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Remembering My Roots

October 21, 2008

So it has been just over 9 years since I trusted in Christ, and 3 1/2 years since I began in pastoral ministry.  I was 28 when I came to faith, and for several years after I became a Christian it was easy for me to know where nonbelievers were coming from, what their fears were, where they found their happiness and significance.

In preparing to start a new church community in Austin, God has been calling me to ‘remember where you came from’.  Before I came to faith I would describe myself as an agnostic who wished he was an atheist.  I was confused about much of life and only had what I thought was a grip on things for only limited time periods.  I created my own idea of who God is and it suited me fine.  For awhile.  The truth is that I was often tossed about internally.  I had a nice veneer, but most of the time there was turmoil underneath.  And honestly, I think more people are right there also, but they won’t admit it.  I know I would rarely admit it to myself, let alone to anyone else.

For the past year or so, God has been calling me to rely not solely on apologetics books by guys who came to faith at six and studied at seminary, but rather to remember my roots, where I came from.  He has formed me and shaped me to witness about His goodness to others who are without the hope of Jesus.  He has put compassion in my heart for those without Jesus because I was in the same place.

Sometimes, for only a few moments usually, I regret that I didn’t come to faith as a young man, that I didn’t go through a youth ministry and get trained, that I didn’t go to college and seminary.  This usually happens when I meet other pastors who have all the ‘credentials’.

I still wish that I had many of the fine tools that many of my pastor friends have (and they are great tools), but what I do have is a sinful life that was touched by God’s grace through Christ.  When I read Ephesians 2 my heart knows that story.  When I read Romans 5:8 my mind and heart are wrestled to the ground.  I have been touched by God’s holiness and grace and left altogether different.  And God has put this story in my mouth to tell to anyone who will listen.  He continues to compel me to share about him.  Faithfully, he calls me to remember where I came from, both so I can more intelligibly share His story and also so that I can more live to His glory.

Please Lord don’t let me forget where I come from this week.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2008 10:50 pm

    i agree. i’ve felt the same way many times. nice post.

  2. October 23, 2008 1:00 pm

    amen. the power of gospel in your story is greater than any credentials anyone could ever attain.

  3. Adam permalink
    October 27, 2008 11:02 am

    You are pretty harsh on the seminary folk! We are glad to be serving with you in Austin. The gospel has been and continues to be beautiful in your life. That was a good sermon last night. It was a reminder to all of us that God has worked and is still working in our lives. Later.

  4. October 27, 2008 1:51 pm

    Thanks Adam. And I love you seminary guys!

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