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What I did not know until after I became a believer was that both he and his wife prayed continuously for my salvation over those 20 years!(1Th -note, Col 4:2, 3-note) (2Th 1:9NLT) Then take heart and persist in pleading prayer for the Spirit of God to sweep in like a wind (Jn 3:7, 8) and cause them to be born again from above (Jn 3:3).I had dated a few girls at UT but basically spent most of my time "dating" the books to keep my grade point average high.So in the Spring of 1969, my mind was already contemplating the excitement of the first year of medical school and I had no desire whatsoever to date a girl seriously much less get married.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; I became very motivated to disprove my step father's "prophetic pronouncement" and worked like a self "possessed" young man to perfect my skills in basketball, which (by God's grace, even in the face of my wrong attitude) landed me a college athletic scholarship.
shall be free = eleutheroo) And that's exactly what had happened to my father - he had been set free from enslavement to alcohol, gambling and womanizing (Ro 8:2NLT-note)! And yet all was not "rosy" for he tried diligently to coerce me to become a believer, but I would have none of his Jesus, thinking his fanaticism was nothing but foolishness (1Cor ).
I left after that Summer and had only a few contacts with him over the next 20 years.
Little did I know that in the providential working of the omniscient God my real father would read the Houston Chronicle the next day and see my name in the scoring column and ask himself "Could this be my son I have not seen nor spoken with for almost 20 years? Twenty years, not even a whisper, not even knowing if he was still alive, and then the first time I hear his voice to hear the words "This is your father"!
" As "fate" (God's providence) would have it, I got a phone call the next day at the athletic dorm and in response to my "Hello", the voice on the other end of the line said "This is your father"! As they say, "I'll make a long story short" - I went to meet my true father and even to stay with him in Houston that next summer (to help me save money while I worked a summer job).
My Father's provision of physical salvation beautifully foreshadowed the spiritual salvation I would experience almost 30 years later when, at just the right time, when I was "drowning" spiritually, God's hand reached down (Isa 59:1, 50:2) and me from eternal death and unto eternal life (Col NLT-note;see also word study of the great Greek verb for rescue = rhuomai).