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Finding Faith: Tell your story

Pastor Matthew Kinley

I was born June 21, 1993 and it should have been the only date on my tombstone. Every day since has been a gift I could not have earned. I was born at 26 weeks a premature birth with many medical complications. Because of the early nature of my arrival the doctors told my parents that I would have a 5% chance of survival, this is often the point where doctors try to help parents not get too emotionally attached and they advised my parents not to name me yet because I would likely not survive the night. I did survive the night and the nights that followed were filled with glimmers of hope for my parents.

After I survived my birth, my parents were then informed that the measures necessary to save me would leave me blind and mentally challenged. They had every reason to despair over this news, but they did not need to despair because God does not hold us to the states in which we are born. In His grace and His mercy, He has given me eyes that can see and a healthy mind.

My birth is nothing short of a miracle. When I tell this small part of my story this humble birth, I am proclaiming to the world that the God of Scripture has worked personally in my life from the very beginning. I am blessed to tell my story. I am blessed to know that every day of my life has been a gift from God. All I need to do to show someone that the God we preach about is real and that He loves us dearly is to tell them about my very first day of life. I do not need long flowery speeches full of the most intelligent and elegant forms of communication. I just need to tell my story and so do you.

Tell Your Story. These three words have come to define my life in many ways. I have come to understand not only the potential of my own story but the untapped and incredible potential of everyone’s stories. As we share our stories, we reveal the undeniable truth, God is in control and that He is working. I do not have to look far into my own story to know that God is in control, that He is good and loving, and that He has a plan for my life. Tell your story became the basis of my beliefs on evangelism. If we are willing to share openly and honestly the journey of our lives, we will find that God has been with us from the beginning and His love is on display. If you doubt your ability to evangelize to others do not worry you are not alone. I encourage you to look at your life and remember the stories about what God has done for you. Remember His grace, mercy and love are always on display.

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column is from Pastor Matthew Kinley of First Church of Christ, Lock Haven.

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