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Who Am I

by Jeff Houdyshelt  
8/09/2012 / Christian Living

"Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth, would want to know my name" familiar words to the Song " Who Am I", by Casting Crowns. Those words have a deep meaning for me. When you think of the bigger picture how great it is to have a God to know our name. To have a God that cares enough for you that not only did he send his son Jesus to die for us, but he knows our name. That shows the love that God has for each and everyone of us.
How many of us know his name, the name of Jesus Christ. How many of us has denied Christ his rightful place in our lives. I have, I did deny Christ for many years and sadly I did not care. It is really funny because I grew up in Church. I went to bible study, Vacation Bible School every year, and to summer camp.
I had all the rights things placed before me. In high school, I was in a Youth Ministry program where the teens in that program where afforded the opportunity to deliver sermons to our entire congregation on Sunday's. I enjoyed that program very much, and even considered a life in the Ministry, but my Father left us while I was a Senior.
So my college dream was over, and I went into my other calling Law Enforcement. My slide away from God had been under way for a few years at that point, but I still prayed just did not go to church and practice my faith.
In 2002, I suffered a career ending injury. After three major surgeries and two years of rehabilitation, I was told to retire from my beloved career. Soon after I developed severe depression, and at one point tried to take my own life.
Not long after I was broke, in deep depression, my marriage was in ruins, and I had lost all hope. But in 2005 I met a man that would become my friend. One day his family asked Brenda and I to go to church. We agreed and started going to a small church on a hill The River of Life.
Not long after I realized that God had never left me.I got involved in the church and became good friends with the Pastor and his family. There are none better the the Pastor Jerry Smith and his entire family. They took us in and made us part of their family.
The next year I was helping the pastor work on his home when I sustained an injury, a pretty severe one. It was so bad that I was confined to my home for several months. Pastor Jerry kept up with me, but after almost a year we lost touch. My depression had come back, my wife was diagnosed with an illness and we once again were without God in our lives.
I started going to a pain management clinic and finally got some relief from the pain, but it fell short and in 2009 I had surgery. The day of surgery guess who showed up? Pastor Jerry, never found out how he knew, but he came in and smiled then offered and prayer and told me it was time to come home.
The next several months were filled with many months of rehabilitation, but I just couldn't go back to church. Then came my last bout with my friend depression. It ended one spring day when I tried to shoot myself in the head.
That failed twice as the gun misfired twice. I wept placed the gun down and felt something. It was my bible. I started crying more, but then started praying like never before. This lead to regular bible reading and then to a question on Facebook.
I put a question about salvation on there, and out of the blue Pastor Barry Smith answered. He was Jerry's son. He answered my question and we began chatting on Facebook. After a couple weeks he told me that I needed to come home, just like Jerry did in 2009.
Brenda and I spoke, and then we went back home to a new and improved River. We were greated just lik we had never left. Two weeks later I was baptized, and never looked back. God had tested our resolve thiese past couple years.
In March Brenda almost died, and she would have if it were not for the prayers of Pastor Jerry, his lovely wife Joyce, and the many hundreds of other from our biological family and those from the River. They came in droves to see us, pray with us, and encourage us.
When we went home, our church brought us food for a week, and helped pay some bills we could not pay. They continued to pray for us, and today Brenda is healthy and awaiting her baptism. God saved her through a modern day miracle, to that I have no doubt. The one thing I give the most credit was all those wonderful caring people praying their hearts out.
Well I had been volunteering at the church for over a year, and during February and March spent almost 40 straight days there working on our kids department. Which opened on Easter, and what a kid's department it is. Video games, a jungle gym just like the one you find at Mickey D's, the most unique artwork, and technology that you could ever see or want.
That was a proud day to be there and see those children's faces as they come to play and learn about the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no greater feeling than seeing a child stand and say that they want to be saved and baptized.
Then in April I injured my knee again and had to miss church from time to time, and in early June the knee had gotten so bad that I was really stuck at home. I had surgery a couple weeks later and thought that I would be back to my routine in a couple weeks.
That did not happen, what did happen was that I became dependent on my pain meds, and got with my doctor and had them changed, but I was really sick for 10 days. My two weeks have turned in almost two months. My rehab has been hampered by my severe side effects from the meidicine, then the illness, and I got weak and now am trying to get myself adjusted to being out and about.
However, through it all I have been encouraged by all the thoughts and prayers delivered by Brenda each Sunday. God has also been with me even in those days of illness. He rekindled my fire by reigniting my passion for Christian writing. I've written over 40 stories, 10 poems, 1 short story and working on a novel.
I've also got involved via the internet with several ministries for Cops and firefighters. I begin Graduate school in 12 days, have had several articles published, and got a writing assignment. So God never gave up on me. Even when I denied him access to my life for many years he never really left.
Lastly, I have applied to become a Chaplain, and with Pastor Barry and Gods blessing I will complete that training before the end of the tear. It says in Psalms 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
In that verse I found my faith,and steadfastness through these past several weeks. Deuteronomy 31:6 says Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
So even in those days when I was weak, God never left. He does not abandon his children, he will never forsake you for anything. You can deny him, but he will always love you.
As for Who Am I? I am a dedicated MOG (Man of God), and I always will be.

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