A request to write my conversion experience has invited me to make this effort. I have been hesitant to do so, fearing it would be too lengthy to be appreciated. It is not just my sincere belief my conversion has been more than the average to be thankful for. I have made an honest effort to praise God all my life for the reasons shown below.
I sincerely regret I can not say I was raised in a Christian home. There were nine in my family who were all good, honest, hard working people; but very little church attendance was experienced. About the only time any went to church was at a community revival, or a funeral. My father could have been accurately described as a workaholic, and he demanded it of the entire family. That required 7 days every week and left no time for church. An older sister was the first of the family to become a Christian. She married a good Christian man and was converted herself soon thereafter. I became the second to do so, and that is why this is being written. I do not remember my exact age, but I was very young and guess, not more than 5 years old. The only bible in our home was a huge family Bible containing all our births and names. It was too large for a child to read from, but I gained enough money to buy a small Bible from a variety store. My habit of reading so much caused me to often be called a "book worm". I feel very fortunate that a rainy spell came along to prevent working in the fields and it gave me coveted time to read my new Bible. I spent long hours and often well into the nights reading from it until it completely possessed me, and I began to try to pray with a feeble hope God could hear me. I began to feel God was hearing me; but no preacher had ever counseled me, and no adult had ever talked about God to me. I would get on my knees beside my bed before trying to sleep and attempt to pray. One night after I had prayed, crawled back into bed and went to sleep: I awoke: alert, and wide awake with a very strange and over powering feeling. I was awake with both eyes open and in the midst of night darkness I vividly saw an arm and hand nearing shoulder length reaching down to me. That strange feeling let me believe it was the hand and arm of God. I will admit I was frightened. I quickly left the bed, got on my knees to try to talk toGod. I promised to accept Christ as my Savior, get baptized, and try to serve God for the rest of my life. It was hard to wait until the preacher finished his sermon the next day. I eagerly rushed down the church isle and presented myself as a candidate for baptism to keep my promises to God. My friends, that was the miraculous conversion of a young insignificant farmer's kid, who was not even named at birth. I was later called JM after initials of father & grandfather. You may know me as Jim Gage.
In effort to keep my promises to God, I gained an opportunity at a very young age to teach the Bible on our local radio. I did that for 23 years. During the latter years of that time, I taught 4 Sunday School lessons every Sunday morning. On the radio, at Downtown Men's Bible Class, Eventide Nursing Home, and Adult Men's Class at First Baptist Church. The lessons were never the same, but were offered to fit the different audiences. Then I was invited to write a weekly article for the old San Saba Star News. I accepted and did that for a great while. When San Saba Star sold and merged with San Saba News, I was invited to continue writing the articles that are known as Biblical Gems. I have done that for many years and those Gems cover an unbelievable number of Bible Topics.