One of the categories I am going to use on my blog that I am excited about is going to be called “I Remember”. There will be lots of things I can share under this category – funny things, sad moments, unusual events that occurred.  Above all though, there is one thing that I want to remember well, and share with any who will read this blog.  Namely, to remember the many times that God has been good to me, and the times that He has been close to me.  And even as I thought of this new category, it caused me to remember the very first time that God was really “real” to me.

I was attending my first youth conference in Northern Alberta.  It was in October of 1972, and I was only 11 years old.  I was thrilled to be out on the highway on my own so to speak.  (Actually we traveled as a Youth Group and filled a big yellow school bus.)  I thought it was so neat to go on a weekend trip where over 500 young people would gather to have fun.

Now this conference was sponsored by our churches of Western Canada and some northwestern States.  I knew there would be Christian “stuff” happening as part of the weekend.  But I was just going to have a good time.  And that’s exactly what I did, not caring much about anyone or anything until the evening banquet on Saturday.  I hadn’t listened to any of the preaching or teaching up till this point, but God found a way to still reach this stubborn heart of mine.

It was a song.  But not just any song.  The lights in the auditorium went down, only candles on each table gave out a little light, and then the girl stepped up to the microphone and sang her special solo.  I will always remember what happened next.  Something broke within me and my stubborn heart which refused to hear God’s strong voice began to melt as I heard His voice in the beautiful quietness of that song.  And I silently wept as God spoke to me through that song.   The song that night was “For Those Tears I Died”.

I still know those words today, and they still speak the same message to me.  I was a sinner, and yet Jesus died for me.  I tried to ignore Him, but He was there, inviting me to drink deeply of his love and saving grace.  I knew for the first time that Jesus was real, and as I wept tears of repentance for my ignorance and rebellion against God, I heard the message – that for my tears He died.

“Saviour, I give you my heart and my soul.                                                                                                        I know that without you, I’d never be whole.                                                                                                Saviour, you’ve opened all the right doors.                                                                                                    And I thank you, and praise you, from earth’s humble shores,                                                                  Take me I’m yours.”

“And Jesus said, ‘Come to the water, stand by my side.                                                                                  I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied.                                                                                                    I felt every teardrop, when in darkness you cried.                                                                                       And I strove to remind you, that for those tears I died.’ ”