01Aug, 2012
I should have read my own Monday Blog last week, cause I was irritable and whiny all week.

Everyone has those moments where everything and everyone gets on your nerve. You sit down and want a pity party, but you’re the only one who came. Thankfully I did get past it. How? I visited the website I Am Second.

This website is a collection of videos of people who share their connection with Jesus and how He has made their lives whole. I probably watched videos for over an hour reflecting on how my life has changed. Somewhat over twenty years ago I was involved in the practice of black magic, I was cruel, angry, and I hated everyone myself included. I swore that I would do everything I could to destroy anything good and had a few people that had made me so angry I was thinking of ways of harming them. I look back at that person I was and it is frightening to me, I really wanted to hurt people and enjoyed the idea of people being afraid of me.

Then one night in a small country church everything changed. My wife had been pleading with me to go, I had been refusing, but this night I decided to go (for whatever reason). I swore that if the preacher tried to get me to go to the front of the church I would attack him. Near the end of service he came and asked if I wanted to give me life to Christ and then surprised me by walking me to the back of the church. That night something very dark and evil died in me and something new was born.

Over the years I’ve been growing and changing. It hasn’t always been a progressive growth. I’ve slipped backwards, had to start over, and try again more than once. I have made many mistakes, some by ignorance many intentionally, but Jesus has always been there helping me set it right.

Many people hear my story and think it is the fact I was involved in witchcraft and the occult. But that is not my story, my story is the same as everyone else’s story. My story is that while I was covered in the worst filth of life, angry, full of hatred, considered a lost cause by most people, that  the omnipotent God of Heaven looked down and said, “Give me that one. The one that spits in my face, shakes his fist to Heaven, swears he hates me. Give me the one no one else wants and watch what my love will do for him.”

Most people who hate Christianity focus on the “rules,” they look for things in the Bible that annoy them and put all their attention on that. I used to be like that myself, but when I encountered love that didn’t care how mad I was, how much I hated, or what I had done and was still going to do, I couldn’t escape it. That kind of love changed my life. Over the years I’ve grown from hating everyone to having compassion for anyone. I still have a long way to go- I’m full of imperfections. Everyday I’m learning to put Christ first and trust Him for the rest. I’m learning that He has only my good in mind if I will just get out of the way.

I have decided that I can’t do this or anything else by trying to be in first place.

My name is Tim Skipper and I am second.

(Tim Skipper is a photographer who maintains his own blog. This post can be read in its entirety at http://ow.ly/cB2hW)