I have attended church with my parents from the time I was born. As a child growing up, I have listened to and have read many stories from the Bible. From the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, to Daniel in the lion's den, and from the story of the birth of Jesus lying in a manger, to His death hanging on the cross. At the age of twelve I became a member of our church family by being baptized. It was more or less the thing to do at the time; since the other kids my age were doing it.
As I grew into becoming an adult, I continued to attend church, even after attending the school of Art in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. As time went on, I found myself losing interest in church. I began to look at going to church as going through the same rituals over and over and hearing the same sermons year after year. Gifted pastors, who knew just how to arouse the soul towards God, presented their sermons that caused many to give their heart to God. However, the message that was presented did not remain within my mind for more than a day. If the message were really special, it would remain longer. For the years that I have been attending church, I could not recall a Bible verse more than two words long. My relationship with God was a one-day a week relationship which was becoming weaker by the month. To avoid losing my interest entirely, I decided to take part in the church service by teaching the younger students the Bible stories that were once presented to me.
After a few weeks of not attending church, a few members who missed my presence at church invited me back. Since I also felt guilty for not being in fellowship with my brothers and sisters, I returned to church the following week. But this did not change the way I felt about my relationship with God.
It was at church that day, while sitting on one of the pews during the midday service that the Word of God began to speak to my heart. While the service was in progress, I was searching through the Scriptures without paying much attention to what was going on. It was at this time that the Word began to speak to my heart. Without realizing it, I continued to search through the pages of the Scripture, and the words that my eyes saw on the page continued to speak to my heart. Although the words came from different pages, as I turned to them, what the Word said to me made sense and I understood what was said. I was amazed that this was happening to me. That day was the first time that I ever walk out of church after service with a joy deep down within my soul, knowing that it was the Word of God that spoke to my heart. I set out to experience again the same Joy the following week, but no matter where I looked in Scripture, trying to repeat the same experience, it just was not the same. It was as if I had tasted something that I had longed for, but could not find again.
A couple months later, a friend invited me to a Bible study at the home of a church member. At this time, I thought that I already knew the stories of the Bible, and to study the same stories in a group would not be of much help. After weeks of inviting me to this study group, I finally decided to attend, just to get him to stop. What I did not know was that my friend needed a ride to this study group, and if he could get me to attend with him every week, he was sure to have a ride.
The next evening came, and my friend and I set out to attend the study group. I drove up to the location and found that there were already a few cars parked in the driveway. I parked the car and we entered the home. Everyone there began to welcome my friend and I into the home. It was an ordinary home with a large living room, and lots of cushions all around the room. Bibles were everywhere. Even the atmosphere within the home was an invitation to come in. There were a few individuals at the dinning room table already deep in their study. In another part of the room, a couple was already sharing their study. After being there for a few minutes, my friend introduced me to the owner of the home, and we went over to a corner of the room where we got down on the carpet, or sat against a cushion to begin the study.
It was almost four hours later when the study came to an end, that my heart was full of joy. At no time did I wish for the study to come to an end. I return home that evening with a big smile on my face. Even after getting into bed to go to sleep, I could not help but express on my face the joy that I felt in my heart. Every time I rehearse in my mind the study that was presented to me, it brought again a smile to my face. This was not a small smile on my face, but was more like a grin that began to hurt. I could see now why so many of the students were returning again and again to the study group. I myself could not wait to return to the study group the next evening, where everyone would be in attendance. All day at work the next day, I could not help, but continue to rehearse in my mind the study I received that evening. I could not wait to get home to reopen the Scriptures to see again the glory of God.
If someone were to ask me, "What happen that evening?" I would have to say that my eyes were opened to see the glory of God. No longer did I have to wait for the end of the week to continue my relationship with God, because He was always there within my reach. And what He is willing to reveal to the world can only be seen by those who are willing to give up what they thought of as truth, to rely on Him, Who is Truth. We see through a glass darkly, because what we perceive in our minds as truth often clouds our vision and prevents us from seeing the Truth. My Joy now in life is continuing to behold the glory of God, and allowing Him to work through me in helping those who are in search of the Truth to see Him rather than what they think and perceive as Truth.
In looking back at the development of my education, I can see now that the LORD was preparing my mind for the things that He was going to reveal. Because I took the time throughout my education to understand the subject being studied and how it might relate to another, this prepared me to apply the same study concepts to the Scriptures. What was once confusing in the studying of the Scriptures has now become more understandable, because the Scriptures are seen in the study to be more interrelated rather than separate. By studying only the subjects as presented in Scripture, we gain an understanding only of the subjects. But if we study the subjects and how they might relate to each other, this gives us an understanding of the big picture.
As an Artist and Designer, God has given me the gift of converting visually on paper the thoughts and ideas of the customers with whom I work, that they as well as the manufacturer of the given product might see and agree on what the final product should look like. By allowing God to work through me, HE can use HIS Gift, Whom HE has given to convert His thoughts to our minds, that we might agree and follow HIS Will.
It is my hope that in your visit to this Web site, you will learn something that will help you to know the Truth, Who brings to your heart more than just joy and peace.
Your brother in Christ, Carron M. Lake
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