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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Friday, November 2, 2012

He's Been Transformed

Yesterday I met John (name has been changed) down at the guitar store, to try to decide if I should lay out the money for a new guitar.
Actually, it wasn't a new guitar. Just new to me.
John demonstrated his impressive skill on the guitar, then handed the instrument over to me. As we talked about guitars and I played my classical guitar music for him, I asked him how he had first gotten into guitar playing.
John said that he had once been a heavy metal player. He'd been a drug abuser and an alcoholic,
a real miserable guy with a god-complex. But he'd accepted Christ about 16 years ago.
I stopped playing and gave him my full attention. "How did that happen?"
He went on to explain that he'd met a country singer who shared her testimony with him. Little did she know that John had reached a low in his life and had been searching for God.
She gave him a tract about the four spiritual laws.
John read it over and over, but couldn't comprehend how it related to him.
In anger, he prayed, "God, please help me to understand this."
Then he read the tract again. Suddenly he understood that "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," applied to him personally.
When he read, "for the wages of sin is death," he knew that the wages for his own sin was death.
But the rest of that Bible verse reads: "...but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
That's when John prayed to receive Jesus Christ as his Lord.
He says that he was instantly healed of his drug addiction and his alcoholism.
I looked at John. It was hard to imagine that this clean-cut, nice-looking man could ever have been the man he'd described himself to be.

Wow! I came to buy a guitar and got to listen to a man tell me how Christ has transformed him.

I asked John, "Have you considered playing and sharing your testimony for other musicians?"
He looked kind of skeptical, so I said "you never know what's going in the mind and hearts of these musicians. They might seem hard, but privately searching for Something better."

I did buy the guitar that morning.
John made me promise that after I'd had the small crack in the instrument repaired I'd come by and show it to him.

My time with John was another God-appointment.
 John's testimony had me driving home rejoicing.
Because Jesus is in the business of transforming people.
Oh, if only people realized how passionately Jesus Christ seeks each one of us.
How He yearns to come close and embrace us.
He doesn't want you or me because He wants to oppress us, or take all of our "fun" away.
He wants us because He made us, loves us,  and understands our deepest needs.
He wants to give us everything.

When John was a drug abuser and alcoholic, miserable, as he lived only for himself, treating those around him with anger and disrespect, he thought he was pleasing himself.
But he wasn't happy. Far from it. And the harder he tried to fulfill himself by pleasing himself with booze, drugs and sex, the farther he got from fulfilling his deepest need:
reconciliation with God.

To all who met John in his former years, he probably appeared hard, sure of himself, unapproachable.
But his spirit was yearning for answers.
I guess you never know what kinds of struggles and searches are going on in the people you meet every day.
Like that nice country singer, we just need to be available for the next "John" that God puts in our daily path.

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1 Pet. 3:15 NIV Bible)


  1. Praise God! He is still changing lives today. Thanks for sharing this, Dena.

  2. What a wonderful testimony! Perhaps John will take your suggestion to heart. :)

  3. Susan, I sure hope so. I'm going to pray that God gives him boldness
    to proclaim Jesus and His message of hope and true transformation to those sad and seeking musicians.

  4. Nancy, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it always thrills me when I meet another Christian in the market place. Our God moves everywhere to accomplish His wonderful purposes!