Tag Archives: Christian testimony

Once an atheist, now a Messianic Jew

‘I looked at the sky and declared my atheism…but who was I announcing it to?

Rory White

He absorbed the complicated rhythms of the Sixties, which left him drug-dependent and filled with emptiness and pain. But then he encountered God’s glory in a blaze of light so powerful he couldn’t stand — and his life changed unalterably forever.

“When I first heard about the holocaust it was incomprehensible,” says Rory White, who grew up in a Jewish family in Los Angeles. He spent his earliest years in post-war Germany, due to his father’s work as a radiation researcher. He recalls that he played in bomb pits that covered the fields as far as he could see. “They filled with water and we caught pollywogs at the bottom,” he says.

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Former NFL football player found the Father’s blessing

After he tore all three ligaments in his knee, he thought his dream of future glory on the gridiron was over. Then God met him in a surprising way that changed the course of his life.

Ed Tandy McGlasson

 

From the start — before he drew his first breath – tragedy struck. “I never had a single moment with my father,” says Ed Tandy McGlasson, the former NFL offensive lineman who played for the Rams, Jets, and Giants. He is the founding pastor of the Stadium Vineyard inAnaheim,California.

Ed’s mother was eight months pregnant with him when a terrible accident brought heartbreak. “My father was a test pilot,” he says. “He was killed at 400 miles per hour.” The night before it happened, his mother had a premonition of disaster.

“Am I going to lose you?” she asked her husband. On that last night, Ed’s dad read the story of Jesus walking on the water toward the boat filled with his disciples. As he read, something caused him to circle the word “Come,” the invitation to Peter to walk by faith across the water toward Jesus.

“The next morning he crashed in the sea,” Ed says sadly.

Later Ed’s mother remarried a submarine commander. “He was a hard man whose father tried to beat the weakness out of him,” Ed recalls.

In his youth, Ed strove to live up to the image of his deceased father. “Everything I did was about securing and proving myself to the heroic dad I never saw,” he notes. “I pushed myself to the ‘nth’ degree.”

Walk-on at Youngstown State

Without sufficient funds for college, Ed tried to walk on theYoungstownStatefootball team. “We don’t have any scholarship money to give you,” Coach Bill Narduzzi told him.

Ed had a bold idea. “Coach, if I’m not the best football player you’ve ever seen in the next 10 days, don’t give me a scholarship, but if I am…”

“Son, if you’re that good I’ll mortgage my house to get you a scholarship,” Narduzzi replied.

For the next 10 days, Ed says he played like Dick Butkus, the Chicago Bears all-time great. Every drill was played at 110 percent.

After watching the display, Narduzzi approached him and put his arm on his shoulder pad. “Son, I don’t know where we’re getting the money, but consider yourself on a full ride at Youngstown State.”

Ed could hardly contain his glee, and began to nurture his dreams of playing one day in the NFL. But a serious injury threatened to derail his plans. One day at practice, there was a “freak” fumble on the ground.

Serious Injury

“A freshman dove through my left knee to get the fumble,” Ed recalls. As Ed collapsed he heard his knee ligaments rip. “It was an unbelievable sound in my head.”

Doctors told him all three major ligaments were torn and he would probably not play football again. He needed major reconstructive surgery the next morning.

Ed went back to his dorm room with an ice pack. “To say I was devastated would be an understatement,” he says. “Everything I worked for was gone. I didn’t know what to do.”

Then came a knock on his door. A young man named Bill Romanowski (no relation to the football player) entered the room, surveyed Ed’s sorry condition and said, “Hi Ed, I’m the campus pastor here.”

While Ed’s grandmother was a Christian Scientist, Ed had no interest or previous involvement in religion.

They exchanged a few pleasantries, then Romanowksi said, “Ed, you have a lot of things going for you, but you lack one thing.”

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Eat, Pray and Love: How a Bible verse written in lipstick and a trip to the Sistine Chapel brought spiritual awakening

When she sat down in front of a vanity to have her hair done in her sophomore year of college, there was no way to know this would mark the beginning of a spiritual journey that would change the course of her life.

Stephanie in Ghana

“People always talk about the incredible changes that occur during college, but I had no idea what I was in for,” says Stephanie May, a recent graduate of theUniversityofColorado. “It was wonderful, but also a really rough time in my life.”

Raised in the Episcopal Church, she always believed in God, but knew nothing about the Bible. “I would have called myself a Christian, but it was more for the ‘morally upright’ social connotation I felt came with it,” she says.  Admittedly, her moral choices reflected a self-centered, rather than God-centered approach to life.

“I completely lost myself in my search for happiness and completion. I looked everywhere — getting caught up in all of the destructive pastimes that college so conveniently provides,” she says.

Beneath surface appearances, she felt “there was a greater plan at work…that somewhere down the line I would see why everything had happened the way it did.” 

On a Friday night during her sophomore year, she sat down with the president of her sorority for a haircut. “She was famous for doing hair, so I found myself sitting in the chair in front of her vanity as she teased my hair within an inch of its life,” Stephanie recalls.
 
As she gazed into the mirror, she saw something unusual. “I noticed a quote written in lipstick. I’ve always been a quote junkie and so it piqued my interest right away,” she notes.

The quote said “Look at the nations and watch — and be utterly amazed. For I’m going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” (Habakkuk 1:5)
 
Something about the words captivated Stephanie’s heart.

Continue reading at: http://blog.godreports.com/2011/05/eat-pray-and-love-how-a-bible-verse-written-in-lipstick-and-a-trip-to-the-sistine-chapel-brought-spiritual-awakening/

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Olympic swimming champion found unconditional love in Jesus

John Naber

As an Olympic swimmer on theU.S.team, he won four gold medals and set as many world records at the 1976 games inMontreal. His relaxed demeanor in high-pressure competition set him apart from other athletes – all because of an unseen presence that profoundly altered his focus before races. 

“I like the water; I’m comfortable there,” says John Naber, sports broadcaster, author, and motivational speaker. 

His father was a management consultant who moved frequently, so in John’s first 12 years he lived in six different houses. He also spent seven years in Europe, which led to a summer tour ofOlympia,Greece, the site of the ancient competition. 

The family’s tour guide atOlympiaexplained the importance of sportsmanship in the early games and noted the ancients even built a Hall of Shame for cheaters in their events. Impressed by this, 10-year-old John turned to his mother and said, “I want to be an Olympian one day.” 

“What sport?” his mother asked, knowing he hadn’t demonstrated any hint of future greatness. 

“I have no idea,” the youngster replied. 

As a freshman atWoodsideHigh SchoolnearStanfordUniversity, Naber befriended a swimmer who won a silver medal in the Junior Olympics. Inspired by his new friend, Naber decided to join the swim team. 

“I jumped in the pool and found myself swimming laps,” he recalls. “I was cramping up but I enjoyed the process of racing the clock.” Naber didn’t win a race in his first two years of competition, but the stopwatch looked better and better with each passing month. 

By his junior year, Naber was the best swimmer on the team and he had even begun to entertain the idea of trying out for the 1972 Olympic team, but a serious setback derailed his plans. As he clowned with friends, he broke his collarbone after a springboard launched him into the side of the pool, while trying to avoid a lane rope as tight as a guitar string. 

Continue reading at: http://blog.godreports.com/2011/04/olympic-swimming-champion-found-unconditional-love-in-jesus/

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