Friday October 12 – Part 1 of 2

Psalm 116:1  I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy.

My story Part 1: Although I was raised going to church, albeit a liberal one, I never developed faith to speak of.  The idea of being born again or meeting Jesus in a personal way was totally foreign to me.  I came from a good home.  I was close to my mom but my father and I argued when we were together and loved each other while apart.

When I went to college, what little faith I might have had was lost due to atheistic instructors and discussions with unbelieving students who seemed intent on obliterating any ideas of faith. I remember one professor, a former pastor, believed that a nursing baby at its mother’s breasts was in the “Garden of Eden”.   Original sin was when the baby bit its mother’s breast and caused her to stop nursing the baby.  So the baby was expelled from the Garden!  And it went downhill from there.

In the fall of ’68, while a junior in college, I agreed to go to a Christian retreat with my parents.  It still amazes me that I went, but nothing was going on that weekend at college and it was important to them – so I went.  The retreat center was at an old time camp back in the woods overlooking a small lake in Michigan.

In the first large meeting, the speaker for the retreat spoke about the love of Jesus in a way that I had never heard before.  In fact he talked as though he knew Him – personally!  I was saddened by it because I thought, “If Jesus were real, that’s what He would be like – but what good did it do me?”  I couldn’t believe – or so I thought.  After the meeting, all of the high school and college age went to a separate meeting room.  A room full of “teeny-boppers” (a term popular way back then).  My impression wasn’t positive.

There were about fifteen of us sitting in a circle and I was easily the oldest.  Then the speaker came in and asked if there was anyone there who didn’t know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.  I was too embarrassed to raise my hand.  He then asked if there was anyone with any doubt about it.  Something raged within me as I sat there and I struggled with whether or not to raise my hand.  In spite of thinking there was no hope for me, I lifted my hand.

I was then startled by one of the young men (age 15) who jumped up from his seat, pushed a chair into the center of the circle of students and enthusiastically said to me, “This is where you meet Jesus!”  To say the best was yet to come is an understatement for the ages!!!

To be continued tomorrow….

About Don Schmidt

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Don was VP of Operations & Director of Student Life for 2 years at Williamson Christian College in Franklin, TN - a wonderful, accredited 4 year college for adult learners. That is where he started writing the devotionals. The passion of his heart is to love God and to help others learn to love God more and more. He grew up in St. Joseph, MI - Class of '66. Graduated from Michigan State in '70 and Wheaton Grad School in '78. Thunderous conversion October 11, 1968. He and Donna were engaged 2 hrs & 15 minutes after they met August 25, 1969 at a Christian camp in Georgia. They married in '70 and have 4 wonderful sons. Most of his adult career has been in business in NE Ohio. They lived for 20 years in Peninsula, OH. They attended St. Luke's Ministries (Anglican) in Copley, OH for many years. Four years ago they were reassigned by the Lord to attend River of Life Community Church in Hudson, OH. St. Luke's prayerfully sent them off on this new adventure with much love.
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3 Responses to Friday October 12 – Part 1 of 2

  1. Tim Enders says:

    And what a day that was……….after meeting Jesus you have touched thousands of lives. Mine being one of them. A true warrior for Christ you and Donna had an impact on my life forever. When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be…..I believe when you get to heaven there will be so many lives that you have touched personally and through others that you have minstered to. The count will be so large you will not be able to count them. i am not writing this to blow you up but to encourage you that 40 years later I still call you my youth pastor. What a testimony to Him. Thank you Lord for these servants of You and my good friends and youth Pastor Don and Donna. I love you guys dearly. Be blessed. Deuteronomy 28: 1-14. I pray this over you both today.

  2. Donna Schmidt says:

    I never tire of hearing about the grace of God in your life! What a wonderful story!

  3. Annaliese Higgins says:

    I always love hearing this story!!

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