It was a day like today, August 18th, but it was 1984 and I’m pretty sure I wore slouchy socks & tried to scrunch my hair. I was 8 years old and I walked the plank, I mean, the aisle to the front of our church during the altar call. I was pretty scared … but it was scarier to think of getting “left behind” if the rapture happened.
I think back on that now and a part of me gets mad that young kids would get exposed to that kind of scary religion stuff.
You can read more about How I came to know Jesus here.
But I also see how God used that scary altar call experience in my life, even though I couldn’t see it then.
Beware the “scary rapture stuff”
It doesn’t always make sense, but have you ever seen a “DANGER” or “Do Not Enter” or “No Trespassing” sign … and wanted to enter and trespass whatever dangerous area that was?
There’s a curious nature in us that makes us want to be like Alice in Wonderland and follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole … even though it might look dark and scary and you have no idea how you’d ever climb back out.
Maybe this “altar call” experience was kind of like that.
It may have had a scary beginning … but it was only the first page of a story that would be so full of adventures you wouldn’t want to miss it!
If you’ve ever looked at Christianity and been curious or scared, can I invite you to take another look?
There’s scary people … and then there’s the other people
I’ll admit, some Christians can be scary sometimes. I have encountered a few folks who, let’s just say, we should pray for them to know Jesus even though they say they know him.
But I’ll also tell you that I have met some of the most amazing, caring, loving, self-less Christian people, who truly love Jesus and others.
I’ve met them in prisons, where they’ve been inmates and little old praying ladies and tattooed bikers and church volunteers.
They have been with me in hospitals when my husband was having surgeries and they’ve brought my family food when I was a kid and my parents didn’t have a lot.
They have been pastors and friends from my church youth group. They’ve been random people I’ve met online or thru the Christian radio stations where I’ve worked thru the years.
The amazing, miraculous path
The reason I share this is because what started as a weird & scary experience when I was 8, has led me down a path that has been nothing short of miraculous and amazing in knowing Jesus and following Him.
Throughout my life, I have had people share about Jesus through Vacation Bible Schools during the summers when I was a kid and youth groups and camps when I was a teen.
I remember connecting with Christian campus groups in college (shout out to “La Escalerita”) and joining a church small group to study the “Purpose Driven Life” (shout out to Stacey for hosting it at her house … and for the Ghirardelli brownies!)
I’ve been to prayer nights, worship nights and Christian movie nights. I’ve heard countless sermons in church, thru radio programs, on TV and now on YouTube, Facebook & Instagram. I’ve even watched that guy who runs toward you on TikTok wanting to pray for you!
I’ve had amazing discussions about faith with youth pastors, my parents, co-workers and friends.
Finding answers to faith questions
There have been many times when I’ve had questions and I’ve loved searching for answers on websites like the Christian Apologetics Research Ministry, Blue Letter Bible, and thru apologists like Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel and of course, C.S. Lewis.
There are so many things I have loved about my journey of faith. I love learning more about the Bible and how it is truly alive! It’s exciting to see how God answers prayers and still does miracles!
It’s crazy how, sometimes, I’ll be praying or thinking about something and the next devotional I read on the Bible app is exactly what I needed to hear in response to that. Or a friend will send me a message thru Instagram with a Bible verse that is just the encouragement I needed.
I don’t know if you can relate to watching “scary Christian movies” as a kid and maybe being turned off to Christianity by “crazy people.”
But if you can, could I ask you to give Jesus another chance? He is who He says He is. He loves you. He loved people & hung out with the “sinners” while the “religious people” critized and ultimately crucified him … before He rose again!
Hamilton & faith
I’ll end with a nod to my current musical addiction, Hamilton. You know that line where Angelica sings: “You wanna revolution? I wanna revelation!” Why not have both?
Laughing thru life,