When I became a Christian, God opened doors for me to speak to a variety of churches, bible studies, and youth groups. As a new believer, I didn’t know the difference between a Catholic and a Baptist so that made me a good candidate. I was able to speak what I felt God had given me without fear of offending anyone. (Ignorance was kind of bliss) One week I would be asked to speak at a Baptist Church, and the following week I was ministering at a Methodist Youth Camp.
I did know a little bit about Pentecostals however.
When I was a small boy, I had to go to church every Easter morning with my grandmother. No church, no eggs! The guy up in the front was really loud, but I did enjoy the “Penny March”. The “March” occurred when the children were dismissed, and headed for Sunday School. As the congregation sang “When the Saints Go Marching In”, we headed down the center aisle, and out the side door. As we passed a large wooden bench in the front of the sanctuary, we dropped pennies in an offering basket. Grandma supplied the pennies and proceeded to watch you like a hawk. Not sure even God could help you if all those pennies didn’t drop. But I digress. (and I warn you, that could be a recurring theme)
I would like to say my speaking engagements were due to my firm grasp of eschatology, but the truth is I didn’t even know what eschatology was, much less spell it. I was asked to share because I spoke in parables. In short, I told stories. The message was rooted in scripture, but told in a way that was easy to understand. It’s easy to look past the simplicity of the gospel, and as the years have passed, I believe I strayed away from doing just that.
Soon after I became a Christian, I was excited about purchasing my first Bible. I headed down to our local Bible Book Store, and the woman behind the counter asked me what kind of Bible I wanted. What kind? There are different kinds? “I guess Holy”, I thought. I politely told her I needed to call a friend. “Rick”, what kind of Bible do we use?” I asked. “King James”, he replied. “Okay, I’ll take that one”. It was a good thing the New King James wasn’t out yet, I would have been thoroughly confused.
So now I know the difference between Catholics and Protestants, Methodist and Baptists, and Lutherans and Pentecostals. I have a King James, New King James, NIV, NAS, ASV, and multiple other translations of the Bible. I have it on my iPhone, my iTouch, my iMac, and my MacBook. But as much as I have evolved, I believe it’s time for me to get back to my first love. It’s time for me to go back and do the things I did in the beginning. Time to make it simple again. Time to start telling stories.