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The Event that changed the world and changes me Today!

     People that know me well, understand that I have had more than the normal share of pain & suffering. Few can imagine how they would have survived what I have went through. Honestly, I don’t know how myself.

     Reform school at 14, near fatal accidents, cancer scare, lost careers, lost mom, lost dad, lost first wife, lost companies, lost all possessions, lost sister & still, I was always a good guy. Or so it appeared. Actually, I was never a bad guy. I just became a sick guy. I have been to the top in many ways and to the bottom in many ways. During all this I lost my way inside the maze of my own heart. I never dealt successfully with balancing all I had been through, into wellness.

     Sick!!!???? Many of you are now reeling in your chairs and saying but I thought you were a preacher. I was. I am. But my service was intermittent. I spent most of my years in professional sales. My pastoral service was marked by honestly serving God, raising my children by myself and serving other people. But somewhere in all this tumult, Tim got lost. Or maybe, He was never found. But I suspect he was found at one time,  and just lost his way afterwards. [But not that I could admit}.

   Anyway, after being crushed losing my wife, my home, my life's savings, everything I own & my heart. I thrust myself in the ministry.  I am acquainted with poverty. I gladly accepted that my service was for love and not for money. But as my kids grew up, I knew I needed to re-establish some kind of financial stability. And in herculean strides I launched myself back into the corporate scene. I rapidly climbed the ranks to the top of a national sales division, for a major company. I used to tell people at that time, my world was on fire and it was.

     Nobody ever saw how much I hurt inside. Cause I had to be strong. Nobody ever saw how lonely I was. Cause I had to have it together to handle my duty. Still facts are facts, whether they are admitted or not. I had a Waterloo coming. My insides had never been healed & they were coming apart; whether any one else could see it or not.

     Through the years I had developed a reliable friend; alcohol. With it I could escape anything and deal with everything or so I thought. After all, I was my father's son. And John W. Carter Sr. was in control of everything. (I really had a wonderful father!) It was all right for a man to have a drink, as long as the drink did not have the man. And after hearing the horror stories of my mother's alcoholic family; I knew I would never let that happen to me.  Yet, that is exactly what happened. I will not go into any more details than that, because this is an easter message; not a confessional.

[Yes, I have not forgotten]

     Suffice it to say that the bottle got the better of me. The drink had me. I did not have the drink. And in my powerful winner’s attitude, in the image of my strong overcoming earthly father; I could not admit that I had a problem, much less that it had me.  // Relax some of you who are wondering. I did not drink while I was in active ministry but I could never get it off my mind. // So when I launched back into business; it gave me the perfect excuse to drink.

     It was now socially acceptable and expected. It was fine with God that I did it………….. Only problem with this thinking was that I never cleared it with God. I would have told you that I did & believed it. But I was wrong. Plenty of faith talk and thoughts about it but I was listening to me first & turning to the only way I knew to deal with my inner problems. Booze was boss; not God.

     I still knew God was there but my words were just that: words. I could not reach Him and my life was sinking into a hole leading to my destruction. Somehow, I had to get out of my head and into my heart for help to come. At my lowest point, I did that which was I feared the most and which was unimaginable to me. I asked for help. I asked again & again. I surrendered my pompous, arrogant ego that denied it had a problem, admitted I had one & submitted to someone else’s instruction. Profound! I discovered this very act of weakness was in fact, true humility. I now see that God intended for me to realize that I needed others, like I have always known they need me.

     So, at a point when I was no longer at the top of my game. At a point when I did not believe I could help myself. At the point where I no longer thought I could control my world; God flooded in!!! Despite all my training and spiritual experiences through the previous years; I had never experienced anything like it. In a moment where the spiritual dimension became more real, than the natural, I experienced a deep soul cleansing. All I had to do was ask, be willing and be patient, for God to move in His time.

     I have always known that the central event of human history is the life of Jesus. And the most powerful hope for all of humanity is the resurrection of Jesus. I knew it but I couldn’t do it, until this amazing moment of catharsis. That event of history that changed the complexion of the whole universe, in that moment changed me. The same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead, raised me from that point of hopelessness. Life is not perfect today. But my heart has been healed. I no longer walk around with a dagger killing me inside that no one knows anything about.

     In my view, Jesus resurrection changed all time, space, matter, meaning and purpose. I know it did me. We used to live in a world where you could clearly know that everyone had religious training. Not anymore. It is alien to many, maybe even most. That’s why I never argue theology. I just offer medicine to sick people. The same medicine that made me well. I point them to Jesus. He can speak for Himself. All I have to do is get people to see what He has done for me and His wonderful drawing power; can show people that He can do the same for them.

     When this happens, a deep powerful transaction takes place. Its like a car deal. You get a new life and trade in your old one. All you have to do is sign on the dotted line of commitment. Oh one other thing, you have to do it from a place of humility like I did.. I don’t have all the answers. He does. He is the answer. You have to come past the arrogant, smug plane of self-will to find this wonderful transaction. You will be the winner if you do. Its the best deal, I ever made.

     And the cool thing is that I never have to go back to where I was before. I can make the same deal with God every day. I give Him Me and He gives me Himself. I promise. Its a good trade.

     What happens when you make this transaction is a fresh spontaneous miracle. You go to the cross of personal defeat, admitting that you need God. But you leave that place with glorious regeneration. —- No this is not a formula but a real thing that has to happen, in your heart. — You give yourself away and God gives you a new self. A self like Jesus, full of mercy, grace, truth, peace, love, harmony & forgiveness. And that is the awesome part. He does the filling. Its like taking your car to a gas station. You pull up, open up and He fills you up. {Strange sounding Bible verse huh}. But it is scriptural and it does work.

     God is so beautiful. When He wanted to show us that He understands us, He became one of us! When He wanted to show us that He cares for us; He solved our worst problem. What is the worst problem of men? You know. Death.

     Jesus conquered death. He rose again and showed himself alive to honest eye-witnesses, who dedicated the rest of their lives to telling the world about it. He solved our worst problem by offering us eternal life and proving that He has the power to give it.

      And that’s the reason, the event that changed history changes me today. Because that life generating power still works, just like it did when Jesus raised from the dead!

     Maybe you are lost in some private hell of hurt. Don’t let hidden insides destroy you outside. Open up your heart. Ask discreetly but ask deliberately for Help.  My prayer for you this Easter is that the event that changed the world will change you today, like it does me.

God bless you and happy Easter!

Tim-

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4 Responses to “The Event that changed the world and changes me Today!”

  1. Tim,

    May our Lord bless you for having the courage to share this testimony. This kind of honesty is what transforms lives. It is a joy to call you my friend!

    Dave

  2. Wow, Tim, what a wonderful Easter Message….and I’m sure many can/will see themselves in these words, I surely did…so many similarities in so much of our past. Won’t go into all here…

    Will tell you that I told my Unity minister that I had to get to AA to find God…he threw back his head, and laughed, said, Honey..you didn’t find him there…you wouldn’t have had any idea where to look! In the first many meetings I would have been sitting on the ‘anti’ side of the room..

    Long story, but end result, it changed my life forever.Bless you for your blogs!! …:) flo

  3. Hi Tim,

    It takes great strength and great courage to bare yourself to the world like that.

    Thank you for sharing your message of struggle and of overcoming.
    This type of honesty creates connection and does change lives. We are all fallible, and yet there is hope.

    That you have such strong faith is truly a blessing, and I am glad it has seen you through.
    Bless you, my friend.
    Shelley


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