Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Committment of another life to Christ

Julia Griffin Pattan January 23 at 12:20am Report

John,
I don't believe that you and I have ever met in person. I spoke with you a few times on the phone when I called up to the pawn shop to talk with my mom. I actually remember calling up there one time and you answered the phone and I thought that you were a little short with me. :) Well, that left an impression. I think God wanted me to remember you. Since then I have befriended you on Facebook, not sure why I did because after all we have never met in person. But something led me to do that, to be interested in you. I have enjoyed reading your posts. I love reading about how happy you are with your job working with my parents. After all, they tried to get me to take that job before you came along and I almost did. I'm glad I did not because you have done a job that far surpasses anything I would have been capable of doing. You really have put them on the "cyber" map, so to speak. And I am grateful for the work you have done for them. They are very pleased with everything you have done.
I am writing this little note to let you know that I have been following along in your recent posts. I am deeply saddened by what you are going through but I want you to know how much you are touching people's lives. I am going through some changes right now. God is working in my life, helping to set me on the right path. For several years now, we have only attended church sporadically. We have been so caught up in working, raising our three kids, etc that we have not made time for what is really important. But for the past two months, I have been attending church regularly, taking my family (all 5 of us). Tomorrow, my family is going to become members of Freedom Baptist Church. This is a big deal for me, as I have never been a member of a Church before. I've attended churches but never made a commitment to one. I am committed to making God a bigger part of my life instead of all of the other things that clutter it up. I feel like I am finally learning what life is all about. But I realize I have so much to learn. I look forward to attending church so I can learn more and more. And I am learning from you. And reading your story and reading about your spirituality is inspirational to me. It lets me know that I am on the right path. I am learning so much from you and I just wanted you to know that. I think God brought you into our (the Griffins) lives for a reason. I believe that it is his plan for you to have an impact on all of our lives and lead us closer to God. As someone else posted, you are impacting people's lives with your story and your faith. I will be praying for you and your family.
Sincerely,
Julia Pattan

John W. Myers January 25 at 6:59pm
Dear Julia,
I apologize for the delay in answering your message. I saw it at 5:15 AM Sunday morning and started work immediately after my first cry of the day. Tears come easily and often, but they are always tears of joy.
I worked until breakfast arrived at 7, and reluctantly stopped to eat. After breakfast, I returned to Facebook to resume work, only to find Facebook had crashed, and my hard work was gone. Jesus always saves, but Facebook doesn’t. Since that Sunday morning, replying to your message has been number one on my “to do” list. Events did not allow a reply until now. Due to my slow typing skills, my sweet wife took dictation for this entire letter.
Seldom in life do chances to redeem an error come along. I well remember that day when the shop was full of customers, and nobody else was available to answer the phone, and I was compelled to stop what I was doing in the back of the shop taking photos, and answer the phone. I’m quite sure I answered in a gruff voice with no courtesy attached, saying simply, “ Village Pawn and Gun Shop.” I well remember your reply, “ Is Mom busy? Can I speak to her?” I recognized your voice immediately. This is the daughter who doesn’t work at the gun shop, but, yet is the bookkeeper who figures my paycheck every week! At That point, I reverted into wiseass, important newspaper editor who has been forced to take a call when busy. I replied, “ If Mom wasn’t busy, she would have answered the phone herself.” Since starting work at the gunshop, my phone manners had improved somewhat, but still left much to be desired. Upon my wiseass answer, I heard “ Click!” as you hung up the phone, and I went back to work. I know if I had taken time to walk the wireless phone out front, and tell your sweet mom her daughter wanted to speak to her, she would have immediately interrupted what she was doing and taken the phone to talk to her daughter Julia ,with a smile on her face. But I didn’t.
A few minutes later, Dorothy came back where I was working with a smile on her face, but a funny look. She says gently, “You hurt my daughter’s feelings.” I apologized to her but I have never apologized to you. I wouldn’t have recognized you if I had ever met you face to face. So I was surprised sometime later when I received a friend request from you on FB. I clicked yes before even going to your FB page to find out what you looked like. Since then, the pictures you posted have always gotten a look from me and frequently comments. The ones I love the best are Billy with his pretty little red-headed granddaughter who is so obviously the apple of grandpa’s eye.
I have enjoyed every job I ever had in my long career since graduation from college in 1975, but the job at the gun shop far surpasses them all. It combines all the talents I have learned over my long career-writing, photography, webpage design, advertising, copy writing, and most of all, my lifelong love of all things that go Boom!
But the greatest joy I have ever experienced in my life began on Feb 28, 1977 when I made a lifetime commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. The following Sunday, I began attending my father in law’s church, whom I had previously considered a raving lunatic for his strong faith. I joined his church shortly thereafter. I began teaching Sunday School within that first year. I even stayed on at that church as a member and teacher for 10 years after the preacher’s daughter decided to divorce me.
Since then, through various moves, I have changed churches twice and have continued teaching I firmly believe the second most important commitment anyone can make after the commitment to Christ is to commit to a church. Your commitment to Freedom Baptist is the latest evidence of how God is using the worst possible circumstances to carry out His plan, working all things together for the good for those who love Christ, and to draw people to His Son. You have just joined my prayer list and I look forward to the day when we do meet face to face. I am especially grateful for this opportunity to apologize for my rude behavior. It was unforgiveable, but, again, the love of Christ covers a multitude of sins.
With your kind permission, I would like to re-post your letter and my reply on FB and my blog. I will not do so until you grant your express permission.
Yours in Christ, John Myers


Julia Griffin Pattan January 25 at 10:26pm Report

John,
Thanks for replying. It was nice to hear from you. Since I wrote my first letter, I was able to check out some of the things you have on your website. This evening, I was reading through some of your Bible Questions and Answers. How great it is of you to post those answers. I will read through them all when I have time. I may even have some questions for you myself. Like I said in my previous letter, I want to learn as much as I can.
I want you to know that I have long since forgiven you for that little incident on the phone. I know that if that had never happened, I would not be writing to you now. You know, I almost didn't send that letter. A little voice was telling me that I was crazy, that I didn't know you, that you would think I was crazy, etc. But I had this overwhelming feeling that I had to write it and send it to you. So I just took a chance, risked making a fool out of myself, and sent it. That's a pretty big step for me. I'm not known for taking any kind of chances and I'm very very shy. To send a letter to a grown man whom I've never met is just totally out of my comfort zone. But I honestly feel that I am supposed to learn something from you. For example, I am going to read all of your Bible Questions and Answers and if you can recommend any other readings, I would be grateful.
I want to tell you a little story. And I haven't told it to anyone. For most of 2010, my family did not go to church, only once in a while. Well, in December, I decided that I was going because it is Christmas and I wanted my kids to remember what Christmas is really about. So we go to church one morning and one evening. My kids get invited to participate in the Christmas Cantata. This was a week before the cantata but the choir director was kind enough to allow my kids to participate. Well, the Cantata was the next Saturday and Sunday night. The children had a small part in it at the beginning and the end. So I take my kids to this Cantata on Saturday night. Well, this Cantata was powerful, to say the least. It covered the birth of Jesus but also covered his life, and his death. For the first time, this story, which I have heard many times, moved me to tears. It's like it finally made sense to me. Luckily, for me, I would get to see this twice. We went back on Sunday night. This time I invited my babysitter and my parents. And this program just had a profound effect on me. It's like God has turned on a little light switch in my brain and I can't get him out of my head. Ever since this incident, I have been in church whenever the doors are open. I look forward to going. It is the highlight of the week for me now. I even bought the soundtrack for the Cantata online and it is in my CD player in my car and I listen to it on the way to work, even just today. One song I love is a hymn called "Take my life and let it be" which pretty much sums up what I am feeling. I want to give my life to God. I want him to show me the way to live. And you know what, since that program, I feel a lot happier now. I have been really stressed out in so many areas of my life and I now have a different perspective. The negativity that was dominating all of my thoughts is fading. I feel that God is literally working in my life. It truly is an amazing feeling, a peaceful feeling. It's incredible.
As I am writing this, I am crying. I just had a realization about why God brought you into my life. I don't have anyone who I feel comfortable sharing this with. Thanks so much for listening. Hopefully, this all makes sense to you. I better be going for now. Please take care. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Oh, and you have my permission to publish my letter.
Julia Pattan

3 comments:

Scott McCray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott McCray said...

Powerful stuff. God is indeed good.

San Diego Wedding Photographer said...

I believe God is merciful indeed that he can make one's life meaningful. He can change one's dark life into a happy one. Just trust in Him and you will be blessed.