Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Meeting Jesus and the fear of Gumby

"With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation" (Psalm 91:16)

I got a call from a friend of mine from high school this week. He is currently pastoring a church out of state and is in town after bringing members of his youth group to Texas. They're attending a conference at the Texas Bible Institute.

I credit Tracy as one of the people directly responsible for my decision to follow Christ in high school. I remember having lunch in the courtyard at school and being ambushed one day by Tracy and several other Bible-toting high schoolers. I thought they were lunatics, but they kept loving and praying for me even when I laughed at them and often hid from them.

Several months later, something happened inside of me at a Christian rock concert they invited me to. The band was Resurrection Band. I felt the tangible love and presence of God that evening. At the end of the show, the band invited the crowd to enter into a relationship with Christ, but I left the show without praying with the band. That night was the turning point, however.

Just a short time later, I knew what Tracy and his friends had was real, and I knew I needed it. I got on my knees in my bedroom all by myself and asked Jesus to come into my life. I was 14 years old.

Tracy and I eventually started a Christian metal band called Sanctified, ministered on the streets on the weekends, and became two extremely zealous teenaged believers.

Another buddie of ours from that time period is a minister up in Alaska. In fact, several the guys I hung out with in high school are now ministers.

Tracy and I both served God together, joined the Marines around the same time, and we both love the Houston Astros.

It's always great to catch up with the high school friends when I can. I caught an Astros game last night with him and his wife. Another great ballgame. Hunter Pence homered in the 13th inning for a 5-4 win over Philadelphia.

His call prompted me to pull out some old videos we shot back in the day. One of the activities we enjoyed in high school was making goofy films with our video camera. It appears we enjoyed making fun of horror movies. We created and stared in such riveting shorts as "The Fear of Mayonnaise" and "Death Comes to John's House."

I know, I know..."Death Comes to John's House" doesn't sound too spiritual. It's not, but it's kinda funny. Here's a short clip. Sorry I didn't include the entire film, but it may be too intense for some viewers. I'm 18 years old in that clip.

I really don't fear Gumby. Perfect love casts out all fear.

Happy 4th of July! Talk to you later.

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