Your God Experiences

From: "David J. Bell"
To: "'rkennedy@socool.com'"
Subject: Knowing Him

Love your site...... it's a real uplift... let me share one of my favorites....

I had been helping out some friends with church services they held in some of the jails of Los Angeles. My part at the time was to help carry speaker equipment in and out the jail and on occasion plunk out a few choruses on my guitar. Just watching men respond to the simple gospel and see their lives change was probably having more impact on my life than on theirs. Then came the day after several months of helping out..... the leaders of this little ministry group told me that next week I was to speak! Now carrying in speakers and playing guitar was one thing, but what was I going to say to people in jail.... I had never been in jail except to visit. I had never been arrested and only had two traffic tickets ever. But wanting to be polite and not appear afraid, I agreed to speak the next weekend.

I thought of my own life and how I had gone to church for many years and had learned many things about Jesus and about God but I did not know him personally. That seemed to be at the core of my change.... before I had known about God but now I knew Him personally. So I determined that this would be my topic. I then thought to myself, "what would be a good example to help the guys understand this better?"...How could I simply explain to them the difference between knowing about God and knowing him personally.... The thought came.... "You could know a lot of things about Ronald Reagan but not know him personally." (Ronnie was President at the time).. Yes he is from California, his wife's name is Nancy, she likes red dresses, and on and on..... but if I went to the door of the White House armed with all this information and knocked on the door, the answer would still come back that they didn't know me.... there was no relationship, so no entry would be allowed.

Well I was quite proud of myself and ready, so I thought, to preach my first little message. This was Monday and by Tuesday I had forgotten my "wonderful little" example. I racked my own brain trying to conjure it back up but could not. By Thursday I still couldn't remember the example and gave with a short prayer, "Lord, if you want me to remember it, you'll have to give it back".

That Friday my boss returned from a trip to NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. When he strode into our shared office space, I asked him, "How was D.C.?" Without hesitation he replied, "Ronnie sends his hellos." Now, I am a little slow some times and this instance was no exception so I responded quite dully, "Ronnie who?" "Why Ronnie Reagan," he replied. By this time I had caught on and jumped up out of my chair shouting, "That's it!" Jesus had used my boss to give me back the example in the fashion of a joke indicating that Ronnie Reagan really knew me and had a close enough relationship with me to send his personal greetings. Before I could explain this all to my boss he quickly launched into a short story that would become the second half of my jail message..... He said,

"Dave, the strangest thing happened to me when I was at NASA headquarters this week. I was walking down one of the many hallways and as I passed by one door I glanced into it and saw a man sitting at his desk. While I had never met this man before, I had this strange feeling that I somehow knew him. I walked on by but the feeling kept nagging at me so finally I turned around, went back to the room, and introduced myself. To my surprise, this was the very man that I had been talking to on the phone for many months from across the country. I had never met him face to face but the instant I saw him I knew that I knew him."

As if on cue.... and I'm sure know that this was all cued up by God.... Jesus spoke ever so clearly to me, "Son, this is exactly what it will be like for the person who gets to know me while on earth. Because they have taken the time through my word and prayer to get to know me, they will know me when they see me face to face."

I was amazed.... flabbergasted.... how God could arrange all these details.... giving me the example...... helping me to forget it....... giving it back to me through my boss .... finishing off my message with a whole new twist and speaking directly to me! Wow was I excited to give the message now.... The whole event itself had been an example about the difference between knowing about God and knowing God.... here I was interacting on a first person level with God Almighty and he was moving events and people to get little ol' me a message for some guys in prison!

But of all things that impressed me the most about the change that had occurred in my own life this captured it..... Jesus and God were real and alive now and I or anyone else could have a beautiful personal relationship with him one-on-one..... with someone who was way more powerful than the president of the United States but gracious enough, loving enough and with time enough to count me as his friend and let me know him personally.

For the past 15 years I have watched the beauty of lives changed by Jesus and it has been my special privilege to bring this beautiful good news to men in jail and prison facilities all over the Los Angeles area. I recently left L.A. after 15 years of residence there. "Coincidentally," several weeks before my departure I ran into a man in a mall in Manhattan Beach whom I thought I recognized.... I approached him and half asked his name, "Gino?". He turned from the pay phone to look at me.... sure enough here was Gino.... he had been wearing a blue jump suit, as prisoner in the jail house audience where I preached my first message. He showed me pictures of his lovely family and kids graduating from college. By that time he had helped start one or two small Hope Chapel churches in Los Angeles. He had gone on with God in his own personal relationship helping and reaching out in hope and love to others?.. and I thought that was a nice going away present for me to see him again before I left the place I considered home. And that sums up the richest part of this personal relationship with God.... God is such a lover of people that when you get truly involved with Him he ends up getting you involved in His main business... His main love... putting peoples lives back together and bringing them into his personal family.

All the best to you all.... you are never to far from home

- Dave Bell

Wow ....

Really terrific Dave ... Thanks A Bunch ....

Your EMail will be posted in messiah.html at my earliest convenience .....

You know I've kind of gotten use to the notion that a lot of the experiences people send me ... don't "need" any comment.

So, perhaps, I can reiterate what you have said ... I AGREE WITH YOU 100% .... "Your God Experiences" has been, for me, as well as for so many others, an inspiration.

These are people describing how they "touched the face of God" ... and knew that they knew.

And each of us, who has had this experience knows Him from your experience as well.

For those who have never had this experience, or don't know or recall that they have, and who haven't had it even from reading the Experiences of others .... Know that it is a VERY SIMPLE THING.

These people know that they don't have to doubt ... it is the kind of experience that replaces doubt.

Each one of them will say ... I wager if you ASK .... that they believe it is possible for you to have this kind of experience too.

And all you have to do is ASK.

IF there is a God up there, or out there, or in there, as we suggest. Address him or her and ASK that this God make himself known.

We believe that He will.

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