What happened tomorrow 30 years ago.
I don’t think I’ve told you all just what happened 30 years ago, so here goes. (I’ll try to condense it a bit.)
My foster dad (My mom died when I was 13.), Rick Mill, was the youth worker at Casa Linda Presbyterian Church. He and his wife Annette had already been quite an influence on me. I was still not yet a Christian, however.
Well, he invited me to the junior high group lock-in he was leading. My attitude was that it sounded like fun – even if it was a church event – so I went.
Wellll, at the lock-in, this cute girl liked me and quickly made that quite clear. I quickly very much liked her. At the end of the night, she invited me to communicants class. I didn’t know what the hey communicants class was, but she was in it, so I went. It was like an Anglican confirmation class that prepared us to make our first profession of faith, whereupon we would take our first communion (Hence the name “communicants.”).
Well, the communicants class retreat was quite eventful. There, an elder of the church presented the Gospel to us in a Four Spiritual Laws format popular at the time. Some might remember how it goes:
1. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.
2. But our sins separate us from God.
3. Jesus died for our sins, taking upon Himself our punishment and bridging that separation.
4. We receive God’s forgiveness and enter into a relationship with Him by trusting in Jesus.
I might have the wording off and I’m leaving out a lot, of course. But that was the first time I heard the Gospel and understood it. And it immediately clicked. I knew that was right.
I don’t know the exact moment I trusted in Christ. But it was either then or not long afterward.
However, the girl, Kelli, dumped me on the retreat -- and I ran to my cabin and cried a bucket. Lost the girl; gained the Lord. Good trade – although I didn’t feel that way at the time.
Our first communion and profession of faith was on Maundy Thursday 1975 – March 27th, my 14th birthday.
I still remember the peace I felt after the service, like I’ve never felt before.
The 30 years since have not been easy. But God has lavished His faithfulness and grace on me through them all.
And that’s why this Easter, March 27th 2005, is all the more special to me.