As The Spirit Speaks – Then and Now

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Brad - Still A Colts Fan - Spring 1988It’s funny how as much as our lives change, they still seem to stay pretty much the same.  This is a picture of me from 1987 – wow, that’s 22 years ago.  How time flies!  It has disappeared faster than my hairline.

This was at the tail end of my “Holy Roller” days that you might recall from Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain I.  I didn’t know anything about being a Christian entrepreneur back then, or that there was even such a thing.

This younger version of me didn’t understand God’s love, His mercy, or His grace.  He would have never understood the phrase, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”  Looking back, it’s clear that God was preparing me to write this blog my whole life.  He just had to wait for me to make a major detour to crush my pride and arrogance, but I see where His hands were all over my life.

Are You a Fat, Fat Baby?

Pictured below is one of the articles I wrote in the April 9, 1987 edition of a weekly newsletter that a group of students at our high school put together and distributed to the school.  Our group was called Students With A Testimony (SWAT).  I can’t imagine that they would let students distribute this type of literature on campuses today.

SWAT Newletter - April 9, 1987As The Spirit Speaks

The original article is a little faded, but it says:

How many times have you heard a person say “I was called into the ministry,” or “It was what God told me to do?”  Does this mean that God speaks to us like on Drano commercials? {remember those?}

No way.  God does speak to us as clear as that if we only allow him to do so.  I don’t mean to say that He will actually shout and the house will begin to shake, but He speaks to us through His word, the Bible.

I know what you’re thinking, “Hey! I’ve read the Bible many times and God never spoke to me.”  Maybe so, but have you honestly read the Bible?  Many Christians give the Bible only a superficial look – if any at all.

I think Amy Grant put it good {nice grammar} in her song Fat Baby.  How many of us go to church every Sunday and during the week leave our devotions stuck in the mud?  How can you grow if you don’t get fed?

I challenge you this week to have a time of devotion with God and let Him talk to you.  Keep an open mind and an open heart, and soon good things will happen!

See ya next week!

Still great advice 22 years later, and ouch, it still stings a little.  I can see the beginning of a blogger in this article.

A Natural Born Computer Geek

I’ve been a computer geek nearly all my life.  I still remember my very first computer – the Commodore Vic 20.  It is still the best Christmas gift I ever received.  I spent hours trying to program in BASIC to get some birds to fly across my screen.

Commodore Vic 20I had made it up to the Commodore 128 by the time I finished high school.  My freshman year at Baylor I majored in Computer Science (it was required by my scholarship).  When I dropped out, and moved to Indiana, I bought my first IBM computer.

The year was 1991, and I started my first WWII node.  I had a “website” before the World Wide Web had even gone public.  We created networks via modem to modem connections.  It was pretty high tech for the time.  Imagine had I stuck with it where I would be financially today.  Besides ASCII games, we had forums where we would discuss various topics much like the forums today.

This was about the same time as my divorce, and I moved from Indiana and started college at Blinn University.  Afterward, I transferred to Texas A&M where I fell in love with that accounting course that changed my career path forever.

Riding the Dot Com Wave

It’s interesting that even though I became a Certified Public Accountant, I was always attracted to high-tech internet firms.  Most of my professional life as an employee has been spent inside website development companies.

Even when I opened my own accounting firm, my clients were primarily internet related businesses.  My firm had a nice presence on the web launching my own website in early 2004.  It’s been down for years, but it still ranks well for most keywords.

God’s Guiding Hand Discovered

In part II of Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain I, I will talk about how I opened my accounting firm and then made the decision to close it to become a Christian Business Coach.  That would lead to my emergence onto the World Wide Web (yet again) just a few months ago.

There are many other examples like the ones above, where I can now see God’s hand at work in my life.  This has always been by calling.  It is something He has been preparing me for since I got that first computer so many years ago.

It just took a big detour for many years until I learned to get out of His way.  If I could go back and talk to that younger version of me pictured above, I would tell him so many things.  The most important would be God knows what He is doing – just trust Him.

Looking back at your life…

Do you see God’s hand at work?

Are you listening for His voice?

Or, are you still standing in His way?

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Brad's Big Feet Marketing helps people on a limited budget enlarge their online footprint using blogging & social media. His other blog, Marketplace Christianity, examines faith's role in how we earn and spend money.

Brad has written 95 awesome articles for us at Bradley A Harmon

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

dana December 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Inspiring Brad. Yeah — I really know that the time flying fast when look your younger picture and also the diffrence of thinking. I may not yet much far from my younger era but i already aware that i change from back than.
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Brad Harmon December 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm

It's funny how it does not seem like it was all that long ago. They say time marches on, but I think it is sprinting. It's a great reminder not to squander the time we have been given.

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Jonathan December 13, 2009 at 6:55 pm

It's very interesting reading about this. I too grew up in ministry and in fact was a church musician for some part of my life. That is also where I met my wife who is also a worship leader.
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Brad Harmon December 13, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I didn't grow up in the ministry, but I probably looked down on ministers too when I was young. I thought God was lucky to have me on His side back then. What arrogance, eh?

It's interesting to look back and see how much of our life path has the hands of God pushing, protecting, and clearing our way. I sure wish I would have recognized that as it was happening.

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Brad Harmon December 13, 2009 at 8:22 pm

I didn't grow up in the ministry, but I probably looked down on ministers too when I was young. I thought God was lucky to have me on His side back then. What arrogance, eh?

It's interesting to look back and see how much of our life path has the hands of God pushing, protecting, and clearing our way. I sure wish I would have recognized that as it was happening.

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Brad Harmon December 13, 2009 at 8:22 pm

I didn't grow up in the ministry, but I probably looked down on ministers too when I was young. I thought God was lucky to have me on His side back then. What arrogance, eh?

It's interesting to look back and see how much of our life path has the hands of God pushing, protecting, and clearing our way. I sure wish I would have recognized that as it was happening.

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MikeHolmes December 14, 2009 at 1:15 am

Well I'm still relatively young…Im only 28 (29 in February). And I know that God has had His Hand on my life. Not to sound cocky…but grateful. If He didn't have His Hand on my life…I wouldn't be here. He delivered me from a bullet aimed at my head. There was no way in the world I should have survived…but here I am. And so I can say will assurance that God has been faithful.

Great post brad

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Brad Harmon December 14, 2009 at 2:12 am

Mike,

He always is, isn't He? I thank God that you are wiser than I was in my 20's. In some ways, you only really begin to experience what it means to be a Christian when you completely surrender and stop crawling off the altar. It is then when God's power can truly flow through you.

Brad

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Alison Moore Smith December 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Hah. Fun to read, Brad. Apparently we're close to the same (ancient!) age. I'm 45. Sorry to hear you were in need of humility. I have ALWAYS been incredibly humble. ;D Oh, and I had big hair back in the day, too. :)

Didn't create my first web site until 1994, but was online before there was online. Remember, back in the electronic bulletin board age? Bought our first computer JUST after our honeymoon in 1985. An Apple Macintosh 512k. (The second ever Mac. And we're still Mac addicts 24+ years later.) We were charter members of AOL and I was on staff in a number of different AOL forums (family computing and homeschooling come to mind now).

As for the religious aspect (now that I've come back from my mental tour of the 80's), it's always interesting to hear the perspective of others. I actually do believe that God speaks directly to people. Yes, I believe he speaks through scripture as well, but — although I'm not sure about the relationship to Drano — I think he can speak to our hearts and even to our ears if/when it is best for his purposes.

As ever, it is good news to remember that he can guide us. :)
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Brad Harmon January 7, 2010 at 8:35 pm

You don't remember the Drano commercials where the announcer would say in a booming deep voice "DRANO" and the whole house would shake? That's how I thought God spoke in Old Testament times when I was a little kid.

The WWII node was an electronic bulletin board too. I remember how fast I thought it was when I got my first 9600 baud modem.

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Laurie Neumann December 30, 2009 at 1:40 am

It's interesting to hear some of your past, Brad. I know sometimes I can feel like isn't talking to me. But you are right – we need to take time to listen. I find there is a definite difference between the times that I sit down to spend time with God (mainly out of obligation), but my mind is already on what I have to do next and when I just really take time to be there with Him. The second is always better.

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