Monday, August 23, 2004



I became a Christian in October of 1971. For a year or two after that I learned some of God's ways, but the learning ran aground because I started listening to people more than I listened to God.

Everyone thinks they know God, but the God they know isn't a God I'm interested in knowing. He's too much like my parents: judging, criticizing, distant. I paid more attention to these beliefs than the ideas God Himself was teaching me, and the rift between us widened.

Eventually, 1979 or so, the chasm was so wide that I just couldn't see any reason to continue believing in God. It was a nice fling with some friends, but nothing lasting. The truth was that I'd have to do everything myself. No illusions.

That lasted through the summer of 2003, by which time I was really wondering what the future held. I couldn't see beyond a few months ahead. If I'd have been able to feel fear, I would have been afraid. What would happen?

What really happened is that God stepped back into my life and brought me back to himself. I wrote a series of stories about this event, which I sent to some of the people who had helped me along this new path.

Some of them told me that I should have a Blog. I asked them what that was, and then did some research on the Web. What I saw there didn't encourage me. Then one of my friends moved from L.A. to Nashville and started a Blog because she's not very good at Email. I read her Blog, liked what I saw, wanted to comment and ended up creating an account and a Blog in about a minute. Few things in my life have been so simple.

You know what? Those people were right. I like Blogging. It's a chance to write a story with one concept, not some big and sprawling thing that takes weeks to write. Now at the end of five months I'm rewriting this introductory piece, and there are more than 100,000 words on this Blog.

And I'm part of a Weblog Fellowship that I enjoy greatly. Real contact, more so than I've experienced in most churches.

The original idea here was to describe how a man who didn't believe in faith was led to change his mind. From the outside, following Jesus looks like just another job of work, no different from all the other ways people have to kill time in argument.

From the inside... ah, that's a different story. God's way of dealing with people--I'm not the only one--is wholly different from what we've been led to believe. Comparing our kind of love to God's is like comparing a bucket of cold water to the Sun.

This Blog is intended to give an outsider's view of the inside workings of following Jesus. A year ago I was looking at a future that I expected to run about three months. I'm a year and a half into this experiment, and I'm still here. Nothing less than a miracle. I took the last exit before oblivion, and it turned out to lead to a very lively place.

Larry Nelson 2004 August 23 (as "Last Exit Before Oblivion")
Rewritten as "Introduction" 2005 February 2

I just noticed this in your sidebar and am going to start reading all these stories. I just know there is something here for me, some missing piece to the puzzle. I got that sense the first time I read your blog.

I won't comment on all the stories, just wanted to leave you one here to let you know.

Barbara (aka Layla)
Had to come back and make one more comment. You have a gift for writing - which I am sure you hear all the time. Thank you again for your blog, its shedding light in some dark corners. I didn't "become a Christian" until I was 29, which was 16 years ago. It would take to long to tell the whole story but I divide it into the first eleven years - walking with God and being hurt by the church, the next three years walking away from God, the last two years SEARCHING for real, living, relationship I long for with Him.
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