What, you might ask, is Blog for God? First, may I point out what Blog for God is not. It is not yours truly dictating what the faith community needs in the way of a premier internet site. Neither is it a handful of corporate executives or MBA’s deciding what kinds of internet tools or resources would best serve people of faith.
In fact Blog for God is an opportunity for millions to contribute, each in their own unique way to advancing knowledge of God for themselves and others and to foster interaction among people of faith.
Blog for God is a place where people of faith can gather to share how God has touched their lives. A place to grow their understanding of God, to sustain one another in our human needs (both physical and spiritual).
A place to study what contemporary scholars and faith oriented leaders are saying and what has been said over the centuries about the message of Christ and what it means to humanity. To dig deeper into the teachings of the Bible and to seek out fellow people of faith not only to fellowship with but also to enterprise together.
How it all began. In 1990 “the question” popped into my head: “If I were Christ, would I be satisfied with what John McIntosh has done so far in his life for Christ?” Almost before the question was formed in my mind the answer “No” reverberated about my being. I still periodically ask myself that same question and the answer has not changed.
That’s the reason I get up everyday and dedicate myself anew, in my irrefutably flawed and woefully inadequate way, to the cause of Christ. Hoping one day I might hear a different answer. So for what some might consider rather selfish reasons this place was created for people of faith (and those I hope will become people of faith) in the hope that it might, in some measure, evidence my devotion to the cause of Christ.
You see I am faced with the same dilemma all people of faith face. Being all too well acquainted with the knowledge of the terrible sins Christ (by His blood and horrific suffering on the cross) washed from my record, what could I ever do to repay Him?
To repay that most selfless of acts ever consummated here on earth?
If we, as people of faith are honest with ourselves we know there really is no way to humanly repay Christ. Yet a true Christian will go to his grave attempting to do just that. We cannot repay Him yet we cannot stop trying, that’s our dilemma. And in a very real sense, I believe, that is one of our greatest strengths.
So because we people of faith must ever give our best for Christ, I humbly ask you to join in this exciting way for people of faith to advance the cause of Christ and to connect and interact with each other.
In so doing I sincerely hope and especially pray that, with input from millions of people of faith all over the world, God might look at Blog fo God and see it as, certainly not perfect, but a good work, one for which we may hear him say: Well done good and faithful servants.
Now to utilize Blog for God as a tool to increase the family of believers, it is not necessary that you believe exactly what I believe. History buffs are quick to tell us that over the centuries people of faith have had some rather heated debates over some beliefs not shared by all believers.
Religious scholars like to refer to these as “in-house” debates; arguments or discussions within and among the family of believers. So I’m sure it is not news to you that not all people of faith agree on everything. And of course not all people of faith belong to the same local church; nor do we all belong to the same specific denomination.
But all people of faith belong to the family of believers.
Thus, in a real sense all believers, whether living or dead, are members of the “family of God” as spoken of in Ephesians 3:14 & 15. In that sense Blog for God is a “family gathering” of believers with the shared goal of advancing the knowledge of God (for ourselves and others) and to interact in positive, uplifting ways with fellow believers.
Now, please do not misunderstand me I’m not saying that if you are a non believer then “Keep Out”. No, no, no! I want as many non believers as possible to come to Blog for God believing with all my heart that if they examine the evidenced for adhering to a faith based world view, then they will reach the same conclusion people of faith have reached.
A belief in a higher power is the unifying force that all people of faith share. It was my personal shift from non believer to believer that ultimately led me to create The Light Ministries in 1990, the Golden Rule Advocacy in 2014 and now Blog for God.
Blog for God of course has no walls and is not limited by any physical realm. In cyberspace we can help each other grow in our faith and build up our resistance to negativity.
Let those who like to tear others down spend their time on social networking sites which are not too particular about what kinds of content and behavior they permit. Regrettably there seems to be a plethora of such sites with a kind of “Wild West” mentality.
My own path to a person of faith helps me hold a special place in my heart for non believers. You can be an atheist insisting there is no God, an agnostic claiming not to know either way or you can be a believer. I have been all of these and now struggle everyday to do all within my substantial human limitations to follow Christ in the individual path I believe He has laid before me. “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 KJV
My atheistic period was heavily influenced by my deeply troubled atheist father. When my father was sixteen he had a very unfortunate thing happen – a shattering event that had a profound impact not only on his own life but the lives of my mother and their eight children.
Have you ever committed a childish indiscretion like skipping school? At sixteen my father skipped school and while his father went looking for him, his father was killed in an automobile accident. The Grandfather I never knew died at age thirty-seven while looking for his truant son.
To make matters worse, my father’s aunt, at the wake screamed hysterically: “You killed him – you killed my brother”. My father was blamed for the death of his own father. People of faith know that when bad things happen we either move closer toward God or drift further away. My father went in the wrong direction. Perhaps he asked himself: “How can there be an all powerful God if something that awful can happen? And if there is such an all powerful God and He let it happen then I don’t want anything to do with him.”
My father began drinking at an early age and by the time he was the father of eight, he had persistently worked to acquire his post doctorate in alcoholism. Perhaps he drank to drown out the echo of his aunt’s condemnation rumbling in his mind, but I seriously question whether it was ever a very effective curative. His life stands as a testament to the fact that alcohol not only solves nothing it dramatically escalates all problems.
My father died at age fifty-one. Certainly young enough in sequential years to still have an opportunity to change his ways, but my father was very old in a body he punished not only with drink but multiple packs of Camels everyday. By the time his system finally said “that’s enough” his body had weakened to the point where it did not have a chance of survival.
And it is possible there was a part of him that did not want to survive. Carrying his kind of burden one might develop a desire to end what must have been for him an agonizing existence.
In a strange way there was a benefit to my fathers smoking and drinking. As a child I would hear my father awakened by his own coughing. The first thing he would do is reach for a Camel. Some days he smoked five packs. Then he would reach for a bottle of beer – sometimes a case a day.
Because I saw the evils these substances can wrought in a life I never developed a taste for either. My father was fond of saying: “It is an ill wind that doesn’t blow some good”. God can take a bad situation and use it for good. Joseph’s brothers meant to harm him but God used their mistreatment to create a great visionary. Joseph was so sure his people would one day be free he insisted his bones leave Egypt with them.
The real tragedy for my father is, when this tragic event occurred he did not turn to the only One capable of healing any hurt, lifting any burden and restoring any lost soul. My father’s philosophy of life was summed up in what I often heard him say: “Life is a cruel joke barely worth living”.
The impact my father’s tragedy had on his children is recounted in a modern day Parable. I was inspired to author this story by several songs my brother James had written over the years which he shared with me after our mother died of pancreatic cancer in 1996.
Our mother Alice Esther McIntosh is the role model for Esther Rogers, the mother of the lead character in the story. I have completed a Kindle book and a screen play based on this story and my hope is one day God might cause it to be made into a feature length movie. It’s a potent testimony of the power of Christ in a life.
As a child I remember my mother scrubbing her children for Sunday school and my father always getting very agitated. He stopped me at the door one time as we were leaving and said something like: “How many times have I told you there is no God. And even if there was what makes you think he would care about a buck toothed kid like you?” On another occasion he said: “Johnny when you see the preacher ask him: ‘Can God build a rock bigger than he can move?’”.
As I said my father was an atheist and this is a favorite atheist ploy, to attempt to confound believers with illogical questions. Like most parents he tried to raise his son in a way that would lead to sharing his world view.
Remember he believed that “life is a cruel joke barely worth living”. My mother on the other hand believed that life was a wonderfully precious gift from God. As you might well imagine I was a very confused young man. But my inclination, especially by the time I was a teenager, was to adopt my father’s belief system because he was a very persuasive individual. He was given an aptitude test in his late forties and they considered his education level equivalent to a post doctorate degree.
When his father died he quit school in his senior year to support his mother and three siblings, yet he remained an avid reader till he died. He read the works of all the great philosophers and many of the great contemporary books of his time. He devoted most of Sunday to reading the entire Sunday paper; and, believe it or not, in those days we actually had newspapers worth reading.
When my father died at fifty one I was twenty-four years old. That began my agnostic period. This feeling of not knowing whether or not to believe in a superior being left me as empty as when I was just as sure as my father that there was no God. But when I was twenty nine I had the most incredible experience of my life. It was a Sunday service in a small Methodist Chapel, I don’t even remember the sermon topic and it is very possible I wasn’t even listening to the preacher. I don’t remember. What I do remember is my life was a mess and I was hopelessly lost.
I felt totally alone and saw the world as a most inhospitable place. This was the late sixties. President Kennedy had been assassinated. Martin had been killed; Bobby was also dead. Every day I would pick up the paper and another member of Congress or another Corporate Executive was under indictment or suspicion of one crime or another. Everybody seemed to be living according to their own rules. And rule number one seemed like: “There are no rules”.
Nobody in my circle of friends seemed to have a clue as to what life was about, why we were here, what was the point of it. Life started to look more and more like a “cruel joke barely worth living”. And if that was the case, why not follow the TV commercial’s advice and “go for the gusto” while you still can? After all it’s a dog-eat-dog world and when you’re dead your dead – right?
Then suddenly in this small chapel, in an instant I went from feeling completely alone and empty to being totally embraced by a force so incredibly powerful yet somehow not terrifying in any way. A comforting presence, like being held by my mother after a childhood hurt yet amplified a thousand fold. My heart was overflowing with a sense of peace so immense I wondered for a moment if I might explode. In that moment I was touched by something outside myself yet something that could reach into the deepest core of my being. Tears were spilling from my eyes releasing years of accumulated pain that had resulted from not having any sense of connection with my creator. From that moment forward I was a believer.
To share how you became a believer please go to: ADD YOUR STORY now!
That’s when I became a believer but I did not immediately become a follower of Christ. In fact I didn’t graduate from believer to follower until age forty. Honestly, like so many I didn’t even know there was a distinction between the two. That moment made me realize there certainly is a God. Who else could touch me like that? And in some measure this belief in God made me a better person.
But perhaps my progression from believer to follower could have been greatly accelerated if my conversion from non-believer to believer had occurred in a different setting. What has always been very curious to me is: even though it had to be obvious to the Minister and to those seated about me that something of great consequence was taking place in me, no one came up to me after the service to say: “John do you realize what just happened – do you know what it means?” Or, “May we help you take the next step?”
Perhaps this was the case because it wasn’t an evangelical setting, or maybe because the Minister had to dash off to another service. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not second guessing God’s timing for coming into my life. It truly remains the greatest day of my life and I’m comforted knowing He has never left me. But I still wonder what my thirties might have been if I had been as close to God then as I feel I am now. I’m sure those years would have been better for me and those around me.
Perhaps, though it was all part of God’s plan. Eventually I came to realize it is possible that if I had moved more rapidly from believer to follower I never would have started The Light Ministries. You see it was reading the Bible that led me to understand the distinction between believer and follower. Maybe if I had moved quickly from believer to follower I might have concluded everyone moves from believer to follower in short order. In that event I would not have been aware of the need to encourage people to study the Bible and the power of God’s word to help people make that transition from atheist to agnostic to believer and ultimately to follower of Christ.
If you have stuck with this thesis thus far – hats off to you! I probably don’t have to confess how much I like to talk; especially when it is on the topic of what God has done in my life and what I’m trying to do to encourage people of faith to persevere.
Blog for God will never accomplish the fullness of what it can do for the faith community without input from fellow believers. I encourage you to join us here at Blog for God and together we can make a real difference in the lives of countless individuals where ever they made now be on their growth as a believer.
And one day, in heaven and possibly right here on earth you will hear that: 1) your story of how you became a believer, or 2) your prayer, or 3) your sermon, or your 4) Faith Friendly Business has touched someone in a way that will make you know you have been used by God for the betterment of humanity. Believe me it is a wonderful feeling.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you may do here or anyway for the cause of Christ. May God richly bless you in all that you do.
The Light Ministries
The Golden Rule Advocacy
Blog for God