Restore to me the joy of my salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.
Psalms 51:12

I love to hear people's stories;  about the before and after and about how Jesus has changed their hearts and lives.  Sometimes, the changes are dramatic or instantaneous.  Sometimes, the change is more gradual and quiet.  It is the knowledge that life is being seen in a new and different way, and you realize it is God at work.  Your stories remind me of the joy and peace I experienced when I first understood the Jesus of the Bible.  The One who loves me, died for my sins, was resurrected and is continually growing and transforming me.  
I was 14, when a Christian friend invited me to a Christian concert, The Imperials.  One song stood out in particular, "Oh Buddha"

Well, I don't hate anybody so please don't take me wrong
But there really is a message to this simple song
You see there's only one way, Jesus, if eternal life is your goal;
And a life of meditation won't save your soul

No, it won't be old Buddha that's sitting on the throne
And it won't be old Mohammed that's calling us Home
And it won't be Hare Krishna that plays that trumpet tune
And we're going to see The Son, not Reverend Moon!

The next morning, when I went to church with my friend,  I asked the Jesus to be the Lord of my life. It all made sense.  He made sense.  For the first time in my life I felt a sustained peace and joy.
That is only the starting point of my journey and I'll be honest.. Some 40 years later I sometimes forget the intense joy and hope of that decision.  Doubts, struggles and questions make their way into my heart.  But, the Lord always meets me there. He gently answers my questions without rebuke, and sometimes he just says "I love you.  Trust me".  
And that is why I love hearing your Jesus stories.  He works in as many ways as there are people.  He is all knowing, and because He has called us to relationship, He relates to us out of His love and knowledge.
I pray often Psalms 51:12, "Restore to me the joy of my salvation." Joy is there, but sometimes I long for the intensity and sweetness of when I first accepted Christ. Thank you for sharing your stories, because when you do, I'm reminded of my own, and how God has written His stories on my heart and in my life.
Who has God placed on your heart to tell your story to?

Sheryl Williams
Director of Children's Ministries

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