Now that I’m home, taking my writing more seriously and revamping my website, I realized something. I’ve shared a little about me in the “About Me” page, but I haven’t shared why I have such a passion for sharing my faith with others and helping those who might be struggling with their faith.
I’ll start with my unfortunate beginning. When I was ten months old, my mother joined a cult. She thought she was doing what God wanted her to do. But, regardless of her intentions, my family broke apart. I grew up without a mother.
As if things weren’t bad enough, I was left in the care of a housekeeper who mistreated me (to put it mildly).
My father brought my brother and I to church on occasion. I remember seeing my dad get baptized. But I didn’t know those people and they didn’t make me feel welcome. So, I harassed my dad every Sunday morning until he finally quit making me go. He quit going too.
When I was eight years old, I met my mother and began visiting her in Florida (she had left the cult by then). She led me to Christ and I believe I was truly saved, but I knew nothing about what it meant to follow God. I returned to New England and lived as the world did with people who had nothing to do with God.
I spent most of my adult life living like the world. About as far away from God as I could get. I made many, many, many mistakes along the way. I’ll spare you the details, but I’ll share how God brought me back to Him in the next post. First, I want to point out a few things that motivate me today because of my experiences.
I want to ensure people know God’s word for themselves.
If you don’t know God’s word:
- You’ll follow the wrong path. I followed the wrong path for too many years. Without God, without His Word, how will you know which way is right? You’ll make mistakes like leaving your family, then suffer the consequences. You’ll leave a mess and lots of hurt in your wake.
There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. – Proverbs 14:12
- False teachers can mislead you. If you don’t know what God taught, you’re susceptible to false teachers who seek to derail Christians, like my mother. It’s real. It happens. It’s destructive.
And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. – Romans 16:17-18
- You will conform to this world. I spent far too long following this world’s thinking and it ruined me. People are deceived if they think they are unique. We all conform to something. If it’s not to God’s ways, it’s the world. If you don’t know God’s plan, how can you be expected to do otherwise? You can’t follow what you don’t know. So, whether you realize it or not, you will be influenced by this world and follow its thinking. Trust me, you don’t want to go where it will lead you.
…Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. – James 4:4b
- You’ll never be free. I didn’t know it, but I was a slave to sin. I walked in darkness and I kept making one bad choice after another. Until you see the light, you won’t know that you live in darkness. You’re more likely to get upset and disappointed that God failed you because you don’t understand the truth. You may walk away from Him or never draw near.
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32
- You won’t know that He loves you. His love is what keeps and sustains you during difficulty. You’ll never grasp just how much He loves you. But once you at least know that He does, you can trust God to get you through anything that comes your way. You will trust that He uses all things for good and He uses difficulties to strengthen your faith.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. – James 1:2-3
- You won’t experience God. You will miss out on blessings God has in store for you, in this life and the next. I hate to think of all the years I spent missing out.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” – John 3:3
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. – John 14:6
I wasted so many years fighting God. I don’t want anyone to miss out on experiencing God’s love and grace. It’s available to anyone who trusts in Him now.
This is why I teach 5th and 6th graders. I’m attempting to give my kids what I wish I’d had. They will have such an advantage knowing what I share with them before their choices become more serious! I wish I hadn’t fought going to Sunday School. I regret that my father stopped going too. And I want to ensure that each child who attends my class knows that I know who they are and that they are loved. I want them to know and experience God…today. And I love doing it.
This is why I write fantasy. I want to share God’s love and Biblical truths in a fun way that people will enjoy in hopes that it will lead them to their Bible and to Christ. I want to reach a wider audience than the 30 mile radius around my church. And I love writing.
This is why I write blog posts. Again, I’m simply attempting to offer what I wished I’d had. I was so stubborn. I wasted so many years struggling. God used it, of course. And I wouldn’t change it. But I mustn’t waste it. I must use it. If the stories I write don’t lead people directly to Christ, then I hope it leads them here, and that my blog will point them to Christ. Yet another thing I love doing.
I love how God has instilled passion in me to do these things, and a love for it as well.
Next time I’ll blog about how God brought me to where I am today despite all these difficulties. Until then, if any of this resonates with you, if you struggle with your faith at all or if you’ve experienced difficulties and want to help others, please share. I’d love to hear from you.
You are loved,
J F Rogers