My Testimonial: “When Jesus – Yeshua Found Me”

It was a lifetime ago, when I was six years old, that I first learned about Jesus – Yeshua. About 3 weeks before this, I’d experienced and survived the nightmare event known as “Halloween” and because of this experience, I was enveloped by fear unlike I’d ever known before. This was my first exposure to total unadulterated evil which before this I really had no idea that this type of evil existed.

My family life had been filled with tumult for as far back as I can remember. I do believe that in their way my parents loved me and my brothers as well as each other, but a too young marriage (16 & 17 years old) combined with alcohol, poor finances and 3 children by the age of 23 put an incredible strain on all of us. It seemed at times that life was just one battle right after another as us kids watched on in tears. Sadly, this was a type of evil that you can get used to…it had actually become “almost normal”. When I hear people ask “how can he or she continue on in an abusive relationship?” I totally get it. The bad behavior becomes routine, even expected…and the making up becomes as addictive as the alcohol. The good times between battles, seem to glue the broken pieces together, however, only temporarily. I’ve compared this type of relationship to the most beautiful glass vase that you received as a gift on your wedding day and one day it gets knocked over and you glue it back together and set it back on the shelf, only for it to be broken over and over again and finally one day, it’s unrecognizable with nothing left of its original beauty. At any rate, this was a brief picture of my life growing up.

It was Sunday morning and my parents, whom had had their usual Saturday night brawl were still sleeping. I got up very quietly so as not to wake my brothers and I dressed myself warmly to slip outdoors. I still remember the chilly brisk air and how good it felt to get out of the tiny apartment. It seemed to me as if the breeze was washing away the hurt and pain of the night before. I walked aimlessly for a few blocks kicking at the dried leaves. Then I stopped as I heard something I’d never heard before…beautiful singing was coming from an old house that sat quite near the sidewalk…I just stood there in awe and listened. The door opened and a man stepped out, I really don’t remember what he looked like, I just remember he was tall and had kind eyes. He asked me if I’d like to come in, I didn’t even hesitate when he reached out his hand and I put my hand into his. We walked up the steps and through the door to the living room where there was a lot of adults and children. In my memory, when I entered the house, there was a warmth I felt that was totally different than the warmth you get from a fire.

The man asked me if I knew who Jesus is and I told him no. He said that today I would learn about Jesus. They began to sing again and I just listened because I had never heard the song before. I couldn’t tell you what was preached, but I do remember listening intently. After the man finished talking, he asked me my name and introduced me to the children who were present. A lady came and sat down with the children and the adults sat together and talked. The lady read a story about the Son of God named Jesus who came to earth to save me from my sins (however, I had no clue what exactly a sin was) and then we sang Jesus Loves Me and River Jordan is Deep and Wide; I remember that I especially loved the hand movements that went with this song. Both songs stuck with me and to this day, my favorite song is “Jesus Loves me”. It was so much consolation to learn about this man who loved me so much that he willingly died for me.

When it was time for the little “home” church service to end, I was told that I was welcome to join them again the next Sunday. I was so thrilled to learn about Jesus and His love that I wanted to share it with my family, I didn’t think that they knew about Jesus. When I tried to share what I’d learned, I was shut down and told not to talk about it and to forget about it. I remember feeling totally distraught. I was also given the lecture about talking to strangers and to NEVER go into a strange house (a lecture I have given to my own children more than once). Needless to say, I didn’t go again the next Sunday.

My heart kept telling me that I’d learned a truth that day that I would never forget. From that day forward, I have been continually seeking Jesus: wanting to know Him and Heavenly Father better. Sadly I would take every opportunity to sneak to church (which I recognize now was a sin for me to go against my parents wishes), but I had such a hunger to know more about Him. I also craved the warmth as well as the safe feeling of the congregations of the different churches that I attended throughout my growing up years.

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that because of this, my life became and is perfect, but I learned very early in my life, that every time I would find myself falling because of some foolish mistake caused by myself or another person, Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus – Yeshua is always there to pick me up. I learned that His LOVE is ETERNAL and knowledge of this LOVE does bring PEACE.

Please read these two blogs:

Should Christians Participate in Halloween?

Important Guidelines for Life Part 4

Mind Your Behavior: To put it simply…behavior is how we conduct ourselves around others as well as when were alone and believe no one is watching!

However…God our Heavenly Father sees all and knows our motives – whether good or bad! When we have asked Jesus Messiah- Yeshua Ha Mashiach into our lives, through our faith and trust we can change our behavior to please God. Mark 9:23  Then Jesus said to him, “‘If You can’? Everything is possible to the one who believes.”

The Bible…the Word is full of instruction as to how we are supposed to behave toward one another and toward God and how we will behave when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. The Bible often speaks of our lives producing fruit. Sometimes, we make it more difficult than it needs to be…some think that fruit and works are the same, but from my study, I believe that works are the natural outcome of the fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT that propels our lives after we have repented, believed and asked Jesus into our lives.

Galations 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Love:God loves us relentlessly or He wouldn’t have allowed His SON to sacrifice His life to cover our sins. God loves us so much that He’s given us the gift of mercy which none of us deserve! He’s given us the gift of Eternal life when we believe and trust in His Son Jesus!

John 15:12-13 This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.

Joy: When the Holy Spirit enters into you, you will experience everlasting Joy! We will rejoice in Scripture, we will rejoice that we are alive! We will rejoice in the Love that the Father has shown us.

Sometimes, we foolishly connect our joy to the things of this world such as new car, new house, new, new, new… When we do this, we’re treading upon the true gift of Joy which is to be found in Jesus, our Savior!

Psalm 16:11 You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant JOY; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.

Peace: I’m not referring to peace such as a treaty to avoid war. When we believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us and that’s when for the first time, we become “WHOLE” or “COMPLETE”; this state naturally brings PEACE into our being.

Jesus told the disciples in advance of the gift of the Holy Spirit that they would receive after He would go to the Father:

John 14:27  “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.

Patience: God has been patient with man since Noah disembarked from the Ark. Another of His gifts that we truly don’t deserve. To think that His patience humbled Himself to actually serve and die for us! Yet as humans, we have very little patience for our fellowman; we become easily angered and intolerant of one another.

Patience is maybe one of the most difficult for us to allow the Holy Spirit’s work in us…because we are human, we allow the flesh to dictate to us when we should be listening to the Spirit.

1 Timothy 1:16 But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

So the next time that you’re feeling impatient with someone, stop, take a deep breath and think about your life and how Jesus has saved you by His extraordinary patience!

Kindness: We don’t have to look any farther than Jesus – Yeshua to see the embodiment of kindness! He was selfless because He came to serve mankind. He was compassionate and when Lazarus died, he cried tears for the pain the family and friends were experiencing. He was merciful when they were about to stone the prostitute when he told them that he without sin should cast the first stone.

Ephesians 4:31-32 All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

Goodness: Goodness is Godliness and as Jesus told us only God is Good!

Luke 18:19 “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One—God.

Jesus wouldn’t allow himself to be called good!

Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

So when something good occurs in your life or of someone close to you…remember the following Scripture:

Faith: The Biblical definition is belief, firm persuasion, assurance, firm conviction, faithfulness. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and the assurance that the Lord is working, even though we cannot see it. Faith knows that no matter what the situation, in our lives or someone else’s that the Lord is working in it.

We have all had times in our lives when our faith wavered…the loss of a job, the discordance of family, the death of a loved one…these amongst many others are can be faith shaking. Unfortunately, there are some who never recover their faith. No matter what happens in our lives, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus! Don’t lose our focus because when we do, Satan, the roaring lion is poised for attack. So no matter what happens…hang on to your faith and you will be rewarded.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses.

Gentleness: The easiest way to describe gentleness is to tell you “what it isn’t”. Gentleness is NOT obstinate, hateful, harsh, unfriendly, unpleasant, thoughtless or insensitive!

Matthew 5:5 The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth.

Matthew 11:29-30 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Self Control: The first step to self control is your full surrender to God, our Heavenly Father! The secular world looks at self control as something that we can accomplish by physical and mental self-mastery. However, unless we have God, we are flesh driven and of the world: perpetuated by money/greed, lust, food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, sports…on and on it goes. Sadly, these are all “heart” issues. Until you give your heart fully and unconditionally to God, you will suffer from these worldly ailments. But if you have faith and trust in Jesus and study the Scriptures the temptation to follow your flesh and live in the world will fade.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

When God brought judgement upon the world during the time of Noah, He was sorry that He’d made man… Then about 2000 years ago, He sent His Son to Save us from our wickedness which is sin and death with is the wages of sin!

John 3:16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

Love & Kindness

I didn’t write this, but when I read it, my heart said to share it with YOU!

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. ‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’ ‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’ ‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly.. ‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice. I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’. We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.

The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. ‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse. ‘Nothing,’ I said ‘You have to make a living,’ she answered. ‘There are other passengers,’ I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly. ‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’ I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life.. I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift.

I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one. PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

Thank you, my friend… Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

Robert Nauck Sr.