A Clay Jar

Encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thess. 2:12 NIV)

My Personal Testimony

This is a brief account of my journey of faith. A journey that almost didn't happen. But one that has been the best of my life.

I was born into a Christian family, the oldest of three kids. My Dad had a career in the Navy, where moving was frequent. I do not remember living in one place longer than four years at a stretch, and usually much shorter. As far back as I can remember, my family attended a local church in the community we lived in. I grew up believing it was just a natural thing that people did. And so, at age 9, I walked the aisle of our local Baptist church, made a profession of faith, and was baptized.

We were always active in the local church throughout my school years, and I was a ‘good’ Christian youth. I never really thought much about what that meant, though. And eventually, it became something that prevented me from enjoying some of the things that I saw other people doing. When my senior year of high school rolled around, I started looking forward to getting away from home and being on my own. And that did not include any plans to continue to be active in a church. After graduation, I enlisted in the Navy with a 3-month delayed entry and looked forward to the freedom it would afford me.

The Transformation

Unfortunately for my plans, I had signed up at my mom’s instigation to help staff at a Christian camp during half of the summer. During the eight weeks I was there, I met a group of other high school graduates and college students who had something I had heard about but had never experienced. And the more I was around them, the more I wanted what they had. Their relationship with Christ was much more than following a set of rules and performing the right rituals. They exhibited something living and dynamic; and very appealing to me. I don’t mean to imply that my parent’s faith was as dead as mine, and I am sure it was not. But it had never been as apparent to me as it was that summer.

While I do not remember the specific day, I do remember the occasion very vividly when I ultimately surrendered my life to the Lordship of Christ. And even more vividly, I remember the transformation it made in who I was. My plans for what I would see and do while in the Navy were upended. Not because I felt guilt over them. But because I was no longer interested. And in addition to transforming my desires, my language was transformed.

In the Years Since

In the decades since then, I have often looked back to that event to verify that, indeed, something real had happened to me. It was more than just an intellectual decision on my part. It was life-changing. And in the 50-plus years since that time, I have sought to follow Jesus as my Lord. I have not always been successful. But I have always claimed him as Lord and mainly sought to live for him. I have been active within a local church wherever I have been. And I have eagerly desired to grow in God’s grace and obedience.

I cannot begin to imagine what course my life would have taken had it not been for that summer when I encountered Jesus. But I have no regrets about the choice I made to follow him. And to continue to follow him throughout the intervening years. Through all that life in this world has brought my way, he has been faithful. And my greatest desire is to stand before him and to hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

21 thoughts on “My Personal Testimony”

  1. Hi Ed- Thanks for sharing a sincere testimony. In your FB group I learned you support annihilationism. As we know the 3 views in our faith are: extermination of the lost (conditionalism, CI) eternal torment of the lost (infernalism, ECT) restoration of the lost (universal restoration, UR). Having once defended the first two, I came to support the third after very serious research on: the early church, writings of church fathers, and original languages of scripture. I’m very curious why UR is banned from a Christian theology page. Is a Roman Catholic council, where a Roman emperor denounced an aberrant form of “Origenism” the reason? I often here claims that “universalism” is heresy and unorthodox (though the claim is usually against pluralism) UR beliefs prevailed in the early church, however, and even Augustine confirmed that. Look forward to your response, and Godspeed in your journey.

    • Why I do not believe in Universal Reconciliation (UR), and why I do not allow it on my Facebook group, is that I find it contrary to the clear teaching of Jesus and his apostles. Teaching that there is eternal life for those who believe. And some form of eternal separation for those who do not confess Jesus as Lord in this life. I can find very little real support for UR in the Scripture.

  2. Dearest Mr. Jarret,
    Thank you for your testimony. Your experience with the camp, is my Grandfather teaching/reading and answering questions. Showing me love. Through the Bible in my younger years. He died of metastatic cancer when I turned 13. He was everything to me. My life growing up was chaos at best. But, I remember how awesome his position was as a Deacon of a Baptist church and his patience with all 7 siblings. He affected each one of us. He gave me the greatest gift, JESUS CHRIST. I walk because he took the time to show me. Which is exactly what I have done. So thankful for people who show their support in teaching and giving of their time . That would be you!
    Thank you so very much. If I’m too appreciative, save some for later?

    • Thanks for sharing your testimony and tribute to you grandfather. Bearing witness to the next generation, as well as those of your own should be our greatest delight.

  3. Thank you, Ed, for sharing your blog and your testimony. I am moved and so encouraged to read about how Jesus moves us in our lives to know Him more and to be called by God into my saving relationship with Jesus. I, too, have experienced that I grow as I love God and love others rather than an unbalanced focus on my beliefs and practices.

  4. Thank you for sharing your testimony. Mine is nearly the same as yours. My mom was a true believer who took me to Church at an early, toddler, age. I still remember singing, “Jesus loves the little children,” and “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so;” and “There were green alligators and long necked geese and some hum-pity back camels and some chimpanzees.” From that point, I always believed, but sowed my wild oats during the teen years. Like, you I joined the military with a one-month delayed entry, Army, and met some Christians along the way. God never gave up on me. Since then, I have served in local churches, written Bible studies, written songs (YouTube search ” justfishin777 “, and such. It’s amazing what God can do with a bunch of dust.

  5. Like you, I grew up where being a Christian was equivalent to being a good kid. Though I committed my life to Christ at the age of 12, I have struggled with legalistic tendencies my whole life. Salvation is front and centre of the Ephesian letter, and it is all by the grace of God.

    Finding God is to find rest for the soul. It’s a continuing process, right? Thanks for sharing.

    • I have come to believe that God is more interested in my walk with him than he is in the specifics of my beliefs or practice. Those are important. But not as much as walking with him.

  6. Thank you for your testimony. I always derive such joy from hearing how God has called others into a personal relationship with Himself. And now, because you and I are both in communion (fellowship) with Him we have fellowship with one another. Blessings!

  7. Wow,

    Both yours and my mom kept us out of trouble!

    It’s funny how those little things shape us for the long-term.

    Faith, from what I’ve seen, is cultivated from a young age, sought in times or trouble and can even hit us like a brick.

    For me, it was all three.

    I’m standing now for the biggest test of my life, wondering if He will bring it to a satisfying conclusion.

    While I have my doubts, I persist nonetheless.

    My case is laid bare in my autobiography, which I just published, and I’m wondering if you’d give it an honest read.

    I’m in no hurry for feedback, but I would like it.


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