I told you I was worried about telling anybody about it. I’d been a Christian for about three days and I decided that I had to tell my wife. She is my best friend in the world and we’re sitting at the kitchen table in our home. I don’t know if any of who have had to get in front of an audience but I remember the first time I had to do it and you get up and your mouth starts to go dry and your heart starts to pound and you start to perspire. I’m at the kitchen table and I’m starting to perspire and my mouth is going dry. She said, “What is wrong with you?” She thought I was having a heart attack.

I can laugh at it now but I can hardly get it out. I was worried. She saw me going through this but she basically didn’t want any part of this. Then one night Ronny and Jenny Ellis came down for dinner for night. After dinner we were down shooting pool and I told Ronny what I had done. As soon as I told him I wanted to take the words and pull them back. Oh-oh, the guys are going to find out about it. But it was something that I just couldn’t shut up about.

As time went on I found that the greatest thing that ever happened to me was coming to know the Lord. I’d like to stand here and tell you tonight that when you become a Christian everything is roses. You’re always scoring your breakaways and you never get injured and you don’t have any problems with anything. Well, I’d like to tell you that, but that is not the truth. We live in a fallen world and Christian are exposed to everything else. In fact, I can tell you the absolute worse night of my whole life came when I was a Christian.

In 1983 we were living in Burmingham, Alabama and I had retired from hockey and I was going to seminary and my wife had to have an operation. The surgeon was a good friend of ours. She had the operation and it seemed to go well and then that evening complications set in. One o’clock in the morning and there was three doctors working over my wife. The surgeon that was a friend of ours, perspiration was around him. I took my wife by the hand and she said, “Honey, I don’t think I can make it.” I’m here to tell you that my guts were just swelling up and I went out in the hall and I don’t mind telling you that I was crying. I was upset and I took my fist and I shook it at God and I said, “Don’t you take her from me.”

You know, right in that hall I realized you do not play lets make a deal with God. As much as I loved this woman, and I would have paid any kind of money to help her be okay, I realized it was out of my hands. In that hall way it took me a long time to give myself to the Lord. It took me even longer to give my children to the Lord and say Lord, “They’re yours.” It took me even a longer time to give Him my finances because that’s where my self worth came from. I liked people looking at Paul Henderson with a nice car and a gold watch and the rings and all that kind of stuff. My financial security was very tight to me but I finally said, “Even, Lord, that is yours.” The one thing I had never done was give Him my wife because she was the most precious thing I had on the earth.

I sat in that hall and I realized that it didn’t matter. I could hold her there but it was totally out of my hands. somehow I said to God, “Even if you take her I will still walk with you. I don’t know how I’m going to do it. I’m going to be totally heartbroken but somehow I will walk with you because you have proved yourself to me so many times over.” I don’t know how and I can’t explain it but there was a quietness that came over me and I seemed to get composed and I stopped crying. I went into her room and I took her by the hand and I said,”You fight this.” In fact I said, “If you die I’ll kill you.” I didn’t say that.

I will tell you that my wife did come through that. The worst night of my whole life. One of my grandsons only lived two days and I tell you what, that tears the heart out of your daughter when it happens. But I can stand here today and tell you that I would not change anything. God has shown me that I can go through anything because He is there with me. He takes me by the hand. He’s my best friend that I have in the whole world today. The greatest things about it is that I know this is not the best. The Bible says you can know that you can have eternal life and spend it with Him.

I’d like to tell you tonight that I’ve been a shining example of a Christian these last seventeen years. I’d like to tell you that but we might have some serious lightning damage in here. I have been far from perfect. I’ve had to go back and I’ve had to apologize to my wife, to my children, to my friends. Somebody cuts me off in the car and I can’t believe what will come out of my mouth sometimes. Before I used to curse and swear and now you clean it up but I’ve had to go back and say, “Lord, please forgive me.” The reason he will is because I belong to Him.

I had three children and they were not perfect children but they were mine and they knew that I loved them and it didn’t matter if they had got on drugs (thank goodness they didn’t) or if they had killed somebody I would have still loved them because they belonged to me. I would have been disappointed but I would have loved. That’s what God told me. ” Paul, you’re now my child. You can come back to me.” I’ve had to come back to Him on many occasions and ask Him. As much as I try to be a godly man on a day to day basis, I am not perfect and so don’t ever look at me or you’ll never want to become a Christian. Look at the Lord Jesus Christ only.

This is the best I know how to describe what it is to be a Christian and have a walk with the Lord, to have a love relationship with Him. It’s much like a marriage relationship. When my girlfriend and I were going together I had tremendous faith in the fact that she loved me and she had faith in the fact that I loved her. We went to the front of the church and we said “I do” and we committed ourselves to one another. Both of us knew that we weren’t going to be perfect. Both of us knew that we would probably have some things that we were going to have to work out but we were committed to one another. For the last twenty-nine years we had a tremendous relationship. We’ve had some bumps along the line. We’ve had to work some things out. When you give your life to the Lord. You say I do to Him that’s when you become His child and then you simply work out the relationship. It’s not do’s and don’ts. It’s having a love relationship with the maker and the creator of this universe.

In closing I’m going to pray a simple little prayer much like I prayed seventeen years ago. I basically said, “Lord, I want to spend eternity with you. I ask you to forgive me of all the things that I have ever done. I invite your Son the Lord Jesus Christ into my life as my Lord and Saviour.”

If you gone to church all your life and you’ve never given your life to the Lord, you can do that. You can deal with God right where you sit in the quietness of your heart. He’s not so interested in the words of your mouth but by the attitude of your heart. I’m here to tell you tonight, don’t do it unless you really mean it, unless you really understand it. If you don’t understand it, then you need to get some advice. Let’s bow our heads and I’m going to pray a simple little prayer and if you would like to business with Lord you can do that right where you sit.

Dear Lord, thank you for loving me. Right now I ask you to forgive me of all the things that I’ve ever done. I ask you to wipe the slate clean. Right now I invite the Lord Jesus Christ into my life and you make me the person that you want me to be. Thank you for giving me eternal life. Amen.

I hope you enjoyed my talk. I would like to take a few more minutes to tell you how you can continue your spiritual journey. One of the greatest privileges we have as Christian is to be able to talk to God and that is simply praying. I daily spend time being open and honest with God. I tell him what I’m feeling what I’m thankful for and even the things that are irritating me. I bring everything to him. My concerns, my needs, my weaknesses, my family, my friends, and my thanks. Too often I have to ask for forgiveness but I know that God is changing me and I enjoy a personal and intimate relationship with Him.

For me reading the Bible has been a wonderful experience as I have grown in my knowledge and appreciation of God. This is where He speaks to me. I would recommend starting in the New Testament maybe in the Book of John, and continuing from there. Read slowly and carefully.  Attending a Bible believing church on a regular basis gives you an environment to grow and to be part of a fellowship that allows you to be a blessing to others. Maybe you have listened to the recording and are not ready to make a personal commitment at this point. I would really encourage you to seek answers for your questions as I did. It may take time, but it sure is worth the effort. Ask God to reveal himself to you and if you mean it He will. Thank you for your time and may God bless you on your spiritual journey.

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