OUR HISTORY   back to main history
Some personal stories of why Jesus called us, where we came from and why most of us are still here.   (Eugene)

I cannot find words big enough, or right enough, to explain what happened when I answered a certain knock on my door. I put these words here only because they might mean something to those mentioned:I didn't care much for my High School senior year Psychology class-I thought it was stupid. Actually, I thought all my classes were stupid. I thought school was stupid. And I particularly thought the Psychology instructor, Mrs. Morningstar, was stupid (how could I have not liked someone with such a beautiful name?) One early afternoon, my very best friend Jimmy and I strolled into Psychology class. Jimmy and I were two peas in a pod-we thought alike, got into the exact same trouble at the exact same time. We both sorta sometimes went to church but were dissatisfied with it. We were by no means atheist or agnostic, we would often talk about God and wonder what His deal was.So, as I was saying, we walked into class with minimal expectation for anything interesting to happen. I take that back....there was Mrs. Morningstar's phenomenally beautiful student teacher, but she was so far out of my league that I couldn't even talk to her. If I could digress yet again, just for a second, this student teacher told us one time that we could make a hallucinogen by mixing 1 teaspoon of nutmeg in a glass of milk. Jimmy and I were not sure if she was joking and were afraid if we tried it we would start puking or have diarrhea for a week, so we never tried it. We couldn't exactly trust this Chick.Well, Jimmy and I walk into class and there were these two hippy dudes sitting at the desks we had arranged in a cricle. "Hey, this might be interesting." We were doing a section on religion, so Mrs. Morningstar thought hearing from the "Jesus Freaks" would be a good idea. She introduced them. I didn't pay any attention to their names, but later found out they were Smilin' Dog and Matt Gannon. Then, oddly enough, the teacher left the room to let them say whatever they wanted.They started talking and BAM, the room was spinning. They said some more and BAM it seemed someone must have turned the lights on in the room. They said some more and BAM, "The ceiling Blew away." This stuff was really messing me up. This very unusual feeling started welling up inside of me. I couldn't identify it. I was stunned. I was shaken. The feeling was one of possibilities. One of "there is something better". It was exhilarating. It was the realization that I had been starving my whole life at the same instant I was offered food. It was Joy!I remember very little of what they said,. I do remember they said we can have a direct relationship with God, without an intermediary. They said Jesus wants to live inside of us. That's about all I remember. But what they said knocked me out. I was shocked. I was awed. I could think about nothing else the rest of the day-going to any other classes was useless.The real kicker was that there was nothing of my outward demeanor that would indicate to Jim or Matt that these shafts of light they were shooting all over the room had hit their mark. I suppose, in retrospect, I should have made some convulsive movement or stood on my desk a' la Bill Murray and gone into some Halleluiah rant, just to give them some positive feedback. Instead, I sat there stone face as if I was watching some documentary on the evolution of the vacuum cleaner while this unbelievable "thing" was going on inside me.Another thing that was very strange was when class was over, I looked at Jimmy, probably with a shocked look on my face and said, "Can you believe that? Isn't that unbelievable?" he looked at me with a slight bit of annoyance and said, "What? What's the big deal?" As far as I know, no one else in the class was invaded by that light.I went home and told my sister Deb the story. I described the Hippy Dudes and she ID'd them and said, "Oh yah, they're from the Bible Study I've been trying to get you to come to."She took me to Curtis House and Bam! as soon as I got in the door I felt loved. Joe Banana's kinda took me under his wing. each time I visited after that. It didn't take me long to figure out why he was called "Joe Bananas" either. He was kinda like an LP record where the whole wasn't quite centered and the record would wobble in this elliptical orbit and distort the music (in a good way) (he was my kind of person!) (sorry Joe) Man, people were laughing, hugging , talking and caring. Jesus seemed to be the main subject and I couldn't get enough. We would also go to Rheems (sp) house where Larry Boyle taught and that knocked me out! I think Larry was teaching The Sermon on the Mount, and his good heart matched his teaching. My story goes on and on with Gladstone, Friday night meetings, Bill Browns basement, and many years listening to Haskell. I never spoke up during a meeting; I never had much to say after one. I would think, "how do these people come up with all these wonderful things to say?" I couldn't. I I would often think, "Man, these people are gonna find out what a freakin' fraud I am and kick me out" or, "I wonder if they have a Special Ed Group for such slow progressors as myself." I moved away from Detroit for a while, and ultimately ended up going to churches where there were nice Christian people and good Christian behavior and excellent Bible teaching and a certain smugness that "We" had it right" and I was fitting in. Then, I would be back in Detroit and go to Haskell Wednesday night. He would be talking about Jesus and His words, and my Jesus, our Jesus, would say, "Where've you been dude?" And I would sit there, while Jesus words were being talked about, with tears rolling down my face and I realized I had been starving again.It has taken me a long time to learn how to follow Jesus, not follow the crowd following Jesus. It has taken me a long time to realize I need to pay heed to the greatest, most important words ever spoken, Jesus words, every day of my life. Those words, along with His Spirit, are my link to Him. My link to the eternal. That is pretty much what Matt and Jim were saying in Mrs. Morningstar's class.
Thank you Jim Thank you Matt
(not the end...)