Friday, June 14, 2013

Never Too Late For Jesus

This is a blessed blog, one I first received from a dear friend on Facebook-just openly. I had to ask him to re-send it to me, as for I lose a lot of what I am searching for on FB these days!! He did so quick, so fast-so humbled. I am very gracious to be able to call Jim my friend, even though we haven't met in person yet, and have only known each other a few weeks on Facebook. But the cool part about the two of us is we are both very transparent. He also speaks with beautiful words Jesus has blessed Him with, words that make you feel like your surrounding is a beautiful beach day, or amazing waterfalls that runneth over .... His talk about Jesus is amazing. I was twenty-six and near death when I finally accepted Him. I thought I'd never run into anyone even a tad older. This man clung hard to Christ at 69-5 years ago, and hasn't let go!! He has only grown wiser thru his walk!! And very humble, kind, gentle, loving... and so on!! I always thought finding Jesus at a later age of 26 helped me grow quicker, and definitely not grow bored in His teaching, or teaching others in need to hear; not in comparison as it can become just like a job like feeling for those who grew up a particular faith-made to go to church, as opposed to a desire to go soak it up themselves. And it becomes very stale like for many who do as parents expect or demand as they become parents-but the relationship with Christ is yet to be established. That is where both Jim and I have a common. Finding Him on our terms opened our hearts big time. Jim, you have no time for regret on the time you were not seeking. He always has His perfect timing of us. And right NOW it is perfect for you to be on fire for Him, share His Word. You do it remarkably-the way people who know zero about it and have wonders yet fear-will cling to you! You are gentle! Yet truthful! Bless your Jesus-overfilling heart!

This is Jim Russels testimony....
How I found Jesus:  A request for a bio has been asked: Here is my story about How I found Jesus:

My youth until the age of 69 was without Christ, or so I thought. After having been awakened by Christ at 69, the eyes of Jesus allowed me to see many things previously hidden from me. The most important realization was that an angel had been with me throughout my entire life, without my knowing.
Consider this scripture:
 Hebrews 1:14 (NIV) Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
 This Word of God assures us that we do indeed have guardian angels, which I once thought was a 'fanciful tale.' At the time of my youth, I often thought I was "lucky," but as the years went on, misfortune after misfortune appeared and was brushed aside by "luck." I became suspicious, and then amazed. One after the other, I was rescued from relationships that would have put most on the street, homeless.

Finally, I joined the Freemasons, a fraternity that teaches morality and upstanding conduct, values taken from mainly the Bible. Their need beckoned to me, and I learned some teaching roles, memorized and then delivered at certain lodge proceedings. My contributions were well received, and over the years I learned more teachings, and eventually was elected Master of the Lodge in 1977. The teaching did me good, and making the mistakes that leaders made did me more good.
In a word, I was softened from the hardened-heart state, being prepared, unknown to me.

I moved to another state, and to another Masonic Lodge. This time, I resolved to take the lessons learned to heart, and again applied myself to learning Masonic morality, with a better heart. I was elected Chaplain, and received recognition for spiritual leadership of the lodge. The old heart was changing, I sensed, but did not know why I was unsettled.

Finally, my daughter suggested by mail that I come to Iowa and retire near her. I did, and there I joined a United Methodist Church. Interesting, I thought. A course offering eventually appeared, apparently on church basics, and I thought, "Why not?"

So I signed up for the course, and attended. That is the last week of existence for the old me. In a nutshell, as soon as I saw the other class members, I was stunned. Their faces shone with a radiance that captivated me. They spoke with a quiet sincerity and earnestness that held me so tightly that it hurt. In short, without understanding what they were talking about, this Jesus stuff, I was sold, and I wanted whatever it was that they had.

That night, I prayed, my heart full, to God above, hesitantly, and was answered in power and force such that it seemed winds were about to blow me away. I looked to see if the drapes were moving. No, they were still. A voice, not spoken, not in words, but felt, something primeval, ancient, and familiar.
 I skip here to later, the next morning, and awakened to a new day, literally, and began to see everything as if I had never opened my eyes until this morning...

The rest is my journey in Christ, which I now share with my friends, especially with those also in Christ. You are most welcome to join me.

Much Love in Christ Jesus, 

Jim Russell

Galatians 2:20 I myself no longer live, but Christ lives IN me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (NLT)


Libby Baker Sweiger said...

Praise God Jim! What a blessed testimony! And Heather, such a loving introduction. My brother and sister in Jesus....I watched you two connect and wanted immediately to meet Jim too. Such a blessing and tender hearted brother. Thank you for sharing your story off new found faith -- so powerful ! God bless you! Blessings to you both!

JimR said...

Hetty dear, thank you for your kind words! Meeting you has proven to be a pivotal point in my faith growth, just as meeting Julia Latto and Bonnie Squires has been. Since I was brought to Christ, I now know that the critical influence of Christian fellowship is very, very important, as the act of witnessing to others and learning from others is what drives home the belonging to a community of believers. This community is the body of Christ, also known as the bride of Christ, and for me, was the key to knowing the peace and joy of salvation that had been so elusive for me. I am very glad to know that you, and also Julia and Bonnie, have similarly had these experiences. I hope to join with you and other new friends in perpetuating this ecstatic feeling of completion in Christ!
It is true: "Those who are scribes can testify to what they have read, but those who are partakers can testify to what they have seen." (Think this was Rick
Warren) May the blessings of the gentle winds of Christ be always at your back, and may the road rise up to meet you on the wings of God's morning! <3 Jim Russell

Heather Siebens said...

I am thrilled you allowed me to post this!! What an honor!!! Five years can come across to others like 55... it just depends how you soak it up!! And you are a running sponge!!! God has many plans for you-always has had-has used you-still will--even now MORE for His Glory!!! Blessing you are to me is beyond explanation... but one day soon... we will meet face to face here in America still, that I promise! Bless you!!! Keep on my page... or my brain will fry!! Bless you Jim!!!!
In His Love,