Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
Born about 1946 in Bates, Oregon (near Austin), he
accepted Christ as hi Savior at age 9 when a traveling evangelist came to his little logging
community. "With a child's mentality, I'm sure I did it to hopefully make God happy
with me, and so I wouldn't go to hell, which was a proper motive, but I just didn't follow up
on associating myself with other dedicated Christians after that who could help me grow in my
relationship with God, sadly."
Read of his turmoil and then turn to Jesus,
Norm ultimately began a testimony ministry with
dozens of born again testimonies that you won't want to miss [here].
THE MORNING GOD BECAME REAL
By: Norm Rasmussen
What a joy it is to know beyond all shadow of a
doubt that there really is a God. Not just to believe there is a God and leave it at that,
but to have personally experienced His presence in my room. That was the morning my doubts
about God and Jesus Christ changed forever!
It is my hope that if you are somehow doubting the
reality of God, God will use this testimony to help begin to change that. After all, to
believe that Jesus Christ is merely the Son of God is one thing, but to know by the Holy
Spirit to the depths of your soul that Jesus Christ is also God Himself -- knowing that He is
co-equal with God the Father (though He submits His will to the Father) and God the Holy
Spirit - One God in three distinct persons . . . that's when Christianity takes on a
whole new meaning and importance! Why is that? Because Christianity was never meant to
be a "religion" in the first place. It is a relationship -- a relationship with our
Early in my childhood, around 1955, at about age
nine, I accepted Christ as my Savior, when a traveling evangelist came to the little logging
community of Bates, Oregon (which no longer appears on recent maps; located near Austin)
where our family lived. With a child's mentality, I'm sure I did it to hopefully make
God happy with me, and so I wouldn't go to hell, which was a proper motive, but I just didn't
follow up on associating myself with other dedicated Christians after that who could help me
grow in my relationship with God, sadly.
There was a lot of turbulence in my home-life in
my adolescent years. Because of the turbulence, I was attracted to whatever seemed to make me
happy, rather than channeling that hurt and pain through God and letting Him help me.
Wherever alcohol was available, I sought after it. Drugs were not readily available like they
are today, so drugs were not an option, thank goodness, otherwise I'm sure I would have
gotten hooked on them like so many youth do today because of their lack of happiness. Nor was
sexual promiscuity as open and available as it is today.
After high school, in 1967, I enlisted in the
Army, being promised Alaska as my assignment. Through a quirk of events, I was
"volunteered" to become a prisoner-of-war interrogator through little choice of my own and
was sent to Vietnam. Experiencing first-hand the horrors and injustices of that war (as
there are in all wars to one degree or another), my concept of an "all loving, all merciful,
all compassionate God being in control of this planet drastically began to alter my belief
about Him. Seeing all the pain the Vietnam conflict was bringing to the lives of so
many people ... I wasn't sure I wanted to put my trust in any supposed God any longer who
allowed such things to happen. [It should be noted that I did not believe at the time
that the devil has any ability to influence the affairs of mankind. In fact, I wasn't even
convinced their was a devil like the Bible talks about at that time in my life. How
blind I was.]
Before going to Vietnam, I met a special lady
while in the military. I ended up marrying her instead of a special high school
sweetheart that I had one day planned to marry. I was probably not suitable marriage
material for any women at the time, though I didn't realize it then. My desire to have
someone to give my love to and receive love in return from, and be faithful to me, was all
that mattered at the time. I didn't know how to seek God's will at the time as to what
He had to say about the marriage, let alone who I was to marry, simply because I wasn't
walking in proper relationship with Him.
Though thankful to be alive, I left Vietnam
emotionally raped - wanting to forget everything that Vietnam was about in one sense, because
of the anti-war critics statewide who didn't seem to care that Communists were attempting to
take over the world ... (wondering who my enemy really was) ... and feeling like I had let
the very people down I had been sent to help liberate, the South Vietnamese people.
Part of me grew so angry at times at American anti-war protestors that I became frightened at
what I might do if caught in a confrontational situation with them, thus I avoided
confrontation as much as possible.
To forget, and to try to put the whole nightmare
behind me and get on with my life, I came back from Vietnam a hard-core alcoholic with a
heart as cold as steel. My wife had a very angry, bitter, resentful and emotionally
unstable husband to deal with, though I certainly was into denial to it at the
Most marriages suffer conflict at one time or
another. When conflict rose in ours, I tried to bury most of my feelings with alcohol rather
than seek professional advice to help work them out. Like many others have done, in
weak moments I began to think that an intimate relationship with another woman might bring a
little happiness to drown out the hollowness and pain inside me. Sad to say, adultery
followed, and the "happiness" was short-lived, because the guilt ate at me constantly. To
bury my guilt, I drank more alcohol and smoked more cigarettes and sought out whatever means
was at my disposal to fill the ache in my soul that I now realize only God was capable of
mending and filling through Christ.
IS THERE REALLY A
Through all those trying years, I still wondered
if there really was a God. Part of me wanted to believe there was, yet there was another part
of me that had difficulty believing unless I could "prove" there was a God. I had read a
number of "positive thinking" books that the devil had used to convince me that if a person
can believe hard enough, you can create your own reality. I had experimented with
hypnotism at an early age, and had experienced manifestations that many have not.
Reading about and experimenting with hypnosis, I was an ardent student of "mind over
matter." Meaning ... God can become real to you . . . but that doesn't mean He
really exists. Little did I realize how strong the sin of independent pride was that
had been operating in my life that caused this deception. Worse yet, little did I know
that I was addicted to the MOST LETHAL KIND of drugs known to fallen mankind: The
demonic, spiritual drugs of doubt and unbelief. As I look back at my life then, I
essentially was tied to a gurney with needles in every vein of my body taking in the two
drugs of doubt and unbelief seven days a week, 24 hours a day. [Fear is the drug that
often accompanies these other two, but I was so filled with the sin of angry pride, I feared
nothing ... (until I was about to pass over into eternity that fateful weekend that God made
Himself real to me)].
I was quick to find fault in Christians and
organized religion as well; totally unaware of the devil's influence over my thinking --
totally unaware of how much influence Satan has been allowed to have over the human race ...
including Christians. Like many others, I felt all churches wanted was to control you
and con you out of your money. After all, if one believes there probably is no God
unless it can be "proven," how can that person possibly believe there could be a devil or
Satan who also has great influence over the affairs of mankind? My belief about the
devil or Satan or demons was that it was just something early Christians had come up with to
try to put fear into people to get them to believe the way they wanted them to
The classic overflow of my doubt and
unbelief-addicted mind was that I also felt a person was stupid to believe that they could
trust the Bible. I had taken the belief that man screws everything up and you couldn't
convince me that that modern-day accepted translations of the Bible have been preserved by
God to be trusted to know what God wants mankind to know about Him and properly relate to Him
and others. And another question I had: why would God allow so many different
translations of the Bible to be printed anyway? And why would He allow so many
different denominations and different religions? Why couldn't it just be kept simple in
black and white? It just made no sense to me whatsoever, thus I came to the
conclusion that there was no sense to be made of it period.
Fortunately though, there were people God used
along life's way to influence me positively about God. An older sister and her husband were
two of those people. Flora and her husband, Jerry Cheadle, had become "born again," and their
enthusiasm and devotion about their relationship with Jesus Christ captured my
My youngest brother, Dale Rasmussen, the black
sheep of the family as far as I was concerned growing up, (really because of some very
lacking parenting), also had a powerful born again experience in his twenties. It was seeing
the incredible change in his life for the better that began to make me take a more serious
look at my comprehension of "personal relationship with Jesus Christ" Christianity. When I
would talk with Dale, all he would tell me was to forget about my hang-ups about Christianity
and organized religion, and just fall in love with Jesus Christ. He said the rest of it would
all fall into place in due time. But I didn't know who Jesus Christ was, or should I say, IS.
That's because I refused to believe what the Bible says about Him is true (from Chapter 1 of
the Book of John in the Bible; Colossians 1:13-20, as well as a few other places in
scripture). I believed the lie that the Bible cannot be trusted. If you allow the
devil to convince you of that you'll never come to know truly who Jesus Christ really
is. When you don't realize who He really is, you don't realize GOD died on the cross
for you ... not just a "good man" who did some very incredible things.
Alcoholism and stress continued to take its ugly
toll, as well as the other affects of sin in my life. At mid-life, I was told unexpectedly by
a nurse that my heart was like a walking time bomb, ready to explode. My heart was ready to
quit any minute due to extreme high blood pressure. I was sleeping very little, smoking 3
packs of cigarettes a day, and drinking close to three-quarters of a fifth of hard liquor a
day most of the time, not to mention various amounts of beer and wine.
When I was told that I had to quit smoking and
drinking or else suffer a heart attack, part of me didn't care if I died. In my mind, it was
a way out of my pain and misery. After all, it would be death through "natural causes."
Who would ever know the real reason?
Yet another part of me wanted what my sister,
Flora, and her husband Jerry Cheadle, and my younger brother Dale Rasmussen and His wife
Karil had found, which was a peace with whom they believed to be the Creator of the universe
-- no substitutes. They weren't propagating a religion, a denomination, or a teacher. What
they were propagating was a relationship with the triune God: God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Holy Spirit, and I liked the exciting fruits, or results you might say, that they
were getting. They had joy in their life that I didn't have. They had purpose for
living that I didn't have. Their lives had become centered on helping others, instead
of being self-consumed with pain and confusion like mine was.
So near age 35 (around 1980), I was a wreck.
I was facing death by essentially my own choosing, and I wasn't convinced in my heart that I
would go to heaven (if there was such a place). My marriage had essentially dissolved; my
life was in shambles. I had two precious children who did not have a suitable father and an
emotionally strained wife who did not have a suitable husband. I had reached a place in
my life where I felt like the first 35 years of my life had pretty much been mental hell, and
I didn't look forward to spending the last 35 years of my life experiencing the
same. Death seemed the only way out, yet I really didn't want to die
either. All I really wanted was to have a purpose for living that I just wasn't able to
find, no matter how hard I tried, and a little happiness that lasted longer than another
Is there really a Heaven and a
Despair descended upon me, and fear of dying began
to suddenly plague my thoughts. What if there really WAS a heaven and a hell? How could
I actually prove there wasn't? Furthermore, if there actually was a heaven and a hell,
once on the other side, what assurance did I have of having a second chance to get right with
God? All I had ever done was live for myself. What would God find in me that
would make Him want to let me be in heaven with Him? I had no valid reasons I could come up
with. My despair eventually turned to desperation.
Though I had cried out to God all night long
starting on a Thursday night with nothing happening, everything culminated on Saturday
morning. Backing up -- I went to bed that Friday evening, like I had done the night before,
and started crying out to Jesus Christ . . . if there was a Jesus Christ who could hear me,
or wanted to hear me. "Let me know you are real! I do want to serve the real God, but I've
got to know you are real! I've got to know that what the Bible says about you is true! I've
got to know if you really care for me!" I cried and agonized to God until the wee hours of
dawn, but all I heard was silence. "God. . .do you even hear me?" More silence. I finally
gave up. What a fool I had been to cry out like this all night long, I rationalized -
thinking that maybe - just maybe - God would have compassion on me and somehow reveal His
reality to me in a way that I wasn't so doubtful and confused.
It was just starting to break day that early
Saturday morning and then it happened! The bedroom instantly became about 30% brighter. I
looked for a light to be on but none was! I thought maybe the sun was now up and I had fallen
asleep and had wakened hours later, but the clock said differently. No - I wasn't imagining
it nor was I dreaming it. The light was real! It was of equal intensity throughout the room.
An invisible presence was in my room. The reason I know so was because an indescribable love
was so strong in that room that it seemed there was not enough room to contain it all! I felt
like I was being shoved back by a big hand into my bed, the love was so strong. And I knew -
don't ask me how I knew - I just knew that I knew that it was the presence of Jesus Christ in
God Is Real!
At that moment He spoke very powerfully to me. Not
audibly, I don't think, but powerfully to my inner being. The intensity of it was so strong
though that it might just have well of been audible. He told me what I had to do to make my
relationship work with Him. Then instantly all the anguish and pain and misery and confusion
and doubt of a lifetime was sucked out of me. And all that was left was peace. Sweet
beautiful peace . . . and knowing that God is real. I had had what many have experienced
before in one way or another: "A cross experience."
Then the room instantly was darkened again as
before. And the presence of Christ was now gone. The whole thing didn't take more than a few
brief moments to happen, but happen it did! I was now a believer! Moments later, I pulled the
covers off from me, sat on the side of the bed, and made a solemn vow to God. I said, "Thank
you, Lord, for revealing yourself to me in a way that I can believe in you. I know I don't
deserve what has just happened here, and I promise to serve you the rest of my life as best
as I can."
I've done my best to keep that promise, even
though I've made many mistakes since then. Yet I serve a forgiving and patient God. He's also
a God of incredible love (See how God revealed this to me at a later time by reading this
testimony: LOVE ON A DUSTY ROAD).
God also did some major surgery on me months after
this fateful weekend regarding the hang-ups I had about the Bible, and who Jesus Christ
actually is. You can read about it by clicking on to this testimony: THE BIBLE MIRACLE.
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the
life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." (John 14:6). Once the Holy Spirit breaks
through your spiritual blindness and reveals to you who Jesus Christ really is, then you will
understand why a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is everything. How can that be?
Because the One who died for your sins some 2,000 years ago -- He wasn't just a mere man --
He was all of God in human form. And He died especially for YOU. (You can discover this for
yourself in John Chapter 1 and Colossians 1:13-19). In fact, if you were the only sinner on
planet earth, He still would have died just for you! Why? Because His love is that
unfathomable -- that great!
Who REALLY is
If you do not have peace, and the assurance of
where you will go after you die (heaven or hell), I want to encourage you to seek answers
about who created you and for what purpose....because He is the supreme PEACE GIVER. (John
14:27) The most important thing you can do in this life is to ask God to reveal to you
who Jesus Christ really was ... and is. He doesn't want to keep it a secret from those
who will truly turn their lives over to Him once He does, and remain a disciple of His, at
whatever the cost -- whatever the pain.
If your life has little meaning and purpose, and
you are searching for a reason to keep on living, I can't encourage you enough to ask Jesus
Christ to become the Lord and Savior of your life. He created you for an eternal, useful
purpose, and until you know WHAT that purpose IS, nothing will fill the longing in your
heart....like He has filled that longing in my heart with meaning and purpose. As God
had done time after time with so many lives ... he can take your "mess" and turn it into one
"glorious message" that will be used to touch the lives of many others for His
If you can identify with many of the hang-ups I
have experienced regarding Christianity, especially your need to have God "prove" His reality
to you, like He did me, I want to ask you this question: what is holding you back from
getting alone with God and seeking after Him until you can walk away a different
Jesus said: "For whoever desires to save his life
will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 16:25) An
expansion of this truth is found in Mark 8:35: "For whoever desires to save his life
will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it."
Literally, sharing the Good News around the planet through the Internet and the other ways
God is allowing us to share it: that God took your and my punishment ... there is
eternal forgiveness for our sins ... that entrance into heaven is FREE and can be ASSURED ...
how glorious and exciting and rewarding this NEW spiritual life has become!
THE ROAD TO HAPPINESS
My former life was lived to find a little
happiness to keep on going. My new life is striving to live to be pleasing to my Lord.
Serving Him by being used to minister to others is what now makes me happiest. It's a
happiness this world knows little of. (Actually, it is more joy than happiness, because I
have discovered that though the afflictions of the righteous are many (see Psalms 34:19)
devoted disciples of Jesus Christ have the assurance that God is working all of our
afflictions for eternal good (See: Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 4:16-17; 1 Peter 1:7; James
1:2-4) if we will trust Him through every storm -- every demonic battle -- even to the point
of painful and perhaps unjust death. The best way I have found to do this is to give
thanks to Him "in all things" and "for all things." (See: 1 Thessalonians 5:18;
Ephesians 5:20). As Calvin Bergsma, Senior Elder/Pastor of Grandville Christian
Fellowship church likes to say, "Praise and thanksgiving is the language of
faith." Anyone can praise God and give thanks when things are going well.
Only when we feel like God has totally betrayed us -- totally let us down ... does it
become the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. (See: Psalms 107:22; 116:17; Hebrews
13:15). Determining to praise and thank God with our lips through all of life's
challenges is more precious to God than all of the wealth of this world (See: 1 Peter
1:7). That's when the most priceless treasures get stored up in heaven for us, as
Jesus speaks of in Matthew 6:19-21.
In my former life, I don't remember hardly any
prayers ever being answered. In my new born-again life (John 3:3), I've experienced so many
answered prayers that it is abnormal to not have them answered (John 15:7-8). Most
born-again Christians can tell you the same, when they've learned to pray unselfishly and be
patient with God.
God has given me a purpose for living beyond
anything I could have ever imagined. My number one purpose in life is to be a willing
vessel God can use to minister through to others who are hurting, lost spiritually, or
discouraged. To take someone as messed up as I was and give them not only a second
chance at marriage, but to then watch God use us together through this Precious Testimonies
ministry outreach, the local fellowship we are a part of, (Currently: Grandville Christian
Fellowship, Office number: 616-827-0449), and ministry in prisons (Currently through Alpha
Prison Ministries and Prison Fellowship) -- to impart hope, encouragement and spiritual
insight to others ... that is something I am thankful
Quoting again from John 14:6 where Jesus says: "I
am the way, the truth and the life," -- In my old life, before I was born-again, I
would have said in regards to this scripture, "So - big deal." AFTER I became born-again and
grew in some understanding of the Holy Scriptures and how I'm to relate with God, I now say,
"Biggest deal in all of creation and eternity!" Why? Because what is really being
communicated in the above portion of scripture is either the most profound fact in all the
universe, or either the biggest lie. Though I never totally believed it was the biggest
lie in all the universe, it took God to bring me to the brink of eternity before I was
willing to push through the demonic blindness the devil had over me and that didn't happen
until I was willing to first begin obeying from scripture the God who created me. In my
trying as much as I could to obey Him ... He began to reveal the treasures of the Bible that
I had been so pridefully stubborn about and so blind to before.
Dear Reader: You can hear about all the
glorious things God has done in my life and in the lives of others, and they can give you
hope, but they won't bring you joy and peace with God. All they are are roadmaps to lead you
to your final destiny: Him. You've got to experience God's peace and joy for your life
personally and that will only come through a personal relationship with the One who
Co-Created you ... Jesus Christ. Once you accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior by
asking Him into your heart and life, a time will come when you will be as excited as I am to
point OTHERS to Him as well. Yes - you'll experience a lot of pain like all other
Christian's do. Satan will not let things be "easy" for you, because God will allow Him
to put you through a lot of trials to bring spiritual growth and maturity. (Afterall,
life is about being tested; about trust; yet it's very temporary ... in light of eternity).
But nothing in life is easy that will matter in eternity. Only those things that we
have to work hard at to overcome the pain (which often-times involves feelings of betrayal
from God), are the very things that will mean the most to us when we pass into
How true this saying will become once we're on the
other side: "Only one life will soon be past -- only what's done for Christ will
last." What is done "for Christ" is seeking Him for the purpose you were created for,
and doing all you know to do as God opens doors and provides the means for you to fulfill
If you don't know Jesus Christ personally, dear
reader ... He's knocking on the door of your heart. He won't break the door down - He is a
gentleman. You have to invite Him in. (See: Revelation 3:20). You have to step over the
line of reason that fallen man seeks to dwell in ... into the realm of faith that
releases God to do the impossible in you, and through you. It may seem scary at first,
but once you step over, you'll be like everyone else, thinking: "Why did I wait so
Thank you and God bless you for taking the time to
read this part of my story. I'm so thankful God has given me one to tell. Had God not
intervened that fateful early Saturday morning....I'm sure I would be in hell right now. I
deserved to go there. Jesus Christ wants no one to go to hell. Anyone who will mean business
with Him can have the assurance that eternal joy in heaven can be his or her everlasting
destiny upon death in this life (See: John 17:1-26), if they want that assurance. It's
freely given by the Holy Spirit to those who hunger to be right with the Heavenly Father ...
that can only be found in and through a personal relationship with Jesus
Thanks and God Bless, Norm
***give me your comments about this
(posted 4 January 2004)
You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now