Last Sunday the sermon we heard centered around St. Paul and St. Timothy. Our priest talked about how the world changes and how we change but how we should always consider what we believe and how we believe. He went on to say that we must not allow the world to rewrite the Gospel to suit itself, but rather that we should, in each of our lives, understand how our relationship with Jesus works and how we can remain true to His teachings.
In the midst of his sermon, Father Klein asked each of us to ponder our first encounter with Jesus.
As a child raised by a Christian couple in a small Central Texas town in the 1940s and 1950s, I really never knew a time when I wasn’t surrounded by the love of God and Christ Jesus. However, there came a time when I felt Jesus’ love surround me and I knew Him personally as my Lord and Savior.
I was just out of third grade at Central Ward Elementary in Stephenville, which is still functioning as a public school, by the way, and a close family friend, Brother Frank Turner, along with his brother-in-law Brother James Shuler, was leading a revival in the First Methodist Church of Bluff Dale. I had been raised as a close friend of the Turner family. In fact, we are still in touch today.
Anyway, I remember sitting on the front row in the middle of the church when Brother Turner was preaching, and I remember, as though it was yesterday, even though it was 1952, that I felt my heart “strangely warmed.” (That was actually a quote from John Wesley, but that’s exactly what happened.)
I knew in that instant that I wanted to be baptized and that I wanted to dedicate my life to Christ.