When we were young, a Jewish young man named Bob Dylan sang a song entitled, “The Times They Are a Changing”. He was right. A few years later, my world changed from a conservative, regular sort of world to a wild, out of control, druggie kind of place. I was just the right age and temperament to be sucked into the strange and bizarre that had taken dominance. For the next ten years, I was a part of the “Hippie, Love Generation”.
And then one day all those years later, I traveled to California to visit my hippie twin sister. Much to my surprise, she had met the Lord and had become a born again believer. I hung out there for a few months and got to know a good number of other hippies who had come to faith and were overflowing with God’s love.
Having been a part of the “Love Generation” for so many years, I was overwhelmed to experience this new type of love that surpassed beyond measure the “hippie love” that I had been immersed in for so many years. Each time I experienced this new and special love, I asked them where it came from. And each time they assured me that I was experiencing the “love of God” which had filled them when they received Yeshua as their Lord and Savior.
A few months later, I was back on my farm in the middle of “nowhere”. My life blew apart and as I was standing in the rubble, I remembered that “new” love I had felt a few months earlier. One morning as the sun was rising, I hiked to the top of a mountain and this broken and lost man cried out to God. I told Him I did not know if He was there or not and if Yeshua, His son, was real. But I declared at that moment that if He was real and if He was hearing me then He could have my life. I did not want it.
At that moment I felt nothing but God heard my simple prayer and saw the longing of my heart. He graciously took my life and exactly forty years ago, my life was transformed. The worthless was exchanged for the priceless and my weaknesses and failings were exchanged for His power, love and Holy Spirit.
Forty years is a long time and much has happened. From those first seeds that God planted within me so long ago, a mighty tree has grown up. Our branches are touching many and the fruit that he has brought forth is far beyond what I ever could have imagined or hoped for. We have brought many to faith, helped to raise up four congregations, discipled so many and are helping to raise up a younger generation to continue on the path God has put before us.
This article originally appeared in Zion’s Glory Update, July 3, 2017, and reposted with permission.