The Beginning of a New Creature & New Ministry – (The testimony of Randy McEwen)
When I was growing up, we were not a church going family nor did we have much. Many weekends in my early teens I would spend the night with my best friend and would attend church with him. The church was probably one of the largest churches in the county where I lived (near Atlanta). When I attended, I did not have nice dress clothes to wear–as I stated, our family did not have much. Anyway, because of my undesirable attire, I was treated differently (or at least it seemed that way). As you can imagine, this gave me a very hard heart towards churches and even God in general. I was convinced at that early age of 12 or 13 that if God was ashamed of me because of the way I dressed or if God only wanted people that dressed nice in “His House” then I wanted nothing to do with Him.
My heart was hard for nearly 20 years all because of the actions and attitudes of the Pastor’s and attendees of just one church in the Atlanta area (that was my excuse anyway). To that congregation at that time, Church was about social status and such and not about worshiping their Lord and Savior. I can still remember comparing the teachings of Jesus that I learned in Sunday School and the way that the Church behaved. I remember that Jesus met with, spoke to and dined with prostitutes, the poor, tax-collectors, common people, etc. Yet here was this Church that was turning the same kind of people away that Jesus came to the earth to die and give Himself as a ransom for. It was then that I decided that churches were bad, and that I would just try and do good, and decided in my own mind what God wanted from me, and decided what His rules were. In short, I broke the 2nd Commandment by making an idol and then bowing down to it. I created a god in my image…one that would excuse and accept me and condemn others. Convenient, right?
Like most lost people in the world, I thought that I was a “Good Person” by comparison to the rest of the world. In fact, I even founded a non-profit organization to prove it (Together for Georgia). It was a successful charity by secular standards. It was self-supporting–we never solicited for cash donations, and we gave away millions of dollars in assistance in its first few years of existence. It was successful, yet I was still empty inside.
On Memorial Day, 2000, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I was having a heart attack at 31 years of age. That problem turned out to be something simple. However, during all of the weeks of testing, I noticed that I was losing my sight. A few weeks later, I was diagnosed with a rare medical condition (some type of anterior optic neuropathy) that was causing me to rapidly go blind. In the span of only 3 short months, I had lost approximately 90% of the vision in my left eye and 10% of my right. After visiting many doctors in Savannah and Emory University in Atlanta, I was told that there was no hope, and that I would soon be blind. There was no treatment for it and no surgery could correct it. But the strange thing was that I as not scared or angry. I had a peace that I could not explain.
This condition caused my family and I to begin seeking out “God” although we really did not know Who God was at the time. We just trusted that there was a reason and a “higher purpose” for the blindness and that there was a ‘God’ in control somewhere. We eventually ended up at Grace Community Church in Rincon, GA. It was evident to us that God was (and still is) in this place.
After a couple of weeks, the Pastor, Wesley Corbitt, came to our house and shared with us the amazing sacrifice that Jesus had made for us. He showed us and explained what the Bible said about heaven and hell, and how your choice here determines which one you will end up in for all eternity. It was that night I realized that I could NEVER have been Good Enough to enter into heaven on my own merit…my own righteousness – no matter how many charities I started or how many millions we gave away – none of it was good enough. It was that night that we understood that Jesus had made a way for us to enter heaven. And it is only through Him that we can ever hope to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It was on that night that the scales fell off our eyes, and we could see clearly. Even though I was going blind physically, my spiritual eyes were opened wide for the first time.
Since accepting Jesus, it has been like a second childhood thanks to being reborn in Christ through the power of His Holy Spirit. It is like having a second chance on life to do things right and for the right reason. We realized that the resources that God had blessed us with were not being used to bring Him glory or further His message to His lost and dying creation. We do not want to waste this opportunity. Everything we do will be focused toward glorifying the One True God and spreading His message of Salvation through Jesus Christ to all the lost. This is how the Lord birthed Acts III.
If we can leave you with one thought it would be this. I use to think that I could just decide who God was and what His rules were based on my opinions of what was “fair” and “reasonable.” I use to think that all Good People went to heaven. I use to think that all of these “religions” were the same. I was WRONG, and it almost cost me the souls of my family and myself.
God used my blindness to get my attention—how is He trying to get yours? Maybe this web site? If He is knocking, open the door and let Him in. Just so you know, my blindness was completely healed in the Spring of 2001. The Doctors were astonished. It was a miracle! Praise God!
Even though I am thankful for my physical vision, I am indescribably more appreciative of my God Given Spiritual Vision. I cannot explain to the lost person what it means to finally have my spiritual blinders removed after 31 years. I would much rather be blind physically than live without the Peace that passes all understanding that comes with being born again as a child of God and being filled with His Holy Spirit.