I’ve been hesitant to bring this up, since I’ve spent the last couple years working to establish my voice amongst the chorus of the internet skeptical community, but a major change has occurred in my life and I feel I can’t continue pretending any more. I know that this will probably result in quite a bit of anger directed towards me, but it’s the sort of thing I’ve come to expect from the internet in general and the self-congratulatory “enlightened” skeptical community in particular. Still, I hope that those who have come to read my blog will continue to do so, as I hope to be able to use this blog to offer hope and solace in the coming days.
In order to properly understand what I am talking about, I believe you need to understand the complete story.
See, many years ago I believed God had called me in to the ministry. I believed god had also called me to attend Dallas Theological Seminary to get my M.Div. But that plan was derailed when I went for my undergraduate degree.
I made a choice, but not one of faith. I was worried about paying for college, so I chose to go to a state school rather than rely on God to provide the funds for me to attend a Christian school. The Bible tells us that when we rely on our own understanding instead of relying on God’s we lose His divine protection and He removes the “hedge of protection” that surrounds us and protects us from the schemes of the Devil.
And I now realize that the Devil got to me at Western Illinois University. I was enthralled by that liberal institution. Worse, the only group of Christians I could find to fellowship with were, themselves, the wrong kind of Christian. They did not follow Jesus in the right way and, as such, did not present a proper witness to the glory of God. Because of this I drifted away. It is important to be refreshed by the Spirit of the Lord daily, and it’s very hard to get that refreshment without others to surround and help you. The Bible says that “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another,” after all.
God tried to keep me in the fold. He sent a wonderful woman in to my life who made it very clear she could not be with me if I wasn’t going to remain in the fold. He had my friends from church track me down even after I’d made it clear I wanted nothing to do with the church. Such is the passionate, constant love of God that pursues us, even in to the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
The problem was that I would not listen. Leaning still on my own, fallible, human understanding I wandered farther and farther in to that Valley. So, finally, God did the one thing that could possibly get my attention.
He sent me to Dallas.
Really, when I think about it, there’s no way that I could have possibly ended up here if it weren’t the will of God. The circumstances by which I got my job are filled with many “coincidences.” The fact that my company had offices in Dallas, but nowhere else in the country outside of Chicago also couldn’t possibly have been anything other than the work of God. And, of course, the fact that my company saw fit to send my job specifically to Dallas couldn’t have been mere happenstance, either.
I decided I’d better start listening to God again once I got down here. I asked Him to send me to a church.
The first weekend I was here I asked God to lead me to a church. I got on the road on Sunday morning and headed in the direction of a couple churches I’d seen the day before. The first one just didn’t seem right, neither did the second. The third was Catholic, so it didn’t count. Then I turned a corner and saw a Bible Church and literally felt God say, “Go there.”
I walked in during the sermon. The pastor was giving a message entitled, “Lean Not on Your Own Understanding.” I knew right then and there that there was a reason I was there.
The next week I met an amazing woman named Emma. She invited me to a mid-week Bible study and afterwards we went out for ice cream. The following week the pastor had an altar call and I went up to re-dedicate my life to Christ. After the service Emma told me that she’d been praying for me. I said, “I know.” The smile on her face could have lit the entire room.
As it turns out, Emma’s father is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. I’ve taken that as a sign and am working on my application to the school for the Fall term. This may force me to quit my job, but I am certain that God has plans in place for me and will bless me in this decision.
Emma and I have also realized that God put us in each others’ lives for a reason, too. Last Saturday I asked her father for permission to ask for her hand in marriage, then after church on Sunday I asked her to marry me. She said yes.
I couldn’t share this joyous news with my wider circle of friends until I was able to inform my family. But I suppose it’s fitting that I was able to make the announcement on this particular day, seeing as how it’s Maundy Thursday and tomorrow is Good Friday.
Either way, I’m excited, I’m a little frightened, but I’m mostly confident, especially since the risen Savior is once again in command of my life.
I plan on keeping Accidental Historian up in hopes that I can use my story as a tool to witness and bring more glory to God. But there will be a few changes. I’m going to refrain from the use of four-letter words. I will no longer glorify the consumption of alcohol. I will continue to write my After the Flood posts, but the focus will now be to show how Bill Cooper is correct and the Devil has been clouding the minds of historians through the evil practice of post-modernism.
And to the members of the Accidental Historian Appreciation Society: Dallas Area Chapter, I’d like to offer my sincere apologies. I hate to think that my witness to you has been tainted by the way I have misrepresented myself to you. It is but a weakness of the flesh and a temptation of the Devil. Please know that you are all in my and Emma’s prayers and we’re hoping that God will be able to use this time to bring you back to His loving arms as He has me.