A TOUCH OF GRACE
ALBERT KIENLE – REGINA
"...What I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also .... But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect." (1 Cor. 15:3-8, 10)
I'd like to share with you how I became a Christian, and why. Becoming a Christian is not automatic; it's much more than just being born into a certain situation or performing religious activities. It's about encountering and experiencing the God of our Lord Jesus Christ for yourself, in a way that forever changes your life and destiny for the better! That is very powerful and meaningful!
Yes, I met and had an experience with God. No, I'm not a poached egg. Neither is my experience self or drug induced. And it has nothing to do with New Age philosophy. My spiritual encounter is real and life changing and life affirming. It wasn't of my initiation; it was all of God who is and became knowable.
Perhaps I should backtrack a little.
I am the last of five children born to farm parents at Quill Lake, Sask. Father was a German Lutheran. Mother, a Ukrainian Catholic. Because of the language and religious barriers we learned English and didn't often attend church. We learned, however, the value of family, hard work, and good times together. We attended a one room schoolhouse with a pot-bellied stove. This would play a significant role in our lives.
However, soon after my birth it was discovered I had cerebral palsy, affecting my walking and speech; something I bear to this day. I wasn't isolated though and partook of a regular life. My parents sought help from the best of medical science. They also contacted spiritualists and other forms of spiritual healing both for myself and Mother's asthmatic attacks. For several years I was at a rehabilitation hospital in Regina, Sask.; this was a painful experience for me as a young boy being separated from family. Travel wasn't as accessible as it is today so I didn't get home regularly. Going home during long holidays were always anticipated. Returning was dreaded and filled with loneliness, fear, and anger.
A Christian schoolteacher was hired for our district and it was from her that we were first exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Friends invited Mother and me to a Christian crusade in Prince Albert where Mother was converted to Christ and healed. She began praying for her family. When a travelling evangelist came into our area several family members made decisions for Christ. I was hospitalized during this time so did not have direct contact with the Gospel; mine was more of a mental assent to the faith rather than a living faith.
That was to change. As new believers in Christ my family took every opportunity to attend church where they preached what we now believed; the closest was, at the time, Saskatoon, a long drive. One summer day the decision was made to go there. I was back home again and since I could not be left alone I, quite reluctantly, had to go along.
While waiting in the back seat of our 1959 VW for the rest to come to make the trip something strange but miraculous began to take place. I do not know what was on my mind but I wasn't in the mood for the trip. Suddenly, without warning or anticipation on my part, the presence of Jesus Christ - the God of the universe - came into and filled the whole space of our little Volkswagen. It was profound! Big enough to fill the universe, small enough to fill my heart! That's God!
In an instant I was absorbed by it and into it. Amazingly there wasn't any sense of fear, just acceptance. I cannot explain it but this living Presence enveloped me and I felt happy, free, forgiven, and given a purpose for life. In that moment it was Jesus and me. I felt Him. I knew Him and He knew me. I wanted Him for all time and He wanted me for all eternity. I loved Him and He loved me. Jesus became a Person to me. And for the first time I felt like a real person. I mattered. I was someone. He cared about me.
I was different. I wanted more of Jesus. I read the little white Bible Mother gave me. I talked with God in prayer and God talked with me… Church was exciting, fresh, and new every time. We, as a family, was baptized in water, taking on the name of Jesus for our lives. I was also filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in a heavenly language.
I'm grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ, for who He is and what He has done for and in me. I'm very passionate for the Cross and the Resurrection, the one event that changed the face of history and has the power to change the life and direction of every individual as it has mine. I'm thankful that God is now my heavenly Father; we are friends and I am, really am, His child. Also, the Holy Spirit has come to be with me; His residence is now in me and He empowers me to live and serve. He is the Great Equilibrium in my life.
Over the years I've grown and developed as a Christian. Friends told me about the FGBMF and I have often attended their rallies in my area. I appreciate their emphasis on salvation, healing, and the Holy Spirit active in our lives today. I will always fondly remember the time FGBMF sponsored Evangelist R.W. Shambaugh in Saskatoon. WOW!
There are things I'm unable to do. As a child I couldn't play outdoors with the other children. Thankfully my schoolteacher picked up on this and introduced me to the world of books. I became hooked. I also became interested in writing. I completed my education through correspondence and GED, along with several Bible and journalism courses. I live independently in Regina. In 1979 I received my driver's license and now drive a wheelchair equipped van. I enjoy going out to the farm every summer, helping where possible. My greatest joy is sharing my faith through speaking engagements as they arise but mainly through writing.
I've written newspaper columns for several local areas. Since the introduction of the Internet and e-mail I am able to communicate on a larger scale. I now mainly blog for myself and for the Regina Apostolic Church where I attend. And, recently I've taken to Facebook. What's next? Who knows! Perhaps Twitter, and onward ... These tools allow me to stay in touch with family and friends and to share always good news! Look for me wherever you are!
I count it a privilege to tell you what the Lord has done for me. He is the living and good God. And I ask you to seriously consider Jesus Christ for your life and what He can do for you. He is the best and only hope of humanity.
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