August 28, 2010

What Could Be Better Than Kool-Aid and Cookies? - Bruce Atchison

Bruce Atchison

In August of 1969, I received something far more important than the usual goodies at a Vacation Bible School. From my Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) memoir, here's how my life changed for all eternity.


Once we were settled down, Mrs. Blacklock began her lesson. "Did you know that you can have a personal relationship with Jesus?" she asked. As I had never heard that doctrine before, I listened all the more intently.

"The Bible says that we are all sinners and that nobody is good enough to go to heaven," she continued. "Going to church is nice but it won't save you on Judgment Day. Only believing in Jesus Christ will save you from going to hell."

I felt shocked. Could this honestly be true? No one told me about that before. I thought only wicked people went to hell.

"If you give your life to Jesus, he will come into you and live in your heart." This sounded impossible too. Jesus was up in heaven and God appeared uninvolved with his creation.

As she outlined how Christ died to pay for our sins and that we could be forgiven because he took our punishment, my heart stirred within me. Could this actually be true?

Then Mrs. Blacklock told the story of Nicodemus and how he was an outstanding religious teacher in Israel. Even with all his education and status, he had no understanding of what it meant to be born again. Suddenly, I realized the meaning of what Jesus said.

A few years previously, a Christian clown visited Jericho and performed magic tricks in the boys' Playroom. Along with the usual vanishing objects and interlocking hoops, this man told us how Nicodemus met Christ late one night. It was merely one of many Bible stories to me then. Now I realized that it applied to me as well.

On Friday, Mrs. Blacklock asked us a life-changing question. "Would you like to invite Christ into your heart and accept him as your saviour?" Though I could think of no serious sins of which I was guilty, except for stealing the glass lumps, I decided I had nothing to lose. I raised my hand and said yes. Our teacher led us in the sinner's prayer and then she welcomed us to the family of Christ. Though I felt nothing dramatic happen, joy and a sense that God was pleased with me filled my heart.

I ran all the way home, a distance of a few blocks, after the school ended. "I've been born again!" I exclaimed to the family as I rushed through the front door. They all stared at me, saying nothing. Doubtless, Mom and my sisters thought I had lost my mind. I felt let down because I thought they would understand this important life-transforming decision I had made. Either nobody told me or I failed to understand that not everybody would comprehend my spiritual transformation.


This memoir and When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) are available through the InScribe site. Click here to visit the page for more information about these paperbacks.

1 comment:

  1. Your account rings true in my heart because the Lord used the story of Nicodemus to speak to me as well. I was 7 when a visiting evangelist opened God's word to John Chapter 3 and I became 'born again' that night!
    Thank you for sharing this. It's great that you've chronicled all these memories.
    Pam Mytroen


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