When I First Encountered Him

Posted by on Nov 23, 2011 in Blog Posts | 6 comments

Photo source is here.
A couple of weeks ago, I made a connection with another blogger who is guest posting here today.  I’ll appear on her blog in December.  I asked Jen Ferguson to write a post here on how the Bible has impacted her life.

Join me in welcoming Jen here today.  I know you will be blessed by what she shares.  Please leave a comment here or you may go to her blog and comment over there.  A link to her blog, Finding Heaven, is at the end of today’s post.


Now, here’s Jen…
I’ve spent most of my life in the Episcopal Church, which happens to mean that I didn’t grow up clutching a Bible to my chest when I walked into the sanctuary doors.  I didn’t have one in front of me amongst the Books of Common Prayer and hymnals when I sat down in the wooden pew, softened by crushed red velvet cushions.
The Bible was read from the pulpit and for most of my life, except in times of distress, that was where it stayed. 
And then, in what seemed like a flash, the Bible became something living, something fresh, something relevant to me.  I was on a YWAM mission trip far from home and as we sat through training, the leader asked us to grab our Bibles, close our eyes, and listen for God to reveal His promises through His written Word.
“He can do that?” I thought.
And so I closed my eyes and strained to hear the voice of God.  And although it wasn’t an audible voice that flooded ears, I saw with my eyes a scripture emblazoned in my mind.  I quickly turned to 1 Corinthians (well, as quickly as a girl who doesn’t really know her Bible can) to see what words were held in this verse.
“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.  At that time each will receive their praise from God.”  1 Corinthians 4:5
We were training to do street evangelism (clearly I was outside my little Episcopalian comfort zone) in Boulder, Colorado, which I can tell you can be quite spiritually dark, especially under the cloak of a night sky.  I honestly can’t remember exactly what the pastor said about my revelatory verse, but I know he thought God had spoken and that was what first led me to believe these two things:
1.     I am capable of hearing God.
2.     He speaks through the words in the Bible to directly influence my life today, sometimes moment by moment.
This story takes place when I was 13 years old and even though I had a very profound experience with the Word, it wasn’t until I was 33 that I read the Bible through and through.  If I had only known how He weaves His love through the entirety of the Bible, if I only known how much more these verses would have resonated with my soul had I had understood their greater context, I would have started the journey through the entire Bible so much sooner.
As I read the Bible through in one year, every day wasn’t always rosy.  Reading the Bible didn’t make my days go forth without bumps in the road.  I don’t have a perfect understanding of each story and frankly, there are still stories that scare me a bit (see Ezekiel chapter 4).  And yet, because I know scripture, I can more easily see God at work and give Him credit for what He has done in my life.
Just a few days ago, I went to the grocery store to purchase a turkey and gallon of milk.  I hadn’t specifically told God, but He knew that I was a bit stressed about my grocery budget.  For *some* reason, I not only decide to grab my milk and turkey, but also a few other things.  When I went to the check out line, the cashier kept fiddling with the price of the turkey.  Turns out there was a promotion that day, unbeknownst to me, that if you purchase $10 worth of groceries, you get a discount on your turkey.  My $17.38 turkey ended up costing me only $10.06.  When I went home to add up how much I had spent on the other groceries, the total came to $10.65.  I had to smile.  That little nudge to pick up a few more items ended up saving me over $7.  And how do I know that it is God?  Through His Word, of course.  He tells me:
“The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.”  Proverbs 15: 3
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4: 19
“…for the Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”  Matthew 6:8
My prayer, as you settle in to read His love letter to you, is that you would invite the Holy Spirit to guide your understanding and keep you motivated, and that you might never stray from the Hand that wrote it.
Guest blogger, Jen Ferguson and her daughters.
Find out more about Jen Ferguson by clicking here.  Also, check our her blog, Finding Heaven.

Encouragement:
God still speaks to us through His Word.
Opportunity for Response:  
How does God’s Word encourage you?

6 Comments

  1. It really is amazing how even in the small “coincidences” of our lives we can find the promises of God lived out for us. But if you had not known that verse you would have missed on realizing that this whole grocery store thing is not just “good luck” as the world would call it. Great post!

  2. Thanks for sharing Jen! I love that you shared learning about God first speaking to you through His word. I love it!

  3. I love this testimony!

  4. Thanks for you words.

  5. Amy, thank you so much for having me here today!! It always amazes me how God uses everything from our past and our present to mold a testimony.

  6. Jen,

    Thank you for sharing at Digging Deep today. To all you who stopped in and commented, thank you, too!

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