改變人生絕無僅有的邂逅──A LIFE-CHANGING ENCOUNTER LIKE NO OTHER

MONDAY MANNA

(編者註:以下摘自《逆流:第二次世界大戰倖存者度過人生風浪抵達神平安之港的歷險記》(暫譯),是雷·科伍德(Ray Kerwood)的自傳。他是CBMC的長期會員,在第二次世界大戰期間曾擔任商船兵的軍官,功績卓著。在創立自己的公司Alpine Petroleum之前,他曾在Gulf Oil擔任過28年的各種管理職務。CBMC International的網站上免費提供他的整本著作。)

我屬靈生活中的一個轉折點,是在教會參加成人主日學。教堂距離我和妻子唐娜在西維吉尼亞州查爾斯頓的家只有一個路口。一位名叫C.W. Lee的人正在授課,他不是神職人員,而是美國聯合碳化物公司(Union Carbide)的實驗室技術員。他的課讓我印象深刻,在下堂課之前我就主動找他談話。

當時,唐娜和我在婚姻中遇到了一些困難,C.W.和他的妻子露絲同意與我們見面。當我們彼此問候時,唐娜和我都清楚這對夫妻和我們認識的所有人很不一樣。顯然,耶穌基督是他們生命的中心。

會談之後不久,C.W.就打開了他的聖經,並解釋了親自認識神並接受耶穌基督作為救主和主的含義。他先向我們讀了約翰福音3章16節: 「 神愛世人,甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們,叫一切信他的,不致滅亡,反得永生」。我以前也聽過這句話,但那天晚上,上帝以從未有過的方式,浸透我的心中,這位創造者,這個宇宙的統治者,祂竟然真的愛我這個人,以至於讓自己的兒子耶穌基督都出生在這個世上為我捨命。

我從妻子唐娜的表情也看到她和我一樣對這個信息有強烈的反應。然後 C.W.帶我們看了《新約》羅馬書中的一系列經文。唐娜和我不用提醒,就開始大聲祈禱,請求神寬恕我們的罪過,並邀請耶穌進入我們的心中。然後,C.W.和他的太太露絲花時間解釋了跟隨耶穌基督過我們的生活意味著什麼。當時我們也許不能完全明白,但是我們倆都知道這是我們人生中最重要的事。

在帶領唐娜和我對基督作決志禱告之後,C.W.和露絲並不是轉身而去,而是繼續全心幫助我們成長為成熟的基督徒。這顯得更為難得,因為在那個晚上之前,我們對他們是完全陌生,他們倆也很忙。我不知道他們是如何挪出時間來帶領我們,更不用說成為我們的精神導師了。他們甚至確定我們參與在一個有良好聖經教導的教會,而他們的「指導計劃」還甚至包括邀請我們一起去所有他們所去的地方。

透過C.W.,我參與了CBMC,並開始和其他敬畏上帝的基督徒聚會,這些基督徒用不同的方式對我的生活和基督徒成長產生了重大影響。在我們離開西維吉尼亞州之前,C.W.和露絲一直是我們最親密的朋友和精神導師,我們也會時常通電話。到他92歲去世時,他虔誠的生活和忠實的見證已經影響了成千上萬的生命。

C.W.總是告訴人們,他不想在死後留下任何東西,他想把自己的一切都獻給上帝。這就是我記得他的方式,也是我希望人們記住我的方式。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你對作者的靈性成長之旅有甚麼特別的感受?
  2. 你是否有屬靈的精神導師(也許不止一個)?如果有,那你的經驗如何?
  3. 幫助人和耶穌基督建立關係,也讓他們留在你身邊陪伴以及成為他們的榜樣,成為一個表裡如一的基督徒很重要嗎?你曾經帶領過門徒嗎?
  4. 作者的屬靈導師C·W.說,他死後不想留下任何東西,他只想把一切花在傳福音上。你會如何回應這樣的委身?

備註:如果你有聖經,想要閱讀更多,請參考下面的經文:

馬太福音6章19-21節
6:19 「不要為自己積攢財寶在地上;地上有蟲子咬,能銹壞,也有賊挖窟窿來偷。
6:20 只要積攢財寶在天上;天上沒有蟲子咬,不能銹壞,也沒有賊挖窟窿來偷。
6:21 因為你的財寶在哪裏,你的心也在那裏。」

馬太福音6章33節
你們要先求他的國和他的義,這些東西都要加給你們了。

羅馬書3章23節
因為世人都犯了罪,虧缺了 神的榮耀;

羅馬書5章8節
惟有基督在我們還作罪人的時候為我們死, 神的愛就在此向我們顯明了。

羅馬書6章23節
因為罪的工價乃是死;惟有 神的恩賜,在我們的主基督耶穌裏,乃是永生。

羅馬書8章1節
如今,那些在基督耶穌裏的就不定罪了。

羅馬書10章9-10節
你若口裏認耶穌為主,心裏信 神叫他從死裏復活,就必得救。
因為,人心裏相信就可以稱義,口裏承認就可以得救。

腓立比書4章9節
你們在我身上所學習的,所領受的,所聽見的,所看見的,這些事你們都要去行,賜平安的 神就必與你們同在。

提摩太後書2章2節
2:2 你在許多見證人面前聽見我所教訓的,也要交託那忠心能教導別人的人。

*****

A LIFE-CHANGING ENCOUNTER LIKE NO OTHER

By Ray Kerwood

[Editor’s Note: The following is an adapted excerpt from Cross Currents: A World War II Survivor’s Voyage through Life’s Storms to God’s Safe Port, an autobiography by Ray Kerwood]. A longtime member of CBMC, Ray served with distinction as an officer with the Merchant Marines during World War II. He served 28 years in various management roles with Gulf Oil, before launching his own company, Alpine Petroleum. His book in its entirety is available FREE on CBMC International’s website]

One of the turning points in my spiritual life was attending an adult Sunday school class at a church just blocks from where my wife, Donna, and I lived in Charleston, West Virginia. A man named C.W. Lee was teaching the class. He wasn’t a clergyman, but a laboratory technician with Union Carbide. I was very impressed with his teaching and made a point of talking with him before class the following Sunday.

At the time, Donna and I were experiencing some difficulties in our marriage, and C.W. and his wife, Ruth, agreed to meet with us. By the time we had all exchanged greetings, it was clear to both Donna and me that this couple was different from anyone we had ever known. It was obvious that Jesus Christ was the center of their life.

Within a short time, C.W. had his Bible open and was explaining what it meant to know God personally and to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. First he read John 3:16 to us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” I had heard those words before, but somehow on this evening it sank into my heart as never before that God, my Creator, the Ruler of this Universe, actually loved me personally, enough to send His Son Jesus Christ to be born on this earth.

I could see on Donna’s face that she was responding to this message as intensely as I was. C.W. then took us through a series of verses from the New Testament book of Romans. When he was done, he did not need to explain it was now our turn. Donna and I both prayed aloud, asking forgiveness for our sins and asking Jesus into our hearts. C.W. and Ruth then spent time explaining what it meant to live our lives in following Jesus Christ. Maybe we didn’t know then the complete significance of what had happened to us, but we both knew this was the most important event in either of our lives.

After leading Donna and me to Christ, C.W. and Ruth did not just walk away, but poured themselves into helping us grow as Christians. This is even more significant because we were complete strangers to them before that night, and both of them were so busy. I don’t know how they found the time to do all they did, much less add on becoming our spiritual mentors. They made sure we got into a good, Bible-teaching church, but their main “mentoring program” consisted of taking us with them anywhere they went.

Through C.W., I got involved in CBMC and began meeting with other God-fearing Christian men who had a major impact on my life and Christian growth in a variety of ways. C.W. and Ruth remained our closest friends and spiritual mentors until we moved from West Virginia. Even then, we would talk on the phone. By the time he passed into God’s presence at the age of 92, he had impacted thousands of lives through his godly life and faithful testimony.

C.W. always told people that when he died, he did not want to leave anything behind. That he wanted to give everything he had to the Lord’s work. That’s how I remember him. That’s how I want people to remember me.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How do you relate to this brief account of Ray’s spiritual journey?
  2. Have you had a spiritual mentor – or perhaps more than one? If so, what has that experience been like for you?
  3. What is the importance of having someone not only point the way to a relationship with Jesus Christ, but also having them stay with you teaching and modeling what it means to be a faithful, consistent follower of Christ? Have you ever done that with someone else?
  4. Ray’s mentor, C.W. Lee, said he did not want to leave anything behind when he died. That during his lifetime he wanted to expend everything he had to help in advancing God’s work on earth. What is your reaction to this type of commitment?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:

Matthew 6:19-21,33; Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 8:1, 10:9-10; Philippians 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:2

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