Thursday, May 8, 2008

....knowing God from an early age

J.T. mentioned having had a real sense of knowing God from an early age. He related his experience of realization happened while serving as an alter boy in the Catholic Church. J.T. commented that after sharing this at a leadership conference, someone exclaimed that he had had a "John Wesley experience!"

I googled John Wesley and found that at the age of five, John was rescued from the burning rectory. This escape made a deep impression on his mind; and he regarded himself as providentially set apart, as a "brand plucked from the burning."

I would have to say that my parents and grandparents instilled in me an early faith in Jesus. I remember conversations about God and heaven that I had with my granddad as a young boy. One of these conversations was after I had had a fight with my older brother and he was giving me the silent treatment. I was mad because I knew that the only way to set things right with my brother was to apologize. I told my granddad that this situation made me angry because I always seemed to be the one who apologized first. My granddad empathized with my position, but proceeded to explain that Jesus had said, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9). I've never since, struggled much against being the first one to say, "I'm sorry" in a conflict.

I have a vivid childhood memory of entertaining myself by singing "He's got the whole world in His hands" while running and jumping on the sidewalk out in front of my grandparents house. I spent that summer with granddad and grandmother. We attended the First Baptist Church across the street. I remember the sense of pride that I had because my granddad helped build that church and my grandmother taught Sunday school.

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