Friday, September 30, 2011


Moses asked God what His name was, so that when the Jews asked him about which God he was speaking, he would be able to tell them. This request implies that the Jews believed there was more than one God. They had been slaves in Egypt for four hundred years, and had given up hope that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would save them from bondage. In fact, any who had heard the stories of how they arrived where they were, knew that it was He that had delivered them into bondage in the first place. God, knowing how useless it would be to tell them it was the God of the patriarchs, told Moses His name was YHVH. That is, "I AM THAT I AM," or "I AM" (Ex. 3:14).

When asked who I am, I usually respond by giving a biographical sketch varying in length depending upon the time allotted for a reply. There is no short answer. I have had a life of sixty-nine years which has defined who I am. I am a son, a sinner, a high school drop-out, a sailor, religious, a husband, a father, an atheist, a Christian, retired military, a college and seminary graduate, a grandfather, an ex-pastor, an ex-teacher, an ex-principal, a great grandfather, and a blogger (in chronological order). I am an American nicknamed "Skip" from before I was born. But mostly, today, I am tired! I long for the day when I can say, "I am like Him" (1 Jn. 3:2). And the sooner, the better.

Whenever I have been asked to give my testimony, I am not really sure what I should include. God has been working in my life in so many ways over the years, that I feel somewhat like John must have felt when writing about Jesus (Jn. 21:25). Frankly, my life has had few mountain-tops and a whole lot of very wide valleys. And yet, it is in those valleys that I have been closest to the Lord. You might think that strange, but when on the mountain-top, I am loving Him; it is in the valleys that I am aware that He is loving me.

I have heard Him speak to me at least five times, and every one of them was when I was in despair. When I had been begging Him to help me love more, He took me to a widow with three children and no insurance or income. I fell to the floor sobbing. That is when I heard Him say, "You wanted to love as I love; you are unable to handle it. I am working in you. Be patient." On another occasion, while reading Our Daily Bread, He said, "Turn to September second." There I found exactly what I needed. It was "Jesus wept." when I was ashamed at my emotional response to a situation. It was "As much as possible, get along with all men." when I encountered a real jerk. And the last time I heard Him, He said, "You go, and let her come on the weekends." speaking of my accepting a call to pastor. I know, you are thinking I am one of those weird guys who hears voices, but five times in forty years is not exactly a daily conversation with an imaginary friend. In fact, on none of the five occasions did I reply. I was silent, and in total peace. Not only did I know He was there, I knew He knew me as only God can know someone. He knew my thoughts. He knew my emotions. He knew my need. I knew I was loved! May all those who read this know that God feels the same way about them.

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