|"I was not quite twenty-four years old when I surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. I had always believed in God for as far back as I could remember. I first became conscious of the Lord when I was about five years old (when) one night there was a tremendous meteor shower. All of the neighbors were out in their yards as were we, watching in awe at the spectacular sight. To my five-year-old mind, it seemed as if the stars were falling and I was afraid and began to cry. My grandmother was visiting us at the time and noticed that I was crying. She came over to me, knelt down and asked, “Johnny, why are you crying?” I told her I was afraid because the stars were falling. She then told me to not be afraid because it was just a sign in the heavens that the Lord Jesus was coming back for His people. From that day on, I believed that Jesus would return one day to take His people home.|
As I grew older, I continued to have faith in Jesus. Although we did not go to church, my mother told me that whatever else I did, to never deny that Jesus was Lord. Although I did not fully understand what that meant, I never did, even into my teen years and beyond, deny that Jesus was Lord.
As I entered into my teen years, I began to rebel against life. I became profane in my language and I thought that people were all hypocrites or as I phrased it, “plastic.” I included myself in my assessment. I began to smoke cigarettes at age thirteen and continued to do so until my conversion. When I was seventeen, I quit school and joined the Army. While in the army, I really learned how to curse and swear. I became so used to using bad language that before I knew it, I could not carry on a conversation without four-letter words coming out of my mouth. I tried to stop using bad language after a couple of times when I used it in front of my mother or a friend’s mother, but couldn’t. My whole thought process was full of profanity and cursing.
I was about twenty-two years old and had lived in the Seattle and Los Angeles areas for a year or two, trying to find some meaning to my life. One time, while driving through Oregon on the new interstate highway to Los Angeles, the thought occurred to me that if this was all there was to life it was not worth living. I considered just turning my wheel to the left, crossing the median strip and ending my life right there. Then the thought crossed my mind, “and what then?” I knew that I would face God in judgment and was not ready, so I drove on. During those years, I was convinced of two things: God was a holy God and I was an unholy person, who God could never love.
At the age of twenty-three years I moved back to my parent’s home in Puyallup, Washington. Shortly after moving home, in June of 1965, I had been out with a friend at the motorcycle races drinking. A college professor by the name of Timothy Leary had recently begun telling college student(s) to “tune in, turn on and drop out” with the drug LSD. Although not a college student, I was no doubt on a fast track to do just that. It was a Monday morning; I was not working and was sitting alone in my mother’s kitchen reading an article in the Reader’s Digest. The article was about a woman named Jeane Dixon, who professed to have the gift of prophecy. I was not particularly interested in that sort of thing, but the article told of her various pronouncements that had come to pass, and of what she professed the future would hold.
As I finished the article, suddenly I became aware of the Lord Jesus in the room with me. I cannot tell you how. He spoke to me, not with an audible voice, but in words that I could clearly understand. He said that what I was reading was somewhat the way it would be, “but she is not of Me.” The Lord then proceeded to tell me that the life I was living was quickly leading me to death, and that I had a choice to make and did not have long to make it. Then in words that I can only say were spoken with unutterable love, the Lord Jesus said to me, “make Me your choice, I am the only reasonable choice you have.”
I stood to my feet trembling and in awe of what was happening. I turned toward the place where I sensed the Lord Jesus was standing in the room and said, “Lord Jesus, if you will help me, I will serve you from this day to the day I die.” Let me testify that from that day to this, the Lord Jesus has been my constant help. I can say with the prophet Samuel of old, “Hitherto hath the LORD helped…” me. (See 1 Samuel 7:12.) Immediately, as soon as I said those words to the Lord, He cleansed my mind and washed it clean of all the profanity and vulgarity that had been so much a part of my life; God instantly gave me complete deliverance from the foul-mouthed person I had been.
In the same moment that He washed my mind, the Lord spoke one more thing to me that day. He said, “read my Word, and start in Matthew.” I immediately went into the living room and told my mother and stepfather of what had just happened. I then went to my room and picked up my Bible (which I had never read), and beginning in Matthew, read God’s Word. As I was not working at the time, I spent from twelve to fourteen hours a day, for the next week, reading the entire New Testament through."
Let me say that what happened that day in 1965 totally changed the direction of my life. That has been going up on 48 years ago. One day of those 48 years (you can pick any day) has been better than the sum total of all my life up to that point. That is, in part, why I would encourage you, if you are reading this post and have never come to know the great God and (my) Saviour Jesus Christ, make Him your choice today. You will never be sorry.