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Praying for the Real!

I grew up in Marion, South Carolina, part of the bible belt. I heard about Jesus all my life!

I went to Sunday School and church almost every Sunday until my late teens.

I never told anybody but I often used to tell myself, “I will serve God when I’m older, when I’m ready to settle down and have a family.” Some of you remember how naive we were back then.

It’s been 35 years since I lived under that assumption. By the sheer grace of God, I trusted Christ at 19.

Absolutely no credit can be given to me...I was doing my own thing and God interupted my life. He chose me, gave me the faith to trust him.

Receiving Jesus as a teen has saved me alot of heartache and pain. It has been the wellspring for all my blessings - wife, children, purpose in life, peace, joy, contentment, forgiveness.

I am now 54. I often wonder, “Lord why me?”

This next part is hard. I have friends and family who heard the same message but it has been 30 and 40 years. They still out there and it is not easy.

It is not easy to shift your trust after years of trusting in yourself, trusting in the next relationship, the next high, the next scheme, the next whatever.

Confessing Christ with your mouth is easy, the trusting with your heart is the hard part.

And I wonder, is it harder to trust Christ the older you get? Is it harder to receive forgiveness for a lifetime of sin? I don’t know. Maybe it is harder, but certainly not impossible.

I’m worried! Worried about all my childhood friends and family who still out there.

I’m worried about those who are “in church” but just religious. I’m worried about us who have learned how to play the church game.

I’m just praying for the real.

Real conviction, real trust, real love, real peace, real relationship, and real church, warts and all.


By Darren Gerald, Senior Pastor

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