By Chad Norris
Author, Signs, Wonders and a Baptist Preacher: How Jesus Flipped My World Upside Down
How does a Baptist who journeyed through clinical depression end up writing a book on my experiences — with signs, wonders and healings — being naturally supernatural? I am still asking that same question.
When I was younger, I read a book on the life of Martin Luther. I studied the journey of a man who went through one of the biggest paradigm shifts in all of Christian history. As I read the story of this man’s life, I found myself discovering the same thing that he found. I honestly thought God hated me most of my life. I never had a problem with Jesus or the Holy Spirit, but I could not stand the thought of God the Father. My grandfather was my hero for the first five years of my life. He was everything to me, and I found my identity and security in who he was. He died in his sleep on September 15, 1977, and my little world was shattered. It was not until I was in seminary that I discovered why I had such problems with God. I associated all of my pain toward God with my Papa’s loss. I think I even went to seminary to pursue a deeper understanding of why God is so mean.
I never saw it coming. I simply never saw the collision with love that I had in that counselor’s office ten years ago. I once heard Richard Foster describe God as “The Great Hound of Heaven.” I like that. He pursues us with a relentless passion. That is what happened to me when Jesus appeared to me in my open vision. I literally cannot describe how much love I felt when He held me. It was soon thereafter when the Lord gently showed me that He and the Father were just alike. All of those years, I thought God was out to get me. How wrong I was.
It sounds cliché to say that two moments have defined my life. Yet that is what this book anchors around. My clinical depression and panic attacks came from what I processed as a result of losing my grandfather. Now, all of these years later, seeing Jesus Christ in an open vision and truly experiencing His love for me has sent me down the path to seeing blind eyes open, broken bones healed, bad backs helped, people delivered from the enemy, etc. If you had told me that I would see healings manifest when I prayed for people, I never would have believed it.
Signs, Wonders and a Baptist Preacher is an attempt to show that brokenness and conservative theology is not a roadblock to seeing the supernatural become quite actually natural. This book is an invitation for normal people to be inspired to exercise tiny faith and see tremendous breakthrough in people’s lives. Jesus focused on three things in His ministry: taught the Kingdom, healed the sick and delivered people of the enemy. I am simply asking the question, “Why is it so easy to follow Jesus and see hardly any of these things in our lives?” Are we not His disciples? Why are we not seeing what He taught His disciples to do? Through my own testimony of brokenness, I attempt to show how it is not so weird to see the supernatural manifest in our own normal little lives.
Chad Norris currently serves on the staff of City Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina, as the Director of Life Transformation. He loves the art of storytelling, and his ministry includes speaking to students and adults in a variety of settings. He has an MDiv from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, and he co-founded Wayfarer Ministries in 2000. Chad has co-written numerous Bible studies and coauthored six books. He and his family live in Simpsonville, South Carolina.