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Old 06-14-2005, 09:17 AM   #1
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"There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel's veins..."

So,

Many of you have seen me around on CGR. I've given bits and pieces of my testimony before, but never this completely. Be happy.

I was born on April 9th, 1985, with a sac of nerves and spinal fluid protruding from my back between my L4 and L5 vertebrae. For those of you who don't know, this is Spina Bifida. I was baptised shortly thereafter, in the Roman Catholic Church, at my grandparents parish church, Sacred Heart of Mary parish, Madoc, Ontario.

Throughout my life, I was teased heavily. As well as walking with a limp and leg braces (for a very long time I hated wearing shorts, as it displayed my leg braces..) I suffer from incontinence. I managed this latter very well most of the time with medication, but the odd mishap was very embarassing.

When I was in grade 10 in North Vancouver (my dad is a Geologist, and we often moved around Canada for his job), there were several Christians whom I met. I had received nominal religious instruction as a child, so I believed in God, and knew, vaguely, who this Jesus character was (my grandparents had given me a bible for my First Communion, after which my parents largely lost any kind of religous affiliation and stopped taking me to Mass. I read this Bible sometimes, and found it extremely interesting). But these folks stuck up for me. In particular, one girl, by the name of Amy, who attended a small Mennonite fellowship down the road from my house, stuck up for me in science class when my whole class was picking on me. She would ask how I was doing in the halls,and just generally treat me with more dignity and respect than anyone else would....but life went on. Christ was still not, in any substantial way, a part of my life. I would go home and cry every night, because I simply had no hope. I wanted to kill myself, actually, but having been raised a (nominal) Roman Catholic, I believed I would go to Hell if I did so.

My Mom and Dad got into a fight one night which came to blows (dad came home drunk from a night of too much..um...drinking..with work friends) whilst we were living in Vancouver. Mom, frantic, told me to call the cops, and I did, not knowing what else to do. Dad was detained by the police overnight, who also confiscated his .22 cal hunting rifle. After they let him go (they didn't hold him) he went to my uncle (his brothers) house, who was living in North Van at the time. When he finally got home, he talked to me about it and apologized. That was one of the first times I'd ever heard him say he was wrong. Anyway, my Dad decided to go to church, and thought we should both go. Mom declined, still, no doubt, mad at Dad. Anyway, we tried one fellowship, which was entirely unfamiliar to us...we didn't go back after the first service. The next Sunday we went to a small Roman Catholic church, St. Stephen's parish. I don't even remember the topic of the homily: I remember only that the priest and the people were very friendly, and made me want to come back. Dad and I did.

There was a program there known as Alpha, (a practical introduction to the Christian faith), at the time running with the blessing of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver. Dad and I went there for awhile: the talks centred around the existance of God, the person of Jesus, and the nature of His Work on the cross. To make a long story short - I believed. Christ took hold of my life. I can't explain it, other than to say that He took hold of me. I'm not nearly as eloquent with describing this as I ought to be....however, during those 8 weeks, my life changed irreversibly. I continued to attend there, discipled by a wonderful elderly Dutch man by the name of Frank.

When I moved to Australia at the age of 16 due to my dad obtaining work in Papua New Guinea, I became involved with a small non-denominational fellowship in Cairns, where I was living. After awhile, though, it started to grate on my nerves. It seemed that it was very irreverent - there was no sense of the majesty of God in worship there (of course, I was only attending the evening service due to the fact that getting transportation to the morning service was impractical..). I suppose, having grown up with the formal liturgy of the Church of Rome, and attending an Anglican private school, my heart longed for the beautiful liturgy of Rome again.

I rejoined the Church of Rome at the beginning of 2002, and thence began my long exploits as an apologist for that Church. You can read some of them on CGR. Back in Canada after I finished high school at the end of 2003, I attended the Roman Catholic university chaplaincy of Queen's University, in Kingston, where I was living at the time (and still am). In about July of last year, though, the nagging doubts about the veracity of some of Rome's teachings began to fester in my mind...finally, after an attempt to hold a discussion with my priest about total depravity (as per Ephesians 2:1-10, and others) which didn't turn out very well (he, for all intensive purposes, forced his interpretation of the inherent goodness of all humanity onto v.5, saying that God, when Christ came, gave grace to the whole of humanity to accept Him) I realized that that was the last straw with Rome. The leaps of exegetical logic that I was being required to take were unjustifiable.

Around August of last year, I officially left the Roman Catholic Church. I attended a wonderful Lutheran church for awhile, St. Mark's. I found, however, that there were very few young people there who I could fellowship with. The pastor and other members of the congregation were amazing, but there just wasn't the demographic I was looking for. Also, their official confessions teach a doctrine known as baptismal regeneration, which, in the Lutheran/Roman Catholic sense, I find to be unscriptural. (There is a sense in which I affirm it, but it's really irrelevant to this testimony) So I eventually found myself going to a service one morning at St. Georges (Anglican) Cathedral, whereupon I spoke to one of the ministers presiding that morning, and he told me of an evangelical Anglican church here in town, St. James, where I am currently attending. I talked to their youth minister/University chaplain (My church is right on the campus of Queen's University) and decided to join.

God has been teaching me a great deal about His sovereignty over the last year or so. I've been extremely ill with all kinds of issues relating to my Spina Bifida. Yet through it all, I have felt His hand upon me. From saving my guilty soul, saving me from the pit of despair and self-loathing, guiding me out of the errors of Rome, slowly restoring my trust in people in general again (I still have a hard time trusting, for instance, those who compliment my appearance), to all the temporal blessings He's given me...God's sovereign will has been at work in my life. I have complete confidence that He who began a good work in me will complete it to the day of Christ Jesus...all my sins are forgiven, and I am a ransomed, justified, and adopted child of God! I have my eyes set on the blessed hope of the second coming of Christ, that my broken body will be resurrected one day in perfect incorruptibility, whereupon I will join, with all the saints through every age, in fellowship and praise, world without end.

There can be no better news than that...

----------------------------------------

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuelís veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

Eíer since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, Iíll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
íTis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Fatherís ears no other name but Thine.


- "There is a Fountain Filled With Blood", by William Cowper, 1772


Last edited by ICTHUS; 06-14-2005 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:28 AM   #2
so much
 
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This is too long to read tonight... but I am sure that I will be touched when I read it later.
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:55 AM   #3
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I've read it many times, and have been touched- over and over.
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Old 06-20-2005, 03:02 AM   #4
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i might as well read this tomorrow.
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Old 06-21-2005, 08:01 AM   #5
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Is my testimony really that long that people can't read it in one sitting?
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Old 06-21-2005, 12:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ICTHUS
Is my testimony really that long that people can't read it in one sitting?
It is when you're only on the computer after spending about 12 hours straight with your girlfriend on y'all's anniversary... which was pretty much exactly when I found this thread.

I just read it now, though... in one sitting even. Thank you for sharing, it was a great testimony of God's enduring grace.

In His love,
Nate
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(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or
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Old 12-03-2005, 11:22 PM   #7
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If the Son has set you free then you are free indeed. God bless brother.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:31 PM   #8
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I really enjoyed your testimony!

I thought your testimony was wonderful...and NO, I did not find it too long. As I too, have posted my testimony, I know how it is to try to sum up the great works God has done in your life into one small area. I could write a book about my testimony and I am sure you could also. I hope you will take the time to read it mine, titled "Staying Tied to My Post".

I admire your persistance in not giving up until you finally found a church where you were comfortable. I thank God for my church every day. It is hard to find a good church that doesn't let doctrine get in the way of God's Word. If people would allow religious walls to be broken I feel a true move of God would just sweep across the world!!

I work as a nurse's aide and I want you to also know you are truly an overcommer (of your Spina Bifida). I have worked with several people, young and old, with the same diagnosis and I know how challenged and overwhelmed you must feel at times. Just remember, we are all born with flaws, weather they are on the inside or outside, big or small. God knew you as he knit you together inside your mother's womb. He knew the challenges you would face after you were born. You have been able to take what the devil intended for bad and turn it into good--your testimony is proof of that...never stop sharing it!! I am sure you have been able to touch many lives. God makes no mistakes. I read in your testimony that "your body will be made whole" on that glorious day. Praise God it will. But while you are here on earth know too that in God's eyes you are already perfect. It is so wonderful how he sees past all of our flaws.

I really enjoyed your testimony. I am going to share my email address with you. Write me if you like. I can share links with you to my church and my son's Youth Band. I think you would enjoy them.

May God keep His hand upon you,

Angela
imabusyma@yahoo.com
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