The Safari Of Life ...

In the great safari of life - the journey we all travel, there is one central question we all must deal with - (no exceptions) - the question is: 

What will you do with the truth of Jesus Christ and what He has to say about your life in relationship to your existence for the rest of forever?

This is my story of what transpired in my life.  While everyone's journey may be different, no one can escape the absolute reality about the decisions they make for Jesus Christ in their life - their journey.  Oh yes, no one knows when their journey will end and when it will be too late to make that decision.  "Drive carefully!"

Gary R. Hendricks

To see this booklet, click HERE.

When I was quite young, I can remember I was at a Southeastern Iowa hospital where my grandfather, on my mom's side, was dying. It was somewhat devastating as it would be for most. As a youth in that facility, I was not permitted to be with my grandfather all the time in his room. Frequently during the ordeal it was necessary for me to reside in a waiting room.

While in that room, I remember finding a booklet called "This Was Your Life". The booklet described the life of a man who lived life well and died suddenly. The story goes on to share what the Bible says would happen AFTER the man had died. The man had to appear before a living God who looked to see if he had asked for the forgiveness of his sin through what Jesus Christ did for him on the cross of Calvary so many years ago. The book continues to show what would happen if he had asked Jesus Christ for forgiveness and made Him his Savior and Lord.
(You can review the whole booklet by going HERE.)

(Better be really fast!)

I can remember saying to myself, "When I am about to die, I need to pray that prayer and ask God to save me 'just before I die'."

The thought always occurred to me afterwards "what happens if I died suddenly and I didn't get the opportunity?" (That DOES happen!)  I never addressed that issue, therefore I was ultimately "at risk" on not getting the job done.

(If I were to die and I had not made that decision about Jesus Christ - by default - I WILL have made a decision!)

A brilliant "In college know it all"?

As time pressed on, high school passed and college introduced me to a time where everyone's opinion was: "I'm smarter than most, intellectual, analytical, brilliant, (all together too youthfully arrogant) and consequently questioned that God even exists." From peer-pressure and analytical considerations, I came to conclusion that there was the distinct possibility that "God," "religion," "existence after death (in whatever form)" were probably myths without substantiation or proof.

While in college, I went on a trip to an industry-related convention. Of the people in the vehicle I rode with two were "Jesus freaks - "Christians" and two were exactly the opposite - then there was me. The whole trip was filled with opportunities and challenges to see how we could foul up "the Christians" in their stand for Christ. It didn't work - they stayed their course and were not unpleasant to deal with while the three of us were wholly unfair. However, at the end of the trip, I remembered how the Christians were the ones who would "be there" when I needed help throughout the trip while the others were questionable at best to be trusted for any assistance. I also remembered saying to myself "Sometime I need to find out if God is real or not - if He is, I need to pray that prayer".

Later that year, I looked at one of the bulletin boards at the college I attended and noted a posting where someone was selling his whole record collection. At the time, the record collection had some of the best music available at awesome prices. Later I found the person and asked him "why are you selling all these albums?" His reply was "things have changed in my life and I have some other music that I have grown to like a lot better than these albums." My reply was "That's cool - what kind of music are you listening to now?" His reply was "I've become interested in music that is really encouraging - it's called 'Contemporary Christian Music.'" My response was "Oh brother, another one of those "Christians" - another "Jesus freak". As the conversation ensued (with my "anti-Christian" guard on full alert), he shared the reality of how current events and many historical issues point to the reality of the existence of a living and very active God who really cares for us.
He also dropped a bombshell of logic that was irrefutable:
  • If God and the Bible are right, in your state of not accepting Jesus as your Savior, you're in a lot of trouble.
  • If God doesn't exist and there is no existence after this life, belief in God wouldn't make any difference one way or the other.
  • However you're at risk because ultimately you can't prove what happens afterwards without dying and then it's too late if you're wrong."

  • Sometimes logical, sound, solutions require personal research - Acts 17:11

    At the conclusion of that I determined that once and for all, I needed to get the answer to this whole "Christian" and "God" thing figured out. "The next time I run into one of those really sold out Christians, I need to be able to give them all the evidence that they're wrong."

    Consequently, I proceeded to look at a lot of things and "research" from sources that were on the "Christian" side of the argument and those that were against "God," "the Bible" and anything to do with Christianity. An odd pattern began to develop - those who seemed to really know God seemed to genuinely understand, were caring, and had a love and respect for what I was doing. On the other hand, it seemed that as I tried to carry a balanced opinion for the research, those who were against all these "Jesus" people were given to just about every problem and vice available - drugs, alcohol, divorce, critical sarcasm, cynicism, anger, bitterness and had a greater propensity to really foul language (something that was part of my life).

    To obtain a copy of this book or to preview this book, you may find it on Amazon.Com by clicking HERE.

    ISBN#:  0785243038

    The guy who was selling the music then stopped by one day and gave me a book called "Evidence That Demands A Verdict" by Josh McDowell. As I read the book, just about every argument I had about Christianity was addressed. It was becoming very apparent that God IS and He IS in control this very day. "I need to know more - I need to get to know Him if I possibly can."

    In a quest to actually know God, I started to read a couple of Bibles that had been deeply buried on my book shelf. When I found them, I began reading the New Testament. It was really weird - the chapters were really interesting and almost seemed to jump out of the book. I had been in Sunday School when I was a kid and remembered how boring the Bible was - in wanting to know God, things took on a whole new reality.

    "When you call on Me, when you come and pray to Me, I'll listen.  When you come looking for Me, you'll find Me.  Yes, when you get serious about finding Me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed."  Jeremiah 29:12-14 (The Message)


    For more information of who Jesus is, click HERE.

    While I was in college, I had taken employment with the local school system as a janitor in a junior high school. On one of my nights off, I heard that in the school's auditorium, there was going to be a Christian music concert held. I decided to see what it was all about and slipped into the concert. I remember I wasn't too crazy about the style of the music, but one of the people who sang at the concert presented some interesting concepts I had heard but it hit home that night...
    • Jesus loves me and wants me to stay with Him forever.
    • All of us have done things that have separated us from being with Him.  God has set forth rules and without any question - everyone has broken those rules during the course of their lives.  Breaking those "rules" or "laws" He has set forth, constitute "sin" against God.  Therefore, we are ineligible to be with Him forever and would instead be required to exist away from Him forever in a significantly unpleasant existence. (Not good!)
    • Because Jesus loves us, and so incredibly much, He came forth to pay for the consequence of our sin by giving His life in place of ours. 

      (If we were in court, you could say He served out my sentence for the crimes I did - He paid the penalty that I deserved to die for.  The good news is that because He lived without having sin in His life, after He was executed in our place, God the Father raised Him from the dead.  Now He lives that He can help us!)

    • IF I were to ask Jesus to be my Savior from sin and it's penalties and accept His forgiveness, He would forgive me, come into my life, give me a real life, satisfy my penalty for my sin, let me live in His land forever with Him, and help me to change and be free of a lot of the bad habits and stuff that I've wanted to get rid of all my life.
    • I could do this by praying - talking to God, and expressing in my own words between Him and myself something like what I did pray that night:

      "God, I know you're there and you've promised to hear me.  I acknowledge Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I acknowledge that He died on the cross and paid the price for my sin.  I need to ask your forgiveness for everything - anything I've done wrong in my life against you and anyone else.  Please forgive me.  Thank you that you have already paid for whatever penalties I deserve for the actions during my life thus far.  Please help me to be the kind of person you'd be proud of.  Thank you Lord Jesus.  Amen."
    • Jesus has done all the work for making things with us right with God the Father.  There is nothing else you or anyone else can or needs to do to "add to" what He's already done to make it all good with God.

    Prayer is just talking to God.  You can do it by yourself when no one is around - a private conversation between you and God.  He's there and He's listening - right now!

    I prayed that prayer and meant every word of it.  I couldn't deny the very reality of who He is and how much He cared about me to bring me to this point where I WANTED to choose Him and not by coming to Him under anyone's persuasive words, pressure or derision.

    A few nights later, I wasn't completely sure if "I got the job done" and felt it was important enough that perhaps I better consult with someone who had things together in this area.  I called the guy who sold his music and went over to his house.  I told him what happened and he shared that there's nothing wrong with "making sure."  We prayed together and told God that we were concerned and wanted to make sure things were right and I asked God again for His forgiveness.  With my friend "the music guy" there I had someone who could attest that indeed I had made that decision and had asked Jesus into my life.

    YES ! 
    Forever is finally going to be a
    great thing!  All thanks to what
    Jesus did for me on the cross!

    Things were good afterwards, knowing that "my forever" was taken care of and things were finally "right" with God.  That alone was really good to know. 

    Nothing however in my daily life really seemed to change that I could tell.  One thing that did happen a couple of weeks after my decision to live for God - several friends confronted me and asked (seriously) what was going on.  Historically, I had a real problem with anger, cynicism, depression and fowl language.  They had been concerned that something was really wrong by reason that I was significantly more sedate and hadn't been swearing like I normally did.  I had no idea what was going on and was completely perplexed -- it caught me so off guard.  Later I realized that God was at work changing things in such a way that I was unaware of things getting changed from the inside out - good things.


    Choose the path of
    life in Jesus Christ -
    you'll NEVER regret it!

    A number of years have passed. As I look back, this was a strategic time of my life.  The journey through life hasn't been perfect, however as I have kept a careful focus on getting to know God's Word, the Bible, I have never yet regretted the path I've chosen.

    While many will choose not to ask Jesus to be their Savior and Lord, I can attest that those who do will find truth, life, and practical day-to-day benefit in pursuing the things that are important to the very nature of God.  The only practical way to know and understand that IS to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin and to make Him the Lord of your life.

    By no means (as many will attest), have I become perfect, spotless, or "arrived" since I've made that decision.  I am THE FIRST to tell you I make a lot of mistakes and don't "get it right" all too often.  When things go wrong, I can now get forgiveness, counsel, solace when everything is going nuts around me.

    When I'm "on-track" with Christ, things run smoother.  As we pursue Him, we can better know His will as time goes by.

    "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."   Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

    Questions?  You bet!  Now's the time to ask - BEFORE the big "pop quiz" at the end of this life! :-)

    If you need more answers to direction in your safari of life, I'd be glad to point you to the best resources I know of that could be of help.  You can e-mail me at:

    Have a really GREAT forever!

    Need more resources?  Try going HERE!

    Addendum:  I am currently involved with Bibles & Literature In French
    - a missions organization reaching the French speaking community
    for Christ world-wide.

    Copyright Gary R. Hendricks February, 2009 and onward for ever
    The truth and reality, just doesn't change!

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