Monday, February 26, 2007

In the World but Not Of It #2

If you haven’t read part one, you should probably do that before this one. Click here.

So, October 14, 1973 changed everything. Jesus began changing me and a lot was happening quick. I was going to a church called Redeemer Temple. It was a Charismatic church but not of the flaky type. The pastors were very solid doctrinally and came from varied backgrounds. The church experienced massive growth because of two things. One was the Charismatic Renewal and the other was the revival going on called the Jesus Movement. The charismatic renewal brought in many people from mainline denominations. The Jesus Movement brought in the hippies, druggies, etc. Everybody loved Jesus and got along fine. The discipleship was excellent. For many years, I took notes on the sermons and I still consult those notebooks today. I am so thankful that there was a feast of meat with every sermon and I was learning what it meant to be a Christian.

Zeal marked our lives. The lack of wisdom and knowledge sometimes made that zeal a pain for others but we were hot and moldable in the hands of God. Much better than lukewarm.

My old friends disappeared and that was good. I needed time to grow. The time would come later when they would be able to see what Jesus did with my life. I know the danger when there isn’t a separation. Even with the power of God, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life go a long way in tearing a young Christian down.

It seemed that there was something going on almost every night. Church, Bible studies, and a Christian coffee house on east Colfax. We had a lot of fun but almost everything was Jesus/Bible centered. If we got together to hang out, inevitably it would turn into a Bible study. We were hungry for the Word of God.

Life changes were quick. The old music was gone, replaced with Jesus Music. The drugs and alcohol were gone; we were high on life. We had new friends and habits. We wanted to tell the world and change the world.

Here is something I can say about all that. The changes were not just because of someone telling me what I needed to do although, especially later, good teaching came on those things. I knew I needed to be different; inside I knew it. The old was passing away and all things were becoming new. I sold my old music albums and bought Bibles and Christian books. I carried around a briefcase in my car trunk full of those books. At a moments notice we could break them out for research and study.

Even my driving changed; I knew God wanted me to obey the laws. Speeding was out. Life was under the microscope. I had various stolen things that were traded to me for drugs. I knew where most of them came from and I took them back and told the owners why. I went back to my high school and met with some of the teachers. After one meeting, a teacher said, “Phil, your face is glowing.” I hung out on east Colfax and asked anyone who would listen, “Have you heard the good news?” What groovy times!

To be continued… Click here for part 3.


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