My Testimony and a John Newton Hymn

HUME LAKE CHRISTIAN CAMP

Ellen’s simple version of her testimony, March 29th, 2007

I accepted Christ (was spiritually born) in the summer of 1963 at Hume Lake Christian Camp. I was a reluctant, stubborn, proud, follower of Jesus for many years. Similar to the birth process, I was comfortable in the womb (when God was calling me), but at birth when I had to get up and walk down an aisle and be singled out I howled like a baby. (Why do they say down the aisle instead of up the aisle?) I thank God He didn’t throw me back! I was a colicky baby. I fussed when anyone called attention to my bad attitudes, stubbornness, sin. I became more of a pharisee than a lover of God and my neighbor. I had my moments of obedience and peace. I had a long way to go and still do in the sanctification process. It has dawned on me what an amazing thing Christ did for me and the dirty rotten sinner I am. I still need to go deeper in this reality. I’m so glad God keeps after me. If my memory serves me correctly I cooperated more in the sanctification process after my baptism in high school. I’ve had periods of growth and periods of “being asleep in my faith”. BUT – GOD IS FAITHFUL and His promises are true. I want to follow Him for the rest of my life. Every day I want to say, thank you for saving me, I’m yours Lord. Every day I want to seek Him. More and more, I’m looking forward to seeing Him “face to face”.

I read this classic hymn by John Newton (In Evil Long I Took Delight) in Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney and felt it appropriate to include with my testimony.

In evil long I took delight
Unawed by shame or fear;
Till a new object struck my sight
And stopped my wild career.
I saw one hanging on a tree
In agonies and blood;
Who fixed his languid eyes on me
As near his cross I stood.
Sure never till my latest breath
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with his death
Though not a word he spoke.
My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins his blood had spilt
And helped to nail him there.
Alas, I knew now what I did
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain.
A second look he gave which said
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid
I died that thou mayest live.”
Thus while his death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue;
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled;
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by him I killed.

Olney Hymns, Book 2: On Occasional Subjects (London: W. Oliver, 1779).

4 thoughts on “My Testimony and a John Newton Hymn

  1. what a beautiful hymn! Ive never heard it before
    do you ever go back and visit that camp?
    and what is it about camps that makes for such powerful moments in our lives and walks with God? I mean man, I know lakeside has definitely had a huge impact on me

  2. Hi Erika,
    The last time I was at Hume Lake was probably in the early seventies. Yikes that was a long time ago. It’s high up in mountains, windy roads, slow going. Not convenient to get to like Lakeside, but breathtakingly beautiful. Blessings!

  3. Hi Ellen,
    I am on staff at Hume Lake Christian Camps and have lived here for nearly 18 years. I never tire of hearing stories of how Hume Lake has impacted lifes. Thanks for yours.

  4. Hi Suzanne,
    Maybe someone at Hume Lake remembers the Bagdanov’s, Bogdanoff’s or the Molokan kids that would come up and need to eat “kosher” while they were there. My cousin Jim worked up there as a security person or something like that years ago. Glad you found your way to my blog. I have such wonderful memories of Hume!

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