James Michael Talley – Ancestor of Brian Clift

Jim Talley – Ancestor of Brian Clift

I first met Jim Talley in the spring of 1972.  I was a sophomore in high school.  I knew who Jim was.  Back then he was known as Mike.  James Michael Talley is his full name. He went by Jim when he went off to college.

In the spring of his sophomore year, he began coming home on weekends to lead what he called “Jesus Meetings”.  I was intrigued to say the least.  You see, Jim’s nickname in our hometown was “Super”…Maybe short for Superman.  Who knows.  His reputation was, “If you want it, Super can get it.”

I was a Christian.  Not vocal of course… I was cool but, I had to check these Jesus Meetings out.  Super Talley… talking about Jesus… didn’t quite fit.  Jim brought two or three college buddies with him.  One played guitar and sang.  The others shared their faith.

Jim gave his testimony.  He had been radically changed.  He told how Jesus had transformed his life and I was seeing the evidence.  I don’t remember anything in particular that was said that night but, I was drawn to what I heard and saw.

I was overwhelmed!  Conviction by the Holy Spirit was all over me that night.  These guys had something that I was supposed to have but, didn’t.  I wanted it!

I couldn’t sleep that night.  2:00 am I got up, knelt beside my bed and cried out to God.  I prayed, “I don’t know Lord, if you live in me or not but, tonight I want to settle things once and for all.  Forgive me, change me, be the Lord of my life.  Whatever Mike has I want!

That night I made, for the first time, an adult decision to follow Jesus and have never turned back.  Jim befriended me that spring and the following summer.  He took me to other Jesus meetings, introduced me to his college buddies.  To a 15 year old high school kid, hanging out with college dudes was cool.

He asked me to help him run a coffee house during the summer.  I became his right hand man.  We told anyone that would stand still long enough about the love of Christ. The funny thing was, Jim didn’t know much about Christianity.  I probably knew more about the Bible than he did.  I was raised in church.   Knew all the stories by heart.   Jim had been a Christian only 6 months!… But he knew Jesus!

I had knowledge but, Jim had a relationship. He didn’t really teach me how to be a Christian, he just lived it.  I learned by watching him, what a relationship with Jesus really meant.  He was on a journey toward Jesus Christ and he just brought me along with him.

Jim, thank you for allowing the Light of Jesus to shine through you. You are my brother and I love you.

Jim and I have been friends for nearly 40 years. …Still on that journey.

Brian Clift

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