“My Story of Coming To Christ”


Transcript

(This is a computer generated transcript of this podcast. This is NOT a typed transcript and it has not been edited. Expect grammatical and syntactical errors.)

 Hello and good day. I am B. R. Maul welcome to my podcast. This podcast is dedicated to all things Christ for All who love him, and for those who are just not sure yet. So hang around.

Okay, so good to have you here with me today. And today. Well, this is officially my first podcast. I. So usually I will open with an introduction. I’ll have today’s message, kind of what it’s about. I will answer any q and a. There’s an email for that that you can send me questions and I will take from emails or sometimes just outta conversations that I have with people throughout the, week.

And also I’m going to include headline news often that’s sort of a little format that yeah, you have an idea of, of what will be coming in this B. R. Maul podcast. Now, since this is my first podcast, I’m gonna spend a little more time on the intro. So who I am. Now in front of my website, brmaul.com.

I do have about a seven minute snippet explaining a little bit of myself and this podcast and my name. You are welcome to also take a look at that. But here I’m gonna go in a little more depth and detail that way you know more about me. Let me start at the very beginning.I was raised in an extended family, pretty much cut down the middle.

Catholics and Lutherans. My immediate family were Lutheran. However, being that half the family extended family was Catholic, there was a, of course, a lot of disagree. Now every family has its issues. I have learned as a Christian, the Lord has allowed everything that has happened in my life as he has yours for a reason.

He is sovereign. There’s nothing that gets past him. He never has to think. He never gets taken by surprise. And so with that, I take great comfort in his sovereignty. My mom is the anchor of my faith as a child. I am so grateful that the Lord has given her the strength to continue on in her faith through all that she has been through.

And I’m also grateful for where my father is now. According to my mother, he is born again. And we’ll talk more about being born again. Another time. My parents got married very young and right after getting married, my father enrolled in the army during the Vietnam War. And so he is a Vietnam veteran who saw combat who was affected directly with Agent Orange and to this very day post-traumatic stress disorder. So growing up in our household, the reason I share that was pretty difficult and my father wanted really nothing to do with the Lord. Now I can’t remember the exact day, but I can remember the emotions behind it and praying to the Lord, and after praying with my mother and, and talking to the Lord, feeling HIs presence.

That is when I believe. I was born again, and that would’ve been, my guess, probably five or six years old. So how did I respond? Growing up as a Lutheran and in the household that we were in, but I had very, very little guidance growing up as a Christian. Our household, the majority of time just didn’t fit what a Christian home should be like.

And there obviously was plenty of spiritual warfare going on, spiritual warfare. Yet another topic that I will discuss in future podcast. As a boy, I looked up to my father in the sense of what a man should be like. And of course that for me was a conflict because there was things that I really admired about my father. A hardworking man. Even though he didn’t have much of an education, he had perseverance and he worked hard. And I also saw just what he did to put food on the table for our family, and I am very grateful for him. So not having a Christian man to look up. And often just with the joking and stuff in my family, Christian Mann seemed to be belittled, emasculated and something that a young boy and a young man as I grew up certainly had no interest in becoming because of how the, some of the men in the family perceived such a lifestyle of a Christian.

So I didn’t have a teacher. My mom, bless her heart, I know she did the best that she could, but even with that, something my father didn’t want to hear, there was just a lot of times where I just didn’t get the teachings at all. Now, growing up in a Lutheran church, because I was baptized, I was a child of God, that is yet another that I will have a podcast on much to say about baptism, and I have learned so much in great detail and I’m excited to also get into that with you as well. The reason I share that with you is because, well, by the time I got into high school, towards the end of my high school, the world was enticing to me, and why shouldn’t it be?

All my friends, all my family, they were just into worldly. That’s what life is all about. You know, I can look back and life is about getting through the work week. Work as best you can. Be proud of your work, but do what you gotta do and then get out. And then of course, just working for the weekend, the weekend it’s time to have some fun and get together, have some parties or do whatever it takes, I guess, to have fun.

And on Sunday, if you can, you go to church if you can’t, you can’t, except for on Christmas and Easter. Make sure you do. That’s the appropriate thing I was taught to do. But otherwise, I tell ya, the world was very enticing. The small exposure I did have on any given Sunday did not at all stand up to the amount of worldly advice and worldly fun and worldly goals that throughout the rest of the week I was dealing with as a boy and a young man growing up.

Now, with that said, when it comes to doing what the majority of people are doing, yes, as a boy, I was very much so caught up in that. We can tell children all we want, what they should do, but let’s face it, they’re gonna look and they’re also gonna see what we ourselves are doing. Even as a kid, it didn’t make sense when an adult would say, don’t, don’t do as I do you do as I say, it made no sense then, and of course it makes even less sense now, it’s ludicrous but with that said, with the masses, thank you, Lord, he has taught me the masses, the group majority. In other words, they’re seldom right. In my experiences in life, I can say without hesitation that the masses are seldom, right.

Because we as people are so easily misled and if you are indeed a born again Christian, then you yourself are a target of the enemy of all Christians, Satan himself. So of course, I’m so thankful I have learned since then that yes certainly do not go with what the masses are saying or doing, especially when it comes to walking with the Lord.

So I went through high school, military shortly after high school and then and through those years I was basically a square peg in a round world. And again, that’s why I truly believe I was born again at a very young age. And the very fact that I was aware going through my life in high school, in the military and college, as much as I was trying to fit into the world and do everything I could to be a round peg, to fit into that round hole, that round world. I was a square peg and I was aware of that. Now things changed. I went to college after I was in the Air Force. So we’re gonna back up a little bit. The time between returning from the Air Force, the military, when and before going into college, when I returned my church home, for lack of better term, had split up. But why the church split up as unfortunate as that is to me isn’t important to my story. What is important is the effect it had on me because I remember just being shocked. It was, I was in awe. How, how can a church split up like that? And really, that is pretty much what I knew growing up being a Lutheran is that church.

The reason I say for my home church, for lack of better term, because now I look back and I realize it was just a comfort zone. I was not it wasn’t a church home in the sense of I had a connection with church members as I do now with brothers and sisters in Christ. Now, that I believe is really to do with where I.

in my walk with the Lord at that time in my life as a young man coming out of the military. So it’s got nothing to do with those who were attending the church. Who am I to say what their relationship was like with the Lord? So I, I’m sure there were Christians there born again Christians at, at the Lutheran Church that loved the Lord so much, cuz for me it wasn’t about being born again. It was about being, having a church membership and doing what church leadership tells you to do. So that was a big part in the journey that the Lord had for me because you see what happened there is now I had this impression in my mind that I needed to find the perfect church. And there’s even things about being a Lutheran that I just wasn’t sure about.

And so finding the perfect church also meant perhaps even finding a different denomination. So I became what they call now a seeker. We’ll talk a lot more about this as well. It’s also in my notes to talk about seekers because really that is what the majority of churches nowadays is built around, how can we, the church will say, bring in people who are seeking, right, who are seeking the Lord, who are seeking a church home, who are seeking.

And so churches are scrambling to do whatever it takes to entice people to come into the church and once in the church to stay there. So in my journey, I saw a lot of that. Now I look back and as kind of painful and miserable that I was because my walk with the Lord really still wasn’t much of a, a walk at the time.

I was still convinced that I had control over my life, that I was control over my destiny. And that really, Jesus, it was great that he died for me and all on the cross, but that was a done deal. I mean, that was a long time ago. That was over 2000 years ago. That didn’t really have anything to do with my life in the eighties and nineties, and of course, a turning of the millennium.

So I had viewed Jesus as sort of. Oh, I don’t know. A, a go-to kind of friend, you know, somebody that I could read about that just loved me so much for how I was and who I was. So on my journey seeking, I was looking for, again, the perfect church that, that had it right, that ministered correctly, that that had the right leadership that could answer questions, but I still, for the most part, bounced around quite a bit.

So I was kind of like I can look back and, and chuckle just a little bit because like Israel, I wandered around for years. Oh, thank goodness, not 40 years. So thank you Lord for that. But I, I wandered, I am so thankful that our heavenly Father was very patient with me because in that time of wandering, boy did I make some pretty horrible decisions, horrible mistake. And again, I had no guidance. I still was looking at Christians as well. You know, if I’m a, if I’m to be a Christian, then you know, I have to act a certain way, be a certain way and all that. And I was really focused on me. And so I didn’t like the idea. I figured, well, okay, I’m a Christian, but I don’t have to act like those guys who called themselves a Christian. Jesus died for me and, and I was baptized, so I’m good. So I did a lot of acting and modeling and working out, and boy, I was very self-centered. However eventually I broke down and after years trying to think of maybe how many years where I was hopping around, didn’t really have a church home per say.

From military to oh, after college, four or five years at least in that area. And no, I could not find that at all. I tried, I thought I tried everything, but my life was broken. I had gotten to a point in life where I just didn’t like who I was. I didn’t like the people that I was around. I didn’t even like the idea of the purpose for living.

It was all very dark and dismal to me, and so I came to a point where that was in, in fact, it comes right down to one day. And this particular day I remember quite well because I was driving around my home area. And I, the interesting thing is I, I drove and drove, I mean, it was like hours. I just didn’t know where I was going.

I knew I wanted to go somewhere , but I didn’t know where. I didn’t want to stop. There was no, no house I wanted to go to no friend, no family I wanted to go see. I felt completely lost, so I, I drove around for hours that day and finally being exhausted, needing to get outta my car. I realized I had stopped in a parking lot to a church.

That’s when my attention came to the Lord. The parking lot was empty to the church. And so I made my way to the door anyway, I don’t know why, but thinking out the door is probably gonna be locked anyway, as in a bad mood. And, but the door wasn’t locked. It opened right up. So I went into this very dark church.

Most of the lights were turned off. There were nobody else around that I could see that. I went straight into the sanctuary and dropped to my knees and I just, I remember I remember it like it was yesterday. I fell to my knees. I was so mentally exhausted, emotionally broken, and I just wept. Those were hot tears that came outta my eyes.

And just looking at the cross, there’s , a few small lights on that emphasized the cross. And I just wept. I can’t remember my exact words. I, I prayed out loud to the Lord and that I was done. I, I couldn’t go on in that. If anything, I was hoping he would just, just kind of wipe me out. But at the same time, I told him, I mean, I, in my prayer and my, in my crying to help me, whatever that help was, I was ready to go home.

If he, if it meant going to heaven. And again, the assumption that was that I would, I was gonna, Or whatever he wanted me to do, I, I just was done. I know that angels live among us and the reason I know that is because the Bible says that, right. We can go back in the Old Testament and right away we can angels that had talked to the people, Abraham or, you know I won’t get into that, but, so we know there’s angels and we know that the angels are among us, and of course they do. God’s will, but he also uses people, right? Cuz even though I didn’t see a car in the parking lot without a doubt, there was a strong hand that rested upon my shoulder midway through my crying out to the Lord. I didn’t hear a voice. The only voice I heard was my, my own as I cried and wept, but there was a strong hand. It rested on my right shoulder, and when I was done weeping there was no one around that I could see. So perhaps it was someone there just cleaning things up.

I don’t know. Or maybe it was an angel, I don’t know. But I do know that the Lord had marked that day for me. And from that day forward, I don’t know if he just began to speak to me or if I just began to listen. Now in my walk with him for the last about 18 years, I would say that I finally just started to listen.

Yeah, I mean, cuz the Lord speaks to us many different ways, through different people, through events, but often we’re just not listening or we choose not to listen because it’s, we don’t want to hear what he has to say. But that day I was definitely willing to listen. Shortly after unsure of my salvation, I dedicated myself to the Lord and I asked him into my life and I told him that whatever time I had left here, that I would dedicate, dedicate getting to know him.

And that’s, that right there has been been a huge, huge blessing in my life cuz he did respond. And he made it clear. He made it very clear to me that what he wanted me to do was to open up my Bible and to read. And it’s like he took all excuses away from me. I had the time . We all have the time, right? I know what we want to say we don’t, but we all have the time. I couldn’t argue that because I’d always make time for things that I really wanted to do, things that I enjoyed doing. One of my big thing was going to the movie theater Boy, I made time going to movies and those were hour and a half to two and a half hours, so we’ll just say an average of two hours.

And also the understanding, He just took that away from me too. He just said Read, read. And He used voices from Christian radio that I started to listen to. He used voices from others cuz now when I would go and, and I was seeking a church home, I was more attentive. I was asking more questions that were more pertinent.

I was listening and growing, and what got me really started was basically a monthly devotional that I received. Someone had given that to me. I use that, I use that as a goal. So every day I, I would read the devotional and yes, it was a little tedious to start out with, but I was quickly just wanting more.

That’s the way God’s word works out. What he eventually brought me to the Lord. If you want to take a look into Proverbs, the book of Proverbs, and if you go to chapter two, one through five, I use the new King James version. So that is what I’m reading from Proverbs two, one through five. It reads, my son, if you receive my words and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding yes if you cry out for discernment and lift up your voice for understanding.

If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. I preached on this one Sunday because there’s a lot of action words, and that’s something the Lord has taught me, that to really pay attention to those action words that He places for us to do.

Right away. My son, if you receive my words, we have to receive it. I was doing that. He was teaching me as I read His words to receive them and treasure my commands within you. Treasure. I mean, they became so important to me and I wanted more. I got more thirsty to know what, what the Lord was telling me and, and that’s what treasure put it in our heart so that you incline your ear to wisdom.

Inclining your ear means you’re, you’re leaning into it. You want to hear more. It’s not just some humdrum, oh, okay. Here’s a sermon or a reading at church. And that’s good to go because there’s more action and apply your heart to understanding, He said. , we have to apply it in our lives. And He says, yes.

If you cry out for discernment, cry out and lift up your voice for understanding. So you’re speaking, you’re, you’re asking questions. You want to know. If you seek and search. Then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God and brothers and sisters in Christ, and for those who are listening and who are not yet born again, the fear the Lord is a reverent fear like a little child to mom or dad.

That child loves his mom and dad. The child doesn’t fear the parent like, oh no, the my mom or dad’s gonna come and eat me like some wild animal. It’s not that kind of fear. It’s a reverent fear because that child knows as much as he or she loves mom and dad and loves what mom and dad does and, and how loves how the parents love him taking care of him or her.

The fear is that mom and dad can punish me. That mom and dad have the ability to alter the path that I’m on in my day-to-day living. And that is the kind of fear that a Christian needs when walking with the Lord. Because we also learn in many areas in Proverbs that wisdom is only gained through God. You can back up to Proverbs one verse 7.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. So as you seek Him and His righteousness, then we receive that wisdom and knowledge through His word. About a year later. Roughly a year, year and a half. It was after beginning to truly walk with my Lord, I met my wife.

The other thing though, that I learned right about that same time, God made it clear when he said, Bruce, I want you to just read my word, the message he sent out to me, which is was clear then and is extremely clear now, is I don’t want you, He said, to look for the perfect church, to look for the perfect spiritual leadership, to look for the perfect denomination because you know what?

You’re not gonna find it. Stop trying to be a Lutheran. Cuz for a while there I was trying to defend my Lutheran faith. God told me, I don’t want you to be a Lutheran, but He also didn’t want me to be a Catholic or a Baptist or anything. He said just focus on being my son, because that’s what I was, and that’s what I still am His adopted son.

What has all that done for me? Well, there’s things that of course he has taught me, and I will get into these in more detail. But for example, in Proverbs, three: five and six, trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not onto your own understanding. in all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

And over the years He has shown me that. So it’s not just, these aren’t just verses to me. These are things that He has shown me over and over again. You know, in this process of, you know, once a person’s born again, justification is an instant thing that happens and more on that of course, later. But then what happens is that a child of God enters the sanctification and the sanctification is really our relationship with the living God here and now.

What it looks like in our lifetime as we go living on our lives, hopefully walking with Him and He uses our experiences as we turn to him and say, what now, Lord, as we read His word, to sanctify us. And sanctification, really when he gets right down to it, is nothing more than Him making us into the image of His most beloved son, Jesus Christ.

He loves Jesus so much and says, Hey, I want more like Him. And that is the process of sanctification. We are in the process of becoming more and more like Jesus. Obviously we are not going to reach it on this side of the grave, but in eternity we will, because then the sanctification is done and we enter glorification.

And glorification is the absence of sin. In Ephesians four, the book of Ephesians four. Verse 17, it reads this I say therefore, and testify in the Lord that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind. You should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk.

To interpret it another way is basically we are to no longer walk like the unsaved, those who are not Christian. And of course we can only do that with the help of our Holy Father. Again, there’s much to say and usually I will try to have a question q and a so I can answer, read the question, or at least share what I have had others ask me.

And I’m also looking forward to, there’s so much going on in the world today, isn’t there? I mean, things are changing so rapidly, so quickly, and as Christians, we really need to be on our toes. Now, myself, I hate politics. I spent most of my life trying to avoid politics, but at the same time, I was told not to speak of politics or religion, which is ridiculous because I’ve learned since then those are the two biggest things that affect our lives. So we need to talk about politics and religion, and so, Today’s headlines, there’s a lot going on. The world is changing its view on Christianity, and we need to be mindful of that. We can’t sit around anymore and just pretend that as long as no one bothers me in my house, I’m good to go.

I will also try to respond, not just share, but respond to headline news as well. Thank you so much for joining me in this first podcast of mine, B. R. Maul, and I invite you to come back again. There’s gonna be many more getting to know our savior, but I will share with you more in my walk. So until next time, I wish you well and God bless.

Songs

“Heroes Inspire Hope” and “Mountainscape” by Humans Win

“Happy Upbeat Orchestra Ensemble” by Nick Battle