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Kent State, the Summer of 1970 and the Grace of God


Me in 1975 - Seeking God.

Al Baker recently wrote an article on the tragedy of the Kent State demonstrations and the killing of four students in May of 1970: Four Dead in Ohio (FORGET NONE OF HIS BENEFITS. I remember being 12 years-old at the time this happened and the disagreement between my father (a full-time Air National Guardsman) and myself. I could see that he was pained over the event, but he defended the soldiers who fired on the students and I was shocked at his defense of their actions. I also remember that my friends and I embraced the rebellious culture of the time and soon found ourselves acting like our "heroes;" while we were only in our early teens we became somewhat jaded and mistrusted those in authority.

By the time I turned 17 years-old, I began to have a yearning in my heart to become a Christian - I wanted to become a new creation, but I didn't know how. (As a child I remember watching televangelists and reciting the "sinner's prayer." But, sadly, I continued to sin and thought the prayers didn't work.) During this period of time I remember telling my best friend that I wanted to change and become a Christian - she thought that was too much of a change to make and our friendship eventually ended. 

In my junior year of high school (1974/1975) an assembly was held in the school gymnasium where a Christian rock band performed for our class and then gave their testimony at the end of the performance. I don't remember the band's name, but seeds were planted and many of us began having Bible studies during our school lunch break. We had a classmate (Tim) who had been raised in a Christian family and attended the local Baptist Church who answered our questions and led us in studying our Bibles. Most of us were living in non-Christian homes and we didn't have a clue how to read or study the Bible. In fact, I remember some of us skipping classes to attend the noon Bible study on the school parking lot which had been turned into a designated smoking area after we had a student walk-out and protest the previous year.  Little did I know that God was at work in my life to bring me to Himself. 

After high school graduation I joined a local church and was baptized. However, I don't believe I truly came to know Christ until 1992 when He marvelously pulled me out of a pit of depression and unforgiven sin and set me on a path of righteousness. I became a new creation in Christ and haven't looked back unless it is to marvel that He would care for and save a sinner like me.

What is so amazing is many of the generation that came out of that same time period of rebellion in the 1970's are now Christians who are standing firm for Christ and His righteousness. I suppose this is why I can't get too depressed about today's world - I know what I was like during the early to mid 1970's and how God rescued me from a life of sin and misery.

Dear Lord,
Thank You for saving lost souls of which I was one. May our lives bring You glory and if it pleases You, may we help lead others to Christ where true peace and happiness can be found. Help us to not love our lives so much that we shun the cross, but help us to seek ways to make You known throughout our families, communities and the world.
In Lord Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Your Love Broke Through

By Keith Gordon Green / Randy Stonehill / Todd Fishkind

Like a foolish dreamer, trying to build a highway to the sky
All my hopes would come tumbling down, and I never knew just why
Until today, when you pulled away the clouds that hung like curtains on my eyes
Well I've been blind all these wasted years and I thought I was so wise
But then you took me by surprise
Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
Until your love broke through
I've been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
Until your love broke through
All my life I've been searching for that crazy missing part
And with one touch, you just rolled away the stone that held my heart
And now I see that the answer was as easy, as just asking you in
And I am so sure I could never doubt your gentle touch again
It's like the power of the wind
Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
Until your love broke through
I've been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
Until your love, until your love, broke through

Your Love Broke Through lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Source: LyricFind


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  • Update 2.26.2023

    "Was the Jesus Movement transformational? When a person reads about the Jesus Movement and its people (called Jesus People) transformed lives are not immediately evident. Granted, a new convert does not always change everything overnight. However, there are certain practices that should change relatively quickly. The converted hippies continued in their hippie lifestyle, still experimenting in drugs and sexual escapades. Their appearance identified themselves more with the unconverted hippie movement than with a new life and 'new creature' values." 

    I've been reading raving reports of how good the Jesus Revolution movie is - I only learned of it Friday. Please know that while there was an influence for "Jesus" in the 1970's among the youth - sadly, there was little doctrine to go with it. Many, like me, spent years in ignorance which is not a blessing, but a curse. Folks, stop looking for an experience and join a solid church, preferably one that is historically Protestant and Confessional, and read your Bibles. - AW


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