I came to accept Jesus Christ into my live as my personal Lord and Savior on March 24, 2004. This is the story of the events leading up to my conversion.
I was raised in a Christian family where both my parents were firm believers. We attended a variety of Protestant Churches as I grew up as an “Air Force brat”. At a relatively young age, however, I rebelled against God and stopped attending Church. I thus lived my entire adult life without Christ. I do not know quite why, but I never really felt the pull of God on my life during this time. I attended college and graduate school, got married and had children. I also worked at the most prestigious industrial research laboratory in the world. To most people in the world, I had it made. I was “a rich man” in that I did not believe I needed anything from anybody (including God). I note, in retrospect, that my situation at this time was not unlike the rich man spoken of by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke,
“How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven.” (Luke 18: 24, 25)
Then two major events occurred in my life that brought me to my knees. First, I lost my research position with IBM that I had held for 17 years. This coupled with a serious deterioration in my relationship with my wife brought me to the point where the Holy Spirit could work in my life. One morning following a particularly bad argument with my wife, I went to her with hostility in my heart. Before I could open my mouth, however, I saw in her a radiance that I had not seen before. She appeared so peaceful that I just gazed at her (without her knowledge) in amazement. I later approached her to ask about her “secret”. She immediately responded that the peace and joy she was experiencing was the grace that comes from having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She furthermore stated that I could also receive this same grace if only I would believe in Him. Much to my surprise, I asked how I should go about receiving Christ. Her suggestion was to approach God with a simple prayer that went something like this: “Lord I do not know if you exist, but if you do, can you please show yourself to me”.
At approximately 11:00 am on the morning of March 24, 2004, I went for a walk along the side of a hill that runs behind our house in San Jose, CA. It was a wondrous spring day, the sun was shining brightly, the sky was blue and wildflowers dotted the side of the hill. After walking about ½ mile, I asked the Lord, “God if you exist, could you show me a sign?” And as you might guess, God responded.
“Call unto Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know”. (Jer. 33:3)
While not knowing what to expect (if anything), I was surprised that immediately upon asking God to reveal Himself to me, I began to feel a tingling sensation that started in my thighs, ran up the entire length of my back and neck and ended at the very top of my head. While these “goose-bumps” certainly grabbed my attention, I didn’t quite know what to make of them. This continued for about 5 – 10 minutes. I then sat down and prayed. While I do not recall the essence of this prayer, this may not be as relevant as the fact that this was the first time I had spoken to God in decades.
Tomorrow, the amazing conclusion to George Tyndall's story. Stay tuned....
When I got up to return home, I pulled out a cigarette and lit it. I took 1–2 puffs of the cigarette when I heard the Lord speak to me saying “put out that cigarette”. I did not immediately obey His voice, but rather I began to argue with Him. I remember thinking that it was silly to throw away a perfectly good cigarette. God patiently, and just as quietly, repeated the same thing “put your cigarette out”. Thankfully, I obeyed the second time. I say thankfully because as soon as I discarded the cigarette, the Holy Spirit began to vividly reveal to me a number of truths concerning the nature of “good” and “evil”. First, He showed me that in His eyes all people are either “good” or “evil”. Furthermore, He showed me that this delineation is black and white, i.e. there is no grey, you are either 100% “good” or 100% “evil”. He also revealed to me how those that are “good” cannot easily be around those that are “evil”. As soon as I saw this latter point, I realized I was on the wrong side, namely I was “evil”. This then explained why my “good” Christian wife had so much difficulty being yoked to a non-believer. Once I acknowledged in my heart, my acceptance of the fact that I was indeed a sinner, the vision I was having became even more intense. In particular, I was then shown that the battle between “good” and “evil” was one that is currently on-going and is being fought both on the earthly plane, and in the spiritual realm.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this work, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies.” (Ephesians 6:12)
The focus of the vision then shifted. Upon looking out over the Santa Clara valley, I saw a multitude of light beams (like a series of small flash light beams). The Holy Spirit then told me that these lights represented those people that were “good” in the eyes of the Lord. I suppose the Lord was showing me what He wanted me to become, a light in a world of darkness. I note that it was only later, when I started reading the Bible with regularity, that I realized that this was very biblical. In particular, it is stated in scripture that those who believe on Him are “children of Light” (Ephesians 5:8). Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount also taught of the light,
“You are the light of the world…..let your light shine before men in such that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14,16)
and finally the apostle John writes
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:4,5)
With this final vision, my initial encounter with Jesus Christ ended. In total it lasted about 40 minutes. I then returned home where my wife immediately saw that something had happened in me. While trembling, I explained to her what had just transpired.
Since my rebirth, God has blessed me mightily. Ten days after my rebirth, on Palm Sunday (4/4/04), I was baptized. Seven days after this, I had my last cigarette (after having smoked for 20 years, praise God!). Within a month, the Lord provided a job for me at Samsung electronics. Four months later, three of my daughters accepted Christ into their lives, and after approximately 9 - 10 months, my teenage son came to the Lord and was baptized.
The Lord continues to do a great work in my life. I thank Him daily through both worship and prayer. I also look to Him on a daily basis to teach me, through revelation and through the reading of His Word, what I need to know in order to follow Him. While not always successful, I try to remain attentive to His “still small voice” (1Kings 19:12) for “to obey is better than to sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22).
Share your voice, heart and love in the comments.
Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.