LIFE TRANSFORMATION CAN HAPPEN AT ANY AGE
At Highlands, people from all backgrounds and ages are finding and following Jesus. The following is the story of a longtime resident and former physician, who at 88 years old, invited Christ into his life and committed himself to following Jesus as his Lord and Savior. God can reach a person at any age and stage of life. God’s arm is never too short that He cannot save (Isaiah 59:1)!
In the past, my wife Burrita, our five children, and I attended a church but left after several pastoral changes. Of course, we were not ideal members because Sunday worship interfered with skiing, golf, hiking and backpacking.
One time, we hiked to Holden Village on Lake Chelan, a wonderful retreat center owned by the American Lutheran Church. There, I found that even though I was a “nominal” Christian, the lectures given by dedicated Christians from all walks of life, as well as the pastoral staff, were significant enough to make me realize that something was missing in my life. However, it was only one intense week of lectures, hiking, and eating too much. No matter how determined I was to become active in a new church, it became more and more difficult as we returned to the normal life. That was when the term LOST was introduced into our lives.
More recently, our daughter, Jody was very persistent in asking my wife to attend church in Renton since Burrita had shown interest in going back to church. Jody said she would pick Mom up for church if I would drive out to pick her up after the service had ended. This worked out well for several weeks until Jody said to me, “Dad, why don’t you attend church with Mom?” After using all the excuses I could think of, I said I would try it out. After attending worship service the first time, seeing my grandson, granddaughter, and great grandson, plus so many friends of theirs, the term FOUND described our feelings in finding a new church home at Highlands.
Since that time, we have joined the church. We take part in the classes offered and feel they enhance our feeling of belonging with a dedicated group of Christian friends.
I have found a very close friend in Pastor Barry Brenden. He came to me right after the first new member class and said that he already knew me from the past. I was really surprised when he told me that he had come to our home many years ago (when he was a senior at Highline High School), to go on a date with our oldest daughter who is now 61 years old. Since then, we have met almost weekly to read the Bible, pray, and have a great conversation. I now consider Barry to be my mentor and a great Christian friend.
In the past several months, we have attended the Sunday morning class with breakfast. It is really great. We feed our bodies and souls, and spend time with a lot of happy Christians. We may arrive depressed, but we will leave knowing that Christ died on the cross for our sins, and gave us the Holy Spirit on earth to guide until we claim our reservations in heaven.