How Jon's Place came to be - I was born again a few years ago. I don't serve my fellow man. I don't serve good causes. I don't serve the commandments in the Bible. I serve Jesus. Jesus' plan includes me spending most of my time serving my fellow man, but I am actually serving Him.
I did a lot of work making a document on certain topics with all the New Testament references for each one - things like forgiveness, prayer, service, angels, and so on. It's a pretty nice piece of work even though I never finished it. <g> I started this Bible topic document a few months after I realized I really had been reborn through Christ; that it was all true. My thirst for God's word was really lighting me up.
Through an e-mail friendship with an Australian evangelist (Grantley Morris), I gradually learned HTML. To provide him with some Web "valentines" for a promotion idea of his - this, this, this, this and this, poetry by Jon - I started learning how to make and edit Web graphics. Pretty soon I was making my own web pages. I struggled along making pages that no one read - no one could even find them - and I tried topic after topic in vain.
Finally a light bulb lit! I would put my Bible reference work in HTML and put it on the Web for people to read. I'd actually be helping God! How could I do something more Christian, more worthy, right? Wroooong. The Holy Spirit made me feel so incredibly guilty every time I worked on these pages that I got the message and quit working on them. I was confused, but there was no chance I was misunderstanding. The guilty feeling was so strong it was physical. I was not to work on this project at all.
About a week later, I was writing back and forth to a Finnish pen pal (ain't e-mail great!) and he mentioned that he once quit a seemingly worthy project because he was doing it for selfish reasons. Light bulb again! I had started my project to show everyone how righteous I was and how good I was at web authoring - all the wrong reasons. What a jerk! (and I wasn't very good at web authoring either <g>)
So I turned my page into a resource for others who had heart failure like me. People saw it and wrote me with all sorts of questions. I mentioned to Bill Drummond that I had thought of starting an online support forum for people with heart failure, and he thought I should just do it. Right now. So I did. Two days later it was up and running.
Obviously this was what Jesus had in mind for me - not putting up religious pages. His thing, you see, is helping people. It's what He does. He does it to give glory to His Father and to express His love for us all. I do it to serve the man who saved my life: Jesus Christ.
The web is a big place. It's hard to get one small web site noticed. Search engines take a long time to list your pages and organizations won't link to you unless there is something in it for them. Well, don't tell that to Jesus! The heart forum took off like a rocket. Overall, my pages have had literally millions of visitors. The site has gotten really too large for me but it keeps going somehow. The Lord has sent me EMTs, cardiologists, surgeons, social workers, a psychologist, cardiac care nurses, best selling authors, health care company executives, and many more "experts" to help the site along. I just wrote the pages and put them on the web. Jesus took the ball and ran, not me.
When I went my own way and put just religious pages on the Web, I wasn't doing what God wanted me to do. Now I am, helping people through the heart failure site I still maintain. I had to listen to God before I could go along with His will for my life. Get in tune with Him so you don't miss an important message! Pray more than twice a day. Read your Bible more than 15 minutes a day. Lean on Jesus, not on yourself. I truly believe that those who accept God's grace and live in His ways are blessed in all they do (Luke 6:38 and Romans 8:28).