Very often we will be sitting in a church and the pastor will ask if anyone would like to share a word or two of testimony. The problem I have with doing that is limiting it to a word or two.
God has done so many wonderful things in my life that it would be impossible to tell it all and impossible to stop telling it once I got started as well.
I never had a knee crawling to the altar experience. I am jealous of those who did. But I do know the Lord and I do have a story to tell. When I was about nine years old, my sister decided to give her heart to Jesus. At that time I didn't know exactly what that meant.
But, I could answer yes when the pastor of New Pisgah Baptist Church in Inman, South Carolina (now First Baptist Church of North Spartanburg) asked me did I believe that Jesus was the Son of God. And, yes to did I believe that Jesus died on the cross to save me of my sins. I was baptized shortly after that. I was raised in Sunday school and going to church most Sundays, so I never really questioned anything about God.
In the summer of 1976, I went to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with the youth group from First Baptist Church of Iva. While on that trip, diabetes decided to make itself known to me. I was 300 miles away from home and very sick. I really didn't know I was that sick until the last night we were there. I was in such pain I couldn't sleep, so I sat out on the front porch of the beach house we were staying in and asked God to let me die. I knew I would be in heaven and I knew that Jesus was there for me.
Thanksgiving of 1997 looked like it was going to be pretty sparse. I sat at my desk balancing the checkbook and trying to rob Peter to pay Paul, but Peter had hired a bodyguard and just wasn't budging. The money just wasn't there to have a Thanksgiving dinner. We would have had sandwiches or something like that to eat, but no real Thanksgiving dinner.
I breathed a quick prayer "God Please". Only a few seconds later came a knock on the door. Ken, a man from a church we sometimes visited, was there. His daughter had to leave town unexpectedly and had some perishables she wanted him to throw away for her. He decided that he should give them to someone and he thought of us. Ken brought lots of things. When he left, I said a thank you prayer, but God wasn't through yet.
Shortly after that, the telephone rang. It was Charlotte “Granny” Madden. She said, "Bird", which was my nickname to all my friends when I was growing up, "They gave away turkeys at the place where Doyle (her son) works today and there was one left over and I thought of you." I thought, "Wow, God had this all taken care of." But, God wasn't through yet.
About an hour later, we had just gotten all the things Ken had brought put up in the cabinets when the phone rang. It was Mrs. Harris. Mrs. Harris is the mother of one of my very best friends and like an adopted grandmother to the kids. From time to time, she would call up and say "Bird, I got something for the kids. Can I bring it over?" Usually it was Ice cream or freeze pops. On this day, she said she had some things to bring over for the kids. I thought, "Well, God has taken care of dessert, too."
Well not only did she bring dessert, this lady had bought a whole ham, a large turkey, fixings for any type of casserole you could ever imagine, things to make pies and cakes and banana pudding, as well as hot dogs for later, and more. When she left, there were boxes and boxes of food all over our kitchen and living room. We said a prayer of thanks to God and told Him we couldn't store any more food.
Jesus walked everywhere He went. However, God realizes that this isn't practical in today's world and has constantly performed miracles to show us He is here for us. Like:
We had a station wagon. It was on its last legs, but somehow it managed to get us where we needed to go. One day, the poor thing had gone as far as it could go. It broke down in front of a used car lot. The man at the business next door observed my wife, Suzanne, and the kids get out and start walking down the road to find a telephone. He offered to let her use his telephone.
In the course of events, he offered to tow the car off the street for her since he had a tow truck. My wife said she wasn't sure about that, but he said he could do it then and he and I could work out the details later. When she told me about this, a red flag went up. When someone won't give you a price like that it usually means you can't afford it.
Well, the next day he called first thing to tell me what WAS wrong with the car was that it needed a fuel pump and to have the carburetor adjusted. I cringed since he had already fixed it.
I asked him what the cost of the repair would be. He told me he would call me back with the total. Soon he called back and said that every time he went to figure the bill, the Holy Spirit told him not to charge me anything. He said he tried to figure and he kept hearing the clear message not to charge anything.
So, he said that he could have his employee run the car home if my wife could bring him back. On the way back, he told my wife that the place would be closed when he got back and could she just run him on home.
He then said he noticed that she didn't have much gas and offered to put gas in the car. He put ten dollars’ worth of gas in the car. Not only did God provide a repair, but almost a tank of gas, too.
Finally, that station wagon could no longer be fixed. We had been taking our children to AWANAS at Temple Baptist Church. I wrote a letter to the church to ask them if they could provide a ride to the awards night ceremony since the kids had worked so hard to earn the awards. They provided rides for us.
The assistant pastor showed up a few days later with a man named Ronnie Wright. He said Ronnie thought he should take a look at the car and see what he could do. They towed the car off.
Ronnie said that it could not be fixed. The motor was blown and the car just wasn’t worth putting a motor in. Well, we prayed about a car but had no money to do anything.
Meanwhile back at the church, a man, George, went to trade his van for a new one. The dealer told him what he would allow him in trade for the old van. George said he would give the van away before he would take that for it.
George made the deal for the new car without a trade. On the way home, he heard a voice that said “Did you mean that, George?” George said, “Yes, God, if you show me someone who really needs this van, I will give it to them.”
George, who was in charge of game time at AWANAS, pulled into the church to get things set up and began talking to the assistant pastor. The assistant pastor told George about us needing a car. George and his family gave us the van.
A few years later, we were driving that van to Jubilee. This was a special revival service. Well the transmission fell completely out of the van. Just behind us was the preacher’s son. He pulled over and got us to church.
Well, Pastor Joey at another church we had visited (the same church Ken with the food went to, Lakeside Wesleyan Church) heard our story. He found a used transmission and his church paid for it.
He drove to Roebuck, South Carolina, to pick it up. He brought it back and it did not work. He tooe it back and got another one. Ronnie Wright installed the transmission both times and only charged $100, which was the cost of a seal and what he had to pay a man to help him.
Well, Ronnie said that the transmission would get us going for a while, but not to plan to have that van too much longer. We began to pray. I got an E-mail from a lady in North Carolina named Sherri Griffin.
She and her husband Shawn had to move with their seven children from North Carolina to Washington State. She said they had several things they would like to give us. One of them was a van. That van was the 1995 Ford Aerostar we drove until March 4, 2011. All we had to do was get to Charlotte to pick it up.
Later, her husband Shawn called and said he had a problem. I thought that maybe for some reason they were not going to be able give us the van. The problem was that he had two collector cars that would cost too much to move across the country
Shawn told me that, if I could find someone with a rollback wrecker, he could give us both of those. One was a 1972 Roadrunner Clone and the other was a 1970 Satellite Station wagon. So, we needed one van, prayed for it, and got one van and two cars. God is good.
Lest you think that the only reason that I believe in the power of God is because what He has provided for me, let me tell you that Jesus is my Lord and personal Savior. I know that Jesus died on the Cross to save me of my sins. Our God is an Awesome God.
Please be advised that all the information in this course is provided to educate, enlighten, and broaden your views in life. The information provided is not a substitute for medical, legal, dietary, financial/accounting, or religious professionals. Always consult a professional before you act on any of the information you find in this course.