Only when I pass a mirror does the reality hit me that Sixty-Six years have come and gone. Remembering the Storms Of Life that were harsh at times, probably had something to do with the way this stranger in the mirror looks now. Choices made in how I weathered those storms were based on what I was taught growing up in Church. I wish I could say that the Church’s teachings helped me survive. Unfortunately it wasn’t until I laid aside the teachings of the Church and began to search the scripture’s for myself that I found the hope and strength to survive.
Dad Built Church’s, Pastured and Evangelized for fifty-five years in The Church Of God, Cleveland Tn. In 1972 I got out of the army, married and began full time Ministry with Dad as an Evangelistic team called “The Porter Family”. My Brother, Sister and myself sang as a trio while Dad preached. After about five years Dad became ill and the ministry as a family evangelistic team ended. I went into construction with my brother. The Church had taught me as a child that God was in control of everything that happens to us. That God would not put more on us than what we could bear. So when Life’s Storms begin to hit me and it was more than I could bear, I was confused to say the least. Financial Loss, Mental Illness hit my beautiful wife, Suicidal Depression hit me. Yes this was more than I could bear. Since the Church had taught me that this was all part of Gods plan for my life, I became very bitter towards God. It never dawned on me that the Church could have been wrong in what they had taught me about God. They had taught me that God was a God of Wrath; if you did something to displease him he would take away everything you had and then destroy you. I spent many late night hours’ trying to figure out what I had done that so displeased God that he would send this terrible storm to destroy me. I was faithful to attend Church, I paid my tithes, I gave to the poor, I was the spiritual head of my house, I prayed and fasted. I had done everything the Church had told me to do. If this was the way God treated his obedient children then I didn’t want to know this God anymore. If this was what he had planned for me, it was not worth living. I had planned how I would end my Life and put an end to this misery, put an end to this terrible storm. I felt better thinking just a few more days and it will all be over. The day before I would end my life, in 1992 at age 41 yrs old I was setting next to the window at a restaurant down town Memphis Tn. we had gone there for lunch break from a construction job. It was cold that day in late fall, people were walking past the window where I set with my head resting in my hands looking out the window thinking tomorrow it will all be over. A little old woman walking down the sidewalk in a long winter coat and headscarf on her head stopped right in front of me. She suddenly turned coming close to the window and looked at me face to face through the window. Somehow I could hear her through the window as she said: “Don’t look so down, it’s going to be alright.” From somewhere deep down inside me where there seemed to be no hope, no light, only darkness, a small glimmer of hope sparked. My Sister-In-Law called and told me about a revival at a small Assembly of God Church not far from where I lived where God was touching people in a special way. I knew I needed, no I had to be at that revival. I experienced Gods unconditional love in a way I had never known before. There was simply no way the love I felt, the peace I experienced that night came from a God of wrath, a God that would put me in the hell I had experienced. Where it was so dark I no longer wanted to live. I had to have an answer, could it be possible that the Church I had been raised in, that I had put my trust in, that I had based the way I lived my life on, could The Church have been wrong? I told God I did not believe he had sent the storm that almost took my life. I told him that I wanted to live and not die, and I meant it. The overwhelming desire for death was gone. The thought came to me, “Get your bible and turn to “Deuteronomy 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day Life and Good, and Death and Evil;” I said to God, your word says life is good and death is evil. The thought came to me, yes and God has nothing to do with evil, which is death. I said well God it couldn’t have been you that was tempting me to take my life, that would be evil. The thought came to me; get your bible and turn to; “James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: “ I said thank you God, I’m so glad that it wasn’t you that made me feel like I wanted to die.
For the next twenty five years I took everything the Church had taught me and examined it for myself; “1 John 2:27 But the Anointing (Holy Spirit) which ye have received of him abideth in you, and Ye Need Not That Any Man Teach You: but as the same Anointing (Holy Spirit) teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
Read & Examine what others teach, but your final authority in what you believe is based on what you and your own personal Rabbi (The Holy Spirit) agree on.
This blog along with the YouTube videos are some of the answers I believe God has given me to the questions I have had.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
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