Testimonies :: Stephen – His Grace is Sufficient

testimonyI was a Professor at the age of 28. I had the world by the tail, at least that I thought that I did. I published a book and numerous academic papers. I gave papers at National Conferences. I shared the stage with Stephen Jay Gould. I wrote a novel, “The Other World” which was a modern day fable of the demon goddess, Lilith. It bounced around New York for years. I even did a reading of it in a loft in Greenwich Village. I knew that Stephen Spielberg’s mother had been a member of Beth Joseph Congregation in Phoenix. I tracked her down to the Milky Way Deli in LA. I sent her a letter to please tell her son about my book-it would make a good screenplay for him. She refused. I sent it to Spielberg, anyway. To Amblin Entertainment c/o Paramount Pictures. They sent it back unopened.

This book was the most New Age, demonic book that you could imagine. I glorified evil and Satan. I blurred the distinctions between good and evil, reality and dream and even male and female. I quoted from the lost gospels found at Nag Hammadi. I even gave to my future wife Paula to read when we first met in 1987. This sweet Christian lady read a chapter and gave it back to me appalled!

Here I found myself working for a Christian telemarketing firm selling precious metals to Christian listeners of a radio program. Me, a Professor, a leader in the Phoenix Jewish community working for Christians. My life had been turned upside down by the trauma of loss of job in Jewish community, divorce, my children had moved to Charleston, SC, my father had died and my health had begun to falter. I went into Barrows Neurological Center in Phoenix and they found extensive brain lesions with an MRI and other tests (diagnosis-Multiple Sclerosis… prognosis—wheelchair?). All of this, and I was now working for Christians to boot.

The staff (Paula) prayed for me, my clients prayed for me. How nice. When my coworkers tried to preach to me I slammed them. After all, I had not only been a Director of the Jewish National Fund, but I was also a part of the Community Relations Council in the Jewish community which investigated missionaries. I had lectured at the University of Arizona on anti semitism and the Holocaust. Who did these people think that they were?

I acted like Shaul to them. I flogged them with my tongue, a frequent Jewish tactic. We fight with our tongues , not our fists. One fellow said that he was so frustrated with me that he felt like throwing me over the balcony. I replied, “Oh that’s Christian!” They waved the Bible in my face. “read Isaiah 53″ read Psalm 22”. I replied, “Read this!”, shaking my fist!

One day I went to Philip’s house for dinner while my new girlfriend, a Jewish New Ager, was at work. After dinner, we all stood in a circle holding hands. He had fed me dinner so I decided to humor him (actually his love was tugging at my heart). We prayed—at least they prayed. I closed my eyes and saw an image darting across the plane of my vision. I blinked. It came back. When we were finished, Philip asked me what I had seen. I said, “Nothing”. How did he know ? He must have opened his eyes and seen me grimacing. He said again, “What did you see, Jewboy?” Finally I answered that it was stupid, “forget it”.

Well Philip kept insisting. Finally I told them. I saw a man in a suit of armor waving his sword at a being in a monk’s robe with no face. Philip’s mouth fell open. He ran and got his Bible and showed me Ephesians 6:12f. I did not know what he was talking about. I did not know the Bible. Things like that began to happen as the Holy Spirit was showing me the word visually.

Not too much later, I was sitting at my desk at the office. We all had cubicles. I was trying to close a large deal when an image appeared in front of me. I looked around to see if anyone else saw it. Nobody! It was Jesus on the cross. His head was down. It was night, or the sky was dark, and there was lightning all over the sky. Quite a sight for a nice Jewish, New Age, College Professor, Pharisee-type person. I was dumfounded. I told no one.

The next day, I saw another vision. This time Jesus was on the cross, but it was daylight. He lifted up His head and light poured out of His eyes. He broke the fetters and got off of the Cross. He then proceeded to walk all over the earth with the light still pouring from His eyes. Remember that I did know the Bible at that time especially the New Testament, i.e. Jesus is the light of the world!

I had told Philip that I would not believe unless I saw the burning bush for myself. Scripture says that Jews seek signs. Well God was showing me! That night I had a dream that I had to die (be crucified) for all my friends to live. I anticipated the flogging on my back and the nails though my hands. It was a powerful experience which cannot truly be put into words. I knew instantly what Jesus had done for me. I awoke looking at my hands (Galatians 6:17).

The next day I said the sinners prayer and accepted Jesus into my life. My sister said that they had got me. Praise God. That was on October 3, 1988. Paula and I married on March 30, 1990. I had to leave the company in April of 1991. My health had been to hamper me. but do not pity me. God all along had a plan for my life. Do I miss my former accolades and achievements? No! As Paul said I count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).

I feel stronger and healthier than ever. I spend every day serving the Lord because He was there for me. He never failed me nor forsook me. He is my rock and my comforter and supplies me with all my needs. When I am weak physically as Paul said, then I am strong spiritually. His grace is sufficient for me. And I am still not in the “Chair”! Praise His Holy Name forever and ever!