Donny's Ramblings

Answers to Prayers

12 Comments

The rewire continues. It’s like God has a spiritual electrician re-routing the thought patterns inside my brain. I’m seeing things from such a different perspective than ever before. I receive joy in small things that would have bored me to tears in the past. I’m receiving a different perspective on Christianity, and this time it doesn’t disgust me.

When Kris Vallotton first told me that he felt God wanted me to know that it would be 3 years before I’d be used in any sort of ministry I didn’t want to hear it. My thoughts were, “Hey, I was raised in church all my life. I have scripture memorized. I know the drill. It never meant anything to me before, but it does now. I’m READY!”

Then Bill Giovannetti told me, on a separate occasion, that I need to wait 3 years. I listened a little more because this was the second time I’d heard that number. Still, that seemed like such a LONG TIME.

I finally came to accept the fact that I have a lot of healing to do when I had the meltdown in December. That humbled me. It still affects me two months later. It was at that point I realized I needed a lot of time to heal and get strong. Not months, years.

The problem is, I still had a peace about sharing my story at Porn and Pancakes events and with churches who requested me to speak. Pastors I spoke with seemed to feel it was okay for me to continue doing so, but I didn’t want to do anything God wasn’t okay with. Somehow I needed to hear from Him that it was okay to continue sharing my story, part of which includes writing this blog. I asked God to show me a blatant answer.

I have a Life Application Bible, New International Version, that Wendy gave me on December 8th, 1993 back when we’d been dating a little over a year. I love the Life Application Bible. There are great commentaries at the bottom of every page that give a little background and reference on what’s being said. One morning I woke up at 5am. I felt like I needed to read my Bible. I tried to roll over and go back to sleep but the need to read it persisted, so I got up and opened to Acts chapter 9. The title above the chapter read “Saul’s Conversion” which caught my attention right away, because Bill Giovannetti has told me on many occasions that he thinks of me as a modern day Paul (for those who don’t know, Paul was called Saul before he became a Christian).

I started reading, taking time to read all the footnotes. This one really got my attention:

According to Galatians 1:17, 18, Paul left Damascus and traveled to Arabia, the desert region just southeast of Damascus, where he lived for three years

Three years. There’s that number again. It turns out Paul waited three years after his conversion before beginning his worldwide ministry. I continued reading. After reading another footnote I start crying…. crying because it was such a blatant answer to the prayer I’d prayed:

Immediately after receiving his sight and spending some time with the believers in Damascus, Saul went to the synagogue to tell the Jews about Jesus Christ. Some Christians counsel new believers to wait until they are thoroughly grounded in their faith before attempting to share the gospel. Saul took time alone to learn about Jesus before beginning his worldwide ministry, but he did not wait to witness. Although we should not rush into a ministry unprepared, we do not need to wait before telling others what has happened to us.

WOW! Can God be any more direct?? I was doubly excited, because not only had 3 years been reinforced once again, but God had also let me know it’s okay to go out and tell the story of what has happened in my life. There’s a big difference between sharing my story and actually doing any sort of ministry. It took a lot of will power to keep from calling Wendy at 5 am to tell her about this.

(the rest of this blog entry has been edited out because it was written with the wrong attitude… perhaps I’ll rewrite it some other day)

12 thoughts on “Answers to Prayers

  1. The rewire continues. It’s like God has a spiritual electrician re-routing the thought patterns inside my brain.Hallelujah! What incredible imagery. I wish this would happen in my own life right now. Praise God for answered prayers!

  2. The rewire continues. It’s like God has a spiritual electrician re-routing the thought patterns inside my brain.

    Hallelujah! What incredible imagery. I wish this would happen in my own life right now. Praise God for answered prayers!

  3. If I can offer some completely unsolicited thoughts, because that’s what the interweb is all about:)…I think that our zealousness to share our stories right after being saved is actually something that the enemy can work for his purposes, believe it or not. I mean, if you check with establihed pastors, you’ll hear them acknowledge that they struggle with discouragement, especially after messages. If they are worked on by the enemy, after having been in ministry for years, how much more so will he work on newbies? The pastors have had their resolve strengthened by God for years, even decades, and they STILL deal with discouragement. It tells me that the “tempt-o-meter” gets pretty high with ministry. So, we think, as newbies, “MUST TELL OTHERS!!!” But then, when we find we hit brick walls wherever we turn, it works hard on our resolve. A lot of times, we’re not strong enough. I know I wasn’t. My greatest growth in trusting God was taking any ego, any pain, anything that would work against his will and turn it into efforts to serve. In 2003, my first son was born, I lost my job a month later and my wife lost hers a couple months after that. I ended up working with kids with HIV for a year and helped wire up my church’s sound system in our new building. To this day, I’m still serving in the background. It was easy to get dejected along the way, but I’d divert that into service. And God is honored by that. Just a thought.

  4. If I can offer some completely unsolicited thoughts, because that’s what the interweb is all about:)…

    I think that our zealousness to share our stories right after being saved is actually something that the enemy can work for his purposes, believe it or not. I mean, if you check with establihed pastors, you’ll hear them acknowledge that they struggle with discouragement, especially after messages. If they are worked on by the enemy, after having been in ministry for years, how much more so will he work on newbies? The pastors have had their resolve strengthened by God for years, even decades, and they STILL deal with discouragement. It tells me that the “tempt-o-meter” gets pretty high with ministry. So, we think, as newbies, “MUST TELL OTHERS!!!” But then, when we find we hit brick walls wherever we turn, it works hard on our resolve. A lot of times, we’re not strong enough. I know I wasn’t.
    My greatest growth in trusting God was taking any ego, any pain, anything that would work against his will and turn it into efforts to serve. In 2003, my first son was born, I lost my job a month later and my wife lost hers a couple months after that. I ended up working with kids with HIV for a year and helped wire up my church’s sound system in our new building. To this day, I’m still serving in the background. It was easy to get dejected along the way, but I’d divert that into service. And God is honored by that.
    Just a thought.

  5. 3 years…Along those lines, here is a book recommendation: “Anonymous: Jesus’ hidden years … and yours” by Alicia Chole. ~Ap.s. Caden was SO cute this weekend skiing and snowshoeing!

  6. 3 years…
    Along those lines, here is a book recommendation: “Anonymous: Jesus’ hidden years … and yours” by Alicia Chole.

    ~A

    p.s. Caden was SO cute this weekend skiing and snowshoeing!

  7. your testimony–how God showed you to wait, but still share–is really cool. i finished reading it and immediately told my husband that he should log onto his laptop and read it also.i also think it’s great the way you write out your prayers in the blog. it’s cool to see, maybe for someone who may be new to the prayer thing, that praying is just like having a good conversation with a close friend.oh, and good luck in afghanistan!

  8. your testimony–how God showed you to wait, but still share–is really cool. i finished reading it and immediately told my husband that he should log onto his laptop and read it also.

    i also think it’s great the way you write out your prayers in the blog. it’s cool to see, maybe for someone who may be new to the prayer thing, that praying is just like having a good conversation with a close friend.

    oh, and good luck in afghanistan!

  9. Donny… Thank you for this piece of information. I have been wrestling around with this issue as well lately and this could not have come at a better time. This coming Saturday at the next Porn & Pancakes I will be telling my story along with another person here in Grand Rapids. I thought how could I do this? I study and read the bible and dive into other studies to help me grow. No way though can I quote from any of these like others. How could I do this and do it right? Now after hearing your story during this blog and other occasions I get it. It does not matter how well I’m versed in the bible or weather or not I have gone to a theological collage. It matters that I tell “My Story” and share with others the salvation and grace that the Lord has given me. Thank you brother for this insight and may your day be blessed.

  10. Donny… Thank you for this piece of information. I have been wrestling around with this issue as well lately and this could not have come at a better time. This coming Saturday at the next Porn & Pancakes I will be telling my story along with another person here in Grand Rapids. I thought how could I do this? I study and read the bible and dive into other studies to help me grow. No way though can I quote from any of these like others. How could I do this and do it right? Now after hearing your story during this blog and other occasions I get it. It does not matter how well I’m versed in the bible or weather or not I have gone to a theological collage. It matters that I tell “My Story” and share with others the salvation and grace that the Lord has given me. Thank you brother for this insight and may your day be blessed.

  11. Would a difference between “witnessing”, telling your story, and “ministry”, be that witnessing is sharing as opportunity opens FREELY and ministry is the work of creating opportunity to share the Gospel with financial support of the saints? If people are paying you to do something for the sake of the kingdom, can really start to complicate one’s walk before one is ready?

  12. Would a difference between “witnessing”, telling your story, and “ministry”, be that witnessing is sharing as opportunity opens FREELY and ministry is the work of creating opportunity to share the Gospel with financial support of the saints? If people are paying you to do something for the sake of the kingdom, can really start to complicate one’s walk before one is ready?

Leave a Reply to Seriously... Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.