Who I Am » The Story Continues
The Story Continues - 1975 and On
On this page I will be doing instant recall and briefly mentioning some further incidents or events while I was with Christ is the Answer Ministries, and I will also be moving on to various experiences and events in no particular order as I can recall them. All the things I share here on this page will be to encourage and edify believers and share with unbelievers the wonderful power and workings of God in and through my life.
AN UNEXPECTED MIRACLE
The first thing I would like to write about is the gift of tongues. I refuse to enter into the controversy concerning this gift because I hold a doctrinal belief that is not popular with those who reject tongues and different from many who believe the gift is for today. I will keep that to myself. I just want to mention my experience. The first time that tongues came into the picture for me was when I was in a meeting and people were trying gimmicks to help me receive the gift. The results were what could be expected considering the method. I prayed for the gift of tongues and then forgot about it because either the timing wasn't right or it was not for me. One night I was behind the stage in the big tent, and I was just praying and worshiping the Lord and tongues was not in my thinking in any way. As I was worshiping, the Holy Spirit began to pray through me in tongues, and then I knew it was from God and accepted it. That is all that I will say on the subject. Please don't write me on this because I believe it is not of sufficient importance to debate about. Tongues is, after all, the least of all the gifts, and Paul said he would rather speak one word with the understanding than 10,000 in tongues. The issue was edification of all the body, and if it didn't edify everyone Paul would keep his gift private!
Another incident that I feel would be encouraging to everyone occurred when I was out with the street evangelism team. It was a day when I felt depressed or overwhelmed somehow, and I knew it must be showing all over me. I didn't feel much like witnessing,
so I sat down on the pavement to think. While I was sitting there I wrote a poem that is now published. The poem was entitled "Despair." I just looked in my book and saw, for the first time, that the poem is on the other side of the page to another poem entitled "Be Encouraged." Anyway, someone came by and talked with me and I told them that I was there to talk with people about Jesus. He looked at me and said; "You don't have to tell me, I can see it written all over your face." I am certain that God must have done something to his vision or my countenance because what I was going through on the inside was anything but joy. How marvelous that God would do that! I stand amazed
at his unfailing love!
AFTER LEAVING CHRIST IS THE ANSWER IN 1975
I felt a strong calling to leave the tent ministry, but I didn't understand calls yet, and I couldn't shake the overpowering urge to leave and return to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The elders of the tent team prayed over me concerning this, but the call was persistent and I could not get rid of it. I didn't want to leave, but finally the leaders of the tent ministry told me to go because God had something else for me at that time, and they agreed on that point. There was a truck heading for Tulsa from our ministry so they gave me a ride to the house where the ministry was located. That ministry was called the Jesus Inn. I arrived very early in the morning and the house was normally locked up at night so I was surprised to find the door open when I arrived. I laid down on the living room couch and waited to see the brothers in the morning. They came down and didn't seem to be surprised that I was there. One of the elders was named Philip, and I was told that he wanted to see me upstairs. When I walked into the room, Philip said; "You were supposed to be here about a two weeks ago. What took you so long." I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Philip told me the day he was expecting me, and it was the exact day the call came on me for the first time. Once again God confirmed that I was in the right place. For a new Christian like me, that was amazing and it still is! God is faithful to lead us even if we don't fully understand it! This reminds me of Abraham being called out of Ur of the Chaldees and having no idea where God was sending him or why.
A DEMONIC ATTACK ON MY LIFE
I had some experience with demons while traveling with Christ is the Answer, but it was mostly watching stronger Christians deal with it, so I was basically ignorant concerning spiritual warfare of this nature. I was still at the Jesus Inn in Tulsa, and it was bedtime in the house so I went to my room and prepared to go to sleep. We had a fairly large room with four bunk beds, and by each bed was a chair to put our pants on for the night. I took my pants off and folded them and climbed into my bunk. I had the bottom bunk, one person was above me, and there was a bunk bed beside us with two people bottom and top. I covered up and began to doze off, when suddenly a huge black shield began to descend toward my head. As the shield descended it began to take the breath out of my body, and I knew that if I didn't wake up I would die. It was warm when I climbed into bed, but the warmth was now replaced by a deathly chill. It was horrifying to me! Then suddenly a vision of a cave appeared behind me and out of the cave came five letters J E S U S! At first it was very small and I couldn't read it, but as it came closer I could easily read it, and the next thing I knew was that I was sitting up and saying that name with a strong voice. I woke up in a cold sweat, but the air around me had warmed up and that threat was gone. I went to the elders of the house and told them what happened, and they told me it was a demonic attack on my life. They prayed with me and I returned to the room. Another surprise greeted me there. I noticed two things as I began to take off my pants. The area by my bed was warm, but the area by the bunk above me had that same deadly chill and the person above me was tossing and turning in his sleep. Instantly I knew what was happening. I also knew what to do. I put my hands out over his bed and said; "In the name of Jesus, every demon and devil in this room get out and stay out the rest of the night!" I spoke with authority as the elders had told me to if I was attacked again. Immediately the whole room was warm and the young man who was tossing and turning in the bunk above me stopped moving and was sound asleep. The battle was over! The victory won!
A BATTLE WITH SEXUAL TEMPTATION AND YIELDING TO IT
Another time I was struggling with sexual sin, and I could not get victory over it. I prayed, but I felt that I was so evil that God would not forgive me. I fought this issue for a long time, and was ready to give up when a knock came on my door. It was a brother from the Jesus Inn and he said that God had told him to come to my house because I needed prayer. He said that he knew what my problem was because he was dealing with the same thing. He then told me that God told him that if we would pray for one another we would be cleansed and get victory over the sin. We knelt in the middle of the room and put our hands on one another's shoulders and prayed and the power of God came down in that room and the cleansing came so powerfully that we both instantly knew it and got to our feet and danced around the room praising the Lord!
TWO MORE ACCOUNTS OF DEMONIC ACTIVITY
I was in Jacksonville, Florida on the street and met a young man and we talked for a while. He seemed to be bound, but I didn't have any idea why. I wrote in my Bible that I was going to give it to him, and then we went to get a drink at a nearby restaurant or snack place. As we began to drink he began to curse in the name of Jesus over and over. I told him in the name of Jesus to be still. He continued to curse and so I commanded him then to stop cursing in the name of Jesus Christ. Immediately what appeared to be green protoplasm began to come out of the left corner of his mouth, and I knew that he was possessed by one or more demons. After the green plasma, or whatever it was, came out of his mouth he was quiet and he stayed that way. I left him then and didn't give him my Bible because I didn't think he was ready for it at that time. I have been praying for him over the years. His name was Omar.
Later in life I worked in Teen Challenge in Cincinnati, Ohio between college semesters. We took in a young man, about age 24, and he would be walking the halls of the center at night and hitting the walls while everyone was supposed to be sleeping. One night I was sleeping and suddenly woke up to find this young man standing over my bed and looking down at me. The center staff determined that he was either demonically oppressed or possessed so four of us went into his room and asked if we could pray for him. I would say this man was about 190 to 210 pounds because he was tall and thin. The four staff members who surrounded him to pray for him we all big built men and strong. We began to pray for him and commanded the demon to come out of him all the while holding his arms and legs because possessed people tend to be violent and have supernatural strength. As we began to command this demon in the name of Jesus to come out, he resisted and the young man tried to release himself from us. It took everything all four of us could do to keep that young man on the bed. The demon spoke in a strange voice and said it didn't want to come out, but we persisted and he was expelled. Instantly the young man relaxed and we knew he was free. Within a very short time while he was still lying on the bed the young man invited the demon back in and so we had to let him go. He did not want to be free, and nobody can override his free will on that issue. PLEASE NOTE: I am not a great evangelist, preacher, teacher or minister. I am not known to many people except those within my immediate sphere of life, and yet the Lord used me in this way. I feel the need to say this now because so many Christian do not understand the power that God would give them if they would just believe he can do it. I am a retired husband, father and writer and grandfather, and in my 70 years on earth I haven't done more than 10 years of what people consider full time ministry. Any Christian who has faith in God and his word and believes in his heart that God would use him as he has used me should seek God on this. God will make it clear if and when he will do this and greater things through you. We are, after all, sinners saved through God's mercy and none better than the other, so God can work through any of us if we are willing.
MORE THINGS SHOWING GOD'S CARE, COMPASSION AND POWER
I want to throw out some other things quickly that will be random but things that I believe will encourage Christians to trust God more and to trust he will work in your heart and life and use you and your talents in the best way possible! The world is so very much in need of those who enter the presence of God and come out with strong assurance and expectation that God can and will do the impossible through a prepared vessel.
I have prayed with my wife for our oldest son when he was four years old. We anointed him with oil as scripture says we should. He was in great pain and holding his ears and crying hard. We were in our home; not a church or a seminar or other gathering, and God heard and answered our prayer and he was instantly healed, got down off the bed and began playing and his ear pain never came back.
When I was in college before I was married I wanted to date a girl, and I asked God to have her waiting on the steps outside the main hall in college when I got back if he wanted me to take her out. She was there, but when I asked her to go out she said she had a strong headache and wouldn't be able to go. I told her about my prayer, said I would pray for God to heal her. I prayed and God healed her and we went out after that. Trivial you might say - no, God cares about everything pertaining to us, even things we might think of as small or insignificant.
It was Christmas. I don't remember the year, but we were poor and had nothing for the children and our car needed repair and we had no money to fix it. That year we prayed that God would help us to have something for the children, and God answered in a great way. I believe we received about 95 gifts and the money we needed to repair the car. We needed $180 to get our car fixed and we were given a gift of $181 or $182. I don't remember which. Nobody knew about that need but the Lord because we didn't tell anyone about it. God had proven himself faithful and loving for us again as he always does.
When I returned from Phoenix to Pennsylvania, I began to do street evangelism in my home town. I encountered a group of young people who were doing the same thing, and one of them said he would be praying me into Bible college. I told him about Christ is the Answer and he told me that he had been carrying a newspaper clipping of a group that was arrested there for sharing the gospel. He reached into his wallet and pulled the picture out and there I was sitting in the front of the picture behind cell bars. I found out his home was in Jacksonville. Coincidence? Not hardly! Later I prayed that if God wanted me in Bible college he would have to pay off the bills I left behind when I went south to find fun in the sun and wound up in prison. Four days later a man walked up to me at work and said; "My wife and I were praying last night and God spoke to us and told us that we are to pay off all your bills." He told me to bring them all in and he would make contact with the creditors and make arrangements to pay them all off. God knows where the money is! Praise his name!
When my wife and I wanted to get married we had no money, no car, and we were in Bible college with no certain plans for ministry. We didn't even have the bare essentials of a marriage such as money for announcements, money for rings, a car, a suit and wedding dress, and the wedding cake and supplies and food for the wedding reception. In addition, Beverly's mom said that her and Beverly's dad would not attend unless it was held in Ohio. There were a lot of prayer needs. We couldn't afford any of those things - we were broke. A blue suit I had prayed for was given in the Bible college blessings room that was just my size and a wedding gown just Beverly's size. The print shop supervisor said he would pay for the announcements if I would design them. A dear Christian lady who did wedding cake's made one for us free of charge. We were offered flowers at a very generous discount, and the rings were provided through other miracles and God even gave us a car to use for our honeymoon free of charge. On our wedding night we went to the reception thinking that if God didn't do something we would be sleeping in the car. The wife of a veterinarian who was attending our wedding found out about that and she and her husband offered us their A-frame cottage on a lake for our honeymoon and they took care of everything while we were there including the repairs on a car we had to borrow before God gave us our own. Beverly's parents both came, took the wedding party to dinner and provided the food for the reception. Before we finally graduated, God gave us a position in ministry right out of college with housing and food provided. I am just touching the tip of the iceberg as the saying goes, and I will not belabor the point with more individual illustrations except to remind the reader that God started with an evil hippie who cursed him daily and accomplished all the above and much more.
Here are some other things that I will just highlight. I met my wife in Bible college and since then we have done ministry together, raised seven children who are all Christians through their own choice and loved and respected by those who know them, are grandparents to four handsome boys and four lovely girls and one more on the way. Two of our beautiful grandchildren also have come to know Christ as their Savior. I authored and published a book under a pseudonym "C (see) R (our) Lord" which in itself was an answer to a prayer for a name to point people to God, I have done prison ministry, street evangelism, coffee house ministry, worked as the director in alcohol and drug rehab, created and supervised students through a program that would help them pay for their own education, have had home Bible studies, and am currently retired and preparing to begin ministering on the streets again and whatever else God has for me since all our children are grown up and can take care of themselves.
DO I BOAST? NEVER!
If any man boast let him boast in the Lord. It wasn't me who got me free of my evil lifestyle and all that attended it. It has not been me who has been faithful all these years of knowing the Lord. It is God and God alone who is the miracle worker and it is to him that all the honor, glory and praise belong! We give praise to men who don't deserve it! We should give it to God where it belongs! Without him we are nothing and less than nothing. With him we can scale the heights and do the impossible and live forever in great peace, joy and love. He alone is supreme! He alone is Holy and Pure and above reproach! He alone is God and there is no other! Praise Him for He alone is Worthy!