Ten years ago today, on October 25, 1994, in the gravel pit parking lot of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, after a long and hard struggle with what it meant to be a Christian, I bowed my head and asked Christ as my Savior. Here is the story as I told it in my testimony that I wrote last year:

“A few days later [on October 25, 1994], I hopped in my car and drove up Candler’s Mountain Road to smoke a cigarette. I had smoked off and on since I was fourteen. My mom had sent me a tape of an evangelist that had spoke at our church a few weeks ago. His name was Bailey Smith. As I listened to him speak, I finished my cigarette and I began to drive back onto the campus. As I parked my car, holy conviction fell upon me and I began to cry. The evangelist began to talk about hell and for a split second I forgot everything that I had been taught concerning salvation. For the first time in my life, I realized that I did not have what my friends had. They were living their lives for something other than the letter of the law. They were living their lives for something other than pride and they backed up what they lived. I realized that I was a sinner bound for hell and there was absolutely nothing that I could do to save myself and I listened as Bailey Smith told me the plan of salvation. I cried even harder and I prayed the sinner’s prayer. I cannot describe the after effects. Yes, I felt free, but it was so much more than that. I instantly ran into the dorms and called Rachel [my ex-girlfriend] and told her to meet me outside of her dorm. When I met her, I told her what had happened and she rejoiced with me. I went to the campus pastor’s office, but it had already closed for the day, but I was there the first thing the next morning. The night that I got saved, I told Ben, the SLD [Spiritual Life Director], and Clint [a buddy of mine]. Ben was so excited he began to run up and down the halls screaming, “Praise the Lord!” and knocking on doors. The next day, at the campus pastor’s office, I was given a book called “The Survival Kit for New Christians” and I began to read about all the basics of Christianity, things that I had heard many times before, but now relearned and applied. I look back now and it seemed so hard, but it was so necessary.”

I wanted to send out this email as a simple testimony to what God has done in my life. As I look back on the past ten years of my life, I can see the hand of God patiently guiding me through one situation after another. He has always been faithful, even when I have not. It is truly by grace alone that I am saved through faith alone; nothing I have ever done could lead me to where I am still standing in awe of His amazing grace.

“I went searchin’ for some peace of mind

Out on the open road under a stormy sky

I find something that no money can buy

I find a paradise I found it in your eyes

My eyes were open when I took your hand

Without a word you made me understand

You made a hero of this simple man

You saved my lonely soul and

All this and Heaven too

Would mean nothing if it’s without you

Oh, won’t you tell me what did I do to Deserve all this and Heaven

I was lost wandering in the dark

You showed me the way with your Burning heart

I was drowning in a sea of doubt

Sinking in my own fear

when you Pulled me out

My eyes were open when I took your hand

You picked up the pieces of this Broken man

You led me on to the Promised Land

You saved my lonely soul and

All this and Heaven too

Would mean nothing if it’s without you

Oh, won’t you tell me what did I do to Deserve all…..

This and your love, You’re the one That I live for

Out of the dark, into the light of your True heart

My eyes were open when I took your hand

Without a word you made me understand

You led me on to the Promised Land

You saved my lonely soul…”

Michael Sweet

“All This and Heaven Too”

Michael Sweet

Written by Michael Sweet & Gregg Fulkerson

Soli Deo Gloria!

Even these words fall short…

Forever in His love,

Dave McDowell

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