John Pape Christian Testimony
The beginning of my journey
John 5:34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
Ever since I remember I was somehow involved with music. In elementary school I learned to play the violin and was in the school orchestra. Also, I sang in the Glee Club. When I got older I received a guitar as a Christmas present. I spent all of my spare time learning everything I could about the guitar. I played in several Garage bands in High School and my College days. Then I began to write songs. I learned by listening and copying artist that I liked. I learned from other musicians. Music was everything to me.
“The cross is foolishness to those that are perishing.”
All this time I was missing something in my life. I somehow knew it had a spiritual element to it. So there I was exploring things that at the time seemed to be spiritual. I looked to the stars for the answers in astrology. I looked at the Greek and Roman gods Mythology for answers. I was seeking but never finding the truth. These things always came up short. All though this time it was my belief that the “Christian thing” with Jesus was a rather foolish approach to spiritual enlightenment. As I look back at my journey, I now realize that I was on the wrong track. I thought I was seeking God. But as the Bible says – No one seeks God. The real truth is, God is seeking us. He just needs to get our attention.
The greatest gift I ever received
God was able to get my attention one day. I was invited to Church one day by a the mother of a friend of mine. We entered this little church and the preacher was preaching about Jesus. He explained that we are born sinners and our eternal destination was rather bleak. But that God so loved us that her sent His Son Jesus to get us out of this mess. How? Believe that Jesus rose from the dead three days after dying on the cross. And the power of His resurrection saves us from the ugly future that awaits us. Jesus gives us the ability the have fellowship with God for eternity. It was a pure Gospel message of salvation. At the end the preached asked if anyone would like to receive that give of salvation. It was at this time I had a vision of Jesus asking me to come to Him. It was as though the light had been turned on for the very first time.
Now I was placed in a rather peculiar situation. My lifestyle, which involved my music, put me in places that I began to feel uncomfortable. You know Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll. There was a spiritual war. It was at this time that I set aside my music. This break lasted for a couple of years. As I look back, I realize that music was an idol. And God needed to clean out the idols in my life. Of course, that’s not the end of the story.
One day I was reading my Bible and I read the parable of the talents. This truly stirred up my heart. I began to pray about my talents and how they could be used to glorify Jesus. Then Jesus revealed to me that day that I was to take my love for music and use it for his purpose. I then took a walk and as I was walking, I saw a piece of paper on the ground. You know that voice that speaks to you. It said John, pick up that piece of paper. At first, I ignored it. But as I passed by this piece of paper, I really felt that I better do what the voice said. So I picked up the piece of paper. It was a photocopy of some music. But not just any music it was Christian Music! Now, I knew that God had a plan and purpose for me. I immediately went to the store and picked up a local tabloid paper called the Reader. This is a local free newspaper. This publication has a special classified section for musicians. There was an ad requesting a bass player for a Christian music group. Now mind you my primary instrument is the guitar however I did have a bass that I used for recording. Within a week I was rehearsing with this group of Christian musicians. It is amazing how God works.
The next phase in my journey placed me in at the Horizon School of Evangelism. This is an extensive ministry school that concludes with a one-month practicum. It was at this school that my classmates learned that I knew how to play guitar. They asked me to play some Worship songs for the daily devotional.
My first experience was a total disaster in my mind. Even though I was in a Christian Music Group the songs were primarily Contemporary Christian Music and I learned only the bass parts. To compound the problem, I was rarely if ever sang publicly in front of people by my self – There was the lead singer and I was always the guitar player. I did possess great knowledge and skill in my instrument. But it was that day I learned humility. I set out on my own strength. What a mistake. I quickly learned that worship music is very special and requires the proper mind set. It not about my ability and me it’s about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’s purpose. I am just a vessel used to glorify Him.
The benefit of my relationship with God
Ever since the first time I was placed in a position to lead worship, I can testify that God has been molding and shaping me. Though His Holy Spirit he is guiding and directing my path in life. I truly find it a privilege and honor to be placed in this sacred position. I know that there is much further down the road. All I can do is allow Him to shape my future. And then someday when He calls I will be there in heaven offering my song of praise to God.
I now lead worship and write songs for those that desire to fellowship with God the Father the Creator of all things above and below.
Salvation is your today
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