GF-Artie

The One I Will Never Forget

Good Friday to You,

After 25 years of ministry, this story of transformation may still be my favorite:

His metamorphosis happened early in my ministry. Before I headed off to seminary.  Before I figured out what this whole “pastor gig” was about. The change I saw in Art made me excited about God’s calling on my life; to tell people like him about Jesus. If God was able to change a guy like that, my life was going to be one exciting journey!

I grew up with Art. I saw him drag a guy out of a moving car to beat him up. On another occasion, I saw him punch my Dad (a H.S. teacher) when swinging for another student. And then there was his famous quote about marijuana:  “Why buy it when you can grow it yourself?”

Art was the last guy you would ever expect to give his life to God, but when he did, the change was dramatic! He even became a pastor!

Art’s story isn’t my favorite because he somehow became perfect.  Just like every other Christ-follower on the planet, his actions still fall well-short of perfection. He is not the hero of his story. “Be impressed with Art” is not the message. It’s my favorite because each and every time I hear his name or think of him I am inspired to never give up on a person. No matter how far he or she has gone. No matter how long he or she has strayed. Never…never…never give up!

The One I Will Never Forget was a dramatic first but in no way the last story of transformation. Thankfully, I regularly have the joy of witnessing signs of transformation all around me.

     Tanna is seeking God even though faith in Jesus is a very new concept.

     Brent is now leading a vibrant ministry.

     Richard is discovering his identity.

     Michael is frustrated with his situation but still pursuing God.

     Nate is discovering ministry in the monotony of work.

     Rob is contemplating huge life-change.

     Allan is experiencing the joy of helping others discover their ministry.

     Jazmine is confronting long-surrendered areas of struggle.

This weekend, we get to be encouraged by the most hope-filled story in all of Scripture! Yes, I realize that is quite a statement. The Story of God is filled with life transformation stories, but I’m telling you…this MIGHT take the cake! Read it for yourself:  Luke 23:40-43. Join us this weekend! We’ll work through the entire passage (Luke 23:26-43). The words of Jesus just may challenge what you’ve been thinking about someone near you! Shucks, Jesus may challenge what you’ve been thinking about YOU!

 

Hope to see you this weekend,

 

Pastor Michael