“I have lived two vastly different lives—one spent exalting materialism and filled with spiritual darkness, the other spent exalting Jesus the Lord and filled with light and hope.” Because Gary’s conversion was so “life and death,” he sees it that way for everyone.
He recounts how the Spirit plainly revealed some of the traps he and his family narrowly avoided. He credits angels, signposts and appointed helpers, “pinpoints of light in the darkness, placed there for us to discover and to show us the way—without them we couldn’t possibly have made it to where we are now. There is hardly an hour that I don’t feel an urgency toward others of the impending dangers and perils that await them, much like someone who barely avoided a collapsing bridge.”
His journey of transformation eventually brought him from his agnostic-pro-Catholic religious view into the Catholic Church by way of the charismatic renewal. His conversion began with a voice telling him to buckle his seatbelt, saving his life. Then Fr. Walt, a young, motorcycle-riding priest invited him and his wife Nancy to a parish prayer meeting. The people shared their Spirit-led encounters with unbelievable praise reports. They spoke as if the Holy Spirit was telling them what to do and enabling them to do it.
In Swept Up by the Spirit, Gary tells story after story of how he opened everything in this life to the Holy Spirit who indeed did tell him what to do and enabled him to do it. Much of his leadings from “the Voice” involved ministries with groups of Protestant and Catholic men praying and evangelizing together in street ministry in rough neighborhoods or at abortion clinics. Often this involved marches with a handful or hundreds of people singing and carrying large crosses, or praying behind bars or gambling houses. He prayed with strangers for physical healings, deliverance and conversion.“It was only after I stopped worrying about what other people thought of me out there that I could begin to be effective at all,” he says of his sidewalk ministry at Planned Parenthood.
Read more about Gary's journey of transformation on JOYAlive.net