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Discussion Forum : Miracles that follow the plow : Webmaster's Testimony.

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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Webmaster's Testimony.



Hi! My name is Greg Gordon, I'm 25 years old and reside in Toronto, Canada currently. I have been running the SermonIndex.net ministry since Dec. 2002. I have been hesitant to share this. I will try my best by God's grace to share how God has wrought new life into my soul by the Holy Spirit through the death and ascension of Christ.

[b]Revelation 12:11 (niv)[/b] - They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

[b]Psalms 66:16 (niv)[/b] - Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.

[b]Revelation 20:4 (niv)[/b] - I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not recieved his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.


I was raised in a home with parents that had good morals and a religious upbringing. They always made sure that we had everything we needed to live and grow in life, everything temporal that is. I was brought to sunday school for a year or two as a 12 year old when my parents attended a few different churches. But after 12 I never went into churches on sundays.

My parents sent me to summer camps every year.. and one year they decided to send me to the one at Knox Presybterian Church called 'Knox day Camp.' And year after year I learned alot about Jesus and the Bible through that camp. Especially in the overnight camps where there was a week where we went up north into nature. God really showed himself to me in His creation and I truly believed there was a God. But when I came back into the big city life, God was in the forground or not there at all.

I went into high school like this. I had a hard time fitting into peer groups. In grade 10 I found some people who were willing to be friends, but they smoked weed. To fit in with them I started to smoke weed with them during lunch time at school. This trend continued to get worse and worse. I started listening to hip-hop and rap music which changed the way I acted, dressed, and lived.

I began to get into worse crowds, and started to drink and get violent, outbursts of anger, etc. I was smoking-up before school, at lunch and after school. My relationship with my parents was very bad at home. I showed much anger and almost hit my parents a few times. I started to skip entire days off school just to get high, it was the escape from reality was what I wanted.

At one point in Grade 11 I decided to leave home and school, and stay with a friend that lived with his old grandma in an old age housing unit. I wrote a quick note while I was quite high and left it at home and left with my bag. I had barely any money, I worked part-time doing a canvassing job. and it was the dead of winter in toronto, so it was quite cold.

Every day the objective was to get high and get drugs. I would basically do anything to do this. I was dealing weed just to support my habit but I also had to get it anyway possible which included stealing and robbing. I did many ridicilous stunts which should have gotten me in jail, I got in many cop chases but by Gods providence I was never caught.

There came a point after months of living like this day in and out that we were going to sleep at 5-6am and waking up at 4-5pm when the sun was just rising so I was literally living in darkness, I never saw much of the sun, and for some weird reason I like it that way.

[b]John 3:20 (niv)[/b] - [color=CC0000]Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.[/color]

One morning as we were just waking up the phone rang, it was my half-brother Tim! When I ran away from home I left no address or phone number so I had no idea how he got that number. He simply asked if he could meet with me somewhere neutral no strings attached. I consented. As I was walking to meet him I remembering my hands being so cold, because I didnt have gloves for the winter weather. When I first saw him as I walked up to him he had 2 winter gloves in his hands streched out to me. That caught me off-gaurd and I accepted the gift, it really touched me. I showed me something was lacking that I didnt have everything together in my life.

We had lunch and talked and he invited me to come to his house in hamilton which is 1 1/2 hours away from toronto. I agreed to stay for a week. My brother was not a Christian but he basically talked to me simply with much common sense during that week. He layed out what I was doing to myself, family and others, and how my life choices are affecting me and others. God used this in a mighty way to bring me to a realization of how my life was off-track.

When I got back into toronto and went back to my friends house, it seemed so empty and pointless. I didnt feel like getting high, he couldnt believe I was refusing drugs, he got a big stach.. but I just wanting to go to bed for work the next day. As I lyed there a deep saddness came over me and I felt like crying out for help but who would listen.. then I just prayed to God and said.. God!! I want to go home.. and I cryed myself to sleep.

The next day I woke up to go to work and for some reason there was noone there I then tryed going back to my friends house and noone was there either, and the problem with that is that I had no keys. I stayed out in the cold for awhile and I thought of going downtown to stay warm at another friends house or in a store or two. As I was making my way back up to my friends house where I was staying I passed by my old neibourhood, I had to walk back cause I had no money left for transporation.

I was so cold and sad and I decided to go to the bad of my house to just look, I was My dad let our my dog and I wanted to go in but I felt so ashamed of what I have done and become that I couldnt even do it. For 20 mins in the freezing cold I struggled with this and finally I got to my front door. I remember knocking and wanting to run and get away but I couldnt move, then the door opened and my mom told me to come in and I just cryed. My family seemed so happy and forgiving to have me home and offered that I could come back, I accepted.

At home, I still smoked drugs and did bad things but felt like I had a second chance at life, I went back to school part-time and was making an effort to reform my life. At this time I decided I wanted to start playing basketball and my sister told me that they played basketball at the church on friday nights so I went. I went just to play basketball and left as the biblestudy and singing part started. But I realized they played afterwards to, so if I stayed during the biblestudy time then I could play more after :-P . Ignored much of what was said but slowly some things got me thinking.

One day at home I got my bible that was given to me as a kid off the shelf and starting reading it. I could barely read because of not reading for many years and smoking so much etc. But I persevered and read it for hours and hours.. I couldnt stop :-o This went on for 2 weeks, I starting reading it with my sister and was reading romans and using a study guide to go through it. One night I was at my desk re-reading parts of Romans and some things hit me hard. I read:

[b]Romans 3:23 (niv)[/b] - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

and I re-read that verse and it appeared to me like:

[b]Romans 3:23 (niv)[/b] - For [Greg] has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

I was struck with thoughts of the majesty and glory of God and how sinful I was. I had these thoughts throughout the 2 weeks but it was very strong on this night. I felt like I was headed to hell for my sin and I deserved to die. I felt like I was in a car that was going over the cliff and I couldnt get out. I needed help and I didn't know what to do?

then this verse came to me:

[b]Romans 6:23 (niv)[/b] - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I felt this power come over me and basically I feel to my knees and pleaded for my soul the best way I knew how. I felt such a weight of sin on me.. but as I prayed I felt the Lord release it at one point. I accepted Christ into my heart and I believe that God worked his salvation in me that night.

I usually had a hard time sleeping but I slept like a baby that night. Its hard to explain but over the next 6 months I changed or was changed and the outside of me changed slowly, as I become more like Christ and His Spirit worked through me. I stop drinking, smoking, swearing (still have trouble with that sometimes :-( ), my anger left me and I felt so close to God. My mom came to me many times before saying this is just a phase in your life or it wont last. But after 6 months she came to me and I wont forget it, she said to me 'are you Greg my son? you have changed?' She knew I changed in an amazing way and she was baffled by it.

I felt such a thrist for the word and as I read it, God spoke directly to me in so many ways.. he is soo good. I helped alot at the church with the children which I loved doing.

I basically cut off all my old friends and my old way of life for 1 year. At one point God led me to re-establish contact with alot of my old friends I used to drink and smoke with and I shared and witnessed to them. My changed life was a big enough witness to them alone. My best friend who used to do all the same drinking, smoking etc through some circumstances recieved Christ in his heart and is a Christian now .. praise God.

There is so much to share how God has worked in my life. but this is a start. I would be happy to clarify anything or elaborate. I will try and share more experience I have had as a young believer until to-date.

In Him,
Greg Gordon


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2003/12/9 20:53Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Webmaster's Testimony.

Praise be to God!

Thank you so much for sharing this Greg!
No wonder we get along so well, so many similarities in our testimonies, fortunately you didn't kill off as many brain cells as I did.

What your Mom said is wonderful, it very well sums it up.

Look at what the Lord has done!
It is so encouraging to read of what our fellow brothers and sisters have gone through, to be open and honest. Real. Real people with real problems and ultimately the Real solution!

This is great, thanks so much for opening your heart to us and for providing us all with this site, this forum and all these great sermons.
May the Lord continue to bless your life.

Mike


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Mike Balog

 2003/12/9 23:13Profile
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37006
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
No wonder we get along so well, so many similarities in our testimonies, fortunately you didn't kill off as many brain cells as I did.


Yes we are very similar in background and also in spirit! :-D Brother I am not sure about the brain cell thing, I think I burned quite afew. I had trouble in reading, writing or even speaking, I would stutter or not be able to conjugate entire sentances and paragraphs, I spoke in a certain type of ebonics. God has taught me himself and by reading the Bible and Christian books he has enabled me to gain a certain confidence in expressing myself again. Praise be to his name.

Also in my testimony I didn't really touch on alot of details but one big thing was drinking, which I enjoyed alot. I used to drink way to much and looking back now I would consider myself a borderline alcholic! I would drink in the morning when I woke up. I once drank a whole 24 pack of beer myself in an 8 hour period. Or once drank 3 tall glasses of 10 different hard liquors mixed randomly. In both times I was passed out and could have died of alchol poisoning, etc. But the Lord is faithful. After I was saved I was drinking wine at the dinner table with my parents and God spoke to my heart. That night I made a covenant with God that I would not drink ever again, not a drop. And to this day, I feel once into drinking beer but other than that the Lord has kept me in such a powerful way that I know its totally Him and nothing to do withmyself. :-o

[b]1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (niv)[/b] - May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kep blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2003/12/10 12:35Profile
moreofHim
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Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re:

Greg, what an awsome testimony! But in a way it does not surprise me. For some reason the Lord uses the least of us- that have gone to the pit and back- to transform and use for His glorification.

Like you- my last two years of high school were spent drinking, partying. This went on until college (and I was supposed to be a christian). I cannot tell you how many times in my past did I wonder how I didn't die from alcohol poisening. How did I not end up on the streets somewhere. I did do ALOT of things that I regret and was ashamed of because of the drinking.

I really believe this gives us understanding and loving hearts towards others who are down and out. When we've been there- it helps us have empathy. There are many more just like us who God is just waiting to help- and possibly through people like us who've been there.

So many self- righteous Christians think "Oh, I would never stoop that low" yet they don't know the amazing amount of mercy and grace that the Lord can show. Just as Paul was one of the worst of sinners- killing people because they lived for Christ- God used his terribleness and turned it around for His glory. And the biggest thing is that Paul would always remember where he came from- what the Lord brought him out of. PRAISE GOD!

In His love, Chanin


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Chanin

 2003/12/10 13:07Profile
Chosen7Stone
Member



Joined: 2003/7/21
Posts: 268
FL, USA

 Re: Webmaster's Testimony.

Hooray for God! We're all works-in-progress, and He's brought you such a long way so far, brother. :)


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Mary M.

 2003/12/24 13:29Profile
Clutch
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Joined: 2003/11/10
Posts: 202
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

 Re:

Wonderful testimony Greg. For some reason, God seems to like getting the hardheaded ones the most. Merry Christmas.
Clutch ;-)


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Howard McNeill

 2003/12/24 14:30Profile
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37006
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
Wonderful testimony Greg.


Thank you everyone for your encouragements, it took awhile for me to be able to share this stuff online.

here is another experience I had when I was a Christian for about 2 years:

I used to play basketball alot, I felt like I could become the next larry bird! :-D lol. God gave me a healthy desire to play basketball but I took that and made it my idol. I started to play basketball almost everyday. I would wake up and think about basketball, go to sleep thinking about basketball, everything was basketball. Of course I was still going to church, reading the bible and praying, but basketball was quickly becoming an all-consuming factor in my life.

I started to worry about working out alot, taking protien shakes, etc. I would dribble my basketball wherever I went, I would practice my ball release while laying on my bed. When summer came around I decided to go to an Christian summer camp as a volunteer to be a counsellor for the kids (I usually did this every entire summer after I was a Christian). This camp was Camp Iona, it had no electricity and was a real-nature camp!

I went to a retreat with the other to-be counsellors for a weekend to get ready for the summer. It was a good retreat and at the last day there was a convicting opportunity to write down two things you can either work on or give-up to better prepare yourself spiritually for the camp. The Lord really impressed upon me that basketball needed to decrease and He needed to increase. So I wrote on the piece of paper:

"Play Less Basketball, Pray and Read the Bible more."

I prayed and put the piece of paper up where the small cross was and I really felt the Lord allowed to to make this commitment. When I got back to Toronto, for the first week I prayed and read the Bible more and really felt myself growing spiritually more than usual. But slowly that desire ebbed away until I was out playing basketball everyday for 5-7 hours.

After a few weeks of getting into basketball farther than I had before, I started to feel a pain in my back, then in my buttock. I shrugged it off and thought it was just sore muscles, but the pain became very acute and came down in my leg on my left side. After a week of dealing with this pain, I thought I should go to a specialist for a diagonsis. I went and I found out that I had 'sciatica' which is a pinching of a nerve because the one of the lowest vertabrae of my spine was out abit. And the nerve runs right down the lowerback, through the buttock and right down the leg to the foot.

What happened for the next few months was me in my bed in awful pain. Anyway I moved it hurt. It usually just hurt if I stayed still anyways, a slow throbbing pain, I will never forget it. On my bed for those months I decided to read more than usual so I got a bunch of Christian books and plowed through them. And God in a amazing way revealed to me some major truths that I really never understood before. I just don't mean truths I can write down, but my spiritual eyes were opened wider so I could see so much more, this has nothing to do with knowedlge and doctrine. The Holy Spirit became my teacher and showed me many things.

I look back on it now and I wouldn't trade that experience for the world, God used the pain to speak to me in a huge way! now with basketball I still do play sometimes but God really had to displine me before, and this child has learned its lesson.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/1/5 15:33Profile
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Joined: 2003/8/15
Posts: 179


 Re:

That is encouraging and exciting to hear.

I had a similar experience with sports in my life except without physical pain. Mine was with hockey. After I gave my heart to Jesus Christ I was very into hockey. I played on an adult hockey league and would go out of my way to make it to any game. We would play sometimes from 11pm to 2am in the morning and then go to work the next day. Games were on sunday afternoon and I would hurry our of church to get there. It quickly became an idol and I knew it.

Then God moved me to another state and brought me into fellowship with some strong mature Christians. I began to listen to David Wilkerson messages like they were my only food. I began to pray and seek the Lord and I times would just weep at night laying before Him. I was being broke into pieces. Praise God for His faithfulness.

I believe the Lord put in my heart to sell all my hockey gear. I remember going to a used sports store and selling all my hockey gear. I did keep my skates to I could go ice skating with my kids though. I remember walking out of the store thinking I really got ripped off. I got less than $100 for around $800 worth the equipment. My daughter was with me and I left that store with a smile on my face and a peace in my heart. I was free and didn't care if I got ripped off or not.

Whom the Son sets free, he is free indeed.

In Christ,

Mike


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Mike

 2004/1/5 15:51Profile
moreofHim
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Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re:

I know exactly where you're coming from here! I was totally addicted to fitness and looking good. But then when the Lord healed me of that- I gave it all up for awhile- but then there is that place when you have to learn some balance. Not with all addictions- but with eating and exercise- you need both to be healthy. I know in my heart I still need some exercise but I still struggle with not getting too into it again.

The funny thing is that many "christians" use to tell me that fitness and nutrtion was my gift and to use it for the benefit of the body of Christ. I knew I was very knowledgable about it but knew it was NOT my gift. I knew God had other things for me. In the christian community, they are so eager to make "worldly' things fit into the church. Not that fitness is really worldly- but having to worry about your look all the time -is.

They would much rather keep me teaching fitness and nutrition to them instead of teaching HOLINESS and SURRENDER. :-D

Actually, the devil would like that too. Just be christian enough to look like you're contributing to a good cause.

Please keep me in your prayers because I struggle with this issue daily. Should I, shouldn't I? How far do I go. Should I let it all go (fitness).

Thanks for sharing!!!

It's so important for us to be transparent for each other. Paul wore his heart on his sleeve, that's how people knew he was true, that's how they knew they could trust him and learn from him.


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Chanin

 2004/1/5 15:58Profile
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
Please keep me in your prayers because I struggle with this issue daily. Should I, shouldn't I? How far do I go. Should I let it all go (fitness).


Chanin, I am not trying to simplify it too much for you but here are 2 verses that might help you abit:

[b]Psalms 37:4 (niv)[/b] - Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Seek Him with all your heart 'delight yourself' in God and God alone, if this means you have to neglect or leave fitness for the time being thats ok. Once the Lord has your entire heart He will give you liberty to do what you are supposed to do for His Name.

[b]1 Timothy 4:8 (niv)[/b] - For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

'of some value' means its worth something and you just don't go throwing that away for no good reason. It's like the building with wood, hay, and straw, these things are good and have a value, but don't build your life with them entirely for they are not going to last past this life. But as the verse says that 'godliness' will be of value for this life and the life to come. Just as Gold, Silver and Costly Stones are things that are found underground. So with godliness the fruit and reward will not be seen till we get to heaven. Its a hidden work that seems non-existent to the world's eyes.

[b]1 Timothy 6:11 (niv)[/b] - But you, man(woman) of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

[i]I hope this advice helps, its not perfect but its something ;-)[/i]


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 2004/1/6 14:09Profile





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