I Was Poor- But Rich In Jesus!

I’ve been writing a lot about the Holy Spirit Adventure I’ve been on for the last year.

Today I want to take you back in time to when I was 27 years old, dirt poor, but totally in love with Jesus.

He was all I had, and I could care less if I had anything else!

When I think about the Holy Spirit Adventure I’m on today, I often go back to those days I spent in Florida, when it was just me and Jesus and nothing else in the world. My life today feels a lot like that. Actually, that’s kind of an understatement, my life today feels TOTALLY like that!

I am by no means living in the poverty I once knew, but Jesus is my everything- the one who has totally captivated my heart!

I wouldn’t trade what’s happening right now with me and Jesus for anything in the world!

I was doing a lot of songwriting in those early days. It was all spontaneous. I never sat down to write a song, they just flowed from my heart because I was so in love with God.

I wrote “Jesus Alone” while living in a bedroom the size of some people’s bathrooms. It fit a tiny cot of a bed and had just enough space to walk in and out and turn your body around to get dressed. It had a little window that opened just enough to let me hear the wind blowing through the palms at night. I could see a sliver of light from the moon. I had barely enough money to buy a meal and felt like a stranger in a strange land when I first moved to Florida and ended up in Palm Harbor, but I was happy!

I had a perpetual smile plastered on my face due to someone called the Holy Spirit! I spent a lot of time with Him and it kind of rubbed off!

My car left rust scraps in people’s driveways that were large enough to be used to make reclaimed art- but I was happy! My girlfriend, who I was madly in love with, had broken up with me (and I wasn’t at all thrilled about that!) but yeah, I could still be happy. I had Jesus in my heart and the whole world was an adventure! It literally felt like the life of God was pulsating around me, like the atmosphere was charged with Heaven.

One hot, humid and sweltering summer night in Florida while laying in bed (did I mention, no air conditioning and no fan?) I listened to the palms rustling in the wind and thought to myself, “I have no one here but you, God”. I got up, went for a walk, and as I looked up at the night stars twinkling above me, I thought of Abraham and how God had made him a promise…

“He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.'”  -Genesis 15:5

There I was walking beneath the same stars Abraham saw, and I was one of those promised descendants!

The God of the universe had called me by name, I was His!

I was a guy from Wisconsin, alone in Florida, looking up at the night sky, intensely and intimately aware of the presence of a God who is beyond place and time. I was His son and He was my Father, and I knew it! And if I knew nothing else, I knew that He was with me and would NEVER leave me.

So I started singing about it. That’s how “Jesus Alone” was written.

I had nothing, and I mean NOTHING- but I had EVERYTHING because I had Him!