Sunday, July 27, 2008

Phil Bonasso: A Love Story Part VII

Hi Everyone!

Phil Bonasso here welcoming you back to our blogger site.

Thanks for reading my wife's account of how the Lord brought us together! Praying that you will be encouraged!

As is often the case, when we give Jesus control of our life, He begins to turn our passions into ones that will please Him and ultimately fulfill our dreams and desires.

The word ultimately is key here!! The bumpy ride I referred to in the last blog is the process of change that is necessary for character to be forged so that we can keep our eyes on Jesus no matter what happens.

Phil Bonasso gave his life to Jesus as a teenager and experienced the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit. What this produced in him was an insatiable desire for knowledge and understanding of the Word of GodJesus himself and the Bible. The Bible calls this “hungering and thirsting for God”. He began his quest by rising early every morning before school to read and meditate in the Bible. (His Father would often comment, later, on how he was impacted by his son’s devotion.) He also read, as much as he could find, by Godly men such as Watchman Nee, etc. He would often visit a monastery in Atlanta where his sister lived. Here Phil Bonasso would sit and talk with the monks about the things of God and they gave him access to their library. Yet, he was still a teen and had the normal challenges of that age.

One of his struggles was his desire to live a pure and holy life unto the Lord, yet he recognized that he wanted desperately (that’s how teenagers feel!) to have a girlfriend. Phil Bonasso wanted direction. A turning point in this struggle was about to be visited by the Holy Spirit.

As people often say, “Be careful what you pray for….”

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Phil Bonasso: A Love Story Part VI

Hi again Everyone!

Hope you have had a wonderful Easter season. Thanks for reading my wife's blog on how the Lord brought us together. She goes way back into our High School years on this entry! Blessings!

Phil Bonasso

It seems to me that the most amazing things that the Lord does with us
seem to be hidden in the moment. It is hindsight that reveals the
significance. So it was when Phil Bonasso began going to these prayer
meetings as a teenager. It was a small act of kindness by one of the
ladies who dared to reach out to an aloof teen that started Phil
on his way to a relationship with Jesus and an encounter with
the Holy Spirit.

In order to understand this part of "our" history I must explain some
of the "Church " history of the time. In every denomination …
Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, etc., God was
causing events to take place where the power and Person of the Holy
Spirit was poured out upon members of these denominations. These were
not isolated incidents: It was happening from California to
Pennsylvania in small churches and universities. In some cases the
church leaders had no idea what to do and most everyone had a hard
time explaining what they were experiencing and how to tell others
about it. Most often people just knew if you got around people who
were praying it would probably happen to you. The life changing
dynamic that was produced by this encounter with God was oftentimes
radical. Some people moved into "communities" to live with others who
had experienced this outpouring. Others left college and went to
Seminaries. Some changed their religious affiliation. There emerged a
desire to read the Bible;There was a thirst for God and His Word that
went beyond Sunday morning. Many wanted to go to church more than once
a week, which is why prayer meetings became popular. It did not even
matter where the prayer meetings were located. They could be at any
church, someone's home, or a "coffee house"(Not the same as
Starbucks!). It didn't matter how many people came or who they were.
There could be hundreds or three. God always showed up and lives were
impacted. There wasn't much explanation beyond "come and see for
yourself." It was one of those times when the beginning can only be
described from the middle or the end.

When Phil Bonasso's mother invited him to this little prayer meeting,
no one had the words to describe what he was looking for, but a woman
moved in kindness and gave him some books to read about salvation and
the Holy Spirit. It was a simple gesture. It was a simple book. Yet,
It was the beginning of a thirst and hunger for the Father, Son and
Holy Spirit to fill Phil's heart and soul and spirit in a way
that would cause him to find his calling in life and his wife. He was
about to embark on a bumpy ride…