LESSONS…MORE DISCOVERIES…MORE MISSIONS…MORE LOVING…AND GROWING IN HIM AHEAD. I PARTICULARLY APPRECIATED YOUR REFERENCE TO THAT STILL “CUTE” GIRL THAT GOD BROUGHT INTO YOUR LIFE TO HELP BRING YOU TO HIM AND WITH WHOM YOU ARE STILL OBVIOUSLY IN LOVE. I LOVE YOUR SPIRIT, BROTHER. I PRAY GOD KEEPS GIVING YOU BREATH TO SERVE AND SPEAK IN HIS NAME OF THE WONDER OF HIM. THANK YOU FOR CHECKING IN HERE AND SHARING WITH US.

  5. As a boy … student … and preacher, I read of and marvelled at the love and grace of God … especially for men like David and Peter – not to mention the woman “caught in the act” – the prodigal returning home – or the chief of sinner seeing the light. I studied those divine interventions in the affairs of men – preached them – and used them for comfort and counsel to others who were suffering from the effects of their own shame or the shame of others. But then I “sinned” … my faith became experience. I was the royal priest, who had betrayed his vows … the fervent disciple, who denied His Lord … the adulterer, caught in sin … the prodigal stumbling toward home.

    “Amazing grace … how sweet the sound … that saved a wretch like me.”

    I AM SO GLAD THAT THE STORIES OF DAVID’S AND PETER’S LIVES ARE NOT DEFINED BY FAILURES….NO MATTER HOW HUGE THOSE FAILURES WERE…NOR HOW LONG THE EPISODES WERE…NOR HOW MANY OCCURRENCES THERE WERE…NOR HOW INEXCUSABLE (AND ETC.) THEY WERE. THE BIBLICAL PORTRAITS OF THESE MEN INCLUDE DARK AND BRIGHT COLORS. BUT SOMEHOW, GRACE OF GOD, THEIR EXPERIENCE OF GOD CREATED IN THEM A HUNGER THEY COULDN’T ULTIMATELY LEAVE BEHIND, NOT EVEN FOR THEIR SIN. AND THAT HUNGER WOULDN’T ALLOW THEM TO GIVE UP AND SINK WITHOUT A TRACE WHEN OTHER REASONS TO GO ON AND TRY AGAIN COULD NOT BE FOUND. AND THIS HUNGER LIVES IN YOUR HEART TOO, MY BROTHER. WITHOUT DOUBT, BEYOND QUESTIONING AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED…YOU ARE A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART! YOUR STORY IS INTRICATELY WOVEN INTO THE FAITH STORIES OF SO VERY MANY OTHER LIVES…INCLUDING MINE. BLESS GOD!

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