My Life Drastically Changed

William Campbell

(William is a good missionary friend doing an excellent job in Paris.)

THIRTY YEARS AGO this week, my life drastically changed.

I was 22 years-old and going nowhere. Had already flunked out of college. Was working menial jobs here and there. Had dreams and ambitions, and a boatload of talent, but couldn’t get the boat out of harbor. Heck, I couldn’t even keep it afloat.

I was sinking. Fast.

The drugs and alcohol, which used to be such fun, didn’t satisfy anymore. No matter how much I did, and no matter the combinations. The womanizing, the broken relationships, the partying, all the consuming. It all left me empty, miserable, frustrated, and… tormented. I had no peace. It was hell on earth.

I was desperate.

Something inside of me started crying out. I needed help. Fast.

Anything that would give me peace. Drugs no longer worked, in fact, they made it worse. Sex, music, money, selfishness… nothing gave me peace.

Something inside of me cried out to God: “Whoever You are, wherever You are, please help me, please give me peace.”

I looked into different religions. Searching. Clawing my way through the muddy dark cave of my soul. Tormented. Desperate.

Sinking fast.

Finally, one night in early September, I snuck into my mom’s bedroom and grabbed her big ol’ Bible. The last thing I wanted, or needed, was religion. I needed peace. And love. And forgiveness.

Lots of doubts about Jesus coursed through my mind. I’d already kinda tried that stuff as a kid and as a teen. Nothing super serious, but I knew some of the basics. And yeah, the people I’d met at church back in the day were, in retrospect, actually really kind, warm, loving, and… peaceful. But sheesh, I wasn’t ready for no religious trip, man.

However, I couldn’t deny that light I’d seen in the eyes of my Sunday school teacher when I was about 8. That light was bright. It oozed love. And, peace.

So I plunged into that big, ol’ Bible. But I’d only read the Old Testament, the part written before the life of Jesus. I wanted to do my OWN research. Wanted to find out FOR MYSELF. No church, no religion, no words of men. Just trying to find this God who had showed up at the Red Sea and bailed out Charlton Heston in that movie.

So I read, and cried out to God. “Please help me.”

And I read, and cried out. And read, and read, and read. And cried.

And then… He came.

My eyes had fallen upon the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, a prophet writing around 700 BC. He described the future Messiah and how He would die for the sins of the people.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities,

the chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

and by His stripes we are healed.”

And then… He came.

Human language feels inadequate to explain what happened that moment.

It felt like a wave of love and peace washed over me such as I had never felt before.

Wave after wave of liquid love broke forth upon me and within me and in an instant I knew that Jesus was real. And that He LOVED ME. And that He had done all of that… FOR ME. And that somehow, someway, He was there in my room in Liddonfield Housing Project in early September 1992.

His love broke through upon me and I was born again.

It was… no, … HE was … overwhelming, and exhilarating, and enthralling, and kind. And peace. He was, and is, peace.

I wept and wept and wept. And I revelled in His love. And I gave Him all my heart, all my love, and all my life.

And in a moment, my life was completely changed.

From one day to the next I was completely different.

Not perfect.

Not always what I wanted to be.

And not always what I’m going to be.

But I sure wasn’t what I used to be.

And it was all because of Him. Because He IS love.

And since then – three decades ago – He has been undeniably faithful.

And so, so good.

I’ve never regretted for even one second surrendering all my heart and life to Him. Jesus. The Prince of Peace.

Thirty years ago this week, my life drastically changed.

Terrorist-Freedom Fighter Struck By Finger of God

StephanStephen Lungu’s mother gave birth to him when she was fourteen. Things went downhill from there for both of them.

The Zimbabwean teen-age girl had been forced to marry a fifty-year old man. A brother then a sister quickly followed Stephan and the young lady found herself with three children before her twentieth birthday.

Horror ruled the home. The child watched his father, a respected man in his church, beat his mother. Church was one thing but the man was an animal at home.

“The only time we smiled was when he left for work,” Stephan remembers.

The four-year old tried to intervene to help his mother when the beatings started and got pushed against the wall for his troubles. Once his head was bleeding and a rage burned in his young heart, “Let me grow up. I’ll kill you!” he thought. “I wanted to kill him every day.”

Finally his mother could take no more and she ran away to another city. There she left the six-year old with little brother and younger sister while she went to the bathroom.

She never came back.

The children waited for hours and finally the police found them. They were separated and it was 39 years before Stephan saw his sister again. Continue reading

Meadowlark Lemon—the Clown Prince of Basketball … and Preacher!


23917795042_b314e01440_zGod powerfully made his dreams come true.

One day an eleven-year old boy watched wide-eyed in a movie house, as a basketball team–the Harlem Globetrotters–performed things on the big screen with a basketball that set him to dreaming.

Meadow George Lemon III was going to be a Harlem Globetrotter when he grew up.

A child’s dream? Yes, but this one came true beyond his wildest imagination. The Website of the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts writes of the man who became famous as “Meadowlark” Lemon”:

“Few athletes in any sport have impacted their sport on a worldwide level more than Meadowlark Lemon. Perhaps the most well-known and beloved member of the Harlem Globetrotters, Lemon played in more than 16,000 games – 7,500 consecutively – for the Globetrotters in a career that began in 1954 and lasted until 1978. Known as the “Clown Prince of Basketball,” Lemon’s favored “can’t miss” halfcourt hookshot and comedic routines entertained millions of fans in more than 70 countries around the globe.”

The little boy had grown up to play basketball in front of popes, presidents and kings. He died in December of 2015 after becoming one of the most recognizable sports personalities in the world. (Watch Meadowlark play:

Lemon was born in 1932 in Wilmington, North Carolina, and attended Williston Industrial School, graduating in 1952.

Meadow, who lengthened his name to Meadowlark after joining the Globetrotters — didn’t have money for a basketball when he was young. So he so he made a hoop in the backyard with a coat hanger attaching an onion sack for the basket.

He made began his “career” shooting an empty Carnation milk can in place of a basketball. Continue reading