A Testimony from an underserving but grateful man who cannot be silent

The following is a record of recent events, where I do my best to try and accurately represent, on a timeline, all that God has been doing in my life these past few days. It is a very personal testimony and I hope you are blessed by it.

4.21.20 – 10:26 AM: Final Thoughts

Now that I have proofread and edited this for final sharing (the previous emails below had gone out this morning but were jumbled and not as clear so I felt it beneficial to join everything here – resend it out to all my contacts and trust the rest to the Lord – may he receive all the glory, forever and ever!

This morning when I was in the shower a song came to me, it was Let it Be by the Beatles. Reading through the lyrics of that song just now, the answer is not mother Mary, though she is a wonderful part in the story deserving honor according to the scripture (not worship, or mediation between us and Jesus! – FYI -convictionaly, I’m a Protestant – a reformed Baptist at heart – member of a solid SBC church – but I suspect, and hope to be meeting a lot of new people from different traditions soon – to increase my joy!). As I was singing it in the shower, treasuring all that has taking place in my heart, as testified below, it dawned on me that the answer they were singing about, whether they know it or not, is Jesus! Will you sing his praises with me?! 

1 John 1:1–4 (ESV): That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 6:32 AM Abram Germano <secondadamnewcreations@gmail.com> wrote:

I do pray you take the time to read through all of this and that for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, you find it a refreshing testimony. I pray it also inspires you to proclaim the gospel. My earnest hope is that the wellspring of life will overflow for you too as it has me. That you will be reminded of the living hope within you, that is, the eternal life you possess through faith in Christ! Please share this with your loved ones. Who knows, maybe by God’s grace they will come to faith. Also, if this does gain any traction by Gods will, temperance your passions by getting surrounded by sound elders in a solid church who test everything by the word of God. The enemy will try to sabotage wherever he can. 

Masks are a distraction too. Please do not divide over it. Eternal life cannot filtered or stopped by a face covering. Treat it as a conscience issue if necessary. Or humble yourself and wear it. Is truth limited, or its power constrained by what your eyes see? I sang last Sunday with my church family with my mask on and my soul was trembling with joy. Please. End the debate. Show grace to one another. Hopefully soon the need for them in the culture will pass but we can enjoy each other still, even if we have to wear them when we’re gathered.

Grace and Peace in Christ Alone!

– Abram Germano

1 John 1:1–4 (ESV): That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 4:20 AM Abram Germano <secondadamnewcreations@gmail.com> wrote:

Dad, as I was writing this, I realized politics is such a distraction. That was the reason for the slew of OMGs. I know you are very into the Trump movement and such but listen to the call of the gospel in this message. It’s so beautiful! Spread the gospel. This is prayer for real sweeping revival. A prayer for the harvest to come in. I posted the below quote on Facebook and pinned it because it’s all that matters right now. Let’s start sharing the gospel. It’s ripe for the taking. Let it be! Amen!

“What if told you eternal life is a reality, and it can be yours simply by believing through faith in the resurrected Christ?! Seriously. Private message me. Let’s have this conversation. The chains of sin are broken and captives are set free in Christ. Flee from sin. Turn to Christ. His love will overwhelm you and make you glad.

If you already have the eternal life I speak of, rejoice with me, and then ask this same question to someone else please.”

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 3:15 AM Abram Germano <secondadamnewcreations@gmail.com> wrote:

Dad, I love you so much! This is too much for me to contain. Glory to God in the highest! I’m addressing this to you but I’m cc’ing everyone in my contact list because I cannot be silent, but I want the addressing of this email to be yours. 

I can’t imagine how hard it’s been, being separated all these years from me and my family. You, being in that beautiful land of Tennessee since I turned 18 and my being here in the wonderful Hudson Valley of NY. Oh, how sweet is our land that God has given us to walk and tame! Its been 21 years apart for me and you! I’m going to be 40 this year! I have a strange feeling my birthday this year is going to be the best party ever. It’s going to be heaven on earth. Out of love for our neighbors and our town, and our country, and our President…we need to be mindful in kindness regarding the current pandemic and party safely…as liberal as he is dad….oh my God! oh my God! oh my God! oh my God! oh my God! oh my God! oh my God! oh my God!  oh my God! 

People. Pray for your president. Make this viral. To God be the glory. Forever and ever. I can’t wait to see you there. 

🙂

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Abram Germano <secondadamnewcreations@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 12:07 AM
Subject: Re: A written record of recent events
To: Rachel Germano <RachelGermano@gmail.com>

A Letter to my Wife.

One clarification to note: The Power of Testimony is an email I was drafting to the elders right before God moved upon me. You literally see in the email below where I stopped writing, the 2nd move happened, then I finished the email later that morning after you went to work. 

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 11:55 PM Abram Germano <secondadamnewcreations@gmail.com> wrote:

Same Letter

Rachel, 

I know this has been a wild ride and all too much considering everything already on your plate. I really am thankful for your love and grace in all of this. Thanks for not leaving me! Or committing me to a psych ward! Thanks for caring for our boys when I was sick. Thanks for everything. 

In this email I’ve compiled all the different pieces I’ve written over the past few days in which I hope to capture and memorialize the essence of what God is doing in my heart. As I tell Abe at the end (my oldest son), you will know if this whole thing is from God by its fruit. If it’s holy, if it’s good, if it’s Son glorifying, if it’s pure, if it’s love…than it’s the Holy Spirit. I know it’s a lot to work through with the business of your current schedule, no rush to try and digest it all now. Perhaps, come back to this in a few months once you’ve graduated and passed the boards. 

I love you so much. May God fill you with joy and peace. 

-Abe

A Compilation of Recent Events

Sunday 4.18.21. Record of 1st move of God. 

This is the bulk text message I sent to all the close men of my life.

You all are so very dear men to me and I feel the need to share something wonderful God did in my heart last night. I share this with you now hoping it is a great blessing to you. I thank you all for your prayers. God is great!

“Truth is wonderful always! It is even more sweet, more fully savored, and most delicious to the soul that has been reconciled to its Maker and is at peace. Thank you God the Father, thank you God Christ Jesus the Son, thank you God the Holy Spirit. 

Tonight on 4.18.21 I had an amazing experience with God while in my bed in the twilight hours. By God’s grace, my heart was broken for its lack of love and distance for loved ones in my life these past few years it seems. Specifically, my grandmother was on my mind and I wept over her condition and isolation. 

But my heart also was warmed and resolved by grace to resolve to visit her; and in this settled decision I began to smile. I look forward to seeing her soon! (When I visited her the following day – our fellowship was heavenly! I came to find out the next day she had almost died 2 months prior, and I didn’t even know.) 

After this I knew God was moving upon me in supernatural ways as this was a deep sobbing of the soul, so I turned to thanksgiving and prayer. Specifically for my family. Al, my mom, Sally, Al Jr., Brianna, Kailey, Erik. Asking for grace and reconciliation for them all. God comforted me that he is at work in all events and I will be a blessing toward his good ends with them. I long now, more than I ever have, to love them all so much better. 

My heart became even more full in prayer. Fullness I cannot describe in increasing measure. Especially for my wife and boys. Oh, how beautiful this moment. I had a vision of sorts, of my heritage as an heir, a Germano, who’s been prayed for by someone else in history like this, that it should come to me this way, generationally, in the light and service and privilege that I get to work in God’s Kingdom by raising this family in Christ. In this town, in this country, in this time. God showed me he is in control. My boys are his. He made my heart long for mine, and their Godly manhood, and in this vision I seem to have seen it complete. It will be accomplished by his mighty hand. He will use this family for His glory and for a lasting impact in this country. For truth and the spread of his gospel, against evil and strongholds of Satan, including the overcoming of many wicked schemes of man in our society. My family will have this heritage I know now and what an honor it is. God is not done with America. I sensed and feel convinced that Revival is coming. It may be through pain and war but the light will win the day. I look with joy ahead at the prospect of growing old with my boys and teaching and learning how we are to become godly men. God has great plans for them. May he also prepare great women for them! 

My heart also turned to my wife. For her salvation and joy. For her sanctification. My joy could only be most fully complete now if I were rest assured in comfort that her soul is at peace and in love with Christ. That I also prayed for and am trusting with joy that the free gift will continue to pursue and draw her deeper into His riches. I long to look upon her and see her most glad in her Maker. May the day draw sooner still my Lord. 

I write this having calmed down now from the fullness of the event, not wanting to sleep lest I forget a detail. It’s been years since my passions in Christ have been stirred in such deep ways but never was I moved like this. I lay here now thankful to God for it though. He’s been bringing me back to His word and to prayer more and more recently. Getting Covid and the recovery process I’ve been going through has certainly been a skillful tool in his hand to this end. God certainly uses all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. I’m overjoyed to be numbered among his elect. Even more so to know his hand of sovereign grace is upon my family and loved ones too. My delight knows no bound at the thought!

Grace shine down. Grace reign. Plow the fields and send the rain. Have a harvest and bring it in. Let us feast. In Christ we win!”

The following note was added to the group text to comfort my mother-in-law and prevent any unintended conclusions regarding my wife.

Friends, I’d like to clarify something in what I wrote concerning the salvation of my wife. The intention of my comments is not that I don’t believe she is saved, but that she would work out her salvation in fear and trembling as we all are called to more and more. I know she loves the Lord, but my prayer is for this same fullness to dawn on her too as it has me. Only then could it be possible for my joy to even be greater than it is now. Grace and Peace. 

Tuesday 4.20.21. Record of 2nd move of God

The Power of Testimony (this was the subject title of the email sent to my church elders)

My brothers, give glory to our King with me! 

He is so great and worthy to be praised!

I trust by now most of you have read the testimony I group texted out the other night. I intended for you all to receive it so please respond quickly if it did not come through, which would mean I have the incorrect contact in my phone and need your number. 

When God moves, who can turn it back? Who can say this or that when he does something? If He has done it…that is final! There is no questioning or challenging of his creative acts, His purposes, His plans. Which are all so wonderfully beautiful and glorious and fill my heart with joy and praise the more I think of them! Who can fathom the depths of His love and richness brothers?!

It’s simple really when we think about it. But it’s so profound. It’s so true. God is in control and God is working in our lives. 

You my wonderful elders. My wonderful brothers. The beautiful Shepard’s he has chosen to guide the VRBC flock, of which I am so blessed to be a member of! God has made me glad! (we are going to sing that song on Sunday – I trust it’s going to be glorious :-)) I’m so happy brothers. My heart is overflowing with love for all of you right now as I write this. I cannot contain it. I cannot be silent. I have to testify! 

(I am happy, and not a little overwhelmed right now, to report that as I was writing this to you, God moved again upon my soul and flooded me again with His Spirit in such a supernatural way! It happened at around 3AM when I began drafting this email, it’s 5:30 now and my family is just now getting back to sleep! Such that I literally ended up extolling his praise… at 3AM in the morning! Thinking over all God’s goodness and power I felt compelled to shout, and even scream….to extol his praises. (Extol, the band, is my favorite metal band – I used to dream of seeing them play someday – I figured it would happen in eternity sometime….there is a really cool book coming about this word Extol my friends) I couldn’t be silent. I know now what it means to extol the Lord and I’m undeserving to have been privileged to experience such an honor – but it just happened. I’m sure my neighbor must have heard me (that’s going to be an interesting conversation)! A very real spiritual war cry has risen in my soul. I literally was just rolling in laughter and awe, praising God on the floor of my bedroom at the enormity and reality of what I am convinced God is about to do. Revival is coming. People will be set free from sin. The gospel will have its way. Many baptisms. Matt’s church will be blessed (Matt is a faithful church planter who’s been fellowshipping with us for a few years now, seeking to Plant an SBC Church in Poughkeepsie, NY). Sound doctrine and sound churches will rise. Orphans and widows will be comforted. Reform is here! My wife and children were shaken because obviously I woke them. We just spent the past few hours working through all that God has done in my life so far. I shared with them my testimony and we had the most beautiful fellowship in the gospel just now. How God first saved me from my sins in 2001 and how we must be born again. How he has been faithful to me even when I’ve been unfaithful. We together realized that God is rightly to be feared but that He is also so very good toward sinners like us. The fear of the Lord truly is the beginning of knowledge. Fear because he is Sovereign, who can stay His hand? What a wonderful morning this has turned out to be!)

So….back to it then. Lol. I want you to know brothers that I desire order in the church as much as any of you. Please do not let the magnitude of this personal spiritual move of God in my life to distress you with regard to worship and order in the church. I do not desire to make much of myself or a scene in the church – why God is doing what he is doing in me only he knows and it is personal. I do not consider these normative events in the least – but something special is certainly happening and I do desire however, to have an opportunity, perhaps, separate from our worship service, to simply share my testimony with our church. I think it would be a great blessing to them. (Sharing random testimony in the context of church worship is a popular practice you might find in more Charismatic circles. And in mercy toward my Charismatic brothers, I know there are many good testimonies and beautiful movements of God to be had in sharing testimony, but there are also severe dangers that accompany the opening up of the pulpit, without order, to just anyone. There are false sheep among us and the flock must be guarded from umbilical thinking, unbiblical teaching, and error. In an SBC church like mine you would expect an ordered, liturgical style of worship. Which I do not intend to disrupt at all! It’s actually been quite lovely as of late. My pastor and elders and deacons are the bomb! Perhaps there may be some Charismatics who read this who rejoice with me to know, that yes, these other conservative denominations have the Holy Spirit too! Lol – Praise God – can you sense the healing taking place?!)

The power of a testimony seems fitting right now to me. It makes sense that I should share publicly with God’s people what God is doing in my life for their edification and mine. What a wonderful time to be alive. Exciting times are ahead. This is going to be so much fun!

Grace and Peace,

-Abe

4.20.21. Text to my son to comfort him for he fears recent events could be satanic. 

Abram, I highly respect you for what you told your mother (this happened last night before bed, 4.20.21). It is good that you are concerned that the devil comes as an angle of light (shout out to Shai Linne – we listen to that album a lot together). Yes he does. And I’m glad that you are concerned for me. It shows me how much you do love me and also how much you care about truth and error. I’m so proud of you. In a godly and holy way. 

I’m overwhelmed with joy as I write this to you because the word of God speaks to your concern too. You will know if what is happening to me is from God or from the devil by the fruit I produce. If you find me praising the Son of God and the Father, or worshiping God, especially worshiping the Son of God, then you can rest assured that what is happening to me is not of the devil, but of God. 

It’s time we spend more time in God’s holy word my boy. We will learn so much together. It’s going to be fun!

I know this is all so very much and fearful. I did not intend to scare you and mommy. But I pray as things calm that you will find peace and great joy as you see God working good and holy fruit in my life. Then you will be confident that the devil has no power over me…or anyone who belongs in the family and Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ! 

I highly recommend you pray now and slowly read and study this passage. Then journal your thoughts so you don’t forget them. I love you so much!

May you be filled with grace, mercy, peace, hope and love. All beautiful fruits of the Holy Spirit. 

1 John 2:18–27 (ESV): Warning Concerning Antichrists

18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life. 

26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

1 John 2:28–3:1 (ESV): And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 

3 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”

May the meek inherit the earth! May the people of God rise up and enjoy this Creation. To tame it, to fashion it, to party in it. 

Grace and Peace,

-Abe

A Much Needed Contrast

Everything looks clearer when there is a proper contrast. I often think back to the point at which I first believed in Christ and the joy that came in the knowing that the God of the Bible had chosen to save me from my sins. The joy that overwhelmed me was so extravagant, so deep that its hard to describe.  It was so elevated because it came to me directly after the moment the darkness of my sin was exposed to me.  The contrast that gave way to the clarity was the bright holiness of my Savior and the filthy corruption of my rebellious heart.  He is pure, I am not – yet He led me to repent and showed me great grace and love which turned my sorrow into laughter!

Where there is darkness God still creates out of nothing. What great joy there is in the free gift of Salvation given to sinner’s through Christ Jesus. One cannot earn it. One cannot deserve it. How magnificent it is to realize the Bible is true revelation from God and can be trusted. It is good news that God grants new hearts, new ears and new eyes to sinful mankind.

The joy of the salvation that the one true God grants to men cannot be known if the call to repentance is not preached or received. The good news of the gospel of God’s grace shines most brightly against the dark reality of humankind’s depravity and inability to keep God’s perfect law.

Our Great Assurance

God preserving His saints is not some abstract and ancient doctrine that is irrelevant to the modern Christian’s walk. God powerfully displays this function of His in the here and now for His children. The scripture teaches that none who belong to the Father can be snatched from His hand. These words of Christ bring me great comfort in the context of my salvation, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (ESV, John.10.27). Considering the truth I’ll be sharing in this paper, my testimony of becoming a Christian has a few crises moments within it that should make any honest person’s hair stand up. It is my joy to share this testimony in hopes that those who may struggle with doubt can see the great hope that is ours in the Lord; assurance of salvation is something we can and should rest in.

The memory of my radical conversion takes me back to a setting of an aged apartment complex in Winter Park, Florida. It was the year 2001, and I was nearing the end of a long year in school working toward my Associates degree. I had been living like most college students who lack discipline, without the fear of God, and for anything and everything that felt right in the moment. I was not un-churched at this point in my life, in fact, I had spent many years in Christian youth groups and had made a profession of faith in Christ many times. I was determined to live a wild life style because there were no boundaries imposed upon me by God fearing people. Winter Park, Florida is a long way away from Hyde Park, NY. Living loosely without being held accountable to anyone was certainly what I perceived everyone else was doing and it is what my heart desired.

On a particular night in the fall of 2001, the level of my rebellion against all that is good and holy had peaked. All alone in my room, high and perverting my heart away on the internet, I sensed a quickening of conviction within the uttermost parts of my being. The brevity of this conviction was so real and tangible that I dared to speak audibly into the silent air of my bedroom room and ask, “God is that You, do You see me?” I can’t say that I heard an audible “Yes” but everything in me knew that I was in the presence of Holiness and that my behavior was completely unacceptable before Him! I fell to my knees and sobbed out tears of shame and remorse, for my atrocious and sinful behavior was exposed. I was broken hearted to think of how displeasing I was before my Holy God who was confronting me! In this moment of sorrow I remembered a name, a name that I’ve heard others claim can save, the name of Jesus! I cried out for Jesus to save me from these horrible sins and burdens of sorrow. What happened next was remarkable. I sensed all my shame, all my guilt, and all my sorrow taken off from me and my heart was instantly infused with uncontrollable joy and laughter. I laughed for what must have been twenty or thirty minutes reveling in the reality of salvation that had come to me. I remember as the laughter died down as if I had walked through a spiritual door, as one born into a new realm of existence. This was surely new birth, I was born again!

Needles to say, I was sober and in my right mind instantly. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone I knew about my conversion experience. I remember being in a relationship with a girl at the time this happened; however, she didn’t want anything to do with my Jesus. Where I was unable to end the wrong relationship in my own strength, God through the Holy Spirit within me ended it very fast; for my heart now desired purity where before it was bent primarily toward the lusts of the flesh. The Word of God became my best friend, and I grew in the knowledge of the Lord for several years without slipping into sinful habits that very much plagued me beforehand.

As I grew older in the Lord I found myself searching for like minded brothers and sisters who had come to know Christ in a similar way that I had. I began to assume that everyone who is a professing Christian must have experienced such a radical conversion as me. Subconsciously I was gradually becoming more and more disappointed that no one I knew seemed to be able to relate to my experience. What I didn’t realize then, in my searching for some formula conversion experience others could relate to, was that I had lost sight of the finest point of my conversion: the Holiness of God meeting me in my depravity, yet showing me grace solely based upon the merits of Christ. (Justification by faith alone is so much more than a reformed doctrine to me, it is extremely personal!)

This distraction away from the Holiness of God led me into a mindset of doubt. I gradually became more liberal in my thinking toward the scriptures, forgetting my first love. I cowered in fear at the many popular post-modern arguments posited against the scriptures, and I had no capacity to defend the faith against all its opponents. When the enemy can get a believer to doubt the Word of God, he has effectively rendered him or her sidelined and off the playing field. That was me, I fizzled out and became about as passionate for Christ as a kite is without wind. I fell for the ancient trap of the serpent, “did God actually say” was the poisonous question being posed; my root in the scriptures wasn’t sufficient to survive my enemy’s attack (Gen 3.1).

Sin began to creep back into my life, for I lowered my guard down and found myself getting ensnared again to things Christ had once already defeated in me. Thank God that He is for His children and not against them! “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God” (1 John 3.9). In retrospect, it becomes clear that it is truly God’s kindness that leads to repentance. There was a sense that I knew I couldn’t keep going on in my sin. I would fall seven times a day but there always remained a sense of conviction in me. No matter how hard I may have tried to suppress those convictions, they relentlessly pursued me.

I began to cry out to God for help. I remember praying prayers persistently pleading to have my passion restored for the scriptures. In these prayers I remember telling God how I hated my sin and needed help. I was honest with Him, and I told Him I couldn’t break the habits without His power working in me. Hunger for truth and righteousness were growing desires that He restored to me. He answered my prayers in the form of reformed preacher’s podcasts! I started listening to countless hours of sermons and lectures on topics like: the Holiness of God, Regeneration, Preservation of the saints, a High View of Scripture, Apologetics, Church History, and all sorts of deep theological topics. My confidence in the scriptures was being restored through the exposition of sound doctrine. Soon after, the authority of the scriptures began to become my delight.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” (Psalm 111.10). God has caused me to delight in Him in all His ways. I believe that all knowledge is of the Lord, and when we practice excellence unto the glory of His name, we get to enjoy Him as we do it! This hunger for truth started about two years ago and has led me to Lee University. My desires are to show myself tested and approved to rightly handle the Word of God, grow in my knowledge of my Christian heritage, and further develop the skills I’ll need to advance in whatever area God wills me to go next. Being able to trust His Word is being able to see His promises. Great assurance of salvation is available to all who fully trust in the scriptures. My prayer is that I become an efficient expositor of the Scriptures for His excellence, unto the glory of His great name. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3. 16-17).