"My Story"
January 28, 2023, 9:18 AM

My Story

By the Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)

I am accountable before God to tell those to whom I minister the reason for the hope that I have. I do so to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called [me] out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

On January 29, 1986, God snatched me from the pit of hell. The day started normally. But, on my way to my office at the Nuclear Power Plant in Crystal River Florida I was broadsided by a large commercial truck. It occurred about 7:30 in the morning. I was told that the paramedics had to cut me out of my car. I awoke four days later in a hospital in Gainesville, FL with one compelling desire and many broken bones. My overwhelming desire was for Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible. The God of truth and grace opened my eyes to the world and to His beauty. My first thought was to run to Him. There was no struggling on my part in deciding whether to choose Jesus. I didn’t have the misunderstood C.S. Lewis experience of being dragged into the kingdom. The thought of running from Jesus never entered my mind.

Not long after the accident, Jesus’ words in John’s gospel burned into my mind and traveled to my heart. “UNLESS one is born again, he CANNOT see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3) Regeneration is a necessary prerequisite for biblical faith!

Let me be frank; before that day, I had no such desire for Jesus. Oh, I thought that I was a good person, most people do. I thought that as long as I was better than most, the god of my making would welcome me. After all, doesn’t the Bible say that God is love? Surely it does! (1 John 4:8) But the Bible also says that God is holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:3). I never thought about the justice of God. He never sets aside His justice. He extends mercy only because of the sacrifice of Jesus which alone satisfies God’s justice. Jesus is the propitiation for sin. He alone appeased God’s wrath (1 John 2:2).

Before my “accident,” I never knew the one true God. I know now that I was dead. I used to think that all this “born again” stuff was for the weak-minded. But the reality, the truth of what I lived was that dead men can’t do anything to save themselves. I was unconscious. I couldn’t have saved myself. I couldn’t even get out of my hospital bed. Previously, I didn’t think that I was lost and headed to hell. God had to act. He did and I look back in amazement that He chose me! Yes, I responded to Him. But I only responded to His action. I often hear that if one believes he will be born again. How foolish! Worse, it is the height of manipulation to tell people that we are made new creations by our own wisdom and ability. How can a dead person believe? The truth is “Ye must be born again” in order to believe! The Bible says: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Every person is born spiritually dead. We are unable to reach out to God and live (Genesis 3:22-24). God had to act to save me and He did!

As I looked back on what God did in saving me through the lens of His word, I saw every aspect of my life as part of God’s sovereign plan. Even when I didn’t know God, He was directing my path in accordance with His will. I thought that I was making choices. And I was, but my choices had already been planned by the Sovereign God. Think about this when you are wondering how you got to where you are: “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). The words of Jesus as recorded in John 6:44 made perfect sense as I looked at my life in Christ. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”


May I suggest a principle of life revealed by God that represents the definition of salvation: Salvation is to be delivered from God by God for God!

As a result, believers view all experiences through the lens of Scripture. I believe the God who saved me also spoke and continues to speak in His word. I believe His word is without error and reliable because He is.