When I was a young man in high school I was living a hypocritical life. I claimed to be a Christian and played the part pretty well on Sunday and other special occasions, but during the week I was anything but a follower of Jesus! God sent a wonderful Christian teacher to our high school, Mr. Shenaman. The way he lived the Christian life was an adventure – it was certainly not boring. He started a Bible study for interested students in the church across the street from my High School. Students were flocking to it.
One day I couldn’t stand it any longer, I told Mr. Shenaman I was raised in a Christian home but didn’t experience Christianity like he did! I asked him, what was his secret and what he thought I should do. He asked me a simple question that forever changed my life!… He said, “Bartel, how much time are you spending in God’s word every day?”
I decided to accept his challenge and began meeting with the Lord every day before I went to work in the old ’50 Chevy my grandfather had given me. I had enough credits in high school I only had to go to school half a day. I worked at a newspaper in the afternoon. I’d park my car in the parking lot of the newspaper at noon, and on the car seat I’d have my lunch bag, my Bible, and a pencil… I’d read God’s word and underline what I thought God was saying to me that day. God met me there… That old ‘50 Chevy turned into my “temple” – I would read… I would weep… I would worship… I’d repent… AND GOD CHANGED MY LIFE!
In fact, I would have to say that the most significant personal “revival” I have ever experienced in my life did not take place because of special speaker we had in our church, or a special series of meetings that focused on “revival.” It took place in that old ’50 Chevy as I would read, reflect upon, and respond to God’s word! That’s why I love the Bible so much! And that’s why I have a time every day I treasure and call, “coffee with the Lord.”