About Me (if you really must know)

Raised in a Catholic home, I had no illusions about my standing with God. The Sacrament of Penance(confession) always seemed hypocritical to me, but I played along, hoping my lack of understanding was simply due to my own denseness. Oh, I went to Confession, took Communion, sat through weekly Mass, observed the Holy Days of Obligation, and lusted, over indulged, lied, stole, and hated at every opportunity.

For years after leaving home, which my dad ruled with a papal fist, I continued hanging around Catholic churches, hoping one of the good fathers could fill me in on why I felt so filthy, even though I was a “good Catholic boy.” I attended Catholic young-people’s retreats, and Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes. I dated(and violated) good Catholic girls. But regardless how I searched for answers, none were to be found.

Around 1972 I moved my few, meager belongings—and myself, of course—to Montana, in response to my folks’ request to help with some property they had bought. Once here, I flirted with various Catholic churches in the same old quest for Truth and Righteousness, but I found something different: a group of young Catholics who were followers of Jesus himself, and not just the Church. They were full of love, acceptance, and, well, God’s Holy Spirit. And I even discovered a Charismatic, Southern Baptist family who attended the Christian Center Assembly of God church—and yes, that’s a mouthful.

Well, those folks invited me into their home, not to convert me from Catholicism, but just because I needed a place to crash on occasion when the weather got cruddy, which it is wont to do on occasion in Northwest Montana. We had some lively, but congenial, discussions about things spiritual, and I was a discusser from way back. Of course, the fact that their daughter Joyce happened to be singularly gorgeous didn’t quash my interest in the least.

Long story short, I didn’t get Joyce, but I did get forgiven, through the sacrificial work of the Lord Jesus Christ. During the thirty-nine years since then I’ve done everything I could imagine to interfere with God’s growth program for me, but despite my worst efforts, God has always remained faithful by welcoming me back when I, like the prodigal son, came to my senses and repented of my stupidity.

Now I’m filled with such gratitude that I can’t contain it, which is part of my motivation for this blog. God didn’t lie when his Apostle Peter wrote:

… and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (1Peter 1:8-9)

But wait!!! That’s not all! As a limited-time, bonus gift, you too will not only receive Eternal Life in heaven, but a New and Better life here on earth! That’s Right! For No Extra Charge, God will transform your life, enabling you to Love Your Enemies, Do Good To Those Who Persecute You, and maybe even Share in Christ’s Suffering.

Okay, I’ll never be much of a TV pitchman. But all of those “bonuses” will serve only to draw you closer to your Savior and deeper into his love. And it is indeed a “limited time offer.” No one knows which heartbeat or breath will be their last, and while God is patient, he will not wait forever.

My hope and prayer is that this blog will help someone break through that resistance threshold erected by sin, and once through, thrive in their new life provided courtesy of God’s one and only True Son, Jesus Christ.

19 thoughts on “About Me (if you really must know)

    • Good morning. I have to figure out how to see/respond to comments on the About page (a Homer DOH! moment). Appreciate your thoughts. And empathise with them too much!! In my quieter meanderings I look inwards when hit by the self-absorbed. And usually pick-up a few more tips from them about how I operate inside me! 🙂

  1. Soooo, I haven’t the time to to give your blog proper attention yet, BUT, you had me at insanely jealous and elitist in your comment. Thanks for the follow and I look forward to exploring your blog and to future posts. Elizabeth.

    • Now ya gone an’ done it! Though I’ve flirted with verse for years, I’ve always stumbled at the point of motivation, when so much other stuff fills my head. Now, thanks to your word-painting, I want to try again.

      I’m an old-guy, and you bear a striking resemblance to my elder daughter, though I think she’s your senior by a few years. I look forward to enjoying another long-distance daughter. And since my years grant me the occasional presumption of giving sage advice, here’s a sample: Though aging is indeed not for the faint-hearted, don’t ever give up on life; the rewards are more-than worth the troubles.

      • Well thank ya for the advise! Not sure how old your daughter is, but I’m 38. Your “about” was a great read. Once life’s journey leads you to The Lord- life becomes filled with amazement – just the fact that we WANT to be alive- well, for some- is amazing! Look forward to more of your wisdom.

  2. Pingback: My Pride Problem | The Well-Dressed Branch

  3. Hi Bro!
    I can agree fully with what you said: “For No Extra Charge, God will transform your life, enabling you to Love Your Enemies, Do Good To Those Who Persecute You, and maybe even Share in Christ’s Suffering.” My wife always helps me gain perspective when things don’t go the way I planned. Think of porr Joseph’s life. The moment he got a bit on in life, he was struck down again, until God got him where he really had to be: Right in Pharaoh’s castle! And how many times along the way would I have given up, had his journey been mine!
    Love your blog and wisdom.
    God bless,

  4. Hi Bro!
    I hope I am not duplicating my comment, but the one I posted seems to be lost.
    When you say “For No Extra Charge, God will transform your life, enabling you to Love Your Enemies, Do Good To Those Who Persecute You, and maybe even Share in Christ’s Suffering.” it is something I often struggle with. That is when My dear wife of 40 years reminds me of Joseph. How many times he just thought he was going somewhere by staying true to God and His calling, just to be punched to the ground. Until he was where God wanted him to be – right in Pharaoh’s castle!
    I’m sure I would have given up.
    Thanks for your excellent posts.
    Herman of bibledifferences.net

  5. Wow Jim I was hoping you would offer another bonus if we got the first part down pat, so are you saying there is no reward for doing what is right? of course your not but True even Priests and Pastors today with heaps of training don’t understand what it means to be Born Again of God’s seed and to be perfected in Love, so it seems they also don’t know about the bonuses you mentioned either or they are still waiting to die to receive them.

    Thanks for sharing Jim, I love your tongue in cheek humour , I must have a talk to you though about aging and it’s benefits, although I don’t think you will be very surprised.

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus -Anne

    • I agree with both Apostle Paul and Dorothy; there’s no place like home. When I realized that eternal life begins here on Earth when Jesus gives us His Life, I also realized that the Christian Life isn’t simply waiting around to die. When we graduate to heaven we won’t have any more chances to minister to the lost, so we must redeem the time right now, before it’s eternally too late.

      I pray God will continue growing you up to become a little Christ to your world.

      In His love, Jim

  6. Thank you Jim, now I understand why the connection to you, I had asked God for someone who understood His Truth as I do and not as mostly Taught today and sadly believed by many.

    Please keep praying for me Jim, I’m where Paul was when he said he was not perfected yet but was aiming for it, I don’t want to be Christ in the sense to take over His role in peoples lives, He is our only Teacher and will lead us into all Truth, I want to encourage others to Trust in Him and not man for their answers, so they can walk in Victory and the Freedom He paid the price for on the cross.

    Blessing Jim and much thanks to God for you – Anne

    • You’re welcome, Anne. I began this blog with the prayer that God would speak strength and encouragement through my words. If you’ve found encouragement in something I wrote, praise God for answered prayer, ’cause I’m among the weakest of His family.

      Keep standing for Him,

  7. Nice testimony. I always say that we all need to experience God personally like ou did. This is what makes a good Christian. Let me add this; apart from salvation, transformation and a blessed life that we get from Christ, sharing in His suffering is one of the surest experiences He promised us. This is signified by His demand that each carry his own cross and following “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38). Whether we will suffer or not is actually a certainty (not maybe) .As a Disciple of Jesus Christ, I know this first hand. Blessings!

    • A good Christ-follower is an obedient Christ-follower, regardless of his initial conversion experience.

      Regarding suffering, my greatest suffering is contemplating Christ and not seeing Him adequately reflected in me. Though I would love to be satisfied with my personal degree of Christ-likeness, I know that will never happen. I find myself fluent in “Christianese,” often impressing the brethren, but fail in my search for His truth from His Word, shamefully taking it for granted. Also, my prayer life is woefully deficient as I always balk at my presumption in expecting anything more from Him after He’s already given me so much.

      Regarding fear, my greatest fear is doing or saying anything that could reflect badly on God my Savior. Thanks for your comments.

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