free counters


Not a Fan

Greetings All!

     Today's 'thought' comes to you once again from Kyle Idleman's book, "Not a Fan."  This is another one of the testimonies of people who were either not believers at all, or "fans" of Jesus at one point in their lives, but at some point in their lives realized that they yearned for something deeper than the superficial "go through the motions" religion they had been following.  In most cases -- usually as a result of going through sickness, or trauma, or addiction, or coming close to death -- the superficial showed itself for what it was as it could not sustain them in such times.

     These people, driven by pain, or a crisis that drove them to the end of themselves (and showed them their inability to control everything in life), surrendered to the only One who is really ever in control. They ceased being a "fan" of Jesus and became a true disciple and follower of Jesus.  This is Vijay Warrier's testimony - a man raised in India in the Hindu faith who grew up believing that the gods had given him favor.  Vijay was born as a Brahman, the highest caste of priests and had a mother who served as a priestess. Yet later in life, he would meet the Jesus who would change and bring a sense of fulfillment to his soul.  Enjoy.

     "I remember when my wife Girija grew very interested in the Bible and began attending church. It wasn't something I believed in or wanted to have anything to do with. I agreed to drive her to church, but I just sat in the car and smoked a few cigarettes. Sometimes my thoughts would wander to growing up in India, and being raised in the Hindu faith where my mother was a priestess in an Indian temple.
     My marriage had been arranged, but Gurija knew that our marriage wasn't just a forced agreement that was set up by our parents; there was a chemistry between us. I tried to be patient with her interest in the Bible. Gurija had attended a Christian school some years back, and that was how she had learned about Jesus. Our differing religious beliefs didn't help our unity in marriage. Looking back on the first ten years of our marriage, I see mostly conflict and frustration. 
     By 2005 Guija was going to church every weekend. I'm not sure why, but one weekend, instead of sitting in the car smoking and waiting for Girija to get out of church, I decided to go inside for a cup of coffee in the church cafe. There was a small cafe in the church where I sat with my coffee and couldn't help but overhear the sermon that was being broadcast from the sanctuary onto the video screen in front of me. I listened to the preacher for a while, intrigued by his words. From that point on, I sat in the cafe each Sunday morning, drinking coffee and listening to the sermons.
     One week Gurija asked me to come with her into a prayer room. "We have so many problems," she said, "we need someone to pray with us."  Even though I didn't believe in this kind of prayer, I went with her. In the prayer room, we met a husband and wife named Linn and Carol, and they spent some time praying with us.  Full of questions after hearing so many sermons, I began to ask Linn about Christianity. Over the next year, he and Carol answered many of my questions. Linn studied the Bible with me, praying for me often. Still, I wasn't familiar with the idea of just one god. This went against everything I had learned as a boy. Even worse, I knew that if I were to become a Christian, my family back in India would disown me. They would be so disappointed in me.
     But after much studying, prayer, and support from church members, I began to realize something incredible. For forty-two years I had been looking for something, for someone. That person was Jesus. I decided to allow him to work in me.  I needed it.  My marriage needed it -- we'd already had divorce papers drawn up and begun living separately.  It was now or never and I knew only Jesus could save me.
     So the next Sunday I professed my belief in Christ and was baptized. Right after being baptized, I baptized my two sons who also came to believe. That same day I moved back with my family. God has a plan for me, and he can heal all wounds and answer all questions. My name is Vijay Warrier, and I am not a fan." 

     A lot of us get confused and believe we are followers of Christ, when in fact we are simply fans attending church, week after week, lacking true intimacy with Christ. Vijay started to become a fan by believing in one God, and then over time, he began to experience God by engaging in the process of developing true intimacy with Him through God's grace in Jesus Christ.  "Fans" don’t mind making minor changes, or little touch ups, to decorate their lives. But it's not until they are "followers" that they don’t even mind Jesus overhauling, severely interfering, and turning their lives upside down!  And you?
    In the Service of Jesus, Pastor Jeff