The "Good News"
as revealed to Andrey!
Far from being an attempt at being blasphemous, or disrespectful, this is the Good News about Jesus that God has revealed to me. I personally witnessed every event listed here.
We have the 4 'gospels' in the Bible because four people wrote them down and those documents have survived to this day. They wrote what they witnessed, as best they could. True, they were inspired by God, and under God's leadership and influence as they wrote. The thought occurred to me that while we can argue theology and philosophy, we can not argue what someone has experienced, or seen, or witnessed.
That is why many people witness to others by telling their own story, and how God has been a part of it instead of getting into opinions.
Here, I write my storied walk with God. I am literally, being a witness. Here's my testimony.
Also, the parts of this that have been published elsewhere on this site as their own stories, are merely linked to from here. I do not repeat them. You can click to them, and then using the 'back' command, or <alt-left arrow> return to this page to continue reading.
Stories from God's Relationship with me
I was born into a Ukrainian immigrant family that had suffered greatly during World War II. My parents and grandparents were caught in Eastern Europe by the war, long before my parents met. The stories of my father's survival of those times is a wonderful story of its own. My parents met in a refugee camp in Germany, married and had two daughters before being allowed to come to America. Three years after their arrival, I was born, and eight years later, my brother.
1956 - Terror in Alley:
I remember chasing a ball down a dark alley between row houses. It was about two feet wide. Someone tall and dark, stood there with my ball, and offered to give it to me if I would only take it from him. I felt something disgusting about the figure, knew I should run, but he had my ball and I wanted it back. I approached, and he gave me what I wanted. To this day I have not forgotten the incident. I now believe, as I have for many years, that this was my first conscious contact with Satan and it was not the last.
circa 1962 -- "No dogs in heaven":
Upon learning from a nun at the church school that my pet dog would not be allowed in heaven, I told them in anger and disgust that I didn't want to go there either. I was severely disciplined both at school and at home. The disappointment with a God that wouldn't allow puppies into heaven was overwhelming. I wanted nothing to do with Him!
As I grew, we moved often. We lived in three homes in New Jersey, three others in Massachusetts, another in Illinois. I spent four years in a Catholic school from Kindergarten through part of fourth grade, and never spent that much time anywhere again. I finished fourth grade in one school in Watertown, Massachusetts, went to another for fifth grade, then through three schools in sixth grade. Yet another for seventh, again another for eighth, another for ninth and when partway through the tenth grade, we moved to Illinois.
I was always an outsider. I learned to cope by doing well in school to please the teachers, and to be a class-clown to please my class-mates. To this day I use jokes to relieve stress and work hard to get things done. I certainly believed for a long time that if I pleased people, they would like me and I would be okay. That was quite a burden to bear, and it is too easy to displease people by being myself.
Upon finishing high school, my Dad gave me one option: college. More specifically, to be an engineer like him. Because we had no money for college, and because I had to go, I joined the NROTC program, and got a full scholarship. I also did this as a way to thank America for being here so that my parents could migrate here after escaping Eastern Europe.
In college my primary activities were playing war games, bowling, fantasy role-playing games and the school rifle team. I was very good at all of them, because they only needed logical ability, of which I had plenty. Relationships were not something that I had learned to develop, nor felt that I needed. I had a total of 4 dates by the time I finished college, and yes, those were with 4 different girls! Boy, was I lost and headed for trouble!
Nightmare, one spring night in 1980:
One night on cruise in the middle of the ocean, I dreamt that I was sleeping in my bunk. I was laying on my back, and awoke (in the dream) to sensing a deep darkness below me to my left. It was a powerful darkness, and began to pull my sheet and covers down toward it, and me with them. I knew that if I was pulled into the darkness I would never come back out, like some spiritual version of a 'black hole'. I tried to say, "Jesus save me", but got only the first word out. Then I woke up from the dream, sitting up in bed, not daring to look down to my left. Just the mention of His name saved me from ... whatever that black depth contained. This is one, and only one reason that I call Him, "Savior".
This Article appeared in the Erie Morning News, summer 1980
Some thought I had died, but I hadn't. Then, I was saved by what we learned when my friends died!
A different type of Christmas celebration, when I was lonely and tired and having a pity party.
I was pitying myself, and depressed. I told God that the only thing I could do right was drive my Saab Turbo at very high speed. What good was that? Read about it and find out!
If you won't take God's hints, at least take God's help.
I learn how to "Share the Gospel" through a training program called Evangelism Explosion. I spend three semesters in their training. Once as a trainee, once as a trainer and once as a Lieutenant.
Teaching in 1983:
I started to learn the difference between what people want, and what people are ready for!
I needed to be protected and focused, and I got the help in time!
This episode of my life helped me to see that God is less interested in how well I understand Him than in how well I relate to Him.
Jesus gave me this analogy of the coach and the young star!
October, 1998, updated March, 1999:
The Vision I was given at my niece's graveside.
My daughter teaches me about doughnuts and holes.
My son learns about Listening to the Coach in Little League.
I experienced "True, but not helpful!"
July 3rd, 2001:
The Ballgame of Life was a fun and exciting lesson!
I learn what "The First and the Last" means at a soccer game!
How my manager taught me something with his memos!
March 10, 2002:
From my brother, "My God and My 2 Dogs"
My solemn hope for you, is that you come to the point in your spiritual life where you know the following:
- for certain that you are going to heaven,
- that you are going because it is a free gift, not because you earned it,
- for certain when God is talking to you, (you've heard God's voice so many times that you recognize God)
- for certain how to respond when God speaks to you, and
- that you are of the character that you respond according to His highest will.
Until you get there, I offer this thought: "Trust the process."