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CLUB 444: Why Stay? part 3

January 20, 2023

Scott A. Duell, a friend IRL as well as online, has graciously given me his expressed permission to share this with you here. I’ll be doing that in four parts —

EXPERIENCE.  “I once was blind, but now I see.” I was once asked why I believed in God or what proof I could present for my faith. I replied that I couldn’t provide any written or scientific proof – all I can really tell you is how I have experienced the transformational, sustaining, loving hand of God in my own life. 

I was essentially raised in the church and have been a Christian most of my life, but my moment (conversion, being saved, accepting Jesus into my heart… whatever you want to call it) came in 1983 at Beulah Youth Institute church camp after what can only in retrospect be considered a terrible hellfire and brimstone sermon. I actually went up to the altar twice – two nights in a row – because I was afraid the first one didn’t take since my life wasn’t magically or radically different as a result of my first trip. My pastor, in his gentle, caring way explained – much like the old lady in the Geico commercial – “that’s not how it works – that’s not how any of this works!”

Thank God my experience didn’t end there. My faith is not the same as it was when I was 12. It has grown and matured and evolved over time. It’s taken many left turns and traveled long, winding paths through the dark woods as well as the bright sunshine. I have had amazing spiritual mentors along the way and powerful examples of true, living faith – and it’s all led me here. If you want to label me progressive or liberal – that’s fine – I can live with that. But I’m also happy to work side-by-side with my more conservative brothers and sisters as long as we are living out the words and directives of Jesus Christ. Because of my experience, I believe that God’s love in action can change the world. 

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