Life-Changing Moments from 50 Years Ago

During 2024, I will be celebrating my 50th year in ministry. In recent days I’ve reflected on so many wonderful memories, including this one that happened very early in my life as a believer.

In 1972, while still a teenager, I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart. Then in 1973, just before Christmas—a half-century ago—I was invited to attend a Kathryn Kuhlman meeting in Pittsburgh.

As I stood in the third row of the First Presbyterian Church, the worship service started, and I suddenly felt something like a draft of air hit me. I didn’t know where it was coming from, but it was gentle and slow, like a wonderful breeze.

During the next three hours, the Holy Spirit became so real. I witnessed deaf people suddenly hearing. A woman got up from a wheelchair and began walking. There were testimonies of healings from tumors, arthritis, headaches, and more. Never had I been so moved by God’s mighty power. I realized my life had been changed forever, even as the wind of the Holy Spirit permeated the room!

And it was during this momentous service that I heard Kathryn Kuhlman talking in a most unusual way about the Holy Spirit. She said, “He’s more real than anything in this world!”

I heard her refer to the Holy Spirit as “my closest, most personal, most intimate, most beloved Friend.”

Suddenly, I felt I needed to talk to the Lord, but I could only whisper, “Dear Jesus, please have mercy on me.” I felt so unworthy.

Then I heard a voice that was ever so gentle, just like the wind, but it was unmistakable. He said to me, My mercy is abundant on you.

On the drive back to my home in Toronto, I kept wondering how I could have what Kathryn Kuhlman had.

And that night in my bedroom and with a searching, innocent heart, I remember asking the Holy Spirit, “Can I meet You? Can I really meet You?”

The next morning, I greeted Him at daybreak with these four words, “Good morning, Holy Spirit!”

Suddenly I was ushered into His presence, and from that moment, He truly began making Himself real to me. I quickly learned how precious and lovely His presence could be. I began waking up every morning with those same four words: Good morning, Holy Spirit! That’s how real He became.

Most amazingly, just as I wanted more of Him, I discovered that He wanted more and more of me. He wanted to flow through every part of me.

Everything began changing. My education was just beginning. And during the coming days and weeks, He began showing me how much He desired an intensely intimate fellowship with me and with all of His children.

And today, a half-century after my journey began, I can say with everything in me, it’s so important to seek Him with all of our being, for our Lord promises: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)