A Stranger's Words Changed My Life - Patty

My Mom was the daughter of an itinerate preacher. She saw to it that my brother and I attended church every Sunday, beginning at a very young age. However, as I grew older, I drifted away from the teachings of my youth only to make a lot of mistakes.

But God wasn't through with me yet.  It was many years later as I waited for my daughter at a bus stop that a little old woman with a kind face asked me, "If you died tonight, do you know where you would spend eternity?" 

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Now You Choose - Kathy

"What's the matter with you? How can you not know the answer to that question.....it's in all the newspapers? What world are you living in?"

Such a tirade being thrown at a shy, sensitive teenager by a social studies teacher in front of her peers can bring humiliation and shame. It can not help but reinforce her own feelings of insecurity and self-doubt.

Even though this happened to me over 40 years ago, it still hurts to think about it.

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Finding Success - Ionel

What is in the heart of a little boy who has no father? No father to run to and say, "I hurt myself today" or "I had a fight today, but I won" or "Will you play soccer with me today?" And then, after getting a step-father, having the mother say, "Never disturb him, he is too busy."

This had a powerful effect on one little boy, me.

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Now I Can Forgive - Bill

There were three things we never talked about in our family growing up: money, my dad's alcohol problem and God.

There wasn't a lot of extra money so I started my first job at age 11 weeding flower beds for the neighbors. I always had a job because I wanted money in my pocket. Alcohol abuse colored everything we did as a family. Was Dad sober enough for us to do what was planned? I never invited friends to our home, I was embarrassed by what they might see or hear. As a teenager I had to go to the club, put my dad in a car and drive him home.

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Single and Searching - Nan

I was afraid I'd be a SINGLE school teacher of other peoples' kids with none of my own... if I really gave my life to God!

When I was only seven years old, it became clear to me that I could have Jesus as my own Savior-not just because of my parents' faith. Though young, I really knew He was in my life because of His promise in the Bible: "The Lord goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deut 31:8, Heb 13:5)

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What is the point? - Steve

"If God doesn't really exist, then what's the point in living?"
 
I stared out at the Californian mountains pondering my existence; only 15 years old. I had grown up in a religious family knowing about spiritual things, but my life felt empty. I was conflicted; one side wanted everything that this life was offering me: sex, drugs, money, power and prestige while the other quietly hinted at other lesser-known realities in my life: purpose, peace, love, forgiveness and joy.
 

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Answering the Door - Christina

I was known in my family as "Little Miss Sunshine," and my friends called me "Goodie Two Shoes" but I knew I wasn't perfect. 

My family didn't go to church when I was young, but at age 5 I started going with my neighbor.  I learned about God, Heaven, Jesus, and that Jesus died to forgive my sins so I could go to go to heaven when I died.  I wanted to go to Heaven but I didn't understand how. 

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