13 October 2017

Christian Corner - October

Many would agree with me on this, introducing one’s self to a group of people (or a website audience) is not an easy task. To be perfectly honest, I get nervous when we’re eating at a family gathering, and I am nominated to say the blessing because my Daddy isn’t there. I’m just going to dive head first into this and let you, the reader, know exactly who I am, and what I am about.
My name is Trey Jackson, and I’m the husband to Melissa Jackson (owner of Living the Thrifty Life). I’m 31 years old, served for nearly 8 years in the United States Navy, and have traveled to well over 20 countries throughout my life. I’ve seen things throughout my life that would shock people, bring others to tears, and in some instances, make some excited for the “fun” they were about to have. I want to use these experiences and stories as a teaching tool, and use scripture to help mold the experiences I have had into something one can read and contemplate. Keeping ones focus solely on Christ takes an enormous commitment of your mind, body, and spirit. Keeping evil, i.e. sin, completely out of our lives is an impossibility, because we are human, and we make mistakes every single day. It’s how we repent, and work harder to correct the mistakes that we make that help define the type of person we are, and more specifically, the type of Christ follower we are.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:35-40
None of us are perfect, myself included. Here’s a verse for you to remember (‘for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ Romans 3:23), it is one that I should remember more often when I falter. It can be reassuring to know that even when we fall short, God’s love for us doesn’t. He proved that by sending his only Son, Jesus, to die for us – you, me, and everyone on this planet. Our debt has been paid already, we must repent and serve. More on this in a later posting….
Back to my personal story:
I was saved when I was near the age of 15 or so, but I was baptized a year-ish before that, when my family (i.e. my parents and siblings) joined the church that I grew up in. I did not want to be baptized then, and I did not walk to the front of the church with my family the day that they made it known to the congregation that they were joining the church. I didn’t make it known that I didn’t want to be baptized, probably teenage nervousness and joining a new church, so I went through with it anyway a few weeks later, and was baptized in front of the congregation, friends, family, and my parents. I think we ate at Shoney’s that afternoon afterwards, but it was so long ago that I can’t recall. That’s typically where we ate on Sunday’s after church, if Mama was working. Who knows? All I remember is that I was glad it was over, now I could get back to baseball, and being a kid.
My family got more involved in the church after the baptism occurred. This meant that we were at church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday nights. Wednesday nights were fun, because we got to play football in the wide lot behind the church, after our lesson was over of course. Sunday nights were the less fun nights, because as a kid, Sunday night was the last night of semi-freedom before beginning the school week. As it would come to be, it would be at a road-trip style Sunday night service with the youth group, that I would make my profession of faith in front of total strangers (other youth groups from surrounding counties).
The first Sunday of the month, a larger church in a town about 10 miles south of where our church was, would have a live band, and an awesome preacher come and preach to the large audience of different youth groups. Needless to say, those Sunday night services were a BLAST. The music was great – i.e. it wasn’t a hymn on page 255, and the sermons were typically directed towards youth and young-adults, and were fun, interesting, and I felt like we were told the unadulterated truth straight from the word of God.
After hearing the sermon one of those Sunday nights at this gathering, the last song began to play, and the preacher said if anyone wants to dedicate their life to God that this was an opportunity to do that. The preacher was down by the altar, so were deacons, and others to help counsel to the youth exactly what dedicated our lives to God would mean. As soon as that song began to play, I could feel the “tug” (or nudge) tugging at me to go down, and in all honesty, I wanted to go down the aisle and dedicate my life to God. I had it in my brain that I was going to, but I just couldn’t. So, I prayed quickly, and I just kept feeling God tugging at me to walk down, so I took the first step towards the altar, and instantly I felt love, happiness, and joy coming over me, literally like a blanket being draped over my shoulders.

The sensation was sort of like a warm blanket that’s been pulled right out of the dryer. Trying to describe the internal feelings is a bit more tough, but to put it into words, the walk down to the altar seemed so effortless once I took that first step. It was as if God himself had put his arms around me, and took me down those steps himself, one step at a time. The love that I felt in that instant is something that I will never, ever, forget. Although I still have that love now, transitioning from not feeling that love because I had yet to take that step of faith, to taking that first step and physically feeling that love envelope me, is absolutely indescribable. Shortly after this took place, I gave my testimony in front of my church, though I was so nervous that I cried, so I’m certain no one could understand the words that I was saying, but I got through it and I did my best. My walk with God didn’t change much in terms of growth after that for a few years, but it did change once I joined the Navy. That story, though, is for another time.
That’s the story of how I became a dedicated child of God. Now, I’ve made a ton, and I mean TON, of mistakes along the way to where I am today, but we won’t get into those just yet. I want to let you know that I’m going to write whatever the Holy Spirit lays on my heart any given week, or month, whichever way it comes. If you have any questions, or comments, please feel free to leave them. I do not claim, in any way, to be an expert on anything. I am simply looking to write a column, and hope that it helps one person in some way. Whether it be through a life lesson that I’ve learned, or through a particular scripture that is highlighted.
I hope that you enjoyed this brief, albeit sporadic, introduction. I look forward to writing more of these as time goes on, it’s been a blast thus far. Remember to put God first, love and forgive one another, and when the opportunity arises, serve others as much as possible.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45


Darlene said...

Thank you for sharing! Thank you for suggesting that I read the Bible. I have been and it has been very helpful for me. I'm laughing because the last verse I read in the Bible sticks with me every day and is important to me in my life right now and I can't even remember the book or verse! But I will share it, maybe you know where it's from; it is " I am with you to save you"

Looking forward to your next posting,

Love, Mom

Melissa Jackson said...

@Mom ... Trey loves this comment. I showed him, and he is very happy that you enjoyed his post. :-) He looks forward to doing this monthly! I, too, do not know where that Bible verse came from, ha! But, I do like it. <3 Thank you very much for your comment!