Happy Birthday To Me!

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Original Picture ©2013 pattharp.com

                                   

Oct. 12th is a very special day for me…it is my 26th “spiritual birthday!” Here’s my story in a nutshell…

My mother told me that she use to sing to me while I was still in her womb. as a baby, my parents dedicated me to the Lord at the altar of a small city church.. My earliest memories were church, family time, and music. I even got a guitar when I was a young lad.

Once we moved from the city I attended a St. Helen’s Catholic school, so my earliest “religious instruction” was from that perspective. While I even served as an altar boy, I had no clue what it meant to be born-again and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Even though I went to confession, said the rosary, and went through Catholic religious training. God was a distant and unknowable figure.

While I grew I took great interest in music and pursued music and guitar in high school and college. Since I was unsaved, the devil had many vices that accompanied the “rock-n-roll” lifestyle.

Broken and empty I groped in the darkness and tried to find peace in the broken cisterns of this world, Emptiness…loneliness…hopelessness…and pain.  BUT GOD who is rich in His mercy broke in. I started taking guitar lessons from a Christian, and then my next teacher was a Christian, and then my next teacher was a Christian. God was trying to get a hold of me. My last teacher was quite bold and radical and I would often leave my lesson under so much conviction for my sin that I would go home and cry. I started listening to Christian rock and reading a pocket New Testament that my last guitar teacher gave me.

I had come to the realization that my lifestyle was contrary to the God’s ways. But I was torn, so God was working on me. One night, Oct. 12th, 1987 I was in bed and just opened up the bible to read something. I turned to Luke 9:26 and read, For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” Immediately it was as if scales fell off my eyes, I saw at that moment that if I died I would be separated from Christ, Christ would be ashamed of me and I would be in hell.

My father, Glenn, who is a believer, was downstairs at our house, and I called him up stairs and shared what had happened to me. We got down on our knees and I asked the Lord to forgive me for all my sins and save me…and he did! I had an immediate sense of Christ’s forgiveness and new life. My Dad had said he had been praying for me for a long time, and I know others were as well. I continued to pray after he left and had a glorious awareness of the Lord’s presence.

The next day I went to work and started telling everyone that I was born-again and started my walk with the Lord. I even got a custom T-shirt made that said, “I Love Jesus!” and wore it around town. The Lord opened a door for me to get plugged into a good solid church, Resurrection bible Church for a couple years, then I went to Bethel Christian Church, and then to Koinonia Fellowship. Where I have been attending since 1991 with my wife Colleen, and 4 kids…we are blessed!

I currently work full-time at my church as Worship leader/Music Director, and Teen Ministry Leader…it is a dream come true to play music for the Lord and see His love and mercy touching people through the gospel.

I am so grateful for the grace and mercy of Jesus to me. I praise Him for His faithfulness on sending His ambassadors to me and saving me from my sins and calling me into His service and kingdom. Today as I reflect on 26years of God;s salvation I still see His grace as “amazing” and can simply say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord!”

Pat

When is your spiritual birthday and how will you celebrate it?

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5 Responses to Happy Birthday To Me!

  1. Johnnie says:

    What an awesome testimony. I am so proud of you. I have been saved for 51 years. I too am grateful for the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. God bless you and your family. Aunt J

  2. pattharp says:

    Thanks Aunt J! 🙂

  3. Uncle Ken says:

    What a wonderful & awesome testimony!
    Thank you for sharing from your heart & experience.
    At age 4, my Mom started teaching me to play the pump organ & Hawaiian Guitar & Dad started teaching me the acoustic ‘Spanish’ guitar.
    At age 5, Mom & Dad gave me my first rifle. (A Red Ryder BB rifle)
    At age 6, Mom & Dad brought me my first guitar. (A $9.00 ‘Stella’ parlor size)
    May 10, 1948 is my ‘Spiritual Birthday’. My mother knelt with me in the hall of our home beside the ‘hot water heater’ & prayed with me, There i sincerely gave my life totally to God. For two weeks thereafter ‘God’s Presence’ was so strong around me that everywhere I looked, the colors of everything (clothes, house, lawn, trees, flowers, sky, etc.) was vivid & bright!
    Two years later, God spoke to me & ‘called’ me to be a ‘Missionary’.
    That is the reason for my moving to Rochester, NY. in 1964.
    But since then, I have made another very interesting discovery.
    ‘Jesus, the Nazarene’ has actually been watching over me, walking with me, sustaining me & providing all I have needed for more than 77 years (My whole life).
    Uncle Ken

  4. Stella Marie says:

    I miss you! Koinonia isn’t the same without you. I feel as if I have “lost” a special family member. My brother!

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