ONLY A SWEAR WORD TO ME
(The Greg Reinhardt Story)
Jesus Did It!
Are you trapped by thoughts of suicide or confused about the real purpose of life? Greg's life story shows the powerful effect that music has and encourages you seek answers wherever you are in your life.
In my early and teenage years,
I had very little knowledge of the bible. One place I was taught about God was
in school Religious Education but I had a habit of not listening and disrupting
my friend who was trying to listen. This friend who came from a Christian home
claimed that one day I would end up in the gutter with needles (drugs) in my
My teachers considered me a 'smart aleck' and I was involved in a degree of mischief. I remember the Principal saying to me; "If you think you are trying to be the biggest fool in the school, you have no chance because (omitted name) is the biggest fool!" The omitted name was of another friend of mine whose name has been deleted to protect the guilty! The only time I used the words 'Jesus' or 'Christ' was when I kicked my toe on a rock or something went wrong. For me, Jesus was not a person ' only a fairy tale ' a swear word. I wanted to live my own life and 'do my own thing'. To me, the bible was simply a dusty old book that lay unread on some people's shelves.
I grew up in the sixties and
seventies and this was a period of guys with long hair, the Beatles, rebellion,
so-called 'free love', hippies and flower power, drug experimentation and 'doing
your own thing if it felt good'. I had long hair, wore satin shirts and beads,
loved 'pop' music and listened to it for hours and hours. I thought I was an
individual who was different from the rest of the crowd.
Bob Dylan was right when he
said, "The times they are a'changin'". Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was
singing about 'spending the night together' with a girl. The singer, David Bowie
was openly speaking about his homosexuality and George Harrison of the Beatles
was experimenting with Eastern religion. Many in my generation set about
changing the values and morals of the time.
Many of us had the attitude of "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." I was looking for answers in my music but many of my rock 'idols' seemed to have enough problems of their own. Jimmy Hendrix and Janis Joplin had died of drug overdoses. Many singers were lost in a drug-induced world of rebellion or seemed to be aimlessly wondering from one relationship to another. Many were paying a high price for so-called 'free' love.
My father would say to me, "You are not an individual because you are doing the same thing as your friends. You are just copying them and the fashions of the day." Looking back on it, the reason this talk irritated me was because it was true but I didn't want to acknowledge it!
Growing up on a farm in a
country area, meant in many ways I had been sheltered from the effects of the
'big, bad world'. My family was (and still is) very loving, supportive, happy
and stable. My childhood was a great time of swimming in flooded creeks, playing
cricket in the rain, being free to roam the countryside, making 'cubbies' out of
grass, playing tennis on 'ant bed' courts and holidays at the beach.
After High School, I attended
Teachers College. It was a great time ... a time with friends, travel and
excitement. It was a time of unprecedented freedom and I used this freedom to
drink alcohol regularly. The house we rented was the accepted place for a party.
I drank regularly for a year and a half and then I stopped drinking altogether.
Alcohol helped me mix in a crowd but after the effect of the alcohol wore off, I
would feel depressed.
Inside I was searching for the answers to questions like "What was my purpose in life?" and "Is there any such thing as absolute truth?" During our College years, my mate Dave and I would sit up late, staring at the starry night sky, wondering about life ' searching for answers ' talking about God, evolution and about what was right and wrong. Dave and I were both studying to become Mathematics and Science teachers.
Dave came from a Catholic background but had rejected what the bible said. He would proudly tell me that the bible was 'unscientific' because the first book in the bible (Genesis) stated that God had made light before the sun. He said that this was not possible as the sun needed to exist first. This sounded all very reasonable to me even though I had never read the bible and had very little to say on spiritual matters. Dave was convinced that the theory of evolution explained how life arose.
I believed the bible was just a
'dusty old book' on people's shelves that very few people read. I believed that
God was just an idea ' a crutch ' something that weak people needed. So for me
the bible did not hold the answers to life.
I thought I didn't need God as I felt I was strong enough to solve my own problems. I thought I was 'intelligent' and 'intelligent' people like myself didn't need God. I reasoned, "Christianity couldn't be true as there seemed to be so many hypocrites out there. And what about all the other religions?" A belief in God to me appeared to be 'unscientific'. 'Good' people or 'very bad' people needed a concept of God but not me!
If a person (who called themselves a Christian) bought up the topic of God I would mockingly respond "If you can prove scientifically that God exists I will believe in Him." Although I had never read the bible, I was quick to mock people who believed it to be true. A lack of knowledge never stopped me from opening my mouth!
One cold, frosty night as I
approached a narrow bridge riding my 500 c.c. motor bike, a truck came towards
me. I pulled off the road and allowed the truck to come through. For some reason
I was in a 'dream' as I returned to the road without looking behind me for
traffic! At that time there was a loud noise as a car moving in the same
direction as I was, sped past me.
I retired for the night and it was only in the morning when I examined the long scratch marks on the crash bars and panniers that realized that the car had missed me by the thickness of one coat of paint! Sometimes, a very narrow line separates life from death and we are not always aware of it. In the next few days I reflected on this incident. Was it just luck that I was alive or was there someone up there in heaven, looking after me? This was the closest I had ever come to thanking God for something.
"Is there a controlling
energy or not?
I'm trying really hard to untangle this knot
I want to know, I want to know!"
I penned these words in 1979, when I was wondering if God existed. I was restless ' trying to make sense of the world in which I lived. I wondered about what was would happen when I died and if there was any real meaning / purpose to my life. I couldn't see things in black and white ' there only seemed to be shades of grey ' always many opinions on any issue.
There didn't seem to be a God, as the world appeared to be out of control. The six o'clock news was filled with war, violence, rape, corruption, suicide, bitterness, pain, deception, sadness, suffering, and disease. The world seemed to be dying and I felt I had lost my way in a world that had lost its way.
In 1980, I travelled overseas and at the Dachau concentration camp museum in Germany I was confronted with the evils that can be hidden in the human heart. These included the gas chambers and ruthless 'scientific' experiments carried out on human beings. I was physically shaken by this museum visit - it shattered my illusions that man was basically good. They were human like me, but something inside drove them to carry out these horrific acts. The thousands of wars during history did not improve my opinion of human nature. I started to examine world history and I was looking for the person who had done the most good for mankind.
On my return to Australia I took in a movie. In the beginning I was horrified by the violence but by the end of the movie I was hoping the 'good' guy would take his revenge and kill the 'bad' guy. Afterwards I pondered this experience and how my attitude towards violence had changed over the course of the movie.
I began to have destructive thoughts, as out of the blue the thought of; "cut your wrists!" would be planted in my mind. This seemed absolutely ridiculous to me, as I wasn't depressed about anything at the time. I had everything I thought I needed ... great family (by this time I was happily married and had one child), a house, a secure job with money. If I recall correctly, these thoughts occurred on about five occasions and on one of these, I actually visualized myself carrying it out.
I didn't want to have anything to do with self-destruction, but the fact that these thoughts came to me without my invitation, was a very scary experience. I discovered from these thoughts that there existed real but invisible forces outside myself. Nothing in science could explain evil forces that had a personality of their own. Science does deal with invisible quantities like energy and their characteristics can be discovered but there seemed to be an intelligence behind these destructive thoughts ' they had an agenda of their own! I tried to block out these thoughts of suicide and they did stop.
Music had played a very big part in my life and I listened to music and played the guitar for hours on end. I couldn't go anywhere without music and if music wasn't being played then I would be singing some tune to myself. A rough calculation showed me that I had listened to around 13 000 hours of music in my lifetime up to this point. This is a very conservative estimate based on 18 years at 2 hours of music per day. After listening to so much music I would be a brave person to say that music had not affected me at all.
After watching a video on the effects of music, I started to review the music I had listened to for years. I never took much notice of the words to the songs and I received a shock when I realised the nature of the lyrics ' rebellion, promotion of drugs, depravity, the occult, sex and suicide and mockery of Jesus and God. It surprised me to find out that many of the musicians had a strong belief in the spiritual world. I thought, "Why did so many people believe in a spiritual world if it didn't exist?"
Some years after Teacher's
College I was visiting Dave. As we talked he seemed (to me) to be going on and
on about corruption in the world so I asked him a question that I thought he
would not be able to answer: "Well, what is the answer to all this corruption?"
I knew we had discussed possible solutions for hours and hours at College and we
never came to any real conclusion. So, confident that Dave had no answer, I
turned to walk away.
But Dave did have an answer! The answer was one word and a person ' "Jesus". "Oh, no", I thought, "anything but that!" This reply virtually stopped me dead in my tracks. I was astonished that after a lifetime of putting down Christianity Dave was now a believer. We talked for about five hours (yes, five hours!) and in the end I almost went to sleep. Although I was trying to block out all this talk about God and Christianity, I could sense Dave's life had changed and much of his restlessness was gone. I wanted to argue but I knew virtually nothing about the bible.
It amazed me that Dave wanted to follow somebody else and not his own desires. He wanted to follow this person called 'Jesus' and actually seemed to trust Him and this was a novel idea to me. Dave encouraged me to read the bible for myself and simply consider what it said. Dave was 'smarter' than me and would consistently beat me at chess. "Right", I thought, "Give me a bible and I'll prove him wrong!"
I thought, "What about
evolution?" The first verse in the bible is "In the beginning, God created the
heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). I reasoned, "If this statement was wrong,
then how could I trust the rest of the bible?" Dave gave me some information
that showed the problems with the theory of evolution. He also sent information
that showed me evidence that God is the Creator of all things.
|More about where humans came from|
By this time I had witnessed
the birth of both of my children and I was stunned by the complexity of the
human body and the process from single cell to baby over 40 weeks. Could time
and chance have been responsible for all of this as the theory of evolution
required? Not likely! In the past I thought the bible was a fairy tale but now I
was starting to think that the theory of evolution might be the fairy tale!
So I started to read the bible
hoping to beat Dave in an argument and show him that all this 'God talk' was
rubbish. But as I read the bible I was astonished by Jesus ' amazed by his
actions and by his words.
Jesus said, "Do not store up treasures for yourself on earth" (Matthew 6:19). Most people I knew were chasing money and had no interest in God.
Jesus said, "He who is not with me is against me" (Matthew 12:30).
Jesus also said: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the path that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).
Jesus kept saying, "I tell you the truth" ' "I tell you the truth." This phase kept ringing in my head. Jesus certainly didn't have my Australian attitude of "She'll be right mate!"
Jesus said that I should pray to God so I started to pray. As I said the Lord's Prayer, the words in the second line ('Let your Holy Name be honoured') were replaced by foul and blasphemous words. I wanted the words but some unseen force was stopping me. This occurred on two successive nights and I wasn't too keen on this force that was controlling my thought patterns with suicide and blasphemy. I had experienced an evil spiritual force but what about the good spiritual force the bible spoke about? I began to call more and more on Jesus for help.
In the bible I read where a
woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years touched the edge of
Jesus' cloak and was healed. Jesus said to the woman: "Daughter, your faith has
healed you" (Luke 8:43-48). It was very surprising to my mind that faith in
Jesus had healed the woman of a medical condition. I thought doctors, not faith
were the solution to medical problems. In the past, there appeared to be
hundreds of different questions that needed answers. But now the number of
questions was narrowing down to one: "Was Jesus telling the truth?"
As I looked at the character of Jesus I could see he was a man that could be trusted. If God knew everything about me, I knew I was in trouble! When I looked at myself compared to Jesus I was embarrassed and saw how far short I was in areas like honesty, integrity and strength of character. I was guilty! I had lost faith in my own ability to control events and in my own goodness. If Jesus was telling the truth, I should respond to him in the way he asks.
One dark night, I was lying in bed and I was thinking; "God, if you are so powerful you made the universe by speaking then show me evidence of your existence." I didn't expect anything to happen because my logic and reason told me that there was no way God could show me anything as I lay in bed. By the way, I was not on drugs! Nor was I emotionally upset nor had I worked myself up into a state of panic. I was not suicidal nor was I even thinking about it. I was calmly lying in bed, placing a challenge before God that I thought He had no chance of responding to.
But there at the doorway appeared a man in white clothes; with his right hand outstretched in the way a policeman would stop a car. Out of his hand, came a beam of light that moved half way across the room. I cried out in my mind; "Stop, stop, I believe ' I've seen enough!" This did not stop what I was seeing as the beam of light continued across the room and through the sliding door into the black of the night where the light destroyed what I conceived as the evil in the world. I wanted to know that light could destroy darkness and God had showed me that by His power it was possible. My mind was reeling from the events that had just taken place!
I knew this was a real event because firstly, I really didn't think anything would happen and secondly, I had tried to stop it happening but the experience continued. During this experience God showed me very clearly that I wasn't as smart as I thought I was, that He existed outside my mind (I had always been a bit of an amateur psychologist!) and that He was very powerful. My life would never be the same again.
In the past, I had been an
'expert' at changing comments from people into a remark that had sexual
connotations. Bad language was something that usually flowed freely from my
mouth, as I possessed an extensive repertoire of swear words. (Swearing was
always handy when you were chasing cattle and they went in the wrong direction!)
Without even thinking about it, I stopped my bad language. "But now you must rid
yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy
language from your lips" (Colossians 3:8).
The Holy Spirit was now showing me my sin ' showing me what was right and wrong. Lustful thoughts stopped after I let God's power overcome them and I stopped fighting them myself. My suicidal thoughts have never returned. (Some time back, the suicidal thoughts had stopped but I now knew the evil power behind these thoughts had also been broken.) It is true to say "Christians are not perfect; only forgiven" and as time goes on God shows me areas of my life that I am continually working on.
Through this time, God made it clear to me that the destructive themes in some of my music had contributed to my suicidal thoughts. I looked back over one of my cherished albums, which had a song on it about a guy who was in a mental asylum who was contemplating suicide. The lyrics and the music of the song welded together in a powerful way in my mind somehow making suicide appealing.
God is spirit (John 4:24) and coming to know Him is a supernatural, spiritual experience. As Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again" (John 3:3). If you don't know who God is I urge you to come to know Him by entering through the narrow gate, which we pass when we believe in Jesus. The bible says of Jesus, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12).
The statements Jesus made were
so clear-cut. I either had to wipe Jesus off as a lunatic or accept what he was
saying was true. I came to see Jesus could be trusted and believing in Him has
had a powerful positive effect on my life. Jesus of Nazareth was the man in
history that I had been looking for! The historical Jesus was innocent of any
crime but was still crucified by the Romans. The bible says He died for my sins.
Jesus died in my place so I don't need to face judgment when I die.
"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls" (1 Peter 2:24:25). Jesus died but after three days, Jesus rose from the dead proving that all the things He said about Himself were true. Jesus can answer our questions and respond to our prayers because He is alive today.
As a teenager, I believed that:
I used to think there were no
certainties is this life but I was wrong. But death is a certainty. Without
exception, over time our bodies age and wear out.
I used to think that Jesus was not a real person ' just a fairy tale. I was wrong. Jesus was a real historical person. Our time scale is based on BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) that means 'in the year of our Lord'. The birth of Jesus is a very solid historical fact. The Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus wrote in 112 A.D.; "The persons commonly called Christians ... Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea for the reign of Tiberius..." a
I used to think that the bible was a dusty old book very few people read. I was wrong about that. The Guiness Book of Records acknowledges the Bible as the world's best selling book. b The New Testament is the also the most reliable ancient historical manuscript.
I used to think that Christians were unscientific and uncreative. But I was wrong about that. Many of the greatest scientists like Lord Kelvin, Johannes Kepler, James Prescott Joule, Carl Linnaeus, Sir Joseph Lister, Louis Pasteur, Robert Boyle, Sir Isaac Newton and Michael Faraday were Christians.c Great musicians like George Frederic Handel, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Haydn, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Liszt) were Christians. d
Before I came to know Jesus, I
was aptly described by the bible in this way. "The fool said in his heart,
'There is no God'" (Psalm 14:1).
If only I had listened to my Religious Education teacher! It is ironic that I am now a teacher and I have taught Religious Education lessons! I have learnt over the 20 years of being a Christian that God also has a great sense of humour!
Everyone's journey to find God
is different but you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart. The most
important question you can ask is "Who was Jesus?" How you answer this question
will determine how you live in this life and where you will spend eternity.
The facts are:
Feel free to email me directly with any
questions or comments at
Please address your email to Greg.
HAVING VICTORY OVER UNWANTED THOUGHTS
Before I become a Christian, I
was addicted to fantasising about girls after years of doing this! But as I read
the bible I saw that Jesus wanted me to stop this. I could see that this sexual
fantasising was going to harm / was harming my relationships. I knew that in my
own strength that I would never be able to stop this fanaticising!
I said, "God, I can't stop these thoughts. I have tried and tried with no success. If you want me to have these thoughts all my life ' so be it ' but if not, then YOU take them away!" Although I was being a bit bold in talking to God this way, God at that very instant, took away the power those thoughts had over me.
Over the following months, God gave me strategies to deal with these thoughts when they returned. (The thoughts did return but with nowhere near the power they had in the past.) One of these strategies was "if you see a nice-looking girl down the street, you can't help seeing her the first time but don't look back!"
If you want to have victory over unwanted thoughts:
IF A THOUGHT COMES TO YOU ' YOU DON'T HAVE TO BELIEVE IT OR ACCEPT IT!
God is love and everything He does is done through love. Yes, God does correct us and discipline us. He does this because He loves us. He convicts us of sin. (When God convicts me of sin, He is loving, gentle and incredibly patient.) But God does NOT tell us we are rubbish or that the situation is hopeless or that we have no value.
If thoughts come to you that you are 'rubbish' ' reject them and ask God to give you the strength to reject them.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6).
God is saying the same thing to you as He said to Paul the Apostle; "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Feel free to email me directly with any
questions or comments at
Please address your email to Greg.
All the best
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
"And this gospel of the
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
Consider how many children in "all the nations" have never heard YET what Jesus accomplished for THEM at the cross? PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS TO THE LITTLE CHILDREN!
To help us share the Best News every person needs to hear on this planet, randomly click FOR JESUS on just three (3) of the JESUS DID IT! links below. It will take just a few moments of your time. Please - that's all you are asked to do. God will reward you! (Of course, be highly encouraged to forward one of these video clips to those who may have never heard what Jesus did for them on the cross ... especially young people). Thank you so much!
JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT!
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JESUS DID IT! - or - JESUS DID IT!
(Please paste one of the above links onto your Facebook page - website - blog - video; etc.)
Let God Use Your Salvation Testimony!
Read the life story of
one of Greg's students who he told about Jesus
The facts are:
Staff note: We also encourage you to check out Greg's website. It has many excellant, impacting testimonies and other writings that we're sure you will be blessed by. It is: www.changinglivesonline.org
If this testimony has blessed you, would you please take a few moments and share with us HOW it has blessed you? Your feedback is very important. Please mention the author of this testimony when you email your comments. Thank you so very, very much! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Special Message: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/f-j/HelpingShareTheMessageOfTheCross.htm
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
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