How I Came To Believe In Jesus

… And how you can too.

Maybe now would be the perfect time to share my personal testimony with you. The beginning of my joyful journey.

I am at an age in my life where it is hard for me to remember anything. I walk into the kitchen to get something and when I get there, I can’t remember why I came there. ‘Course I don’t want to spend much time in my kitchen anyway because I don’t like to cook. My husband brought a sign home from a church dinner and hung it over our stove. It says “Welcome to the Promised Land.”

It is awful when you get a reputation for being ditzy. It is one thing when you know it, but when other folks know it too, it gets down right embarrassing.

I found a check I had written. It was made out to the Coal Bowl, you have to eat somewhere when you don’t cook, for $17.23. But if you look at the check, you will see that the ‘Coal Bowl’ has been crossed out and Taylors Ace Hardware has been written in – because evidently I was not at the Coal Bowl – I was at Taylors Ace Hardware and DID NOT KNOW IT!

PaidTaylors looked at the check and said, “Ohhh, it’s Lois!” and crossed out the Coal Bowl, wrote in Taylors and sent it to the bank! That is not the worst of it. The bank looked at it…and said, “Ohhh it’s Lois!” and stamped it “PAID!

I am sure if we visited you could share some dumb things you have done also. We could sit here all afternoon sharing those tales. Actually I believe the Bible is a history of some of the dumb things people did and also some of the smart things people did. You see I believe the Bible is GOD inspired. Sometimes I think we forget that the people written about in God’s Word were real people. Real people. Just like you and me. They did some smart things and they did some dumb things. It is all recorded in His Word.

Yet sometimes we forget Mary was a real person. John and Matthew and Esther and Ruth were real people. Peter and Adam and Eve were real people just like us – different in the culture and time in which they lived, but people with needs and feelings just like us.

One of my favorites is David. He did some really dumb things. But he did some really smart things too. He wrote the 23rd Psalm. You know that one . . . ”The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”

Well, I grew up wanting . . . wanting to be good. I was raised on a ranch. We were a rodeo family and Sundays would find us hooking up the horse trailer and heading off somewhere in Montana or Wyoming for a rodeo. However when I was a young teen my folks went to a church meeting in town and came home and told us they “had given their lives to Jesus Christ.”

Our lives changed after that. I saw my mom and dad change. I never remember a night going to bed that I didn’t see my dad kneeling by the footstool praying. Now we went to church on Sundays and then would hook up the horse trailer and head off for a rodeo.

And I was always trying to be good. I went forward every time an evangelist came to our church. I asked Jesus into my heart many times – wanting to be good. If you were raised in my generation you know what I am talking about. We were taught to look people in the eye when we talked to them; to give a good firm handshake, not a ‘milk toast handshake’ and to wear clean underwear…in case we got in an accident and had to go the hospital. We were taught to be good.

How many of you know you weren’t born in a barn?
That money doesn’t grow on trees?
And the world doesn’t revolve around you?
And how about…if your friend jumped off a cliff would you go jump off too???

I think I still have some of those perfect attendance pins from Sunday School….do you?

You see being good brought results. People liked you. The teachers liked you. I got good at being good. I learned another piece of advice growing up . . . you probably did too. It was STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN. I came to a place in my life where I stopped. I was 26 years old living at 241 Fair Park Drive in Billings Montana, a good person, trying to be the best wife, best mom, best daughter, best church lady, best neighbor..…good at being good……and you know what? I was tired. Worn out.

Our grandson Tyler is one of those active bounce-off-the-wall little people.He was at our house one Sunday afternoon and asked “Grammi, can I have some soda pop? I said “Yes, of course.” (They can have anything they want at Grammi’s house) He went to the cupboard and got his little blue cup. I got the soda out of the refrigerator . . . and it was like trying to fill a moving target. I said, “Tyler, stop!! So Grammi can fill your cup!” And the minute I said that, I thought, “Lois, that is what God was saying to you . . . “STOP AND LET ME FILL YOUR CUP!’”

You see some of us are so busy doing so many good things that if GOD tried to fill our cup it would all slosh out! Stop and let me fill your cup. Psalm 23 says “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me by the still waters…” As I studied this, I wondered why “He maketh me and He leadeth me…and I figured it out. It is because we won’t “stoppeth.”

  • Stop. Look. Listen.
  • What do you lead? 
  • You lead what won’t follow.
  • Jesus said “Follow me.”

So I had to stop and look and listen. I looked in God’s Word. God’s Word says I am a sinner, we all are. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of GOD.” HOLY GOD. Sinful us. How do you be good enough for God? I had to stop and ask myself the question “How do you be good enough for God?” “How do you be good enough for God?” What if I died today, got to heaven, knocked on the door, opened the gate or whatever you do and God said, “Oh Lois, I am so sorry. It’s a shame you couldn’t cook. You only missed it by one potluck dinner!”

How do you be good enough for God?
How do you be good enough for God?

I just had to tell my husband “I don’t wake up in the morning and say ‘Dear Lord make me crabby today.’” It just happens. I know me. I cannot be good enough for God.

God’s Word says “By one man, Adam, sin entered into the world, and death by sin.” It is like my crooked eyebrow. I have this crooked eyebrow. My dad has it. My grandpa had it. If you look down thro the Bohleen family pictures, you will see this crooked eyebrow has passed down generation through generation. You know families – there goes one of the Jones, they all have that cowlick or yup, there is one of the Smiths, they all have that hitch in their git-along, just like their grandpa. We understand how physical traits pass down generations. God’s Word says “By one man, Adam, sin entered into the world, and death by sin.” So how do you be good enough for God?

God’s Word says there has to be a payment for sin. “The wages [payment] for sin are death, but the gift of GOD is eternal life.”

You LOOK. YOU STOP AND LOOK.

In God’s Word, in Luke, in the Christmas story. You know the verse. You see it on your Christmas cards with a little Mary and a little Joseph and a little baby Jesus . . . and it says: “For unto you is born this day in the City of David, a SAVIOR who is JESUS CHRIST, the Lord.”

Now here is the question….Why would God send His Son to be born in a manager, to die on the cross, and then be raised to life on the third day, as our Savior – if we could do it ourselves? By being good enuff? By going to church? By doing good things? Why would God send His Son to be our Savior if we could do it ourselves?

Because He, God, loves us. His Word tells us so. And that day in March in my bedroom in Billings, Montana, in my bedroom at 241 Fair Park Drive, I gave my life to Jesus. I got on my knees and asked God to forgive my sins. I asked Him to be Lord of my life. Because I come from a ranch family I said, “GOD, I’m handing the reins over to YOU.”

I truly LISTENED to what the Bible says.

When I got up from my knees, because I had knelt beside my bed….I still couldn’t cook…but I felt a peace like I had never known, like the weight of the ages was off my shoulders. I wrote in my journal:
“I gave Jesus my sin . . . paid the price.
I gave Jesus my guilt . . . He gave me forgiveness.
I gave Jesus my life in this world . . .
“He gave me life, abundant life for all eternity.”

One Psalm says “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His Name sake.” And that is my story.

Psalm 23 goes on to say “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Having cancer is a little like “walking through the valley of death.” I found out I had breast cancer in 1992. It was a fast moving, aggressive cancer that had already moved into my lymph nodes. I had surgery, 35 radiation treatments and six months of chemotherapy. And God was with me through the entire time…just as our psalm says.
During my cancer experience I made two friends, Ardene and Cheryl, who were also going through cancer. As my cancer treatment progressed and I got better, they were getting worse. And I couldn’t understand that. They both had small children. Our boys were grown. I started praying to God. “If you are going to take one of us, take me. I am ready to go to heaven; I have heard you don’t have to cook there. Take me. Leave Ardene and Cheryl to raise their little girls.” And you know what? I am still here and they are both gone. And it is hard to understand.

And you…you may have lost moms or daughters or friends and neighbors to breast cancer and other cancers, or car accidents or heart attacks….and it is hard to understand….what about earthquakes, wars, crime, hurricanes, September 11? What about other things going on in our world? It is hard to understand…
However here is what I learned. I had to come to the place in my life where I learned to TRUST GOD even if I don’t understand. And that is what keeps me walking in peace and joy . . .

STOP. LOOK. LISTEN.

No I am not perfect. I still cannot cook and I still can have crabby days. However the guiding light, the joy in my life journey is that I know God loves me. And that cup? My cup runneth over. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

It is just like the check I told you about, the one with my name on it. You see God’s Word says we are born sinners. It is like we are issued a pretend ‘sin check’ just like a birth certificate, an invisible pretend sin check…and when I die and go to heaven and knock on that door or open that gate or whatever, GOD will ask me for my sin check. I will hand it to Him, He will look at it and remember that March day in Billings at 241 Fair Park Drive when I asked Him to come into my life and forgive me my sins . . . and He will look at that check and say “OHHHH it’s Lois . . .” …and stamp it PAID by the blood of Jesus. His Son . . . my Savior.”

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a SAVIOR, who is Jesus Christ the Lord.”

How is your sin check? Is it stamped PAID?

  • STOP . . . So He can fill your cup.
  • LOOK . . . God sent His Son to be your SAVIOR
  • LISTEN . . .Your part is to surrender your life to Him. His part has already been done.

My Prayer: Dear Lord today you see our efforts and know our hearts. You know how busy we are and how we try to do the right things. But I thank you God that you do not measure us on the basis of our being “good enuff” but by us accepting your gift of forgiveness. You sent your Son to be our Savior. I ask that You draw all readers of these words into your family. In Jesus Name, Amen

Your Prayer: Dear Lord, I understand I am a sinner. I need your forgiveness. I am inviting you into my life this day. I ask You to forgive my sins. I believe Jesus died on the cross and rose again. He has promised eternal life for everyone who believes in Him as Savior. I ask you to stamp my check “paid in full” by the blood of Jesus. Amen

That, my friend, is the beginning of the rest of your life – a joyful journey! I would love to learn about your decision to trust Jesus as your personal Savior. Please take a minute to use my contact form in the right sidebar of this page to share the joyful news.

 

How I Came To Believe

I am at an age in my life where it is hard for me to remember anything. I walk into the kitchen to get something and when I get there, I can’t remember why I came there. ‘Course I don’t want to spend much time in my kitchen anyway because I don’t like to cook.

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Contact Information

"Time Out With Lois"
Lois Olmstead
78 Shields River Rd E
Livingston, Montana 59047
(406) 222-7484