Around the Word small

Bible reading and memorization brought me back from almost certain spiritual death. It held me from going all the way into the valley of despair.

It happened during my second year of college. I was surrounded by Marxist-atheist professors and Philosophy class in particular brought me to the edge of the abyss. I began doubting everything I had ever believed in; the chief instigator was a young philosophy professor with a degree from Harvard who stated from the first day of class that her entire goal was to poke holes in every form of belief we had brought with us on the day we entered her classroom. I had just turned 18. I lived with a bunch of other atheists or recalcitrant Catholics. I had no one with intellectual virility and sound apologetics credentials I could turn to. It was only later I would discover and devour the writings of Francis Schaeffer.

So I drifted. For about 8 months. No church. No prayer. No Christian friends. I was swimming in a sea of doubts with no possibility of rescue, or so it seemed. Naturally, I began to go to parties with my school friends. But I was not comfortable in those settings either. I felt like an illegal immigrant in a Trump rally.

One night I just had enough. As the music blasted in the tiny room of a house, I was strangely overwhelmed by guilt and sensed that the young people packed in that little room, dancing like maniacs, were actually all pointing their fingers at me and saying, “Look at the Christian!” I ran outside, into the kind of starry night that you only see on the equator. And I prayed a simple prayer: “God, if you are there, I need to know. Show yourself to me in some way.”

Needless to say, that was the last dancing party I went to. Not long after I prayed that prayer, I began to be awakened in the middle of the night by portions of the Word of God, which I had memorized when I was a child under my mother’s guidance. Not just verses, entire chapters and even small books were flooding my mind and coming out like water from a fire hydrant. I knew then, beyond any shadow of doubt, that God was real and that I belonged to Him. It was my “reconversion,” and I never turned back from it. That was 39 years ago; the time when I was saved by the Word.

We are starting a new series at Grace Church titled “Around the Word in 50 Days: The Quest for Every Generation.” During this series we will study four generations of Kings in southern Israel and the legacy they left for the next generation. We will see that it is our job to pass the truth of God to our children so they can pass it to their children after them. God does not have grandchildren.

During this time the whole church will be asked to read Scriptures together, by using the devotionals our staff and leaders have written. We will also be encouraged to form TRIADS for Bible reading accountability purposes. TRIAD stands for “To Read In Accountability Daily.”

Finally, to culminate our series, we will be doing a live reading of the New Testament in our auditorium, starting at 5:00 am on Saturday, May  28, and ending around 11:00 pm that same day with yours truly reading the Book of Revelation. We will be asking many of you to read and all to attend at least certain portions of the event.

Why do this? Because we believe the Word of God is still powerful and through it we can still be saved. Don’t miss this exciting series in this season of our ministry at Grace Church!

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade

Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA