Orignal Article for Jewish Heritage Scripture Studies

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In 2007 I, Sean Carney, wrote an article for inclusion in the Jewish Heritage Scripture Studies book authored by Rabbi Jeff Zaremsky. The article was about my life and my encounter with Y'shua and is one of MANY fascinating stories included!  The rewritten article which appeared in the book was modified for space and relevancy and can be read by purchasing the book at JewishHeritage.net.  The book is an excellent introduction or, as in my case, refresher about Jewish Heritage.

Yielding to Y'shua Changes Everything

It was hard to know what to believe being raised by an atheistic Jewish mother, and then after her early death, with his secular Jewish grandparents. Sean Carney was always interested in spiritual things. Before her death, Sean’s mother became interested in eastern mysticism and Sean, with his brother Kevin, was initiated into Transcendental Meditation. (But first we must enlighten your pocket book).

Upon his mothers death he went to live with his grandparents where, prompted by physical and emotional abuse from his grandfather, he and his brother started scheming to get sent away to live with their father in Canada.

His Irish Father, who he previously saw very little of because of his heroin addiction, was also a self proclaimed atheist, and a great abuser of illicit drugs and alcohol. Sean grew up receiving drugs instead of money for an allowance. This home was also not happy. Shortly after his sixteenth birthday Sean snuck out of the house on the last day of school and took a taxi to the airport. Hours later, and 2,000 miles from any family, he arrived in Vancouver, BC, to attend an ‘Alternate’ Free School, which the government deemed a rehabilitation center. The school didn’t turn him away when he arrived on their doorstep even though they had previously denied his application.

Shortly after arriving in Vancouver Sean was introduced to a Buddhist that had a great apartment and no rent money. The Buddhist was chanting constantly for money to pay the rent. Seeing an opportunity Sean knocked on the landlord’s door and offered to pay the rent up front so he could have the apartment when the chanter did not receive his desired blessing. That apartment, later affectionately known as “Carney Hotel” for four years, became a place for young transient people to crash (sleep) and get a vegetarian meal, thanks to the Ten Talents cookbook, a Seventh-day Adventist cookbook!

Four years later, after graduating high school, Sean hitchhiked to Peru to snort cocaine for a few months and then headed to Brazil to dance in the streets. While in Peru a woman just as drugged as him would preach about Jesus, the Sabbath, natural foods and natural healings. Hey… why not? She had been raised a Seventh-day Adventist.

Returning to Canada he met a young woman who became pregnant. They traveled to Mexico and then to Arizona via New Orleans. In New Orleans a young man approached Sean, who was smoking a cigarette at the time and asked if Sean would like to quit smoking. The young man was a student at a Seventh-day Adventist College and was selling a magazine “The Five Day Plan to Quit Smoking” to earn his tuition. Sean said he would quit smoking if the man gave him the magazine. The salesman left and then returned. The cigarette in Sean’s hand was thrown into a puddle and that was his last cigarette.

They returned to Canada and married, just hours before the birth of their daughter. Sean and his wife started seeking to know more about God. They had been praying to “God, whoever or whatever you are” for wisdom and on the night of his Cousin’s Bar Mitzvah asked to know who “Jesus” was. They were directed to the crucifixion story, became convicted, and gave their hearts to Jesus.

Sean had experienced incredible answers to prayer including finding a place to live in Mexico, getting rides across the country, the help of some wonderful Christian people to return to Canada because they were living in Tucson, Arizona with armed drug dealers and more.

In Canada they met a family selling a school bus that that had been Seventh-day Adventist missionaries. They asked what Sean would like to do with his life. After that conversation Sean went home and said “I do not know who these Seventh-day Adventist people are, but I have to find out”.

They moved to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and called a local Pastor. Sean asked him “Is it true that you teach Natural Healing?” to which the Pastor said, “Why yes, and why don’t you come and meet me on Saturday morning at 9:30 am”.

That Saturday Sean and his wife and their baby daughter arrived at a little Seventh-day Adventist church full of white haired saints in Osoyoos, BC Canada. His hair was halfway down his back and his beard, earrings, necklaces and other hippy attire gave it away that they were not regular attendees.

The church became strangely silent. One sweet woman asked “Would you like to sing” and Sean replied. “No”. shortly thereafter they were invited to join a ‘Sabbath School’ class and the lesson that week was “Jesus; Lord of the Sabbath”. It was as if God had lined up the lesson that week for Sean.

All the families in the church invited Sean and his family home for lunch. They went with the first family to invite them. This family was the ‘health reform’ family in the church. The food on their table was just like Sean was used to eating. He was amazed. “How did you learn to eat like this?” Sean asked. “How did you learn to eat like this?” they asked. (They also had the Ten Talents cookbook).

Reuben, the head of the household, sensing Sean’s great interest in natural healing, told Sean he had a book about the greatest natural healer that ever lived. To Sean’s amazement that natural healer was Jesus and the book “The Ministry of Healing” brought conviction to Sean’s heart. He started Bible studies, stopped smoking pot, cut his hair, and became a witness to his community.

Years later when Sean returned to Osoyoos for a visit he drove up to an old friend driving a load of young people to work in the orchards. They talked for a few moments. When the driver pulled away a woman that was one of the passengers said “Is that Sean Carney?” to which the driver replied, “Yes, he is a friend of mine from church”. The woman replied “I don’t believe it! He was the wildest guy in town”. Meeting Jesus will do that to you!


Sean Carney currently works as Practice Administrator for the Medical Practice of his wife, Linda Carney MD of AllMedPhysicians, pLLC in Buda Texas. Previously Sean worked in California’s Silicon Valley in Internet development for Apple Computer and @Home Network. He was the founder of TAGnet (Three Angels Global Networking, Inc.) which assisted Seventh-day Adventist Ministries in publishing on the World Wide Web beginning in the early 1990’s.

©Copyright 2009 - For permission to reprint contact Sean Carney.
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