Summary: Dan Lirette shares his personal testimony of the Grace of God in his life. From sin to the Savior, Dan Lirette's journey inspires and encourages even the
Amazing Grace: The Dan Lirette Story
In between the words “Christian” above are words that describe who I was for so long. Those words paint a picture of the lifestyle I lived even while claiming Christ; hence the word “hypocrite”. They denote what many others …possibly even reading this… lived like at one time or even presently. The “in between” of “Christian” and “Christian” isn’t where I’d like to start though. I want to begin from the beginning…
I grew up in a normal non Christian home; my parents were as “normal” as any non Christian parents. They certainly loved my brother and I… but weren’t always able to express it as best as I know they wanted to.
My mother was the one who “wore the pants” in the home as my father was quite passive. Not weak; just passive. He grew up in a home with two passive parents and a slew of siblings. Authority wasn’t something in his home that was pronounced, so that type of atmosphere was instilled into him. My mother, on the other hand, grew up with a father who was in the Air Force, was born in England and came to Canada. Military life was my mother’s upbringing, so you can imagine the discipline in her home life.
Mom and Dad were two opposites when they met. His first language is French and mom’s is English. She tells stories on how, when they were seeing each other, he’d dress in a way that made her want to “fix him up”. lol. Apparently he’d mix-match everything he wore.
Our early life was spent growing up in Moncton’s East End… not the best place to grow up with it’s poverty and crime and a sense that at any moment you could be the target of a physical beating. Violence wasn’t something that was non-existent; it was a reality in the East End. Even now, the East End hasn’t changed much. It’s laden with crime, drugs, prostitution, etc… perhaps it’s more sunken in darkness than when I was growing up there.
Nonetheless, it was where I grew up for much of my young life and I praise God for my mom and dad doing their best and I praise God for the other parents there, past, present and future, seeking to do their best for their children in the environment of the East End. It wasn’t an easy place to live in… but it was home and I’m thankful for it.
While living there, we were at 34 Harris Avenue. One day, while playing outside in the leaves, I heard God audibly call my name twice: “Danny, Danny”.
I can’t explain to you what it sounded like except to say it was … God. It wasn’t an internal thought or feeling or voice. It was audible and distinctly not human or even angelic. It was the Voice of God.
I would learn, many years later, that God had called, by name, people in Scripture. One being the Prophet Samuel:
1 Samuel 3:1-10 “Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon. One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!” “Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did. Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!” Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.” Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed. And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”
Ironically, my middle name is Sam. How neat is that?!
I wasn’t religious growing up… I had no knowledge of the God of Scripture; I had no idea about the supernatural workings of the Holy Spirit and that God called out to people by name. But here I am, about 8 or 9 years old, when the Lord of Heaven and Earth calls my name. Audibly.