My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.
Jesus Saves From Bondage
by Bobby Tews
Jesus found me shaken from an earthquake riding a bus home from work in sunny Los Angeles/California in the end of the year 1989. My eyes were not opened yet to His moving, but it was during this ride that I saw myself standing amongst all the other people on this over-crowded bus, and I realized that it was time to go back home. I had been there in L.A. for eight years, trying to make it big in the music industry, and had some set backs. I was addicted to alcohol, and clinically depressed.
Within a month of my return to home, at age thirty-one, I quit drinking overnight, never again taking another drink. So upon returning to Wisconsin and lodging with my mother, an old friend stopped over one Saturday night to take me to church. Feeling like there was nothing to lose, I went. The music was good, and to my amazement, I saw people actually opening their Bibles and following along with the preacher.
This Bible stuff was interesting enough to prompt me to purchase one and read it; just to see what it said about what I believed as far as evolution and creation and all. About a year later, I went to visit my sister in New Jersey. She was big into Christianity, so we ended up going to a service one Sunday, where there was singing and clapping for almost an hour before the sermon. Then the pastor spoke about who Christ is and how He is mentioned in all of Scripture. The pastor’s sermon rested at Genesis Chapter three, verse twenty one: “nd also for Adam and his wife, God made tunics of skin, and clothed them”. This was Christ”, the pastor said, “covering the sin of Adam and Eve in the bloody pelt of an innocent animal that God provided”. When he said that, a light went on in my head, and all that I have read and known about Jesus Christ made perfect sense. I gave my life to the Savior that hour. And since that day, I am a new creation in Him, belonging to Him, under His tutelage and blessed beyond any comparison to anything on earth.
When I found myself in His kingdom, happy and with a healthy appetite for His Word, I began using the talent He gave me to further lift Him up. I am a drummer. So I began playing in the worship band at that same church. One particular month, when I was asked to play for that month, I showed up early on the second Sunday to play as I did for the first Sunday. But the worship leader came later, and said that he was sorry, he didn't need me for that week. I felt so bad about coming early and setting up my drums in the sanctuary, that I nearly cried. While mulling over my sorry feelings back-stage, I met a mandolin player who was warming up for his part in the morning's worship with the bluegrass band he was playing with that morning. So I asked him if he needed a drummer and he said, "Why not?" So without even meeting this band formerly, nor really knowing their music, I played along during the service. The band was there for the second time, playing their second performance ever. After we played about four tunes, the congregation erupted in a thunderous applause. So I asked them if I could join the band. They weren't really a band yet, but they invited me to rehearse with them the following week.
That was over thirteen years ago. Since then, I have been playing with this same outfit. We call ourselves Bluegrace, and we have produced three CDs which have sold all over the world. In 2000 we traveled to Romania, where we played for their national TV cameras, on national radio, in orphanages, churches, Bible camps, a college campus and a wedding. We were also the first western band to ever play in a Romanian prison. Four concerts, with testimonies given at each concert, and translated into Romanian for the prisoners. At two of those concerts I gave the very testimony which I have given here. One can only imagine why our LORD Jesus chose an ex-drunkard and blasphemous rock and roller to be a mouth piece for Him. But as His adopted child, I am happy to do so, even unto death.
My Life Verse is Proverbs 20:24, "A man's steps are of the LORD, how then can a man know his own way?"
Through all my years, from before I met Christ and since, I realize it is Him who has made me, protected me and brought me to know Him. But it is clear that I would not have done so of myself. It is all for Him. I am made by Him to be His... forever. Hallelujah!
He came but not because He loves us, though He loves us more than anyone can say. He did not come to save us, though He did save us in the most complete way. He DID come to glorify His Father, and for His Father's name's sake. He tells us so in John's gospel, Chapter 17, verse one.
PS: Please feel free to check out the BlueGrace website: www.bluegracegospel.com where you can also listen to some of their great songs!