Larry E. Whittington; Writer, Author

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My Conversion Story or What I did to become a Christian

Growing Up,
Knowing I Should,
Deciding I Would
Intervening Week – Hell Week
Going Ahead,
Yielding and Obeying,

Junior High was my growing up years as I learned about the Bible and God. Our family went to church services quite often at the small church where my Grandparents went. There was always a lot of singing, preaching, and Bible studies. One time for a Bible Rally I remember we just sat together and read through chapters of the Bible. I also can still remember one vacation Bible school time when my Mom taught the creation story. We made little story booklets of the seven days of creation. It was all real to me.

In the church services Grandpa was often called upon to lead the church in prayers. He also would pray before mealtime at home. In my mind I can still hear the resonant sound of his prayers. He was one who lived what the Bible taught. Our family moved to a new town just before I started high school. There was no similar church there so we didn't go to church regularly unless we were visiting the grandparents. Mom didn't like missing church assemblies so at times on Sundays she would gather us kids into the front room and we would have a short session of some songs and Bible reading. I know at times I was not always eager for these sessions even though I knew it was the right thing to do.

After high school graduation I was able to attend college and was then also able to attend a church like we had attended in junior high days. I believed in God and the Bible stories. I knew Jesus was God's Son and he had died on the cross for our sins. I grew up knowing the Lord's Supper was for baptized believers and Jesus’s was to be remembered each Sunday through it.

During one Sunday evening service after I had been home from college for the week end, one older lady in the assembly noticed that I did not take the Lord's Supper. She knew that I had not been to any other service that day and she asked me why I hadn't taken the Lord's Supper.

I knew I needed to be a Christian before I took the Lord's Supper but I hadn't been baptized yet. In answer to her question as to why I hadn't taken the Lord's Supper I replied: "I not a Christian.“

Her simple reply was; "You know what you need to do, don't you?"

To that I replied; "Yes, I know."

With this she came back with; "Why don't you do it next Sunday?"
I don't remember what I said back to her but in my heart and mind I know I would yield my will and obey what the Bible taught. I would be baptized for the forgiveness of my sins the next Sunday.

Hell week began.

I knew that those who didn't believe God and obey the Bible’s commands would not go to Heaven. Because of this point I knew if I died before I made my confession and was baptized, I would not go to heaven.

That week I lived in fear of dying because of God's word. I spent time reading the Bible each day. I was in continual prayer that whole week. This was my time of repentance which God also requires of believers.

The following Sunday I yielded to the invitation song, made the good confession that Jesus is Lord and was baptized. Faith and obedience to God through his word finally brought peace to my life but it might not have come if it were not for a little old lady who was curious enough to ask a simple question. “Why didn't you take the Lord's Supper?"

Larry E. Whittington
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Joyful Trials

Sometimes we need a Happy Thought because of the trials we are in.

Living is a trial because living means growing and growing means change. God wants his children to change and grow continually by using our faith to persevere to the end of our lives. He wants all His children to be faithful till death.

The testing of our faith or the putting of our Faith to the test through trials develops perseverance. And James 1:2-8 says that perseverance or the continual using of our faith will finish its work or purpose which is to make us mature and complete so that we do not lack anything and are formed in the image of Christ. In each step of the way while we are growing, we will be more Christ-like and our lives will show that we have Christ forming within us. It is indeed a Happy thought that what we might see as painful and would be best to avoid is really to our good and to our benefit. In fact James even says that it is not only to be a Happy Thought but that it should even be considered pure joy whenever we face trials that test our faith.

Yes, it is a Happy Thought that a man is blessed who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

First draft 5/17/95. Revised 2/5/96. Larry E. Whittington
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Oh, do I have a happy thought for you today! It makes me happy just to think about it so let me share my happiness with you. The thought came to me from God's word (Matt. 7:7-8) so it is there for each of us.

We have a Father in heaven who knows how to give us, his children, good gifts. He not only knows how to give good gifts to us but HE WANTS TO GIVE US GOOD GIFTS. Sometimes our problem in not receiving from him may be that we are afraid of Him so we hide from Him by not coming to Him in prayer. Sometimes we may think He doesn't care so we don't go to Him with our needs. At other times we may think what we want might not be what He would want us to have so we don't go to Him with our desires. Any of these reactions to our misconceptions about God - OUR FATHER - will hinder our coming to God to ask for the desires of our heart. The happy thought is that God wants us to need Him – to really need Him. The happy thought is that God wants us to seek Him – to really seek Him. The happy thought is that God knows how to give His children good things.

He is the perfect Father who not only knows what is good for us but he also wants to give us what is good. He is the perfect Father who is perfectly able to give what is good for us.

Yes, it is a happy thought to know that:
1. God wants us to ask Him - so He can give.
2. God wants us to seek Him – so He can let us find Him.
3. God wants us to knock - so He can open the door to us.

Yes, happy are we when we let God know what we need and God is happy when He supplies them.

First draft I0/22/92. Revised 2/5/96 Larry E. Whittington
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