My Conversion

Vicky and I just became members at Grace Fellowship Church of Toronto. As part of the process, we had to give hand written accounts of our testimonies for the membership to read. I thought I’d share it here.
Growing up my father was (is) a lapsed Catholic and my mother a nominal Anglican. As a result, I grew up with an apathetic modicum of respect for religion. My mother had my sister and I christened as infants at St. Aidan’s Anglican Church and she took us to Christmas and Easter services there. I never read the bible, but knew the basic bible stories from school or television. I believed in a god, but was not at all concerned to allow him a claim on my life.
In highschool I was your typical teenager. A burnout, I smoked a lot of dope, drank a lot of beer, and barely made it through classes. I was more concerned about music and hanging out than I was about life. My father was an alcoholic who took a little interest in me, only to urge me not to be a failure like he was (so he thought, he’s not a failure). My mother was (is) a good mother and did everything to shield my sister and I from my father’s alcoholism. Therefore I grew up with a relatively normal life.
When I was eighteen I got into listening to punk music and aligned myself with a punk-rock subculture called “straightedge,” a moralistic lifestyle that is essentially Christianity without God. I stopped drugs and drinking and lived on a moral high horse pitting myself against those who were like I once was. Within a few months I was converted to Christ.
My actual conversion occurred at a pastor’s retreat near Port Loring/Sundridge, Ontario. A good friend of mine was a pastor’s kid. Invariably on a Friday night I would go with him to his (very cheesy) youth group. That summer Tim (my friend) went on a mission trip to Brixton, UK. He was gone for most of the summer and when he came back to Canada he went to this pastor’s retreat with his family. My family has a cottage just south of Temagami, which is about two hours north of where Tim was. So I made the trek to this retreat/cottage area to hang out with him for a week.
Of course, while I was there, meeting all of these people who were cottaging, I was the target of their evangelism. Being the pagan who stuck out like a punk-rock sore thumb, I was easy prey. Unbeknownst to me, I was getting grilled with the gospel. One night Tim’s dad broke horrific news to Tim and I. We had a close friend whose parents went to Tim’s church. As it turned out, our friend was being charged for raping his sister. The horror of such news hit my chest like a sledgehammer. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before. This news, coupled with the constant barrage of the gospel, suddenly got me thinking about religion.
That night, as Tim and I camped out in the bush, the darkness and the sounds of the night kept me awake. Tim was sleeping and I felt incredibly alone. Thinking over the profound evil that crept into my life filled me with such fear that I cried out to God. I reasoned that if such evil existed in the world that, for there to be hope, I needed God. I told him that I would believe in him. The next morning I told people about what I had done. Of course they were all overjoyed at my “conversion.” Looking back, I don’t actually believe I was converted in the tent that night. I believe that I can pinpoint my conversion to the following night around the campfire with Tim, who opened the bible and explained to me what Jesus Christ had done for me. I remember being profoundly affected by it, even to the point of tears (and yes, hugging). From that moment on I knew I was changed.
Immediately I came home, started going to Walkerville Baptist Church and joined the worship team where I played bass guitar. The following Easter I was baptised at Walkerville. It was there that I went to church until it nearly exploded.
I see that I’ve exceeded my single page limit so I conclude my story here. If you want to hear about how I became a Calvinist, how I was called to ministry and how I met my wife (Vicky) you’ll have to ask me!
Praise the Lord for saving a sinner such as myself (and for saving my mother!); it is all of sheer grace.
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4 Comments

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4 responses to “My Conversion

  1. timmccready

    I had forgotten about those rape charges! I wonder what ever happened to that? Looking back and knowing both of them I’d put money on betting that she made it all up.

    She did call her mom when I was at a party once and told her that I was upstairs doing blow and having sex with some girl when I was just hanging around being sober. It did occur to me a few years ago that since I was straight edge I was probably killing some peoples buzz and she just wanted me out of there.

    She contacted me through facebook about 6 months ago and she’s got a couple kids and is a stripper in Mississauga now and wanted to meet up sometime. YEAH RIGHT!!!!!!!!

    Tim

  2. Ian

    Man alive! Does she have any contact with her brother?
    I agree with you re: her making it up. But what a terrible thing to lie about.
    I remember when she made up that story and your dad had to crash the party. But wasn’t Nick drunk and peeing on a tree when your dad showed up? Ha!
    Cheers.

  3. Nick

    I wasn’t actually drunk, but I was peeing on the side of the building when Ray Ray came by because the washroom was full at the apartment we were at.

    I believe she also dated Derek Pizzala. Need you say more.

  4. Ian

    Man alive, really? I didn’t know she dated him.

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