The quest for truth that led me in 1971 to becoming a follower of Jesus Christ had begun back in the late 1960s. New Zealand born, I’d heard the message of salvation from my late brother in law, Truby Mihaere, on their family marae in Gisborne, NZ.
It was an era evidenced by much spiritual awakening and revival. Later in my home town, I discovered churches were coming alive with pockets of people who were being baptized in the Holy Spirit and manifesting the signs and wonders written of in Acts chapter 2. Religious boundaries were being broken down, as happens when folk have a personal relationship with Jesus and focus on God himself instead of religious institutions. We saw Spirit-filled Catholics, Presbyterians and Anglicans all meeting together in homes to worship God. Even the local Catholic Priest visited all folk regardless of denomination. People were being healed of illnesses through prayer with the laying on of hands and many spoke in tongues as per Acts Chapter 2, all new at that time and viewed with suspicion by many. But it was the era in which I came to know God. I’d been hungry to know the purpose of our existence and if indeed there was a God. Emerging from the generation characterized by hippies, LSD, a peace revolution and ‘flower power’, a generation that was throwing off religiosity and hypocrisy, the Jesus ‘freaks’ they were often termed. I didn’t much care what they called me, I’d found the inner peace I’d been searching for, a knowing that yes there is a God … a deep knowing that neither skeptics, intellectuals or philosophers could ever talk me out of. A knowing that when I die I will see Jesus who has faithfully led and walked alongside me through all of these years. The finish line is in sight now as I perceive we have entered serious and fast moving end times.
Popular at the beginning of my journey in the 1970s, was a movie I saw called The Cross and the Switchblade. It presented quite graphically the power of God to change lives from within. The movie gave rise to the Teen Challenge ministry as young people from the roughest streets of New York city were transformed miraculously from drug addiction and lives of violence into lives of peace, joy & meaningfulness. You can read about that in Nicky Cruz’s testimony called ‘Run Baby Run’. His website is here. David Wilkerson, the author of The Cross & the Switchblade, had gone to New York at God’s leading, where he shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the streets. The ensuing miraculous events that took place where gangs were born again, as described, birthed the book that was later made into the movie. Notably, Wilkerson later wrote ‘The Vision’, a book warning America of judgment to come (Rev 20: 11-15) detailing events that will take place, including an economic collapse. Judgment I perceive now in the year 2020 has been for some time a ‘dirty word’ as the politically correct mode of thinking has diluted the original gospel to one that embraces all manner of principles and mindsets formerly forbidden. And so it is anything goes so long as it harms nobody.
The ’70s was an era when the burning theme among Christians was a looking for the return of Christ, a passion & love for God with an outpouring of unity and many spiritual gifts including healing and prophecy. An era that also featured artists like Keith Green … and Larry Norman who sang about Jesus’ return … one of them that particularly stands out was ‘I Wish We’d All Been Ready’. This song referred to the Matthew 24 scripture as it unfolds, and particularly to the time in history when Jesus’ followers will be removed from the earth in an event called the rapture (1 Thess 4), referring to one being taken and one being left behind. Norman envisages the scene that that evokes and warns us to be and live ready. As with the thief in the night illustrations, we can’t predict what hour a thief might come, but we can keep our doors locked. We just need to be and to live ready, for that return could be any time. Likewise we need to be ready for Christ’s return.
My full bio is found here.