I actually wrote this blog entry last year but the timing was wrong, as were my motives to publish it. Today, however, is the day. I will blog again this week but, feel free to type me to death.
Okay, here goes. Not sure about this one but, a little history lesson is in order.I was born the second time in June of 1976. I was nine years old. By the time I reached Junior High I had already been trained for ‘evangelism,’ that is, the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I had attended adult classes in ‘sharing’ at my church because the kid classes were, well, too kiddish, (this problem would affect my later ministry in many ways.) So, I was ready to win converts. Interestingly enough, I never felt like it was something I was ‘supposed’ to do. I just knew that my friend Jesus needed more friends, and that I didn’t want anyone to go to hell and be separated from Him. or perhaps more importantly, miss out on what I had. It never would have occured to me to save everyone, ’cause I didn’t even know everyone, but somehow, God worked it into my pre-adolescent head that everyone I could bring to Him was one more rescued from life and death without Him.
Now, it probably should be stated here that I am not a gifted evangelist, I just loved Jesus and people and wanted them together, like a peanut butter/chocalate thing; and the truth is, I was turned down or rejected as many times. or more, than I was ‘successful.’ But some, over time, came to know Christ through my simple message of love and acceptance and despite my often sin-stained life.
During my not so epic journey through junior high, three different schools, I learned about, and became a sold-out geek for role-playing games in general and Dungeons and Dragons in specific. It expanded my community, increased my vocabulary and decision making ability and introduced me to a group of people that were as broken and needy as any I would ever meet. I had been involved in theatre since I was 6 or seven so I was already prepared for the bizarre group of people I would meet. Through this hobby, I was able to get to know and begin to help these young men towards light and rescue. Here I am 25 years later to tell you that, of my two original gaming groups, all but a handful are now disciples of Christ. One of those is my foster brother Stephen, whom many of you know.This has been introduction to my point. It follows hard afoot now.
Sometime during high school, the word got out that Dungeons and Dragons was a tool of Satan. Boy, was I shocked.Upon further research I found that many of these accusers had no idea what gaming was about or, even worse, had told lies, outright lies, about what we practiced or what was found in our rulebooks. Hmm.
I was raised in the outskirts of the ‘sub-culture’ we call the Christian ghetto, although my parents did keep a house decidely on the wall, so I had to figure out how it was that these ‘believers’ in Jesus would lie. Either money or fear, I figured out, and the damage was done. I learned that there was a form of Christianity that was more concerned with saving itself than others and I guess, after I recovered from the talespin of belief that I was in, sometime in college, I became first a dissident, and in recent years, a patriot for the cause of Christ and an accurate gospel doctrine.
My journey has been one of seeking to know Christ as Redeemer and a Friend of sinners; to understand that Holiness was about how I treated others as I proved out my love for God by loving them. My journey has been about washing the Bride and fighting fights to prove that people were worth far more than reputation; and that if I was accused of being a sinner because of my association with sinners that I was just becoming like Christ. In time, that journey has led me to this place and this time, The Well.
We are a great experiment born of a great hope and a passion for Christ, the Body and the lost. We are a try and try again project of learning failures and improvable successes. And we will find our way. But…..We will not lose sight of our goal to be different and better than where we came from.
We stand on the shoulders of sacrifice and conflict and try to reach higher and farther than we know we can on our own.We must love each other. We must learn that our differences are strengths, not fodder for warfare. We will have peace. We will be love. We will rescue, redeem and restore.
Like Eliezer, the mighty man of David, I have chosen this beanfield, and here I stand. I will swing the sword of the message that has been written into me, until my hand, frozen, no longer can relinquish it’s grip.