Georgia Davenport McCain
Published by Ron McCain at Shakespir
Copyright 2016 Ron McCain
Shakespir Edition License Notes
Thank you downloading this ebook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be reproduced, copied, and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form. If you enjoyed this book, please return to your favorite ebook retailer to discover other books by this author. Thanks you for your support.
Originally printed 1993 by Old Paths Tract Society, Inc., Shoals, Indiana, 47581
To all who have given me their personal testimony to be used in this book,
And to all publishers, authors and others, who have so graciously granted me permission to use material from books, tracts, religious papers and other sources, I take this means to express my heartfelt thanks.
Georgia D. McCain
Lovingly dedicated to:
My daughters-in-law, Dolores, Mary, Chris, Angie, and Tina McCain
My sons-in-law: Daniel Simmons and Ken Wilson
My granddaughters: Kimberly and Victoria Wilson, Jessica Simmons, and Allison, Lindzee, Lauren, Ashley, Emily, and Katie McCain
My grandsons: Brian Wilson, Jeffrey and Jason Simmons, and Ryan, Daniel, Christopher, Kyle, and Hayes McCain
D. L. Moody once asked a group of children whom he was addressing, a question, “What is prayer?” One lad answered, “Prayer is an offering up of our own desires unto God for things agreeable to His will, in the Name of Christ, with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgment of His mercies.”
If you were asked the same question today, what would be your answer?
One writer defines prayer as the language of an earnest soul, breathing after God, and a knowledge of His will. Another tells us it is an attitude of the heart, the admittance of our helplessness, the recognition of the all-sufficiency of God. In other words, the acknowledgment that God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, if we are in a right relationship with Him and ask according to His will.
Some describe prayer as confession to God. Some say it is praise and adoration. Webster’s dictionary defines prayer as “a solemn address to the Supreme Being, an earnest entreaty, petition, request or plea.”
Praying is the lifting up of the soul to God. David tells us in Psalm 25:4-5 (after lifting up his soul to God) to “shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me …. “ What a privilege, learning of God, His ways, His truth. “And this is life eternal, that they should know thee, the only true God” John 17:3.
We need a revelation of God, a realization of His Glory, His Majesty, His Power, His Grace and His Love. We need to wait before Him until He manifests Himself. Only then can we pray aright. Only then should we offer up our petitions to Him.
Prayer! What a privilege! That we, poor weak worms of the dust are invited to come before a Sovereign God to commune with Him, to bring our petitions to Him and have the assurance that He hears and answers. Eph, 3:20 tells us that He is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” God delights to answer His children’s prayers. Multitudes of God’s children have testified to this fact, and we are endeavoring, by God’s help, to record here some of these wonderful answers to prayer, some taken from my book, Trials and Triumphs, now out of print, and others used by permission from God’s people to whom God has manifested His power and glory in answering their prayers and in working mighty miracles in their behalf. Also, I am including some poems, memorial addresses and other items believed to be of interest to the reader.
I have felt for several years the need of writing a book on answers to prayer, to encourage God’s people in these dark and troublesome days just before the coming of the Lord. But because of the lack of response for testimonies, and because of a very busy life in God’s vineyard, I had postponed it, and had almost given up the hope of ever writing another book. But recently I read a book on answered prayer by Margaret Gouge, and a flame was rekindled within my heart to seek God’s will in the matter, recognizing the fact that unless He helped and led, my poor efforts would be in vain. Thankfully, I feel He is leading me on, helping me to glean material and get it typed up, for which I humbly praise Him.
In my personal experience, when I am earnestly praying for spiritual, physical, or other needs, I often search through my library for a book on prayer or answers to prayer, to encourage me, as God does not always answer immediately, though sometimes He does. Many times, God has led me to just the right book and as I have read how others held on until they prevailed with God, it would inspire me to do likewise though the answer tarried.Thank God! He does answer. He rewards faith. Let us keep holding on in these last days, believing God to work in our behalf. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” Hebrews 4:16.
I do not claim any literary excellence. I only write, to the best of my ability, as God leads and helps. I pray for indulgence for any errors or lack on the part of the author that may be detected in this book.
All entries are from reliable sources used by permission of the writer himself or by someone who had the authority to grant me permission. Many of the writers are personal friends of the author.
I trust that God will use this little book for His glory and honor. May we be made to realize that what He has done for others, He can also do for us. Praise His wonderful Name!
Georgia D. McCain
[+ H. Robb French-Saved. at the Family Altar at Age Four --Anna T. McPherson +]
[+ Three Women Healed of Different Infirmities --Rev. Claude Eshelman +]
[+ Answered Prayer for an Unspoken Request --Georgia D. McCain +]
[+ For Eight Years She Came To Tell Me About Jesus --Irene Hanley +]
[+ "Fire" --Lillian Knapp +]
A Prayer-Answering God
This book which you are now holding in your hand,
Is sent to encourage God’s people all over the land.
Our faith is being tested, we are tempted and tried,
But we can win the battle with God on our side.
For whatever the situation, God will always be there
To defeat the devil as we hold on in prayer.
Yesterday, today and forever, God is always the same,
And He promised to answer prayer, if we ask in Jesus’ Name.
Sometimes He answers immediately, just as soon as we pray,
But more often we must keep praying, holding on day after day.
Never should we give up because the answer may tarry,
For nearly always in answering, God’s plans vary.
Many have continued praying for many long years,
And the prayers have been recorded as well as the tears.
In this book you’ll find that prayer has not been in vain,
For you’ll see how God has answered again and again.
Your soul will be blest, and your cup will run o’er
When you read how God often knocked on a heart’s door.
While Mother was praying, or perhaps a dear wife,
God brought a sinner to repentance, and gave him new life.
Or perhaps someone was sick and lying at death’s door,
But because of someone’s prayers, God intervened once more.
Once through the faith of a child who was three,
A mother was healed of cancer, causing a glorious jubilee.
Another cancer patient, a Catholic, with only a few days to live,
Read a tract, gave his heart to God, and was then wonderfully healed.
Other cancer victims, some with heart ailments and other diseases,
That doctors couldn’t help, but God could, for He doeth as He pleases.
Other answers are recorded, some for the supplying of needs,
For protection, help in trouble, for reaping after the sowing of seed.
There are missionary stories telling what they went through,
Because they loved Jesus, and at great cost remained true.
My prayer is that God will bless this book to your heart,
And if you are discouraged, you’ll take a new start.
I greatly appreciate all who have given their consent
For me to use their experiences and put them in print.
May each incident be used of God to help someone to see
That He’s a prayer-answering God, and He always will be.
Georgia D. McCain
Praises at Midnight
All of us know that praise to God goes along with prayer. Sometimes when we can’t seem to pray our way through, we can praise our way through. The following article was written by the author for a church paper, The Eleventh Hour Messenger.
All of us realize how hard it is to proclaim the praises of God when our heart is seemingly breaking; the devil is pressing in and our prayers seem to rebound and smother us instead of reaching through to God. We are prone to shed tears of self-pity and wonder why “all these things are against us,” when we have faithfully striven to do our best. God has appointed praise in such an hour as this to force open the gates of Heaven and obtain an answer to our prayers. Only a heart filled with the Blessed Holy Spirit can praise God in its darkest hour. This is impossible with a carnal heart full of self. But our God can put a song of praise and a shout of victory in a sanctified heart that’s crushed with heartache, grief and pain. Praise His sweet and Holy Name!
When the Moabites and the Ammonites had set themselves in battle array against Jehoshaphat in II Chronicles, chapter twenty, the Word says, “He feared and set himself to seek the Lord and proclaimed a fast.” He cried out to God, “O our God … we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon thee.” God answered, “Be not afraid nor dismayed … for the battle is not yours but God’s … ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still and see the salvation of God.”
Jehoshaphat believed and trusted God and rose early in the morning and went forth to meet the enemy. He appointed singers unto the Lord that should praise the beauty of Holiness, and when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the enemy and they were smitten. If Jehoshaphat had failed to believe God and had failed to praise Him, the enemy would have, no doubt, prevailed, but the victory was won that day when they began to sing and to praise. If it worked in Jehoshaphat’s day, it will work today. Praise God!
In the old Philippian jail, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises at midnight. They prayed first and God enabled them to sing praises even though their feet were fast in stocks and their backs were bleeding from unjust beatings. A great earthquake served God’s purpose this time to deliver His children. When God would deliver Peter from prison, He sent an angel, who quietly touched him and led him out with no one except Peter aware of his presence, but this time a different method was needed. There were eyes that needed to be opened and nothing but calamity could do it, so “there was a great earthquake” which shook the foundations of the prison and all the doors were opened and everyone’s bands were loosed. Glory! The old jailor would never have fallen down, trembling and saying, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved,” had Paul and Silas failed to pray and sing praises at the midnight hour. All of us would like to feel the angel’s touch and hear his sweet voice in answer to prayer, but what about the earthquake? That calamity that touches our lives to shake people awake? Are we yielded to that?
Our prayers may still be unanswered, our health may be broken, the arm of flesh has failed, money has taken wings, the world situation is alarming, we’re separated from our dearest loved ones, and it seems our heart will be crushed with its load, but let us fall down before God and tell our loving Saviour that we’re still trusting Him, that He knows what’s best for our lives and what it will take to get us to Heaven and as our trust and praise and adoration reaches the throne, the storm cloud will roll back as a scroll, and we will be enabled by His grace to pray clear through and obtain an answer to our prayer, by faith. Hallelujah!
How Much Does a Prayer Weigh?
The only man I ever heard of who tried to weigh one still does not know.
At one time he thought he did. That was when he owned a little grocery store on the West Side. It was just after the World War. A tired looking woman came into the store and asked him for enough food to make up a dinner for her children. He asked her how much she could afford to spend.
She answered, “My husband was killed in the war. I have nothing to offer but a little prayer.”
This man confessed that he was not very sentimental in those days. A grocery could not be run like a bread line. So he said, “Write it on a piece of paper,” and turned to his business.
To his surprise, the woman plucked a piece of paper out of her pocket and handed it to him over the counter. She said, “I did that during the night watching over my sick baby.”
The grocer took the piece of paper before he could recover from his surprise, and then regretted having done so, for what could he do with it—what could he say?
Then an idea suddenly came to him. He placed the paper, without even reading the prayer, on his scales. He said, “We shall see how much food this is worth.”
To his astonishment, the scales would not go down when he put a loaf of bread on the other side. To his confusion and embarrassment, it would not go down even though he kept adding on food—anything he could lay his hands on quickly, because people were watching him.
He tried to be gruff and he was making a bad job of it. His face got red, and it made him angry to be flustered. Finally, he said, “Well, that’s all the scales will hold anyway. Here’s a bag. You’ll have to pack it yourself. I’m busy.”
With what sounded like a gasp or a sob, she took the bag and began packing the food, wiping her eyes on her sleeve every time her arm was free to do so.
He tried not to look, but he could not help seeing that he had given her a pretty big bag, and that it was not quite full. So he tossed a large cheese down on the counter. But he did not say anything, nor did he see the timid smile of grateful understanding which glistened her moist eyes at this final betrayal of the grocer’s crusty exterior.
When the woman had gone, he went to the scales, scratching his head and shaking it in puzzlement. Then he found the solution. The scales were broken. But as the years passed by he often thought of it and wondered if that really was the solution. Why did the woman have the prayer already written to satisfy his unpremeditated demand? Why did she come in at exactly the right time when the scales was broken? What confused him so that he did not notice it, and kept piling on food, with only a scrap of paper in the weight pan? He had felt like a fool and hardly knew what he was doing.
Well, faith is a strange thing anyway. And prayer is a strange thing.
The grocer never saw the woman again. And come to think of it, he had never seen her before, either. Yet for the rest of his life, he remembered her better than any other customer.
He knew it had not been just his imagination, for he still had the slip of paper upon which the woman’s prayer had been written:
“Please, Lord, give us our daily bread.”
(This was taken from the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist paper. Used by permission.)
“Ask and Receive”
“I remember looking out the window at Cabrini Hospital, (Alexandria, Louisiana). It was a beautiful day in which you would think nothing could ever go wrong in your life. It was then I realized I had cancer.”
That beautiful day was nineteen years ago, but the Marksville farmer lived to see many other beautiful days despite being sent home from a cancer research center to die.
“That day my world came to an end,” Cormier told the editor of a religious paper, THE GOOD NEWS, (from which I quote by permission of Mr. Cormier, whom I talked to recently).
Until then, the Catholic farmer thought nothing could possibly go wrong with him. He was thirty-five years old, having a “good time” and doing well financially.
Then in October 1973, he was out harvesting rice when he noticed a little gland that was swollen—one of his lymph glands. He didn’t pay much attention to it, but his wife told him he should go to the doctor.
He finally decided to see a doctor when he finished harvesting, and the doctors observed the swollen gland for several months before deciding to do a biopsy.
“I didn’t think too much about it when the results were delayed a day. I figured something was wrong,” Cormier said. “The doctor said the lymph gland they had removed was malignant and it was serious.”
That was the beautiful January day in 1974 that began a change in Cormier’s life. The cancer sent him on a journey to Houston, Texas to find a cure, but the journey ended at his home in Marksville, Louisiana where he discovered how big God really is.
“That day my world came to an end,” Cormier said. Because he really didn’t know God at the time, he went to the Catholic Church all the time but never really trusted God for anything. Cormier put his trust in medicine to find a cure for his cancer.
“They sent me to the best doctor Houston had, a specialist in cancer of the lymph system,” he said. Cormier was put through a week-long series of tests, some so painful he would never do them again.
“I realize now that was the only way God could get my attention to look up to Him.”
The tests showed cancer in the spleen, which was removed along with lymph nodes in the chest area. However, the doctors told Cormier there were probably more cancer cells still in his body and he would need at least twenty cobalt treatments. He was given twenty treatments from his waist area down.
Cormier was relieved at the end of the twentieth treatment, thinking everything would be fine. But the doctor informed him he would need eighteen treatments on his upper body.
He was sent home before beginning the eighteen treatments, to let his body rest. While at home, his wife took him to a home prayer meeting even though he didn’t want to go.
“I was sitting there with cancer, my wife wanted me to get prayed for, but I wouldn’t do it,” Cormier said. “After we got home I shook my finger at her and said, “Don’t you ever again ask me to go to those stupid prayer meetings. I don’t need anybody to pray for me, I can pray for myself.”
Cormier took the series of cobalt treatments and was told he had a seventy-five percent chance of recovery. It was the middle of April when the doctor sent him home.
After just nine days at home, Cormier came down with a fever running 103 to 104.
He was immediately taken back to Houston, where the doctor discovered his liver had dropped six inches. The doctor told his wife it was so serious he didn’t think Cormier would live long enough to make it across the street to the hospital.
Cormier made it across the street to the hospital, where liver scans and other tests were run to determine if the organ was completely contaminated with cancer. Doctors said just one square inch of the liver was functioning.
“I figured they could fix that by killing the cancer cell and putting blood in,” Cormier said. “But they told my wife there was nothing else they could do.
“She signed a release for them to try anything. Since it was a cancer research center, they decided to try chemotherapy. That made me even sicker than the treatments.
“Finally, they prepared my wife as to how I would die,” Cormier said. “My liver was to erupt and I was to hemorrhage to death.”
Cormier wanted to go home and see his three small children, so arrangements were made to fly him back. Everything had been packed when the doctor informed him he couldn’t leave since his blood count had dropped so low.
“I had been sick up until this, but I had never been in pain. That afternoon the pain started and got worse each day,” Cormier said. “Pain shots didn’t help.
“One morning I went to the bathroom with help from the orderly and when I sat down it was like opening a faucet. Blood started gushing out of me. It was gushing out of my mouth. That was the last I remember.”
Cormier came to, as doctors and nurses were working to keep him alive. He was put in intensive care.
Finally, after getting all the blood back, he again asked to go home. He had lost all of his hair, and weight had dropped from one hundred thirty-five to eighty-five pounds. “I knew I was dying,” Cormier said. “I hated to look in the mirror.”
Permission was given to fly on a charted plane. Cormier felt good to be home, lying in his own bed, looking over the cards from friends, and some people he thought were enemies.
“I happened to look and there was a little tract by my bed,” he said. “I picked it up and started reading John 16:23-24: ‘I tell you the truth, the Father will give you anything you ask in my name. Ask and receive that your joy may be full.’ I didn’t know much about God, but I did know one thing – that He did not lie.
“I knew that God’s word was truthful—that He would do anything I ask in His name. I knew I had to put God’s Kingdom first. There were things in my life that would have to change.
“I didn’t know how to pray, so I just started talking to God. First, I said I had never sought God, or tried to live right. I know I’ve done wrong.
“The devil had put a lot of hatred in my heart. I asked forgiveness and told God I didn’t want to hate anymore. When I got through crying out to God, I said I know God what You say in Your Word is true. I’ve had the best doctors, they can’t save my life. They sent me home to die. So, now I ask you, God, if You don’t take hold of my life, I’m going to die. So, now I ask you God, in the name of Jesus, take this cancer out of my body. I’ll change my life and live for You.”
After crying out to God, Cormier went into a peaceful sleep. As his wife helped him to the breakfast table the next morning, he looked out the window with a new outlook.
“I didn’t know it then, but I know now I had been born again. God had come into my heart,” Cormier explained.
From that day, Cormier began a steady improvement. In a couple of weeks, he started to walk outside.
“I walked outside, struggling. I couldn’t even hold a pen to write my name at the time,” Cormier said. “It was a great task just to walk.”
The devil tried to discourage Cormier when he began walking, telling him, “You think you’re healed. Look how you’re struggling and hurting.”
“I didn’t know but two promises of God at the time,” Cormier remembered. “All I knew was that God said anything I ask in His name.” He hung onto that promise.
Cormier kept improving, and when Houston called his wife twice a week to check up on him she kept telling them how well he was doing. But the doctors thought she was just building herself up with false hope.
Finally, Cormier had enough strength to sit in a boat and cast his fishing rod. “That’s what 1 was doing one day when Houston called the house, fishing,” Cormier recalled. “They couldn’t believe it.”
The doctors wanted him to come to Houston so they could check him out. It was August; his hair was growing back and he was back to his normal weight.
“When the doctor (at the hospital in Houston) saw me walking down the hall, his eyes got so big, like he was seeing a miracle,” Cormier said. “He was.” The doctors started probing around me and decided to run some tests. I agreed because I knew God healed me, but wanted them to know it.
“After the tests, he came to my room and pulled up a chair. He said, ‘I just don’t understand it. Your liver is just as normal as mine.’ I said, ‘Praise God! You know, Doc, God healed me.’ “
Note: I talked to Brother Cormier by telephone recently, and he told me he had not had a reoccurrence of cancer in the nineteen years since God healed him. He works for the Post Office delivering mail in the LeCompte and Cheneyville, Louisiana area. Praise God for His wonderful healing power! Author.
Money Provided in Answer to Prayer
I needed twenty-five dollars for a car payment. I stayed up one night and prayed through over it. Next morning, I got everything ready to mail and when I stepped up to the Post Office a man whom I had never seen, met me from the opposite direction and asked if I was the minister. I said, “Yes,” and he handed me twenty-five dollars saying, “You are the man the Lord showed me when I was praying last night.” A very healthy “Thank the Lord and you,” rolled out of my mouth.
Another marvel took place when a sister-in-law died. Upon receiving the word, I went to the church to pray. The depression was upon us so we had no money to buy gas to drive the ninety miles. The Spirit whispered, “Go, the Lord will provide.” We made ready and got into the car. A rap came on the car window and a neighbor gave us some money. She left and a man came and gave us some more.
When we arrived at Kane, the Methodist pastor heard of our being there. He asked if I would preach for two nights as they had announced a revival and the evangelist couldn’t be there for the first two nights. They gave me an offering; so our needs were supplied with some to spare.
Rev. Claude Eshelman
Two Babies Had Died the Day Before With What Our Little David Had
After three daughters, the last weighing nine pounds, nine and one half ounces, the Lord blessed us with a little boy, which only weighed two pounds and nine ounces. He was put in the intensive care unit which was called the R.I.C.N. unit. It was a special care unit for premature babies. My wife and I went every day to the hospital to be with our boy. My wife would go by herself and be there when I got off from work and would come and join her. The girls were then in their teens and would stay with their grandparents.
One day my wife and I went to the hospital and we sensed that something was wrong. (By this time, little David had been in the R.I.C.N. Unit fifty-six days.) Upon inquiring of our son’s condition, we were told his intestines were dying. He had seven symptoms out of nine, the X-rays showed. We had seen two other babies die the day before with what our little David had. My wife and I were not Christians at the time. As we left the hospital that night, we were very low. Going up the highway we talked very little, The devil whispered to me that God owed me no favors. I knew this was right for I was raised around a Holiness church and I wasn’t saved. When we arrived home and were getting ready to retire for the night, as soon as I touched the bed, something said to me, “Call Sister Nadine Fetterman (now Mrs. Brian Covert) and have her go and anoint David.” I obeyed the impression and called her and she told me she would go in the morning for it was now twelve o’clock. I hung the phone up and a voice said that she was to go right then. I was dialing her back and at the same time, she was dialing me to say she felt she should go right then. My wife and Sister Nadine went that night, and she said that when she prayed and anointed David, that a shock went out of her arm and she felt the Lord had touched him.
David had tubes in his nose and he would pull them out. The nurses would put them back and he would pull them out again, so the next time he did it, the nurse said, “Boy, you’re on your own now.” The doctor X-rayed David and could find no trace of his intestine dying. He could not understand what happened, but we knew that God had healed him. We brought David home when he reached four pounds and twelve ounces. He is now in the seventh grade (January, ’93) and is doing well. Thank God, He has been wonderful to me.
Though the Poormans were not saved at this time, God kept His hand on them and they were saved not long afterwards. Their daughter, Elizabeth and family lived in Central Louisiana for several years, and when they would come visit their family, the Poormans would come to our church. I have learned to love and appreciate them, and feel they are some of God’s choice saints. Read his testimony, “Though My Dad Was Dead, I Know God Answered His Prayers.” Author.
The Lord Hath Heard My Supplication: The Lord Will Receive My Prayer
On August 15,1987, during the night, a tremendous burden settled down upon my heart. Though I couldn’t discern the reason, yet I knew God had a specific cause for it. I felt distressed and began to desperately call on God to reveal Himself to me. Two days later, on Monday morning, I arose early and went to prayer. Opening the Bible, my eyes fell on a portion of Scripture which spoke to my heart concerning the burden. God showed me that it was for a young man, a close friend of the family, who was not a Christian, and God was trying to get to his heart. After God revealed the burden, I spoke to the young man as I could, prayed with him and read to him what God gave me for him, from the Bible.
I spent much time in prayer and fasting, beseeching God to answer prayer. Day after day, I prayed. The days turned into weeks, and the weeks into months, but the burden still remained and I could not seem to prevail with God, though He spoke words of encouragement to my heart and admonished me to keep holding on and not to faint in prayer. I searched my heart to see if anything in me was hindering God from answering, for at times the burden would be so heavy that I could only groan and weep before God. He brought me down lower and lower at His feet. At times it seemed as if the devil was turned loose to defeat my prayers from getting through to God. Things would look so dark and hopeless and seemed to be going in reverse. I read every book on prayer that I could get, and over and over, I would read about God placing burdens on people and as they faithfully prayed, God would lift the burden and answer prayer. Almost always, it was an immediate answer, and yet I had prayed for months, and could not seemingly get an answer. I would grow discouraged at times, and always the devil was on hand to accuse me, saying if my heart was right with God, that He would surely answer for me as He had for others. There were days when I could not gain any ground, but fought hand to hand conflicts with the old accuser of the brethren for hours on end. I would claim promise after promise, write them down and hold them up before God.
One Sunday afternoon, I went to my bedroom, and cried out to God in anguish of spirit, “Oh, God, are You hearing my prayers?” In an unmistakable, still, small voice, He spoke to my heart, “The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer” Psalm 6:9. I felt so calm and peaceful and just knew that God was going to answer my prayer immediately for had He not said in John 5:14, 15, “if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of him.” But the answer still tarried. It did not immediately come to pass as I had read in the books. I thought “Oh, if only I could read just one incident where God delayed the answer even after giving the assurance that He had heard.” I continued to pray and trust God. Later, I bought a book by Charles Finney entitled, “Answers to Prayer.” Under a chapter entitled “Patience in Prayer,” he recorded an incident much like my own experience. Though he had earnestly prayed about a certain situation, things grew worse instead of better. He was astounded that he couldn’t break through to God. But finally the darkness gave way and God spoke “Yes” to his heart. A peace came to him as it had to me when God assured me He had heard. Just as I had, he expected an immediate answer, but it was months before he saw what he had believed for. I took fresh courage after reading this account and purposed to wait patiently for the answer that was sure to come.
One year and some few days after God placed the burden on my heart, the blessed answer came. One year of waiting before God with a burdened heart. It seemed an eternity, but oh, how glad I am that I didn’t give up. I’m so thankful I continued to wait when at times it was so dark and things seemed to get worse instead of better. I’m so glad God enabled me, by His grace, to hold on and keep believing. Not only did the young man whom I was burdened for, get saved, but two of my sons and their wives were also converted. It seemed we were in a continuous revival for many weeks. I remember during this time that I was walking the floor and groaning under a burden for my wayward children one Saturday afternoon. The next morning, the front door opened at church after the service had begun, and one of my sons, who had not been to church for several years, came in. He had two small children, one in each arm. He began to seek God, making restitutions even before he was saved. It wasn’t long before he had plunged into the fountain. I remember him saying to me, “I don’t know how I can possibly pay tithe, as I don’t have any extra money, it takes all I make to live, but I’m going to pay tithes anyway.” Not one time has he missed, at this writing, and God, somehow, stretched the nine-tenths to meet his obligations. His wife, also, turned to God and made many restitutions, some very hard to make. The following was printed in our daily newspaper.:
After six years, a childish mistake has been corrected.
A 23-year-old woman, who said she stole a small amount of money during a summer job with the city of Alexandria six years ago, sent a check in restitution and a letter of explanation to Mayor Ed Randolph.
Randolph was so touched by the woman’s words that he agreed to share them with the Town Talk on condition the woman not be identified.
In the letter, the woman said she enjoyed her summer job with the city but because her parents did not have much money, she periodically would take small amounts of cash from a cash box in her charge.
She said she had forgotten about that incident until “something I was reading” reminded her of her past wrong.
“The Bible teaches if you want to be a true Christian, you have to make as many of your wrongs right as possible,” she wrote. She said she thought all of hers had been corrected until she was reminded of the event.
“The Lord has a way of telling us things slowly and is careful not to discourage you,” she said.
She said she is a Christian and is trying to raise her children to have good values and to “live for the Lord.”
The woman said she prayed a lot about how much to send the city because she had no idea how much she took that summer.
“I feel like $40 should more than cover it, so you’ll find my check inside this envelope,” she wrote.
In a response to the letter, Randolph told the woman he is “very touched by your letter.”
He returned the check to the woman with the request that she “void the check and make out another to your church in the same amount. We will then consider the matter closed and all accounts even.”
Another daughter-in-law, who was Catholic, came to me under deep conviction. I suggested we pray but she got up and left. But that night, she went to church with us. Her husband was working, so after church she came home with us. She confided to me, “I wanted to pray today but I don’t know how to pray.” I said, “Just get on your knees by the couch and talk to God just as you are talking to me. Tell Him all your sins and how sorry you are for the way you’re living, and ask His forgiveness. I’ll kneel by this chair so I can’t hear what you’re saying and I will pray for you.” She did as she was instructed and in a simple way. prayed for forgiveness of her sins and was soon rejoicing in her newfound joy of
We were to start a revival two nights later with Rev. Kenneth Walter and the Hoskins as singers. She said, “I wish my husband would go to church with me.” I said, “Just invite him and we’ll pray. Don’t put pressure on him or he will rebel.” She answered, “He already has plans to go to a ball game.” I again answered, ‘‘We’ll pray.” I had been fasting several days and praying for God to keep moving in our midst. Others were also praying. The very first night of the revival, my son came to church with his newly-saved wife, instead of going to the ball game, and was saved a few nights later. God, later, began to deal with him about working on Sunday, but he put off doing anything about it as jobs were very scarce and he had a family. But prayer was going up to God to deliver him from Sunday work. During this time, he got very sick and was rushed to the hospital. Emergency surgery was performed as he had a ruptured appendix. When the doctor came out of the operating room, he informed us that it was up to a Higher power if he pulled through as gangrene had set in and he was dangerously ill. He hovered between life and death for several days during which time the Lord again dealt with him about Sunday work. For eighteen days, he stayed in the hospital and as the faithful Holy Spirit talked to his heart, he settled the issue of Sunday work, telling God that if He would spare his life and let him get home with his family, he would not work on Sunday again. God took him at his word and allowed him to recuperate. When he was able to go back to work, he took his stand and told his boss he could no longer work on Sunday as he had made a vow to God on his death bed to give up Sunday work. As the world is no friend of grace, his boss fired him. But we reap what we sow and his boss was fired later by a superintendent above him.
My son was without work for many weeks and was not allowed to draw unemployment. Besides this, his wife became pregnant. Things looked very dark from the human standpoint, but God did not fail them. Their every need was supplied, all their bills were paid. Someone even paid their doctor bill for his wife. My daughter-in-law, who has always been prompt to pay bills, testified at this time, “I’ve quit worrying about the bills, for God is paying them all for us.” Wonderful, wonderful Lord!
At God’s appointed time, my son got a job without Sunday work which he still holds today. Oh, how it pays to mind God whatever the cost. And how dangerous it is to trifle with Him. He will never lead us wrong. Bless His precious Name!
(On the humorous side) During the time the issue of Sunday work was being discussed and prayed about, my little five-year old grandson, whom I call “Chuck,” was very concerned about it. When he would see a place of business open on Sunday, it would really disturb him and he would comment, “Look, Nanny, they’re open on Sunday.” My husband had some hens and he loved to gather the eggs. One Sunday as he sat by my husband in church, he leaned over and whispered, “Pap-Paw, do chickens lay eggs on Sunday?”
In closing this account, I’d like to say that God has been faithful to my family, and I’m sure that praying parents everywhere can testify the same. But we’re in crucial days and many temptations and snares are laid out before them. Compromise abounds on every hand, but God has a plentiful supply of grace to take them through if they will keep their heart warmed by communion with Him and read the Word and faithfully attend the place of worship, being obedient to His every command and plan for their lives. Oh, how I plead with God that the family circle will be unbroken in Heaven. What an unspeakable tragedy if even one should miss the way. Help each one of us, Lord, to strive to enter in, for Jesus’ sake! Amen!
Provision and Protection
Automobiles and money are closely associated. My husband’s ministry began in the Second World War days, the 1940’s. Auto production plants were used for the war production factories, so, the used autos were scarce and expensive. It is wonderful how God has provided us transportation for so many years. We have owned about twenty cars and half this number have been new ones. Thank You, Jesus. We have calculated that each car has gone an average of once around the world. Some, of course, would have never made it but the last one brought up the average; it could have been around more than seven times! We have had only a few fender-bender accidents and have never had to see the doctor because of an accident.
We have a practice for years, of praying before we start our auto for God’s protection, and we do this regardless of who is driving or in the car. We have spun around on slippery roads, traveled many miles through snow and on ice, cars have sped past us on both sides through metropolis areas, as we have traveled thousands of miles on our national highways. Again, thank You, Father.
I do not intend to imply that this should be an example. Jesus may take us “Home” some day by way of accident. We don’t know the Lord’s design. But I do want to praise Him for His wonderful provisions and protection to us down through this nearly fifty years. Thank You, Lord! He is my Lord.
H. Robb French Saved at the Family Altar At Age Four
In the years when Robb French and his brothers and sister were growing up, their home life revolved around the family altar. Their mother was determined to have family prayer morning and evening. She, also, determined that family prayers would not be dry. “We’re going to have holy fire burning on this family altar,” she stated.
And they did. If things were dull and dry at first, they waited until the glory came. Mother knew that if they had the glory, prayer time would not be a grind, but a joy.
Even the very smallest children learned respect for the family altar. Once while their Aunt Jennie was visiting, little two-year old George was toddling around playing during family prayer. When it was finished, Aunt Jennie turned to Mother French with wisdom that surely came from God, and helped Mother French to see how important it was to teach reverence to the very smallest. Mother French never forgot that admonition, and from then on, even the babies were trained to be quiet while the family prayed.
It was at the family altar that little Robb, four years of age, was saved. Mother set the chairs around in a circle as she always did, and then she said, “Children, talk to Jesus now just like you talk to Mother.”
Robb had a burden on his little boy heart this morning—a burden that he did not know what to do with, but as young as he was, he could understand those words, “Talk to Jesus just like you talk to Mother.”
Kneeling at an old-fashioned, solid-bottomed chair, sobbing as though his heart would break, he told Jesus all about his troubles and his heavy heart. When he got up from his knees, there was a puddle of tears on the chair, but Robb was happier than he had ever been before. He went out on the back steps and sat in the glow of the waning sun all by himself. Everything looked so changed and beautiful that he thought he was in a new world. The trees had a different loveliness, the birds sang in a different note. Jesus had come into his heart.
Mother French not only guarded the family altar and the soul interests of her children, but she also earnestly instructed them and faithfully took them to church. When they would get near the church on Sunday, she would say, “Now, children, we’re going in to worship. This is God’s house. We don’t want to be irreverent. If you want a drink, get it before you go in. We’re not going to leave unless we absolutely have to.”
Though revival meetings would last five or six weeks sometimes, the French family would attend every night. Their means of transportation was a little old buggy, but regardless of the weather, they went to church. Many times freezing rains or blizzards would set in but the Frenches faithfully drove the five miles to church and back.
The years went on. So did the family altar. And the fire on the altar burned brighter and more brighter as Father, Mother, and the children continued to honor God.
It was not uncommon for the fire to fall on Father or Mother, but one morning it fell on Robb—Robb so timid, so backward and reticent it was almost pitiful. Robb—in the teenage stage when he seemed somehow to outgrow himself, when he couldn’t even be around without upsetting the gravy at the table, or knocking over the milk, or stumbling over the stove or the coal bucket. He was so awkward and self-conscious that his life was almost a burden to him. But that morning, all the innate reserve was gone. There he was, shouting, rejoicing in the Lord! Brothers and sister stared at him, open-mouthed. What could have happened to Robb? There was only one answer. God had come down their souls to greet, and glory crowned the mercy seat.
Mother’ s prayers did much to apply the fuel for the fire on the family altar. They formed a bulwark around her children and her little home. The children found their way piled up so high with her prayers and fastings that it seemed they were helpless to climb over them to get to hell. Saturday night never found Mother in bed. That night, every week she prayed all night long on her calloused knees. Through the wee hours of the morning, she grappled with the powers of darkness, building a wall of fire around her family.
The children did not know why Mother missed so many meals. They did not know why her eyes would sink in their sockets, why the carpet would be sopping wet with tears where she had prayed all night. Mother would sigh when she was under a burden—the sort of sigh that sounded like a wail. A tear would steal down her face. The sigh would break out into a cry. There would be a heave and then another sigh that sounded like eternity, It seemed that no one could pray like Mother. Mother’s prayers and faithfulness bore fruit. Her children loved the things of God.
In later years, Robb remarked, “Moses’ mother said Moses was a proper child. That’s a mother for you. He may be as freckled as a turkey, knock-kneed, or half-witted, but he is a proper child. The mother of Moses hid him. Where can we hide our children? About the best place I know is behind the family altar. That’s were Mother hid us-in the secret place of prayer.”
Father French was a lawyer with a good income and a fine home, but when God saved and sanctified him and called him to preach, he gave it all up and went out, trusting God to supply their every need.
In the summer of 1897, he started out with his family in a homemade prairie schooner drawn by two horses, with the dog, Rover, running beside them, going across the country to preach the gospel as God led. Robb was then five, and very excited over the trip. Often he would be heard singing:
“A tent or a cottage, why should I care?
They’re building a palace for me over there.”
Even when meal time came and there was no meat to eat, Robb was thrilled. For when that happened, as it often did, Father and Mother French and all the children would kneel together and ask their Heavenly Father to supply their need. How exciting it was, then, to see God answer, sometimes in very ordinary ways, such as giving Mother wisdom as to how to make what they had go farther and still taste good. It seemed to the child that she could get the skillet; put it on the fire and stir something, and they would have a good supper. At other times, God would answer miraculously, sending food to the very fire they had built by faith to cook the supper.
One night Father, Mother and the youngsters, tired and hungry, gathered round the campfire. Father had tramped most of the day, leading the horses. The boys had alternately ridden and walked. Out in the wind and the weather, parents and children alike developed monstrous appetites. But there was very little to eat except bread. That night, they sat around the campfire, waiting for God to answer prayer.
Old Rover had wandered off on one of his vagaries, no one having missed him. Now, through the growing darkness of the night, they could see him trotting down the road pulling something. Evidently, the object he dragged was heavy. He pulled along, then stopped and rested, panting. Again, he pulled awhile and panted. Finally, he pulled the thing right into the campfire circle where the family had gathered, then he went and lay down, his work finished.
Probably an old bone, everyone thought.
But no, it looked different. Father bent to see. The children grouped around, and lo, it was a huge piece of dried beef as big as a ham! Dried beef! Who would have believed it? What a treat! Wrapped in burlap, it had been protected from the ground over which it had been dragged. And good old Rover had been so mannerly that he had pulled it along by the string and had not even touched the meat with his teeth.
That piece of meat was so delicious the French family never forgot it. It supplied not only one, but several meals, providing some of the best eating they had ever had. It needed no dressing or salt to doctor it up. It was already flavored. It reminded them of the way Elijah was fed by the brook. And they were sure that when they got to Heaven and heard Elijah telling about the ravens feeding him, they would want to tell how a dog brought meat to them.
As one can readily see, Robb French grew up with a rich Christian heritage. He later married Geraldine Trusler, a young lady he had grown up with. She, too, had a wonderful Christian heritage.
In 1946, Robb and Geraldine French, along with James and Ella Zuch, founded the Florida Evangelistic Association, which sponsored or assisted in the establishment of Sea Breeze Camp, Hobe Sound Bible College, F.E.A. Missions, Sea Breeze Manor, A Gospel Literature Ministry and other auxiliary enterprises which would reach thousands worldwide.
Robb and Geraldine French spent their declining years at Sea Breeze Manor, recipients of the tender loving care they had planned for others. Geraldine, a faithful saint and prayer warrior, passed away in 1978. Robb, Pioneer, Prophet and Prayer Warrior, followed her in 1985, his last words being, “Praise the Lord.”
At the age of ninety-three, H. Robb French was reunited with his beloved companion and the Christ he adored. The prayers of his godly parents were answered and the family circle was completed.
(Taken from the book, H. Robb French, Pioneer, Prophet and
Prayer Warrior. Used by permission.)
Author’s Note: Brother Robb French was one of the greatest preachers I have ever heard. He was firm in his convictions, uncompromising in his preaching, and yet tender and compassionate to all who knew him. Together with his godly wife, they made a team that hell could not shake. Though they never had children of their own, yet their godly influence spread to young people far and wide. And though they have laid down their armour now, yet their influence remains, and their works live to bless their memory. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord—that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
“I’m Not Afraid To Die Now”
My husband’s brother, Bill, was in the hospital scheduled to undergo an operation for cancer the next morning. He was not a Christian and, seemingly, we never could interest him in spiritual matters. I remember one night we held a prayer meeting in his mother’s home and she persuaded him to come, but when we started singing, he got up and left. But my husband and I went to see Bill, thinking we could at least pray with him before he went into the operating room.
As we stood by his bed, he opened the subject himself about his spiritual need. He handed me a Gideon Bible, that the faithful Gideons had placed in his night stand, and said, “Georgia, will you mark some Scriptures for me to read, on how to get saved? I’m facing tomorrow what could be my death and I’m afraid. I don’t want to die and go to hell.” I assured him that he didn’t have to die and go to hell, that Christ had made an atonement for sin if he would just accept it. I took the Bible he handed me, and began to mark some Scriptures, as he continued unburdening his heart to us, “Don’t let anyone tell you that they can come down to death’s door and not be afraid to die, if they are not ready to meet God. I don’t care how much front they put up while everything is going well, when they stare death in the face, it’s a different story then.”
We were going to pray with him but were interrupted by an orderly who requested we leave the room. Since visiting hours were almost over, we told my brother-in-law we would be back the next morning before the operation. We called our pastor and asked him to meet us there.
All during the night, we lifted Bill to God. Early the next morning, we went to the hospital as we had promised. When we entered his room, the pastor was already there, as well as several others. The devil said, “Now you know you can’t pray for Bill’s salvation with all these people in the room.” Well, we resisted the devil’s suggestion and walked over to his bed. We had come to do business with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and did not intend to be defeated. As I walked up to his bed, the pastor called on me to lead in prayer, and as the three of us prayed, the pastor, myself and the penitent sinner, God in His mercy reached down and blotted out his transgressions and wrote his name down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The witness was clear. He testified of his regeneration and said, “I’m not afraid to die now. If I die on the operating table, I am ready to meet the Lord.”
There was a Catholic lady in the room that morning and the Lord’s presence was so real until she followed me out of the room and fell on my shoulder and wept. The blessed Holy Spirit had touched her heart.
God brought the dear man through the operation and he lived several months longer. The devil waged an awful battle during those months, but in his last rational moments before he passed away, he testified that he was ready to meet the Lord. How we praise the Lord for His wonderful faithfulness to the children of men!
Georgia D. McCain
“If God Doesn’t Undertake, I’ll Be Out of Business in a Short Time”
I was awakened at one o’clock on a Sunday morning with a crrushing load of concern for a brother in the church who owned a supermarket. As I prayed, the burden intensified. This awful burden continued for about four and a half hours. Oh, the heaviness, the blackness and the pressure but it all finally gave way to light and faith and victory.
God showed me this brother in the Lord was losing money to a great amount. He showed me how it was disappearing and how to remedy it.
This dear brother was a good contributor to all phases of our church’s work. I wondered why God would allow such a one to go down in defeat.
He was the last one out of the morning service so as I shook his hand I drew him to the prayer room door to converse with him.
My approach was right to the point. I said, “My brother, are you having trouble at your store—money trouble?” He replied with a very sad, “Oh, yes, and if God doesn’t undertake, I’ll be out of business in a short time.”
I continued with a remark about a certain cash register. “Yes, that is probably the most bitter part of the trouble.” He asked if God had showed me what to do. “Surely God had to show you all this as I haven’t told anyone about the losses—not even my wife (she was a cashier). Brother Eshelman, what can we do?” was his agonizing question.
“I’ll come under the guise of working and play detective.” “Oh, thank God,” he replied. So the next morning I donned a white apron and ran the meat slicer. From there, I could see all over the store. Before the first day was ended, the Lord showed me his employees who were stealing from him.
One would take money from the safe for the cash registers, but on his way to the registers, he would pocket some of it. Another was stealing from the register as he made his own change from very small purchases.
Next day, I saw a butcher wrapping up two-pound steak in with a four pound roast. This transaction was with a friend and he didn’t charge him for the steak.
After the discovery of these dishonest deeds, the owner and I would go to the basement where I could relate what I had discovered. Oh, how careridden and dejected the owner would look as he told me he had had complete confidence in his employees.
To remedy the situation demanded very careful tact. Our God was not slack in supplying me with the remedy. I told the owner, “You can’t fire them as each of them have many friends who will quit buying here.” So we decided to pray them out. As a result, the offenders all quit within the second week to take other jobs. Say, God will not deny us an answer to earnest prayer or let His faithful children down. Thank God for His marvelous care and concern for us!
Rev. Claude Eshelman
Glenn Griffith—Soldier of his Country and of God
I was born in the year, 1894 in Augusta, Kansas. My father was a class leader in the Methodist Church. There were eleven of us children. (Glenn was the youngest.)
When I was the age of nine, I heard God’s voice for the first time. While walking down the hedge row one morning, I heard a VOICE call me by name. Thinking it was my father, I turned to see where he was; but saw no one. Seeing my father was not around, I started down the path once again, throwing rocks at birds and playing with my dog. Some ten minutes later, I heard the same VOICE call me again by name. Turning again to see if it was my father, I could see him nowhere around. It was then I recognized that the VOICE that called me was the VOICE of God. From that time on, I knew that God had His hand on my life.
In the year of 1912, an old-fashioned holiness preacher came to the town of Rosalia, Kansas. In this revival, almost everyone in the town was either saved or moved by God. I had not heard the voice of God since I was nine years of age, until God spoke to me at this revival. My brother and I were saved in this meeting, which lasted for eleven weeks.
While I was at home reading my Bible one night, and across the room from me my mother was sewing, the words found in II Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine,” seemed to stand out from the rest of the printed words. I was startled, and quickly closed the Bible, and wondered what made me so nervous and stirred me so. Everywhere I would open the Bible, I would see, “Preach the Word.” I told my mother about it. She didn’t tell me I was called to preach, but said, “Son, you had better listen to that voice. God is trying to tell you something.” Till this very hour, I have never gotten away from that call; it is still just as clear.
I enlisted in the army twelve days after war was declared on Germany, April, 1917. We trained for nine months and were sent to France. It was while I was in the army that I completely went back on God. While backslidden, I could never get away from the call of God. God’s callings are forever; He does not repent of His callings.
In France one night, it looked like none could escape in the battle that was going on; it was a tremendous bombardment. A fear gripped my soul, not of physical death, but a fear of meeting God who had called me to preach. Cold sweat broke out all over me; and I then promised God that if He would forgive me and spare me, that when I got home, the first time He called, I would answer the call and preach the Word.
(God, in mercy, kept His Hand on Glenn Griffith, though he was engaged in some awful battles. In October, 1918, his company was fighting to hold the little town of Manhuelles, France. It was a very fierce battle. The leader, a lieutenant, was so afraid that he went down into Company Headquarters dugout and wouldn’t come out. Men stampeded because they were without orders and without a leader. The lieutenant told Griffith to take charge. Though Griffith felt it was unfair, and something in him rebelled, yet he felt if the leader wasn’t going to do it, someone else had to. Though he was only twenty-one, he took command.)
I don’t know how we did it; but we got machine guns—one on one flank and one on the other flank-and formed a battle line before those boys whom we could see in the lurid light of bursting shells and varied lights. There they were across the street, and the boys stampeding and throwing their guns away. One of my good friends, John Bell, was hit in the face with shrapnel. Blood was running down the stock of his gun, and he said, “Take it, Griff, I won’t need this where I’m going,” A second lieutenant, who had never been under fire, came to me and said, “Griff, tell me what to do and I’ll stand by you.” And so it was, in that awful place of bursting shell and screaming men, who would have run right into the heart of the bombardment and would have been killed, and the town would have been lost to the enemy. Then came the first time in my life that I ever pushed a bayonet into a man’s stomach, a boy who was nearly scared to death; I said, “If you don’t get into the trench, you are a dead man.” There was no place to run. Bombs were falling just behind us. They had misjudged our position, and the bombs were falling about a half or a quarter of a mile in back of us. I knew if those boys ever ran back, they would be killed. It wasn’t because I was brave. I was trembling like a leaf, and my voice trembled when I talked. In me was something that wouldn’t run! When that fellow turned around and started to run, I boosted him into the trench, and the men filed into the trench. We talked to those boys, though we were scared too, until they calmed down and took their rifles and lined up against that little embankment and held off the enemy. In me was a voice saying, “Run!” But another voice said, “Fight! Cowards run.” In me was something that said, “Run! Save your life!” But I remembered, back in Kansas as I boarded the old passenger train, when my old gray-haired dad had shaken hands with me; he was a veteran of the Civil War; he said, “Glenn, I don’t know what’s before you, but it’s awful. Whatever your duty is, do it.” I shook hands with my dad, and looked him straight in his steel-gray eyes, and said, “I’ll do my best.” That came to me vividly, as if he were there on the battlefield with me. So I said, “There is only one time to die, and I’m not worth any more than the rest of the boys.” I knew that if I got through the battle, I would go back home and would have to face my father.
I told God I would preach if He would spare me in the war; and He did. After I got back home, I prayed to God that He would get me to the place where I could pray and repent. Not until my baby, Donnelle, was taken to Heaven could I pray. This broke my heart, and I found my way back to God in a camp meeting at Wichita, Kansas, August 26, 1925. While I was at the altar, God did not only ask me to preach, but asked me when I would start. I said, “Lord, I will begin now.” So, I was saved that Saturday night. There was a storm going on outside, but the storm in my soul was greater. I wanted what my dad had, what my preacher brother had, what my little Pennsylvania-Dutch mother had. It was about 2:30 in the morning that God, for Christ’s sake, lifted the burden of sin from my soul. I was afraid to go to bed, afraid I might lose the blessing. I was thankful then, and am thankful now, for the old fellow that held me down that night at the altar and told me not to get up till God told me to get up. He told me God could give me something that would keep when the world’s on fire. I tell you, when I got through, it seemed like God gave me a brand new world. Yes, sir, I got up and walked down the street and it looked like every tree I went by waved at me. We have a lot of cottonwood trees in the state of Kansas; they were clapping their hands and waving.
I was an oil worker when I got reclaimed. At that time, I was a foreman for the Carter Oil Company. I was fast-bent on making a success, and was told by the company that I would be up on top if I’d stay with them. I was told by the company that I could have the best lease in the state of Kansas or Oklahoma. They said I could take my choice, if I’d stay with them. I told them I had given my word that I’d go to Browntown and pastor a little church that was converted from a dance hall building. They told me I was crazy. I left for Browntown with my wife and two little children, not knowing what to expect. There wasn’t a dime offered us. When I got there, the sunflowers stood around the building as high as the roof (and my wife was used to living better than that). But we went to a neighbor lady and asked to borrow a scythe; I told her who I was and that I was going to be the new preacher; I had never preached but about two sermons before that in my life. She said, “Yes, there’s one on the back porch.” We got the scythe, and I told my wife and two babies just to sit in the car. I didn’t know how they felt, but I thought they might not be feeling too good. But, I got that scythe and took my coat off, and cut those sunflowers down and piled them up at the side of the yard; then went and unlocked the door, and got my wife and two babies out of the car. I said, “This is our palace for awhile.” My wife grinned at me and said, “Good enough for us.” Hallelujah! You say, what are you talking about? Well, God can make a molehill shine like a mansion! I’d rather have Jesus than anything! We sing, “I’d rather have Jesus, than to be the king of a vast domain.” But do we mean it?
I walked through the church building, and the floor began to spring up and down. It was there God molded me for the days ahead. Around the altar, God taught me the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. I had not much education, but on my knees, the Holy Ghost showed me the way I must go. Later on in my life, I realized that God took me out to Browntown, away from the voice of man, where He could talk to me. It was here God fired my soul and told me secrets of His Word. I wore the knees out of my only suit trousers, but God held me there till He could teach me how to fast and pray. When God can teach a young man or woman His Word, they will not be afraid to preach the whole truth of the Gospel. The Bible will become a Book of Life, never to be doubted. When God molds one, there will be no doubt about the birth of Christ, or the power in the Blood of Christ to save, or about the place of damnation for the ungodly, or about the judgments of God. God wants to mold us in the secret place, so He can send us out with His message, and not one taken from a book. In God’s secret place of fasting and prayer, one can have his faith built to where he can believe God when the storms of life come upon him. When all the doors are closed, faith will find one, and God will open it.
I wasn’t sanctified when I started preaching the gospel. But I knew I couldn’t preach if I didn’t get sanctified; I wasn’t just going to be a word-sayer. I said, “Oh God, sanctify me, and give me some unction, and some power, and some energy, so that I can preach and face this world.” We had an evangelist back there who was a streak of fire; and I said, “I don’t have that.” I don’t mean the frills; I mean the strength, and that blazing truth that reached out and got hold of you whenever he preached; unction is what I’m talking about. I said, “Lord, I don’t have that; and if You can’t do it for me, I’m going to have to get my old job back in the oil field; I’ll just go back and be an old oil worker again. I can’t go on like this; I can’t get the attention of the people; 1 can’t attract them.” And God, for Christ’s sake, after I had tarried three days and three nights, sanctified me wholly. When I read that scripture over there in the fifteenth chapter of John, the third verse, “Now ye are clean by the words which I have spoken unto you,” I knew I was clean; God knew I was clean; and the crowd knew I was clean! God made me a new creature. He made a wonderful change in my life, until I was not the same person anymore; I don’t want to ever be.
Rev. Glenn Griffith
(This account taken from Brother Griffith’s book, I Sought for a Man. Used by permission.)
Following are two other accounts of answered prayer taken from the same book and told by Brother Griffith.
“I’m the Meanest Man in This Town”
1 would like to tell of a meeting my brother and I held some years ago. Prayer and fasting was the thing that brought God on the scene. My brother, Ben, was preaching, and I was trying to lead the singing and sing specials the best I could. The meeting had been going on for three weeks and no break. My brother and I went on a fast where we ate no bread and drank no water. After about ten days of fasting and praying, my brother tried to get me to eat a little, as I was younger than he, and at this time, had to hold myself up by the corner of the pulpit while singing. I told him I wasn’t going to eat till he did. By this time, the town folks were not only being stirred, but were mad at us, and threatened to run us out of town. Many rash things were being said to us. Well do I remember that tenth night. I sang the best I could and turned the service over to my brother. I can still see my brother as he got up and walked behind the pulpit. He had his Bible in one hand, and held himself up with his other hand holding to the corner of the pulpit, being weak from the ten days of fasting. He read his text and asked the people to stand while he prayed. After he prayed, the people sat down. They were seated on loose chairs, which were not fastened together except the first two rows. At the end of one of the rows sat a man that was one of the meanest men in the town. They said one could hear him swear for a fourth of a mile. I saw that man move among the people, and start toward the front. He didn’t walk down the aisle, but waded down through the loose chairs, as if he were wading through weeds, pushing them aside as he walked. I didn’t know what he was going to do, so I moved over closer to my brother. As this man stepped over the altar, he said, “My God, Brother Griffith, pray for me: I’m the meanest man in this town.” As he opened his mouth and confessed, the whole church was smitten with Holy Ghost conviction. Men fell everywhere among the chairs; anywhere they could kneel was an altar. That night the meeting lasted till early in the morning. The revival was on now, and lasted till the whole town was stirred. It was here God taught me that prayer and fasting would bring the victory.
The Experience of a Thirteen-year-old Girl
I know a little girl in Oklahoma. Her dad whipped her; her mother spanked her; and they shut her in a clothes closet. That little thirteen-year-old girl took the beating and scoffing; but she said, “I have been up to that church, and God saved me; and I am going back. It’s wonderful up there.” She kept pressing her way until she got gloriously sanctified; and they did persecute her. I am going to tell you the results. She kept the victory; and the first thing you know, she got her mother to the mourner’s bench; then next, her brother; then one sister; and then her older sister got in. I happened to be fortunate enough to be in Ponca City, Oklahoma, and meet her old dad, a foreman getting $400.00 a month, way back when $400.00 was $400.00. He had a good job. One day, I saw him sitting at the end of his table, and little Thelma sat across from me. When I said grace, I prayed clear around Robin Hood’s barn. I wasn’t hungry. I wanted to get that fellow on his knees and get him saved; but I didn’t get him saved at the table. As I looked at his fine family, I saw that they were all spiritual. I said, “Daddy, it looks to me like they are all in now except ‘dad.’ I wonder when he is going to get in.” He couldn’t take it; he broke down and cried. That night at church, little Thelma wasn’t scared out yet, either. When this preacher got through preaching, I saw her make a bee-line for her daddy. You can tell when folks really mean business. I have seen some folks do personal work to throw off conviction sometimes. But this little girl, just as quick as she thought the service changed to an altar service, got her daddy by the lapels of his coat. She began to cry and beg. I slipped up behind her daddy, and got my hand on his shoulder. I said, “I have been saved a long time, but if my girl, Corrine, or my boy would come up to me, and I wasn’t saved, and say ‘Dad,’ and they were crying like Thelma, it would take three men to keep me from going to the altar.” He nearly ran over me, as he rushed to the mourner’s bench. Thank the Lord!
Is Not This a Brand Plucked Out of the Fire?
One day I received a long distance telephone call from Arkansas with an urgent request that we pray for an unsaved mother, who had given birth and was hemorrhaging to death. She had already taken twenty-eight pints of blood, some of which was not even her type, because they had run out of her type and the case was so desperate that they dared to give her another kind. It was reported that she had already died twice, so you can readily see what an awful condition she was in. No hope was given for her recovery, but the pastor who had called me, and the people of his church were holding onto God in her behalf. When I hung up the phone, God began to settle the burden down upon my heart. I just tried to put myself in her place as she had several small children as I did. I thought, “Now if I was in this condition, I would certainly appreciate someone being concerned about me.” I went into my bedroom and began to earnestly pray. I picked up my Bible and turned to Ezekiel 16:6, and claimed this promise before God, “And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” I continued praying, believing that God was hearing, for fervent prayers were going up from God’s people in the behalf of this dear lady. I turned in the Bible to Zachariah 3:2 and read, “And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; … is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” Upon reading these words, a great calm came to my soul and I just rested the case in God’s hands. I felt He had undertaken in her case and she would get well. I later heard that the wife of the pastor, who was Rev. Jerry Bell, had also felt some assurance that God was taking over.
After the assurance came to my heart, I could not pray for her healing any longer. I could only thank God that He had heard. I waited a few days but I did not hear from anyone concerning her condition, so I decided to write a letter and express my belief that God had touched her and healed her. Oh, how the devil ridiculed me! He told me, “You’re making a fool out of yourself. That woman is dead and you’re writing to them saying you believe God has touched her.” Well, the assurance was so real that I went ahead and wrote the letter verifying my faith in her healing. “What happened?” someone may be asking. Well, it turned out to be just as I believed it, God had touched her and wrought a mighty miracle of healing in her behalf. The hospital personnel called her the “Miracle Lady.” Later she gave her heart to God, truly “a brand plucked out of the fire.”
It is truly wonderful what our Lord will do when we trust Him fully and take our hands off. Praise His Wonderful and Glorious Name forever and forever!
Sometime later, the pastor who called us to pray, visited in our home and he was still rejoicing over this mighty miracle of God. Amen!
Georgia D. McCain
Directed by God To Find Keys Covered With Ten Inches of Snow
One winter morning, we had an abundance of snow. I was using my garden tractor-snow plow to open our drive, and some drives for near neighbors, as well as the city walks in our section of town.
I had worked about three hours before going into the house. I discovered my ring of keys was missing from my jacket pocket. They were keys for the garage, house and car. I had plowed them under the snow. A helpless feeling of utter inability to locate them chilled me more than the three hours of cold had done. Oh, how helpless I felt only God could know.
The wonderful verse, I Timothy 2:1, came racing into my thought stream. I repeated it, “First of all let prayers be made.” That was it! So I began: “Dear Lord, I’m going out that door and do my best to follow the leading of the Spirit for You know right where those keys are.” I went out to the city walk and sensed the Spirit directing me to the right, and proceeded to where I had plowed a drive. “Right there,” the Spirit whispered. I kicked away about ten inches of snow and there they were. Oh, what pleasure I got telling folk (saved and unsaved) how God directed me to find those keys. What a variety of responses came from the hearers. One unsaved neighbor wiped his eyes, while a so-called Christian wisely cracked, “Just plain luck.” How many times God is discredited by such cold professors, while the tear of an outright sinner whispers something that only a trusting one can understand.
Rev. Claude Eshelman
A Mother Prays for Her Son
An honest country mother, who was saved and blessedly sanctified and walked close to God, and who lived much upon her knees, had real, sweet blessed communion with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, understood the language of prayer, and had been taught how to linger upon her knees, sat in my audience one night as I preached on “The Prodigal Son.” A burden came upon her heart for the salvation of her drummer boy. She did not know where he was, had not heard from him for some time, but the burden slipped into her soul while we were preaching. The tears flowed from her eyes. She went home but could not rest. No sleep, the burden was pressing, growing heavier; something must be done. She could not stand it, so she called her niece. Taking her own lamp, she walked back to the church (a half mile distant), unlocked the church doors, and she and her niece entered God’s sanctuary near midnight. She read His promises; she got down at the altar upon her face; she cried; she moaned; she groaned. The burden was awful; her soul was in agony. She knew something was coming. That boy had been placed upon her heart at this time as never before. Her soul was troubled. She cried out, “My God! My God! Hear this broken-hearted mother’s prayer. Send the Holy Ghost to my boy just now. Wake him up. Alarm him. Stir him. Show him his lost and undone condition.” Two o’clock came, and yet but very little light. She kept at it. She was a wheel horse. She knew all would be lost if she were to let up or let go; no distraction, nothing must call her off the wires; she must pray through. Three o’clock came. It grew darker, for the darkest hour is just before day. Seemingly, demons thick and fast gathered about that altar. She raised her face and eyes and hands, crying, “My God! My God! forsake me not. Why is it so dark? Thou knowest this crushing burden. Why did it come? Do not let the enemy defeat my soul. Hear me for Jesus’ sake, for my broken heart’s sake, for my poor troubled soul’s sake.” Four o’clock came. It had grown darker; fierce gales were coming; thunders were pealing; lightnings were flashing; the little bark was tempest tossed by the angry waves, but she held on to the oars. Five o’clock came. The awful typhoon had grown to a frightful pitch, but she stuck to her oars, she kept at it, nothing could daunt her. The devils out of hell and demons on earth could not deter, could not dismay; she said, “I’ll die or have the victory.” Five-thirty came. The clouds rifted; the sun came up over the eastern horizon; the blessed Holy Ghost took this broken-hearted, weeping, earnest, honest, sincere mother, who had wrestled, who had had real vital heart agony, who prayed clear through, in His arms, and said, “Your boy is coming home tomorrow, and will get saved.”
I had just gotten up, and came out on the front gallery, admiring her flower gardens, when she came around the road, waving her bonnet over her head, shouting, crying, laughing, hollering, “Isn’t it wonderful, wonderful? God has told my soul—I know it; the Holy Ghost spoke it; I have the burning witness, the blessed sweet assurance – my drummer boy is coming.” Her daughters ran out into the yard and threw their arms about their mother, and here came the sanctified father, and what a time we had in that yard that bright morning! What victory that mother had! She was more than conqueror, her face fairly shone. Eat breakfast? No—she was supping with Him.
That morning at ten o’clock, while I was preaching, in walked a tall, nicely dressed young man. The good old mother (who always sat in a split-bottomed chair in the “Amen Corner”) looked up and saw her drummer boy coming down the aisle. She jumped from that chair, and what shouting! She ran to that boy, threw her arms around him, and here they came to the altar in a long trot. The young man was gloriously saved that morning. I said, “How came you here? What brought you here? How were you impressed to get here?” He said, “Brother Harney, last night about midnight, I had a nightmare, or rather, a peculiar force got hold of me, a power got inside of me. Something said, ‘Go home at once,’ and I was fearful that Mother was sick. I never dreamed of going to the altar, but when I opened the church door and saw the church filled with people. and saw the shining face of my sweet mother, an awful conviction leaped into my soul, and I was willing, yea, more than willing, to go to the altar or do anything to get relief to get saved.” He said to me, “It was about twelve o’clock when the alarm bells were turned into my soul.” Remember, reader, this was the exact time that that saintly mother had gone in His house upon her knees for her boy.
God has said, “I will hear when you pray. Ask, and ye shall receive. Ask largely, that your joy may be full.” Had this mother listened to the voice of the enemy, looked at the discouragement, she would have given up; she would have gone from that church a defeated woman, and doubtless her boy would have gone to hell. God put that burden upon her. God knew that was the time for that drummer to get saved, and God also knew that was the time for that mother to wrestle, have heart agony, pray clear through for that boy. That mother was determined; her face was set, and she got the victory for which she prayed.
Rev. W. J. Harney
(This account was taken from the book, Praying Clear Through. Used by permission of the publishers.)
She Prayed for Him Seventeen Years
Having moved into a new section and hearing of an abandoned church that I might be able to open, I drove out into a new rural area, searching for a building and some people with which to start a new church. The Lord answered prayer for both in an unusual manner.
I found the vacant building, learned from the neighbors who had charge of it, got their promise to attend if we reopened the church, and then started driving around surveying the community. About three miles from the prospective church, I came upon another church and saw that they were having services. So I parked and went in to get acquainted and to enjoy a service with them. They were in the midst of a revival meeting, and this morning’s service was just about to begin. The pastor made himself acquainted with me, and learning that I was a minister, urged me to preach for them that morning. I finally agreed and went to the platform. Songs were sung and prayers made, and the pastor presented me to preach. Just as I arose to speak, the door opened and two men came in. They had their guns but stood them in a corner and sat down on a back seat. I learned later that they had been hunting and on passing the church felt compelled to stop for the service, even though neither of them ever attended church.
One of the men was unusually large and looked like a tough character. When I read my Scripture and began to preach, he fixed his eyes right on me and hardly seemed to move them while I was preaching. When I had finished my little sermon, I simply said, “Now, if anyone wants to get saved, come on.” Almost at once the big fellow was on his feet, made his way to the place of prayer, and in a few minutes was shouting the victory. He even picked me up and gave me a free ride around the church. I was amazed for I knew my bit of preaching was not the cause of his conversion.
After the service was over, he came to me and insisted that I go home with him for dinner. “Preacher,” he said, “you’ll have to walk about two miles, but I want you to meet my wife.” So leaving my car at the church, we took off across the ridge and down into a long hollow on the other side.
When we had followed the path into the hollow, and started up the hollow, I could see in the distance a small house. As we drew closer, I could see the form of a woman standing in the door, looking at us. Then she moved into the yard and shading her eyes with her hand continued to watch us as we drew nearer. When we got almost to the footlog that went across the branch into the yard, she came over to the end of it on the other side, still peering closely at us. Then just as her husband stepped on the footlog and started across, she threw her bonnet into the air, let out a shout, and ran to meet and embrace him right in the center of that narrow log. Only God could have kept them from falling into the water below.
How they did shout and rejoice together. How he apologized for the heartaches he had given her. And what joy there was as they rejoiced together. But the thing that struck my attention the most was her happy cry, “Oh, Frank, I’ve prayed for this for seventeen years.” There it is. The secret is out. It wasn’t my preaching. It was seventeen years of praying by a faithful companion. And before either of us had spoken a word, God had shown her that he had gotten saved.
It wasn’t but about a mile from their home back to the church building that I wanted to reopen, and did reopen soon after this, and that man and his wife became two of the pillars of that church.
Many times since then, when we have been trying to get people who profess a lot of religion to pray even an hour, it seems I could hear the echo of a happy shout in the yard of a little country home, “Oh, Frank, l’ve prayed for this for seventeen years.”
Rev. David Denton
(This account was taken from Rev. David Denton’s book, It Happened As They Prayed. Address: P.O. Box 126, Concord, Tennessee 37720. Used by permission.)
A Doctor Healed of Cancer
On December 26, 1989, my right kidney and a rib were removed because of a kidney tumor. 1990 began for me as a patient on chemotherapy. I learned many lessons in those days. I learned the value of caring and praying family, friends, and patients. I learned to appreciate accommodating surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, and oncologists, who made themselves available in times of pain and need. I learned the value of nurses who spent weary days and sleepless nights helping me through difficult times. I learned to appreciate the uncertainties and concerns that cancer brings and to understand the doubts patients have as they question why this happened.
Six weeks after surgery, the diagnosis was changed from a malignant tumor to a benign one. In God’s wonderful timing, I was in Huejutla, Mexico, where the church had met daily to pray for my healing when the telephone call came that I was well, cured, and all chemotherapy could stop.
1991 promises to be a special year. My son, Dr. Carey Robinson, will join Robinson Eye Clinic and will begin seeing patients in July.
Thank you for your support. I have learned from your countless prayers and messages that you are more than patients to me—you are friends.
Dr. Thomas R. Robinson
One thing, especially, do I appreciate about Dr. Robinson is the fact that when I had cataract surgery done by him, he laid his hand on my head and prayed for me before he operated. A sense of calmness came over me and I felt reassured that the operation was in the hands of God. Because of a very unfortunate accident with my mother when she had cataract surgery done by another doctor, I was very apprehensive, but Dr. Robinson’s prayer served to still the troubled waters. (Author)
Our Little Angel, Nathaniel
Though God has answered prayer and worked miracles in thousands of lives and in various ways, yet sometimes, in spite of our pitiful pleas to Him, He does not see fit to answer in the way we pray, or else He just says, “No” to our prayer. The Lord knows the future, which we do not, and usually His denial of our petition is the most loving thing our Heavenly Father could do for His trusting child though we can’t understand and it breaks our heart and causes bitter tears. Such was the case with our dear little Nathaniel. We cried brokenheartedly to God in his behalf, but God, in His infinite wisdom and foresight, did not answer our prayers the way we wanted them to be answered. But because we know He does all things well, we have graciously accepted His sweet and perfect will, and are happily anticipating a grand reunion with our little darling, who is being well cared for until we see him again. Amen.
Below is the story of our little Nathaniel Keith McCain.
When I answered the phone, I knew by the excitement in his voice that the baby had arrived. I was just as excited as my son when I asked, “What is it?” “Guess,” was the reply I received. “A boy,” I guessed, and so it was. Its name—Nathaniel Keith. (Keith was part of his daddy’s name.) Quite a big name for such a little boy. To be frank, I wasn’t impressed by his name at first. I was telling my niece, Gail Bradley, his name and she said, “Oh, yes, you remember Nathaniel? Jesus saw him under the fig tree.” I replied, “I wish they would have left Nathaniel under the fig tree.” Of course, I was referring to the name, not our sweet, precious little baby boy. So you can readily see my first reaction to having our grandbaby named “Nathaniel.” But later, when my daughter-in-law explained to me that they had named him “Nathaniel” because it meant “gift of God,” my feelings changed immediately and I thought, “How sweet, for surely he is a special gift from God.” After this, the name “Nathaniel” held a special significance to me.
Nathaniel had a very exciting birth. When he was ready to make his entry into the world he was in a hurry. His daddy had to alert the doctor to go to the hospital, and then he called an ambulance for his wife. When the ambulance sped into the driveway of the hospital, the doctor was waiting and as he hurriedly got into the ambulance to check his patient, the baby was born, right in the ambulance. So my son had an exciting story to tell that memorable day, January 25, 1976.
When Nathaniel was three weeks old, we were privileged to visit him and his parents, who were then the “Dean of Men” at the Hobe Sound Bible College. Also, my oldest daughter and husband were living in Stuart, Florida, and my youngest daughter was attending school at the Bible School in Hobe Sound, so we were able to see all of them and attend the Hobe Sound Camp.
We fell in love with our new grandbaby on sight. My son had his camera ready to capture our expressions as we saw him for the first time. We joined him in taking pictures so that we could take some back home to show the relatives and friends. Someone had given me a “S.O.G. with P.I.P.” book. This means “SILLY OLD GRANDMA with PICTURES IN PURSE.” You grandmas know how it goes. “Let me show you this picture of my grandchild that I just happen to have in my purse.” Anyway, we got some good shots. My favorite, I think, is the little darling in my arms with his head against my shoulder with his thumb stuck in his mouth. I thought nothing could be cuter and sweeter than that.
Our allotted time for camp meeting and visiting our children passed away too swiftly, it seemed, and we soon had to return home. It was so hard to leave little Nathaniel. I stood by his little crib as I told him good-bye and bowed my head and prayed, “Lord, get this little one to Heaven at any cost,” and then tearfully left him.
A few days before his fourth month birthday, the phone rang and once again it was my son calling. I recognized his voice even though it was choked with emotion. I asked, “Danny, what’s wrong, Son?” He said, “Mamma, it’s my little boy. He has meningitis.” What a blow! It just seemed the old world caved in on top of us. My mother had just been operated on, and this had been quite a strain on us, and now this. Oh, how hard it was to take. I just seemed to go all to pieces.
My husband and I decided that I should fly down to be with my son and his wife. I thought, “I’m so torn up, emotionally, until I don’t know what good I can do,” but I felt constrained to go just the same. My oldest daughter and her husband who lived in Stuart, Florida, met the plane I was on and she assured me that God was helping my son and his wife in a wonderful way. She advised me to try to get control of my emotions for their sake, so I made a special effort to do so. We went directly to the hospital and when I saw my precious children, whose hearts had seemingly been torn out by the roots, I was amazed at the sustaining grace of God. Their strength and fortitude gave me strength and I was enabled to remain calm even though we were just outside little Nathaniel’s room and could hear the sound of the respirator that was helping to sustain his slender thread of life. My son wanted me to go in and see him, and though it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, for their sakes, I put on a sterilized gown and mask and went in with them. The little darling whom I had left nearly three months before with a prayer that God would get him to Heaven at any cost, was unconscious and seemed about ready to enter that heavenly land. I did not linger long for the scene before me was so tragic that I wanted to get away.
The doctor advised them to go home and get some rest, for he said the baby could linger on for an indefinite period of time. He gave no encouragement, whatsoever, that our precious little darling could get well and live a normal life. So they started spending the nights at home.
About three days later, on May 25, the phone rang in their apartment and it was the doctor. He requested that they come to the hospital immediately. I went with them and as we rode along, with trembling voices, my son and his dear little wife sang the song, “How Firm a Foundation” while the tears flowed unchecked down my cheeks.
My son told me later that God had comforted their hearts through this song right after little Nathaniel was admitted into the hospital and diagnosed as having meningitis. He said he and his wife walked out of the hospital and across the street. There was a church there and the door was opened so they went in and knelt at the altar to pray. They, then, picked up a hymnal and it opened to this song. As they read the words together, they both committed their baby to God, in life or in death. They wanted God to have His way. It was from this commitment that God reached undemeath with His everlasting arms and sustained them in the darkest hour of their life.
When we reached the hospital, we walked to the nurse’s station and someone told us that the doctor would come and talk to us. As we waited for the doctor, I saw a nurse enter our baby’s room without a sterilized gown, and I knew what we had already suspected, that dear little Nathaniel had departed this life. The doctor confirmed this as he kindly spoke to the parents.
They asked if they might see him and were granted permission. As my tears flowed, my son spoke to me, “He’s all right, Mamma. He’s with Jesus, the first one of the family to make it to Heaven.” What wonderful words of consolation, “He’s with Jesus.” Safe in His keeping. And though we miss him down here, some day, if we stay true to Jesus, we will be reunited to part no more. Praise God forever.”
When the write-up came out on the front page of the paper, hundreds of people read this confirmation of my son’s faith. Quote, “I think of the hymn, ‘How Firm a Foundation’ and realize that faith is a firm foundation in a time like this. The Lord has a plan for our lives and if that plan includes taking our son, then the Lord will provide a way to see us through,” McCain said quietly.
The parents requested that instead of floral offerings that the intended money would be given to missions. God’s people from all parts of the country stood by Danny and Mary in a wonderful way, with their prayers, financial assistance, and words of encouragement. Sympathy cards came from far and near. Only God knew what it meant to all of us.
The following was sent to encourage their hearts, author unknown:
God’s Little Missionary
“God sent a young missionary to Hobe Sound on January 25, 1976. He was received well by the community and was much loved by his host and hostess. The mission he was sent to fulfill was to speak to those living in Southern Florida and also friends and relatives of those he stayed with. When he became ill, news of his sickness drew many hearts nearer to God in prayer and soul searching. Even though he wasn’t able to master the language in the short time he was here, his host did all his public speaking. The messages were so moving they were printed in many of the (news) papers, and even on the front page of one large one. He spoke on faith, Jesus our firm foundation, and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.”
“His mission was completed May 25, 1976, when he went to his Heavenly home. His influence still lingers for many hearts are, and have been moved by his coming. Thank You, Lord, for Your missionary.”
Georgia D. McCain
The following is Mary’s testimony of God’s sustaining grace in their time of sorrow. I copied this from a speech she gave at a Missionary’s Retreat in Nigeria, entitled “The Refiner’s Fire.” This was the closing part of her message.
Quote: I would like to close with an illustration of God’s tender care and comfort through one of the times of pain in my life. I believe it was about my first time to begin comprehending God’s refining process.
I feel my life has always been easy. I enjoyed the blessing of Christian parents and Christian schools and a wonderful Christian husband. Our first baby was born and as always, was very special. We called him Nathaniel, which meant “gift of God.” Pregnancy had not come quickly so we considered him a special gift of God. When he was almost four months old, we visited with some friends who also had just had their first baby boy. However, he had contracted a fungus from the hospital, and died when he was about six weeks old. As I held my own little one, I thought, “How can Karen stand it?” and I cried many tears. The next week, our son was a little fussy one night and had a slight temperature. The next morning, I felt something was wrong. I called the doctor and he told me to bring him in. When we came into the office, Nathaniel could only weakly whimper. The nurse looked at him and immediately took him back to the examining room-bypassing many others who were waiting. Within a few minutes after looking at him, the doctor took my husband to his office and told him, “I believe your son has spinal meningitis.” We took him to the hospital for a spinal tap. By that evening, he stopped breathing on his own. They immediately hooked him up to a respirator. The hospital was very kind to us and allowed us to stay in an empty room right across from his isolation unit. I remember the second day, beginning to comprehend the fact that God may be taking my baby from me, and burying my head in the pillow and just weeping my heart out. But I felt the Lord’s comfort when He sent my sister and another friend to stand beside me. At first, I resented them, because I just wanted to cry in despair, but they didn’t say anything; just let me cry. However, their presence soon helped me to quieten and feel the warmth of their love. I had never before realized the beauty of the family of God as scores of our friends came to wait with us the next few days. (I believe another way the Lord comforted us was by giving us so much to be thankful for. I had never gone and sat with someone who was waiting at the hospital and I certainly never expected so many to come and wait with us. The feeling of thankfulness helped replace some of the feeling of grief.) During one of the afternoons, Danny and I decided to take a walk outside. We had not left the hospital since we had arrived. There was a church across the street so we walked there and found the door open. We walked to the front and knelt to pray. After a few minutes, my husband picked up a hymnal and opened it. It opened to the song, “How Firm a Foundation.” I am sure all of you know that beautiful hymn, but listen to the message it imparted to our hearts that day:
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word;
What more can He say than to you He hath said-
To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
Fear not, I am with thee—O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.
Note especially this verse:
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
This verse was the climax:
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee—I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
As our son died a few days later, I realized I had gained a new assurance from the comfort that God gives those who suffer. In the past, as I had read or heard stories about those who were tortured for their faith, I always felt afraid. I didn’t think I would be able to endure, to be able to stand the test, if the Lord ever asked me to go through something like that. I knew that God had said, “My grace is sufficient. … “ I knew He said, “I will not allow you to be tempted above that which you are able to bear, … “ But I had never experienced that special presence of the Lord “Who comforts us in all our tribulations” (2 Cor. 1:4) In this fiery trial, He helped me realize I could really trust Him. God is truly sovereign. Zechariah 13:9 says God promised that after He had brought His people through the fire and refined them like gold, “they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.”
By Mary McCain
For several years on the date of Nathaniel’s departure from this life and his entrance into the Glory world, May 25, I sent the parents a Memorial poem. Though they are very imaginary, I would like to share them with you. (Taken from my book, Trials and Triumphs.) Author
Memorial Poem for Nathaniel
On the twenty-fifth of May,
Just one year ago today,
Our little Nathaniel left us for a better land.
Though it nearly broke our heart
From our baby to have to part,
Yet we knew God had the situation in hand.
We have often wondered why
Little Nathaniel had to die,
But we’ll understand it better by and by.
Here we don’t have to understand
But just leave it in God’s hand.
He will answer all our questions in the sky.
In my imagination I can see
The reception our baby received
As he entered Heaven’s portals in the sky.
Just inside the Eastern gate
A Heavenly band did wait
To welcome our little darling up on high.
Though on earth his loved ones miss him,
Yet there Jesus picked him up and kissed him,
And wiped away all the tears from his eyes.
His pain was forever ended,
His little heart was mended,
And never would he miss his earthly ties.
There were many boys and girls,
Just babies when they left this world,
Who were awaiting his arrival in that land.
They were at the gate to meet him,
And with joy they all did greet him
As he joined himself to their Heavenly band.
One of the first to take his hand
To lead him around the Heavenly land,
Was a little great uncle called “Little Bill.”
He departed this life long ago,
Oh, we loved that baby so,
The memories cause our heart to sorrow still.
Then there’s little Aunt Joni McCoy
Ready to welcome the little boy.
I can visualize her radiant, smiling face.
They will play around the throne
Of their beautiful, heavenly home.
How happy they must be in that lovely place.
Harold Wayne Roshto, a baby cousin dear
Was also waiting very near,
For he, too, joined the welcoming committee.
Little Dickie, Aunt Dee’s baby boy
Who is living in that land of joy,
Extends a hearty welcome to that city.
Can’t you see them as they play
In that land of endless day,
All the babies who have gone on before?
Never a fuss nor a fight,
Nothing to mar, not even night
Just one long eternity of peace and joy.
So be comforted, dear Mary and Dan
For our baby waits in a better land.
We must strive to go to him when life is o’er.
Jesus will give us grace
‘Til we can see His face
Then we will never think of parting anymore.
Two-Year Memorial for Nathaniel
Two years ago today
On the 25th of May,
We bid farewell to our precious baby boy.
Though it causes us pain and grief,
Yet in Jesus we found relief
As He whispered words of comfort o’er and o’er.
“Dear Jesus, we humbly pray
Set Nathaniel on Your knee today
And give him our message of good will,
That though he is yet so sadly missed
Yet, now he has a little sis
And the vacancy he left, she helps to fill.
“Tell him, Jesus, just to wait
Right inside the Eastern gate,
For we’ll soon join him in that land so fair.
Little sister will be with us
And other kinfolk near us.
What a reunion we will have over there!
“And Jesus, can You prepare
A nice big rocking chair
For Mommy, Daddy, and grandparents to take turns
To rock the little boy?
It will give us so much joy
As he cuddles close within our circling arms.
“There’ll be friends and relatives galore
Standing outside the mansion door
Awaiting their turn to caress the little boy.
Oh, we can hardly wait
To step inside the pearly gate
And be reunited with little Nathaniel forever more.
“Dear Jesus, as we close this prayer,
We know he’s safe within Thy care
So we’re patiently waiting ‘til we see him once more.
Help us not to miss the way
For it will be a grand homecoming day
When we meet little Nathaniel on that golden shore.”
Three-Year Memorial for Nathaniel
You left us three years ago today
On this twenty-fifth of May,
Our dear little Nathaniel lad.
Though we have accepted God’s will,
Yet many times the tears flow still
As memories make our hearts so sad.
You were four months to the day
When meningitis struck and took you away.
It was indeed a painful blow.
But God was near in that dark hour
And sustained us by His power,
His wonderful grace to all He did bestow.
We’ll soon be reunited, dear little boy,
Then, oh, what happiness, what joy,
When at the feet of Jesus, our sorrows we will lay,
We’ll sorrow no more, no never,
Our tears will be wiped away forever
And forgotten will be the twenty-fifth of May.
Four-Year Memorial for Nathaniel
I guess I’m just getting old,
At least, that’s what I’ve been told,
For I can’t think of a thing that will rhyme.
But though I’m old, I remember the 25th of May
Was when our little Nathaniel passed away
And I’ll compose a memorial poem next year this time.
No Hope of Recovery, But God Heard and Answered Prayer
Early one Sunday afternoon, I walked into the Rochester Hospital. By the bedside in a room on my left sat a woman from a nearby town. She had attended services where I preached in a revival meeting. I went in and asked what was wrong with her fifteen-year-old daughter in the bed.
She sobbed out how her children had alighted from a school bus and this girl was hit by a car. She had been in a coma for three weeks with no hope of recovery. I told the mother I would be back in a half hour or so. I went across the street and asked Sister Tuttle and Sister Crawford, who was visiting her, to come over to the hospital to pray for this girl.
They came—we three prayed—the Holy Presence filled the room, We were assured that God was there to help.
The two women left and I went on to visit others in the hospital. Upon leaving, I went back to the girl’s room. She was sitting up in bed holding conversation with her mother. She was dismissed two days later, a well girl.
No, friends, God is not dead but still on hand to supply all our needs, Hallelujah!
I’ll focus this paragraph on Ruthie Crawford, a five-year-old girl in our Sunday school. She became very friendly and would shake my hand and chat with me every chance she got.
She took very ill, had a high fever and just lay and stared into space with glassy eyes. Her temperature rose to 105 degrees. Her mother called and gave me the doctor’s report which was not encouraging.
I slipped a pack of gum and a roll of life savers into my pocket and went to her bedside. Her praying mother stood on one side of Ruthie’s bed and I on the other. Ruthie paid no attention to us as we came to her, but stared into space with glassy eyes.
I laid the gum and life savers on the pillow opposite hers—she paid no attention. The dear Holy Spirit warmed and vivified our prayers. When we opened our eyes, the gum and life savers were gone from where I had put them. Ruthie opened her hand to let me see she had them—then smiled. I soon left—walked the two and one half blocks home. When I came in the door, the phone was ringing. It was Ruthie’s mother calling to tell me I was just out the door when Ruthie bounded down the stairs, her fever was gone and she wanted something to eat. How good God is to answer earnest praying.
Rev. Claude Eshelman
“Lord, Save Me”
No one ever spoke to me about my soul, and if anyone ever prayed for me, I was unaware of it. But regardless of this fact, God has ever been faithful to my poor soul. Praise His Name!
I remember, as a little girl, feeling an emptiness in my heart and longing for something to fill that emptiness. My parents had a large family-size Bible that they kept on the top shelf of a chest-type piece of furniture. One day, I climbed up until I could reach it, and getting a good hold on it, I eased myself back down to the floor. Thus began a search for spiritual truth to quench the thirst of my soul.
At the age of nineteen, I met a young man who was later to become my husband. After we were married a year, he got a job with the Telephone Company, and being in construction at the time, he worked out of town all week, coming home only on the weekends. I would entertain myself at night by listening to the radio. One night I tuned in to a radio preacher. I had never heard preaching like this before in my life. This preacher was actually saying one had to quit sinning if they became a Christian. “Absurd,” I thought, “this is against everything I have ever been taught in my life.” But, nevertheless I continued to listen night after night, as indescribable conviction seized my eternity-bound soul. After weeks of conviction, not even realizing what was wrong with me, I came to the end of myself. It just seemed that God just bared my poor old sinful heart to me and revealed that I was a lost and needy soul. I knew nothing about praying or confessing my sins to God but I was willing to do anything to find peace. I went into my bathroom, and though I had never gotten on my knees before to pray, I just fell on my knees before God. It seemed I was speechless, I had no idea how to pray, but the Lord had showed me I needed to get saved, so I just looked up to God and said, “Lord, save me.” That was the only three words I uttered but God l.ooked down into my penitent heart, so sorry for my sins and so sick of the way I was going, and so hungry for God, and He just wiped my slate clean and wrote my name down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Praise God! I arose from my knees, a new creature in Christ Jesus. No one had to pat me on the back and tell me I was saved, for the burden of sin was gone. I felt as light as a feather, like I was going to sprout wings and fly. There was no big emotional feeling, just this feeling of lightness because the burden of sin was gone. As I recall this wonderful experience now, this blessed old song by Minnie Steele comes to my mind,
I remember when my burdens rolled away,
That had hindered me for years night and day.
As I sought the throne of grace,
Just one glimpse of Jesus’ face,
And I knew that my burdens could not stay.
Rolled away, rolled away,
I am happy since my burdens rolled away.
I was very ignorant of Bible truths but God led me step by step as I followed Him, walking in every ray of light He gave. He led me to a Holiness Church, which before I was saved, I called a Holy-Roller Church. But now with a changed heart, I felt I had come home, the very first night I attended.
It took me awhile to grasp what was meant by sanctification but as God applied the truth to my heart, I began to seek this new experience of being filled with God’s Spirit. I wanted all that God had for me.
For one week I left off all unnecessary work and sought after God. I remember praying something like this, “Lord, if there is an experience like I’ve heard preached about, where the carnal nature can be eradicated, I want this experience.” I had been told to confess all the carnal traits, such as selfishness, anger, jealousy, pride, covetousness, and other evil tendencies that I was aware that was there, and trust God for deliverance. Well, I did everything I knew to do but nothing happened. I picked up the Bible and it opened to Isaiah and my eyes fell on these words, Chapter 54: verse 14, “In righteousness shalt thou be established.” Six words but there was a volume of truth there for me. The word “established” stood out to me. Could God take an unstable, wavering, unbelieving, doubting soul like mine and establish me in righteousness? The dictionary defined “righteousness” as purity. I began to rationalize, because the words were spoken so plainly to my heart. I had read the Scripture that said, “Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” Surely, I was hungry enough and had He not said that if we confess, He would forgive and cleanse? Had I not confessed everything I knew to confess? What was there left for me to do? And now, I had His promise that He would establish me. The dictionary defined the word “establish” as meaning to settle, so at last I got my eyes off my little weak self and what I could do, and got them on God and His mighty power. My unbelief began to dissolve as I trusted the Word and rested in God. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt at the point that I had done everything I knew to do so now I just took my hands off. My complete consecration was in God’s hands, so I was enabled to rest in Him. I could not pray any longer for I was to the end of myself. I knew I was completely yielded, my all was on the altar. I did not feel any different, the witness for which I longed, had not come, yet I felt assured I had done my part so the rest was up to God.
Later that afternoon as I was going about my duties, suddenly I was conscious of a divine presence within. The Blessed Comforter had come to abide in my unworthy heart. As in my conversion, there was no emotional stir, only a consciousness of the Blessed Holy Spirit taking up His abode in my heart. There are no words to describe the blessedness and sweetness of this experience after such a long struggle. There was not a shadow of a doubt but that God had met my need, had sanctified me wholly. It was real! Praise His Name forever!
Georgia D. McCain
Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out
I remember as a girl how I loved the great outdoors. The doctor had prescribed lots of sunshine and air because of my lack of appetite, and my outside activity did prove to be helpful. My daddy bought me a bike and I really made use of it. Each Saturday I would leave home and stay for several hours. I remember going sometimes without permission, like the time I went to a place called Coaltown, twelve miles or more from home. Surely, a guardian angel watched over me that day for my little excursion vas very dangerous in some places. I went out Sulpher Run, past a little old desolate mill, about a mile up a steep hill around massive rocks, where my cousin had drowned, and then on several miles out the ridge and down a hill to Coaltown. Mrs. Mills was so astonished to see me. She asked if my mother knew where I was. How embarrassed my mother was when they brought me home with my bike. She reprimanded me, but I know I should have been punished more than I was.
My mother was a Christian and she longed to see me turn to Christ, but I was not at all interested in spiritual things. Mother also wanted me to be interested in music, as she was a proficient pianist, but she grew so weary of the necessity of constantly urging me to practice. She concluded that this was the reason she consented for me to take trombone lessons. The band-master was looking for a trombone student in the seventh grade and had an instrument available. So Mother rented the trombone and, unbelievably, I did practice. The early fog-horn and sudden blasts were endured by Mother that I would be kept interested in music. At the end of the year, the band-master encouraged me to keep the instrument and practice through the summer. Evidently, he was pleased with my progress and everyone was enjoying the soft and clearer tones of the instrument.
When school opened again, I began my eighth grade term at junior high school. After a few lessons with the band-master, I was asked along with another student to practice with the senior high school band. This really pleased my parents, as well as myself, that I was making progress enough to be chosen for further study.
Each day that we would practice band, I and the other student, Rolley Down, son of a local dentist, would ride our bikes from their building to the senior high school building. Being dismissed a few minutes early from our last afternoon class gave us time enough to arrive at the practice room on schedule. This became a routine three times a week; we needed about six or seven minutes and it was a challenge as to which would arrive first.
The junior high school was on a higher elevation from the street below, which we followed to the other side of town to the senior high building. We knew just how to lean on our bikes to safely follow a great curve down and around the school lawn. Both bikes with baskets were loaded with books. My trombone was across the basket and Rolley’s trumpet case hung on a handlebar.
The days passed away swiftly. After a few weeks of attending band practice at the senior high school, the big event of the year was announced to the students in the band, a band dance. Unknown to my Christian mother, I had participated in gym class dancing lessons at the junior high school, so now I was very interested in the dance for the students in the band. If only I could get around my mother, I could ask a certain young man to be my escort for that evening. So I connived a plan and told my mother it was a band party and that dancing wasn’t allowed.
As the day of the big event arrived, I hurried home from school. I was thrilled over my new blue dress Mother had made, thinking it was for a party, never dreaming it was for a dance. Smugly, I dressed and hurried off to the home of an ungodly aunt whose daughter had also been invited to the camouflaged affair, Thus, without demure, my cousin and I were escorted by our young beaus to the so-called band party. I may have been prepared for that evening, but I was not prepared for what followed a few weeks later.
God’s faithful Word warns in Numbers 32:23, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”
One day the last of October, I placed my belongings in the bike basket along with my trombone, without a case, across the basket, and hurried to band practice at the senior high school. I was so absorbed in thought that I did not notice that Rolley hadn’t made his exit yet. I banged the bike stand up in place and began the long descending semi-circle around the school lawn to the foot of the embankment at the end of the sidewalk. Ah, that wonderful breeze, so refreshing, after a stuffy day in those classrooms. I was revelling in my love for outside freedom and the knowledge of being able to ride my bike down such a tricky sidewalk. Only seconds after I started, Rolley Downs hurried out of the school building to his bike and quickly decided to try a shortcut down through the school yard. It was a quick descent to the sidewalk over the embankment, but if he slowed down a little, he could make it. In our own intent, hasty trip, neither of us noticed the other’s bike until it was too late, and we collided at the end of the sidewalk. Rolley hit my bike at the back of the front wheel, sending me and the bike into the middle of the street and under the red light. Several firemen standing in the doorway of the firehouse across the street saw the accident and in seconds were out to help the frightened and bruised shaking girl. They notified the principal of the school and I was taken home. I heard the driver explain how the accident happened and that I had no apparent serious injuries, but advised that I be taken to a doctor. I knew I needed to see a dentist, also.
God’s timing is always perfect. My parents were upset when they learned that my two front teeth were damaged in the accident. Mother declared, “It was a dentist’s son who caused the damage, so his father can repair them. We’ll go see his mother first. We were classmates in school.” Early Saturday afternoon, we visited Mrs. Downs. All the while, the two mothers were exchanging greetings, Mrs. Downs would glance at me. Finally she asked, “Is this your daughter, Rhea? Is this the little girl that was at the band dance dressed in blue?” Quickly, I stepped behind my mother as my astonished mother stood mute.
I thought our walk back home would never end as I followed my griefstricken mother. Now she realized that her thirteen-year-old daughter had been granted too much liberty. As soon as we arrived home, Mother hurried to her bedroom to pray. It was there she promised the Lord that she was going to persistently fast and pray until her daughter was saved. She kept that vow. After a few weeks, I, who was so indifferent to spiritual things, began to feel such conviction that I was afraid to go to bed at night; the moon shining in my window frightened me. I was afraid the “world was going to come to an end” and oh, how my many sins bothered me. Early in December, I went to an old-fashioned church altar and sought the Lord, poured out my heart to Him in true repentance. In mercy, He saved me, changed my desires, and now my praying mother had a new daughter, one who was bom again by the spirit of Christ.
For Twelve and One Half Years, Mother Set Elwood’s Plate
I think my mother was one of the greatest people of faith that I’ve ever known. My oldest brother, Elwood, got in trouble in his teens. My father raised him just like he raised the other six. There were eight of us but one died in his infancy. But Elwood was rebellious in spite of his teachings. He got in trouble, and in his early teens, he was put in the reform school, and it was a terrible tragedy and disgrace on the home, we felt. But he was gone about three days and my mother came out of her bedroom early one morning and just shouted all over the house, just kept shouting. Finally, Dad looked at her and said, “Mother, tell me what you’re shouting about, and I’ll join you.” She looked at my father and said, “Dad, I just prayed through on Elwood. God told me He was going to save Elwood, and I believe it. Glory to God!”
I heard her many mornings in her room and she’d be praying in there, and she’d say, “Lord, I don’t know where he’s at and I don’t know what he’s doing, but You promised me that you’d save him and I believe it. Praise God! That’s good enough for me,” and she’d start shouting again. She never wavered one iota. And from the time he left, every meal that was served in our house, for twelve and one half years, she set Elwood’s plate. I’d look at her and say, “Mom, whose plate is that?” Well, she’d smile and say, “That’s Elwood’s.” I’d say, “Mom, he’s a jail bird, he’s no good. He’s not coming back. There’s no need to set that plate.” She’d just smile. “Well,” she said, “Honey, if he does come in, he’ll know I’m expecting him anyway.” And she set that plate twelve and one half years.
I never will forget one Sunday afternoon after service, we were eating and laughing and talking like a large family does around the table when all at once, my mother screamed out, “Children, be still,” and we almost jumped out of ourselves. I looked at her and said, “Mom, what in the world is wrong with you?” She said, “I heard my boy, Elwood, walk upon the porch.” I said, “Mom, he’s somewhere in jail—he’s not—” She just went out to the porch and I could tell by the excitement it had to be him. It wasn’t long until she walked in, her face shining, the tears streaming down her cheeks with her arm around his waist and his arm over her shoulder, and she said, “Honey, come right on in. Your plate is right over here,” and she set him right down to the plate which she had set for twelve and one half years.
I’ve often thought, “If you’re away from God tonight, come on back. The table’s set. Come on back. It doesn’t matter how far from God you’ve wandered, come on back. Praise God forever.”
My mother was dead and in Heaven nine years, and 1 was pastoring in Defiance, Ohio. My phone rang one day and I answered it and someone was crying. I said, “Who is this?” He said, “Just a minute, Paul,” and then I knew it was Elwood. I said, “Elwood, are you in trouble?” and he said, “Just a minute.” After he got his composure, he said, “Paul, my wife and I have rented the Majestic Theater on South Main Street and we’re down here cleaning it up now.” He said, “I want you to come to hold a revival. I want to find Mother’s God. I’m tired of the life that I’ve lived. 1 want to find God.”
1 got three loads of church people and we went down and cleaned that old theater and started a revival. The second night, Elwood gloriously prayed through. To my knowledge, that was the first time he had ever been to the altar. When he was young, he never went to the altar, but he prayed clear through, and there’s many people in Lima, Ohio who know this. The next night after Elwood got saved, there were five saloons closed up and they all came down in a group to see if he’d really got saved. Praise God forever! When he stood up and testified about the prayers of his father and mother that had followed him, and the many hours he had spent behind bars, Brother, that thing caved in and God’s Glory swept the place. What was it? It wasn’t anyone that was preaching or anything, it was the prayers. Listen, Brother, hold on to God. Don’t give up. It doesn’t matter how far that boy or girl has gone in sin, the blood can still go deeper than the stain has gone. Praise God! Hallelujah! Just believe God in spite of the outlook. Amen!
After God saved Elwood, He called him to preach. He preached thirty-five years all over the country. Marvelous testimony of the grace of God. Amen!
Rev. Paul Lucas
How God Solved a Church Problem
At one particular time, we had a problem in our church that was threatening to turn into a very serious problem. God placed a tremendous burden on my heart to fast and pray. Oh, how I cried to God for most of the day. About three o'clock that afternoon, a small still voice whispered, "Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for him"-- "Sit still, my daughter ... for he will not rest, until he hath finished the thing this day." The assurance came to my heart that God had heard prayer and was going to answer before the day was ended, for had He not said He would finish the thing that day? A friend had joined me in prayer over the matter, and I called this individual and told her how God had spoken to my heart. I said, "He will answer today for He told me He would finish the thing this day."
I went to church that night fully expecting God to work. I wasn’t disappointed. The Blessed Spirit of God came in such mighty power during the song service until we did not have any need of preaching, and the altar was lined with seekers. God took care of the problem. He finished it that day just as He said He would do. From that day until this present time, that same problem has never come up again. There have been other problems to cope with but God took care of that one, once and for all. Oh, that we might learn a lesson, to get on our knees and let God solve the church’s problems. When He does it, it’s done well. Amen!
Our God has great delight in answering His children’s prayers. When we wait before Him in earnest expectation, He will never disappoint us. Andrew Murray gives this admonition in waiting on God. “One of the chief needs is our waiting on God, one of the deepest secrets of its blessedness and blessings is a quiet persuasion that it is not in vain; courage to believe that God will hear and help, we are waiting on a God who never could disappoint His people.
“ ‘Be strong and of good courage.’ These words are frequently found in connection with some great and difficult enterprise, in prospect of the combat with the power of strong enemies, and the utter insufficiency of all human strength. The blessings for which we plead are spiritual and all unseen: things impossible with men; heavenly, supernatural, divine realities.
“Let nothing in Heaven or earth or hell—let nothing keep thee from waiting on thy God in full assurance that it cannot be in vain.” End quote.
Georgia D. McCain
A Sister Healed of Asthma
My sister was in and out of the hospital because she had asthma which would take her breath away and cause her to wheeze and cough and she would become very weak. There were times when she would be forced to miss school for a month at a time. One day, she took a real bad attack and they were going to take her to the hospital when my dad said he felt it was wrong to keep taking her to the hospital when he felt the Lord could heal her. He prayed and anointed her in her bedroom and God touched and healed her and she never had another attack. To God be the Glory!
His Eye Is on the Sparrow—and on Other Things
In Paniqui (Tarlac, Philippines), at the close of a convention day, my wife and I, along with four students, loaded our baggage into the Rambler, pulled onto the McArthur Highway and headed for home.
It took us one hour to go the thirty miles to the campus of Villasis Bible School. The students were helpful in carrying our parcels to the house. As we checked the items, we discovered my small red briefcase was missing. This discovery made everyone in our little group alert. We tried to recall what had happened to it, but no one could remember putting it in the car. I was deeply concerned because the case was very important to me. It contained my Bible and two sermon outline books.
The Bible had been my constant companion for many years. I had taken it with me in a good many lands for over twenty years, and my outlined books were the results of prayerful study and work of even more years.
I felt helpless as I remembered that neither the case, Bible, nor books had my identification in them. All we could do was pray, for being night-time, we could do nothing to try to locate them. We didn’t even have telephone service.
The next morning we went back to Paniqui for another day of work. We searched through the church building and around, hoping to find some trace of the case, but the case was not there. We asked others about it but no one had seen it since the night before. We just had to accept the fact that someone had taken it from the church, or it had been placed on the car rather than inside. It was lost.
Police were notified, and a truck with a PA system went about the streets of the city announcing our loss. Later, we put ads in The Manila Times and Bagnio Press, offering a reward to the finder. The radio stations, The Far East Broadcasting Company and the Baguio Radio Station made special announcements of our loss.
The pastor and church people of the Paniqui Church gathered for prayer at 5 a.m. every morning, and they prayed for our loss. Our staff and students joined in prayer with those of other Bible schools, praying that God would work a miracle in helping us find the case.
God gave a promise, “God … calleth those things which be not as though they were,” Romans 4:17. We felt comforted to realize that God knew the whereabouts of the lost briefcase, and if need be, He could bring about circumstances leading to its recovery.
Weeks passed with no encouragement other than the promise. We were to learn how that the Eye that notes the fall of the sparrow (Matt. 10:29) also had His Eye on the briefcase.
On the evening that we lost the case, the office of Benquet Auto Lines in Bagnio City sent a driver by the name of Mendezabal, on a special mission to Manila a distance of 225 miles. As he neared Paniqui around nine p.m. he saw an object on the dividing line of the highway. (Here buses and trucks run almost bumper to bumper as they vie with one another in an apparent effort to set a new speed record.)
Mr. Mendezabal stopped and picked up the object, which was a red briefcase, When he returned to Baguio, he took it to the office of Bal dispatcher, Mr. Selcedo. Together, the men went through the case but found no identification, so Mr. Selcedo placed it on a table near his desk. Three weeks later, Mrs. Selcedo fixed a lunch for her husband and wrapped it in a newspaper section. Later, as he ate his lunch, he casually glanced at the paper. His eyes fell on these words: “Lost: A small red briefcase containing a Bible and other valuable books.” There on the table near his desk was the briefcase answering such a description.
As soon as Mr. Mendezabal came to work, he was given these instutructions: “I want you to go on a special trip to Manila. Get the limousine, but do not pick up any passengers this side of Villasis (60 miles) that will hinder you. Leave the highway at Villasis and go to that Bible school to deliver this case to its owner.” As he handed him the case, he also handed him an ad which had been clipped from The Manila Times.
On the same day I left campus around 9 a.m. to go about two miles to Villasis on an errand. About halfway, I noticed a black limousine coming my way—quite unusual for our road.
As we passed the driver blew the horn, slowed down and stopped. I stopped the Rambler, astonished that this stranger should be interested in what I was doing. We both got out of our vehicles to greet the other.
“Are you Dr. Reisdorph?” he asked.
“I am,” I replied.
“My name is Mendezabal,” he introduced himself. “I have your briefcase. As a driver for BAL Bus Lines, I have special orders to deliver it to you in person.”
What a moment on a dusty Luzon road for a most treasured possession, absent for a month, to be placed in my hand—and just three days before Christmas!
Rufus D. Reisdorph
“Safety Is of the Lord”
People who appeared to be drug pushers lived across the street. Loud, rough-looking characters came and went. Parties disturbed the neighborhood into the wee hours. One neighbor was arrested by the police.
A change of focus in my husband’s ministry had necessitated our move. For almost twenty years, we had worked side by side in pastoral ministry, but now Ross was required to travel alone at times. The children and I grappled with our new lifestyle.
“Don’t stay by yourselves,” solicitously urged my grandmother who lived across town. “Why don’t you and the children come here to sleep at night?”
Her suggestion had sounded wise at first, especially when the windows in our new house were bare. Now, however, we had hung nineteen window shades, and I longed to set up housekeeping. When I thought of all possible perils, though, my courage failed.
I nibbled a piece of bacon and stared at Grandmother’s yellow plates. Following a morning habit of listening to the Bible being read on tape, Grandmother reached over to turn on the tape recorder. “Safety is of the Lord,” boomed the resonant voice of Alexander Scorby. He paused and began speaking again.
Hmmm. That must have been the end of the chapter, I speculated. Then the words sank home.
“Safety is of the Lord.” My attention was riveted. “Safety is of the Lord!”
“Dona,” said the voice of God to me, “you are no safer here than you would be at your house, for I am the One Who protects you. I can do that anywhere. No one is ever secure without My care. The time has come for you to settle at your own home. I will be with you, and you will be sheltered, for safety comes from Me.”
I told Chris and Jedonne, my children, of the Lord’s reassurance, and we packed our bags and moved home.
Several weeks later, a new challenge confronted me. Chris had left home to enter Bible College, and Ross and Jedonne were out of town. I faced a long, dark night alone for one of the few times in my life.
I am not going to my grandparents, I decided. I must master this hurdle with courage.
“Please pray that the Lord will protect me tonight,” I implored Ross on the phone. Knowing that he would pray, I felt comforted.
With open Bible, I knelt beside the bed and read Proverbs 21:31. “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord.”
“Lord, here I am,” I reminded Him, “in this big house by myself. I would not need to stay here, but You told me to do so and promised Your protection. According to this verse, all anyone can do to ensure safety is vain unless You protect. You see me and know where I am. I plan to sleep tonight with Your Word opened to this Scripture.”
I lingered, enjoying His love and feeling the uplift of Ross’ prayers but was reluctant to switch off the light and climb into bed.
Suddenly, in a flash of insight, I saw a symmetrical ring of strong angels surrounding our house. They stood almost shoulder to shoulder, close enough to easily touch one another, Behind them was another line of protection in the same symmetrical shape.
Each angel held a weapon directly in front of him with power jutting forth from the weapons. “God’s laser beams,” I breathed. “Could these be the flaming swords of the Bible?”
The vision faded, but the angels were still there, I knew. God had lifted a veil for me for one brief moment, the veil that covers another, very real dimension.
Overwhelmed, I sobbed, “Oh, God, how could You spare so many angels for one person?” Relaxed and unafraid, I fell asleep.
Before bedtime the following evening, my grandfather phoned. “Dona,” he inquired, “are you afraid to stay alone?”
“No,” I answered, visualizing my angel guards. “Thank you, but I’m not afraid.”
Later, I learned from reading Hebrews 12:22, that the angels are “innumerable.” No wonder God could dispatch a host of heavenly beings to meet my need. More angels exist than human beings can count! How marvelous that God would reveal His power in such a way to bring comfort and strength to the fainting heart of a woman.
“O king, live forever,” exulted Daniel. “My God hath sent his angel. … “ I know how he felt.
(This was published in the Women Alive magazine. Used by permission of the author, Dona Maxey)
Three Women Healed of Different Infirmities
Sister Ida Mae and her husband, Roy M. L. Moore, were members of our church. Sister Moore contacted tuberculosis. while working in a nursing home. She was confined to a sanitarium with no hope of recovery.
One Sunday, I had a very special burden for this dear sister and had prayed for her many times throughout the day. In the closing of that evening’s service, I called the church to join me at the altar and pray for her. There was an immediate response and we got down to earnest praying very quickly. We prayed until the assurance came that God was going to answer.
The following Wednesday the doctors were surprised with her progress of recovery. The next day Brother Moore visited her and met the doctor who said, “Of course, this change is only temporary.” But Brother Moore told the doctor about the Sunday night prayer for her. At the hearing of this, the doctor was much disturbed and had no desire to converse further when Brother Moore stated that he believed that God had healed her.
It took several days’ processing to assure the doctors that she was ready to go home. When she testified to her healing the first Sunday after her release, the folk responded with tears of joy, shouting and praising the Lord. It was indeed a time of thanksgiving and victory. About thirty years have passed and I have heard her testify a number of times of her healing.
Sister Mary Bell DeHaven suffered injury to her neck and back. This affected her mind to the event she was taken to a state hospital. I had visited her twice with her husband.
It was heart-rending to look upon one who had been a very clear-minded person prior to the automobile accident. She was known and loved by many. To see her just sit and stare into space sent a chill through one’s entire body.
We never gave up hope for her but continued to pray that God would restore her to health, home, family and church.
Oh, how God wants us to believe Him.
May I digress here long enough to reprimand our churches and ministers for lack of faith. Many pray as though they had no faith for God to answer. Very few are praying the prayer of faith either in the church or out of the church. This is a day of coldhearted religion when men have “a form of godliness but are denying the power thereof.” God have mercy on us!
On Sunday after my last visit to the hospital, hearts were heavy with a burden for our sister’s deliverance. We gathered around the altar at the closing of the evening service and immediately set to praying without any exhortation. For some time, the atmosphere was impregnated with a wonderful mixture of earnest praying in a spirit of oneness and faith which soon was miraculously transformed to shouts of praise and victory. We all knew that for which we prayed was forthcoming. Our wonderful God still lives and answers prayers of faith,
In three weeks (the normal time for processing such patients), she sat in the service beside her husband, a mentally and physically transformed person.
Since that healing, Sister DeHaven completed Practical Nurses Training with a very good record and excellent grades. She also completed a Local Preacher’s Course of Study. Yes, our God still hears and answers prayer.
A few years ago a young pastor’s wife was brought to her parents’ home (the McHugh home). She was very ill, confined to her bed awaiting a trip to the Cleveland Clinic. Her husband, Rev. L. Burcaw, came to the parsonage to break the news of Jane’s condition.
She had grown up under my ministry and I had presided over their God-owned and beautiful wedding. All in all, I had great interest in this young couple. I also had a part in his ordination ceremony, and they were pastors in our conference.
I decided to spend that night in prayer for Jane. It proved to be a long, lone wrestle. Prevailing darkness in more than one way hung low and pressured in on me for she had a family to live for.
At ten minutes to four in the morning, the light broke in upon my soul and oh, how sweet to hear Jesus whisper, “Jane is going to be all right.” Tears of joy welled up within my soul and it seemed almost impossible to contain myself.
At 9:00 a.m. I drove out to the McHugh home. Jane’s husband met me proclaiming that Jane had taken a big turn for the better, and was sitting up in bed. When I went in, the big tears of joy were filling her eyes and running down her face that shone with the light of Heaven. The trip to Cleveland Clinic was cancelled and in two days Jane was taken to her home to resume her duties as a mother and parsonage wife.
There was joy over Jane’s recovery such as we have seldom witnessed.. Oh, what a living testimony of the wonderful love and grace of God. Hallelujah! Rev. Claude Eshelman
You Drive—I’ll Pray
Years ago, we rode the buses for much of our travels, and they furnished some very interesting as well as precious opportunities to witness for the Lord and to win folk to Him. One such incident stands out clearly in my mind, for it involves the bus driver.
I had been to Central, South Carolina, to the Central Wesleyan College—for a meeting of the Board of Managers. I served on that board for twenty years, and many times rode the bus back and forth from home to the meetings. The route that the bus took was from Central to Greeneville, then to Asheville, North Carolina, and then across the mountains (and they were mountains then), and to Knoxville, Tennessee. In the summer, this was a most beautiful journey, but, in the winter, it could be very dangerous at times, especially if there was snow on the roads.
On the night of which I wish to tell you, the Board Meeting had lasted until late, and it was past midnight when I finally arrived in Asheville. There was a very heavy snow falling and the roads were getting slicker and slicker. I had to change buses at Asheville, and it began to appear that no bus would be going out that night. However, there were a number of men who needed to get across the mountain and they continued to urge the manager of the station to send a bus across. Finally, he consented, but did so with the understanding that all who went did so at their own risk. This announcement was made on the speakers, stating that the road was slick and that those who went would not be guaranteed that the bus would make it through. As a consequence, no women went and only twelve or fifteen men.
The Lord was usually good to me and allowed me to have a seat near the front, and this time I sat right next to the driver, on the first seat behind him. As we went out of the city and hit the slick, snow covered roads, heading for the mountains, we fell into conversation. I told him that I knew the road well and that I believed that we would be able to get across. The fact is, I was not so sure myself, but wanted to reassure him. He then confided to me that he had never driven this route before. He had ridden across with another driver to learn the route only a few days before, but that due to sickness, they were short of drivers, and that he had been assigned this trip even though he had never driven it before. It was easy to see that he was nervous and even scared. So I said to him, “Driver, you do your best to keep this thing in the road and drive, and I will pray and I believe that the Lord will get us through.”
What a ride we had. That big Greyhound Bus slid, slipped, skidded, and spun its wheels, and many times it appeared that we would go off over the mountain side, but each time it caught just in time and righted itself and went on. There was hardly a word from the other passengers aboard, and I kept my word and held on to God for protection and help. He never failed us and after a very slow and dangerous journey, we finally began to emerge from the mountain and get into safer territory.
When the big bus came into the town of Newport, Tennessee, everything was closed, even the filling station that was used for a bus station. But, in spite of the fact that he had no passengers to get off and it was evident that there was none there to get on, the driver stopped and went outside. Occasionally, in the side mirror, I’d catch a glimpse of him walking back and forth at the rear of the bus, and 1 began to think that something was wrong with him. Finally, 1 got off and went back to where he was pacing back and forth.
“Driver, is there something wrong?” 1 asked.
He stopped his pacing and leaned up against the side of the bus and burst into tears. “Preacher,” he said, “I have never believed much in God or miracles, and I have had a lot of bad things to say about people who believed in prayer. But I can’t go any further. If God had not answered prayer tonight, we would probably be at the bottom of one of those mountains. It had to have been God who brought us over here. Several times when I did not know what to do, something just seemed to take hold of that bus and pull it back into the road. It had to have been God, Preacher, no one else could have done it. And to think that I have tried not to believe in Him. Preacher, pray for me. I want to get right with Him before I go another mile.”
What a joy it was to put my arms around that big bus driver as we stood there in the snow in the driveway of that filling station and ask God to save him. How he poured his heart out to God and begged God to forgive him, promising the Lord that he would live for Him and do anything that He wanted him to do. It wasn’t long until the glory of God seemed to settle down on the place and he began to rejoice in the fact that the burden was lifted and that he knew he was saved.
Going back into the bus, he told the other passengers of how the Lord had saved him out there in the snow, and testified to them that it was only the Lord that had brought us across the mountains. They all agreed, and some even asked for prayer.
What a time we had the remaining fifty miles of that trip. He was about the happiest man I have ever seen, and I am sure that he was the happiest bus driver that I have ever seen, During the years, God gave me a number of good friends among the drivers, and I surely wish that all of them could have gotten what that man did.
1 saw him several times after that, rode on his bus a few times, and he was always giving his testimony to anyone that would listen. It was about three months after his conversion that he told me one day that God had called him to preach and that he was planning to give up his job with the bus company and go to school again. Later, I learned he was pastoring a church, and that almost every service, he referred to a snowy night and a wild bus trip, and also a prayer meeting in the snow.
Rev. David Denton
Answered Prayer for an Unspoken Request
My telephone rang and a man of our acquaintance asked me to pray for an unspoken request. “Try your best to get under the burden with me,” he pleaded. He sounded quite desperate. I knew how he had been fasting and praying, but somehow his faith would not reach through to God and claim the answer. I went to prayer and God helped me to believe Him to answer prayer. He assured my heart that He had the situation in hand. He spoke from Exodus 3:7, 8-“I have surely seen the affliction of my people … and have heard their cry … and I am come down to deliver them …. “I rested the matter in the hands of God, and when my husband came home from work, I testified how I believed that God had taken over and answered prayer for Brother Miller for He had witnessed to my heart.
Later that night I received a call from him and he informed me, “The Lord has answered your prayers.” “No,” I said, “God has answered your prayers. You folk did the praying, and God just helped me to do the believing.” I continued, “God told me He had seen your affliction (suffering, distress) and heard your cry and had come down to deliver you, so it was your prayers that God answered.” He was elated that God had heard and answered, regardless of whose prayers had touched through.
Georgia D. McCain
“With His Stripes We Are Healed”
Carrie Trusler was a hard worker, helping with the school activities and entertaining extensively. She was not one to give in to minor aches and pains.
One day, she noticed a small red spot on her ankle but paid little attention to it in her busy activities. Then, the redness began to enlarge and be feverish. Soon the infected area had open sores, blisters, and cracks. Her whole foot began to swell until she was no longer able to wear her shoe. For one in her position, it was decidedly inconvenient and also alarming. No one seemed to have a cure and the disease which now had been diagnosed as erysipelas (an acute streptococcal skin infection) was spreading rapidly. What could be done?
Golden, her seventeen-year-old daughter, was especially worried about her mother. She went to one of the prayer warriors of the church, but her only admonition was that she must be resigned to the Lord’s will. Golden and Carrie were willing but didn’t feel it to be the Lord’s will that this disease continue.’
Golden called the ladies together for a special session of prayer and after some time Carrie claimed the victory. With her eyes raised heavenward and with faith in the promise, “With his stripes we are healed”, she pulled on her shoe and with the stride of a conqueror walked to the kitchen and began to prepare supper for company. How she ever did it she never knew, but when she pulled off her shoe at bedtime, her stocking and shoe were soaked with drainage from the infection. The swelling had receded and her foot and ankle healed rapidly. All praise to the Great Physician!
(Taken from the book, A Walk to Glory, by Lillian M. Knapp. Used by permission.)
For Eight Years, She Came To Tell Me About Jesus
At the age of sixteen, I was confirmed in the Jewish faith, and I waited for a manifestation from God. I was valedictorian of my class, so it was my privilege to repeat the creeds in Hebrew, the first one being, “Shema Israel Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Echod.” In Hebrew this means, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” I repeated the other twelve, and waited for God to bless; but no blessing came. I grew disgusted, I was discouraged. What I had been seeking for I could not find. At last I said, “My father is right. There is no God.” If there were, why had He not revealed Himself to me when He knew how sincere I was seeking Him and honest I was?
About that time I had a teacher in high school, my science teacher, who I knew had gone to college and university. I thought, “Now here is a woman who does not believe in God. I will befriend her and she will befriend me.” I thought that surely anyone who had gone to college and university would not believe in the Genesis account of creation. I did not see how anyone with a smattering of education could believe such a ridiculous fairy tale. But I soon found out that she did believe it. She was a Christian, although I wonder now, because she had no concern for my soul. I think that when Christians can come into the presence of sinners day in and day out, mingle with them week after week, and month after month, and never once take the precious Word of God and try to lead them to Jesus, there is something wrong. She had no concern for my soul at that time, although later God dealt with her mightily.
When I was eighteen, I met my husband, who is a Gentile. After a few short months of courtship, we were married, much against my parents’ will, and even without their knowledge. My father would never have consented to this marriage for he had made other plans for me. My husband was not a Christian at this time.
In the meantime, this science teacher had received a real experience with the Lord Jesus. She had learned the joy of full and complete surrender, and God laid me on her heart. Every other Saturday afternoon she knocked on my front door, coming to tell me about the Lord. I did not want her to come, and if I would see her first she would not see me next! But she kept on coming—if not every other Saturday; it would be every Saturday. She would come into my home, sit in my living room, talk about Jesus, and as she did so her face would shine. Often a tear would glisten in her eye. I watched her intently and when she had finished testifying, I would sneer at her, and mock and say, “Oh, you’re just emotional, that’s all.” Yet at the same time, way down deep in my black, darkened, wicked heart, I knew that she had something that I did not have .
She kept on coming, and she used to anger me for she would tell me that unless I repented I would go to hell. And she said it just that bluntly! But it took just that blunt talk to get me to God, for after her visits, after I had pushed her out of my home, she would stand on the porch and weep. I even laughed at her tears. Oh, the love of God! Amazing is His grace, that He could save such a one as I! I never tell this without stopping to praise Him that He would forgive such blasphemy as I was guilty of. That teacher’s bluntness and truthfulness and faithfulness to my soul brought me under conviction, although I did not know what to label it. I could not sleep, I could not eat, I would walk the floor, pacing, wondering how long I could keep up with her coming to see me. I thought if she kept coming I would go crazy. I was under conviction and did not know it. God was answering her prayers and the prayers of His saints everywhere.
She kept on coming—do you know how long? Well, Sunday school teacher, how long would you visit one who treated you as I did her? And you, too, pastor, how long would you visit someone who gave you the treatment that I gave this schoolteacher? Oh, I know. I’ve been around some of them. I’ve heard them say, “I’ve been there two or three times. No use going back.” And with a shrug of the shoulder, they dismissed their responsibility. Some have even said, “I don’t think the Lord expects me to cast my pearls before swine.” Oh, I’m glad the schoolteacher didn’t say that. Not after two or three times, not after two hundred times did she say that. She kept on calling—for eight long years, she came every other Saturday, sometimes every Saturday, to tell me about Jesus. Oh, she surely loved the Lord or she could not have loved anyone such as I. Conviction began to settle more heavily, day by day.
One morning when my little daughter was in school, my husband at work, and my little boy sound asleep, I began to pace the floor. Questions began going through my mind, and fears began to penetrate my heart. What if the schoolteacher were right? What if there really were a God? What if Jesus were His Son? Then, if there is a God and if there is a Jesus, there must be a Heaven and a hell. These thoughts sent pangs of fear into my heart. Maybe I have been wrong, I reasoned. For the first time in my life I fell on my knees. I fell on my knees because I had heard that was what Christians did. I had never seen them do it for, you see, up to the time I was saved I had never been inside a Christian church of any kind. I had heard that Christians knelt when they prayed. I fell on my knees that morning but I didn’t know how to pray. I didn’t even know if there were a God Who would hear me, but I wanted to believe. I wanted what the schoolteacher had, even if there weren’t a God, even if there weren’t a Jesus.
As I knelt there, I looked up and cried, “O God, if You really are, give me faith to believe.” And God did! You know, even our faith is a gift from God, but I knew I would have to go further than this. I had believed in God when I was a child, but I wasn’t satisfied; I was constantly seeking. I knew I would have to go on. I cried again, “O God, if Jesus is Your Son, give me faith to believe this, too.” And God did! It seemed as though He pulled the curtain back, truly He did—He pulled back the veil. Paul tells us in Romans that blindness, in part, is happened to Israel, and again we read in the Scripture that to this day there is a veil over the eyes of the Jewish people, but it says that when that heart is turned to God the veil is taken away. Thank God, that morning when my heart was turned to God in honesty and sincerity, and now having had light, I could find Christ as my Saviour. I cried to God for faith and He took the veil away. I saw the blessed Son of God, Virgin-born, dying on the cross for my sins. I cried out to God in Jesus’ name, and in the name of Jesus He immediately forgave my sins. Thank God for that morning. It wasn’t a self-induced experience; it wasn’t altogether emotional. Yet it affected me all over-intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, physically. Thank God, I was born again, but it wasn’t until three weeks later that I knew what the experience was called. All I knew was that something wonderful had come into my heart. My heart was warmed. I had passed from death unto life, from darkness to light. Oh, I know we are not saved by experience; we are saved by grace through faith. But I’m glad I know when Jesus came into my heart. I know when my sins were lifted.
Something else happened to me while I was on my knees. At Easter time, we used to watch the folks baptize at the Mississippi River, and I always said that if I had my way I would see to it that every preacher got shot for making people get baptized. While I was still on my knees I knew that the next thing I wanted to do was to be baptized. I arose, gathered up some clothes, and knocked on the door of the closest preacher’s house. I didn’t know what kind of preacher he was; it didn’t matter to me then because I thought everybody believed alike.
I knocked on his door, and when he answered, I stepped back, for I used to fear this man before I was a Christian. As children, we would never go by his house after dark. We were afraid that he belonged to the organization that had driven us out of the other town. I stepped back from him and said, “Sir, I am a Jew. I just now believed in Jesus. He just now took my sins away, and I want to join your church. See—I have brought my clothes, and I want you to baptize me right now.” The poor preacher got so excited that he couldn’t even talk to me for a few minutes. He stuttered and stammered, and finally invited me into his study, and explained what I would have to do. He said that I would have to come into his church on Sunday morning and make a profession of faith, give the people my testimony, and if they were satisfied that I had really been born again, or really saved, as he called it; then I could be baptized that night.
I went home from the preacher’s house, laid down my bundle of clothes, and searched through a drawer into which I had thrown a New Testament that the schoolteacher had given me. I wouldn’t read it before this time; I was so prejudiced. I wouldn’t open it. When she gave it to me, I told her she was wasting her time and money. Every time she came, she quoted John 3:16, so this was the verse I hurriedly searched for and found, to my delight. There it was, just like she said it would be.
I had many Gentile neighbors, and I was sure they did not know about Jesus, for they had never told me about Him. They had never mentioned John 3:16, so why not go tell them? And so, one hour after I was saved, I became a missionary of the cross, although it was a year before I knew that was what you called it. I went next door to my neighbor’s home, knocked on her door, stood there very businesslike and read John 3:16 to them. Of course, I was businesslike. This was big business, the best and biggest business in all the world. I told this neighbor what had just happened to me and how happy I was. Jesus had taken my sins away, was in my heart. I had prayer with her and went on to the next door, and from there to the next door. I thought that all I had to do was to tell them and they would all believe right away. Well, God honored my childlike faith, for that day seventeen of my neighbors were saved.
That evening when my husband came home from work I told him what Jesus had done for me. He got on his knees in the kitchen, and he, too, trusted the Lord as his Saviour.
Irene’s parents were very grieved over what they called her “foolishness.” Her father told her if she was baptized, she could not come home anymore. For two years, she was forced to stay away but she remained true to Christ. Then her father called her to come back home. He tried to get her to be more liberal and more moderate, to compromise, to keep quiet about Jesus,. but Irene says, “I’m glad I did not listen to my father, for a few weeks later I was cleaning my mother’s bedroom as she was lying down, and I was singing to her in our language, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.’‘’ While I was singing, my mother began to weep. She said to me, ‘Oh, Irene, I would give anything in the world if I had the hope beyond the grave that you have.’ I stopped sweeping, knelt by her bedside, put my arms around her and I thank God my precious mother cried out to the Lord, and the Lord heard her and forgave her sins. She was gloriously saved. She witnessed to my father and witnessed to my friends who came to see her. My father would not accept her conversion, but a few months later God took her home.”
Later, because Irene remained true to Christ, her father also was converted. She received a wire from her brother telling about it. She hurried back home to East St. Louis, called him, and then called a taxi and went to see him. He begged her forgiveness for the way he had treated her and of course, he was forgiven. Then Irene asked, “How did it happen?” He said, “Sunday night I was walking the streets. I was very lonesome, missing your mother, when I heard the singing in a little Methodist Church. I went in. The preaching had not begun, but while they were singing, I went down to the front and got on my knees. And then, Irene, Jesus came into my heart. He has forgiven me, will you?”
Today, Irene’s father, also, has gone on to be with Jesus. How glad she is that she stood true to God and was able to win both her parents to Christ. “I thank God for the school teacher who faithfully prayed for me and so earnestly witnessed to me that one day I came into the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Irene says, “I am so rich in Him to think that all this is mine and Heaven, too, because someone loved the soul of this Jewess.”
(Taken from Irene Hanley’s book, Hallelujah! He Found Me! – used by perrnission.)
In a recent letter received from Sister Hanley, she states, “In February (1993) we will mark our 20th year on the air. How I praise Him for opening this blessed avenue of witness to my people, and to peoples of every nation.” God has used Irene Hanley to win multitudes of souls to Him. Her physical condition, at present, is not good. I quote again from her letter, “Many years ago I was struck across the lower back with a cane by a Jewess who became angry that I was witnessing to her son. The blow broke several vertebrae and I had to have surgery to fuse them together. I didn’t know it at the time, but the doctor informed my family that I would probably, as my bones aged, one day end up in a wheelchair, It seems that time is upon me. The falls I’ve taken due to muscle weakness in my legs since the light stroke I suffered this past August, seem to have taken a toll on me. It is becoming more and more difficult for me to walk, even with the aid of a walker. The doctor has put a brace on my left leg and I may have to have one on my right leg, as it, too, is growing weaker. Please keep us in your daily prayers. We refuse to allow Satan to triumph! We have a big God and in Him we trust!”
“Ask, and It Shall Be Given You”
A few years ago during the summer months, I walked out to our garden and faced the fact that it was dying from lack of rain. Also, our pasture on which our cow grazed, was in an awful condition for the same reason, no rain for many weeks. The Scripture, “Ask, and it shall be given you,” Matthew 7:7, flashed through my mind. I prayed, “Now Lord, Thou did say to ask and it would be given. You see how our garden is dying from lack of rain, and our old milk cow needs grass. According to Thy Word, I’m believing You to send rain before this day is over.” I just took God at His Word and He gave me faith to believe, even though the sun was shining and not a hint of rain anywhere. Later, a friend called and I testified to her that I was believing God for rain before the day was over. When my husband came home for lunch, the sun was still shining, but I said, God has promised to send rain today.” He gave me a questionable look but I held onto my faith. Later that afternoon, I walked over to my neighbor’s and while I was there, clouds began to gather. I told her, “I must get home for God assured my heart He was going to send rain today.” As I walked back to my house, a few drops began to fall, and then it broke loose. Oh, how I rejoiced for the abundant shower God sent. How it revived our garden and our pasture, but much more important, did it revive my faith in the wonderful promises of God. In Isaiah 58:11, God promises to make us like a spring of water, whose waters fail not, if we will pray and fast. Amen!
Georgia D. McCain
Don’t Get Too Attached to Her for She Is Going To Die
My wife and I were married June 29, 1963. Our first child weighed eight and one-half pounds when she was born. When the second daughter was born, she only weighed three pounds, and one of her lungs was collapsed. We were told, “Don’t get too attached to her for she is going to die.” When we went to the hospital to see her, the nurses did not want to bring her out to see us for they were waiting for her to die. My dad and Brother William Owens went to the hospital and anointed her and prayed for her and God healed her. In about a week, the hospital allowed us to take her home.
She will soon be graduating from Bible school (1992) and plans to be a teacher. Thank the good Lord for all He has done.
Experience of Charles C. Waterman, Conductor
Since I have been saved, it seems strange that more people do not come to themselves.
I was born in Eugene, Indiana, 1870, but left home when 18 years of age to work for steam railroads. I was considered a moral young man; I had never used tobacco nor ever expected to use it. My mother was a Christian. She brought me up in a church and I went with my sisters, sang in the choir—but had no salvation. I had never been “born again.” Consequently, when I got out with the world, and the railroad men, I began to be like them. I was soon using tobacco and profanity, then drinking and gambling. Habits began to fasten themselves upon me, but I would argue with myself I could quit them if I wanted to.
At the age of twenty-five, I married and lived pretty decently when my wife was around. But when she would go for a little visit, I was in for a time. I grew worse and worse. (Let me say right here, every one of you are getting worse every day, or you are getting better; you are not standing still.)
My mother and sister never wrote me without speaking to me about my soul. But I went on with my crowd and my habits. When two boys had been born into our home, I began to talk about quitting tobacco and would say to my wife, “I am going to quit now and my boys will never know or remember that I used tobacco.” I would stop for a few days, then sneak and use it on the sly. Satan had a chain around my neck and I could not get away. For twenty-five years he was my master. I would go to the limit in sin.
We moved to the state of Washington, and there my wife got a good case of old-time religion—laid aside her jewelry—even to her wedding ring-worldly attire, secular music, and every weight that would hinder her from running a victorious Christian race. I snorted, fumed, and acted worse than ever—but she kept me out of hell.
I would often get ashamed of myself as I remembered my raising, my nice family—and think I would surely do better.
My oldest boy, when eight years of age, took double pneumonia and was given up to die. I told my wife if she wanted to do anything she could have her way, for the boy was dying. Mrs. Waterman said, “He can’t die till the Lord lets him,” and went out and got two people who believed in prayer. I promised them if God would heal the boy I would serve Him. God raised up that child, yet I went on in my sins.
A little later, a rosy, healthy boy, almost two years old, was stricken and died—my heart was like a stone. Mrs. Waterman bore it bravely. I was without hope—had no hope of ever seeing this darling baby again. No wonder I was sad!
I told Mrs. Waterman if I could get away from the gang and move to a new place I could live differently. So we moved here to California. But before I had been there a week, I found my gang in Pasadena. I knew just where to buy whiskey, where the poker games were played and where the haunts of vice were.
Often when she gathered the children for family prayer, I would sit upright and smoke and ridicule her prayer. But she would look at me and say, “You’ll talk differently when you become a preacher.”
About 4 o’clock in the afternoon, I was lying in a bed in a rooming house in Los Angeles suffering a foretaste of the damned. I wanted to go home, but I was bound by the devil and could not. My heart, diseased from the use of whiskey and tobacco, was running away from me. (A few years before, a specialist had told me I would drop dead of heart disease if I did not quit the use of tobacco.)
I felt my time had come. I thought, “Here you are—dying and going to hell! A drunkard, a gambler, a liar, a fool. A good Christian wife, a nice home and children, your wife’s prayers, your mother’s prayers, and with all the light you’ve got, you are going to hell.”
Just then I had a vision. I saw my baby boy who had died in Washington, standing up in Heaven, looking down at me and his eyes were full of pity. When he was born, one of his feet was turned sidewise-crooked. I noticed especially how pretty and straight his feet were and realized there were no imperfections in Heaven. Again I saw my home. A vision of a little girl running out to the car to look for Papa to come. Our little Faith, then three years old, always ran to meet me.
But Papa wasn’t coming home. He was dying. Every nerve in me was crying for whiskey, and God opened up the hell of the Bible beneath my feet. I saw the smoke of their torment “that ascendeth forever.” “Where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.” I raised my hand toward Heaven as high as I could possibly raise it and said, “I positively refuse to go to hell. I will not go.” I had come to myself. I was sobered forever; God gave me power to take my hat and start home at once.
I phoned my wife to meet me downtown as I had some news that wouldn’t keep. She had decided that day she would go to Los Angeles and walk about the streets to see if she could find me, but before starting she had gone into the closet to pray and the Lord showed her to stay at home and leave me in His hands. As she prayed, she felt such assurance that she was heard, that she told the children, “Papa will be home today.” When she heard the phone ring that morning she said, “That’s Papa now,” and started to meet me as I had asked her. She did not get half the way, but the Lord met me more than halfway, and always will go halfway to meet an honest soul. I told her the devil had overstepped himself and I was through, and that I wanted her to get the most godly person she knew to come and unite with her for my salvation. I had heard her read the Bible often and knew it said, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they ask it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” I wanted it done if it took two, or two thousand. Yes, 1 had come to myself.
First, I went down before my wife and confessed to the bottom, and asked forgiveness, and got it. Then we decided to send for an old lady, Mrs. Headly, who had been in our home a great deal and knew of my absence at this time. Unless someone came in and missed me, they never knew I was gone. My wife told her troubles to no one but the Lord. Her mother lived within a block of us but did not know I was away. We phoned where Mrs. Headly was stopping and they told us she had gone out to the edge of town to spend the night, but we couldn’t get her as the people had no phone.
So Mrs. Waterman and I got down to pray alone. In a short time, the phone rang and a woman wanted to know if everything was all right. She said that Sister Headly had made her walk four blocks to see if everything was all right at our house. Wife told her we wanted Mrs. Headly to come down right away, and although she was old and half blind, she was there in a few minutes. I said, “Sister Headly, I can’t make anybody believe it, but I am trying to find God.” She grabbed both my hands in hers and said, “I believe it, Brother Waterman, I believe it.” (She had always called me Brother Waterman, wicked as I was.)
I got down and prayed, “Lord, I’ll do anything You want me to do, and say anything You want me to say, and I’m going to serve You the rest of my life whether I ever get a blessing or not.” God knows that is still my prayer tonight. I got off my knees, told my wife I had not received any witness except that I had such peace. She asked what other witness I wanted. Well, the peace and joy kept increasing until we had a regular jubilee until about two o’clock. I was up the first one in the morning and took the Bible to my wife and said, “Show me the place in here about counting the cost.” She turned to Luke 14:28, “For which of you intending to build a tower sitteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he hath sufficient to finish it.” I was determined to build a tower that would reach to Heaven and I knew I must start the foundation right. So I sat down by the stove and counted the cost.
I looked back over my life as you would look through a telescope. God brought before me a lodge that I had belonged to for twenty-one years. I could not remember anything that I had seen or heard in it that would lead a soul to Christ or keep one out of hell. So I put all my papers, etc. in the stove. Another lodge I had belonged to eighteen years, with $3,000.00 life insurance in it. The devil said, “Go slow now, your family will starve for you will die some of these times.” I did not care to listen to any more so I just put it all in the stove, too. I stripped for the race as carefully as anyone could, that was running for his life. Every weight was laid aside, every bridge was burned behind me.
I started down to the car barns to see about my job, whether I had one or not. I said, “Mommie, I guess I’ll have to live it and say nothing about it to the car-men. They know me so well.” I had worked for the Pacific Electric for seven years and had been “the limit,” with the boys.
My wife only smiled and said nothing; she gave me no advice. She says she knew God had hold of me and did not want to spoil a good job. I started in weakness down the street, but remembered my prayer of the previous night and I looked up toward Heaven and said, “Father, tell me what to say, and I’ll say it.” I met a neighbor of mine that was a church member, and I began to tell her about God saving me and I got so blessed it plagued her awfully. I went down to the office and testified to all the boys, “God has saved me from sin.” I did not say I had turned over a new leaf or made a resolution but, “I was converted last night.” They looked at me, some with tears in their eyes and said, “We believe it.” I told the boss I deserved to lose my job and would take my medicine, but I had salvation. He said, “Waterman, come to work in the morning. I have nothing against you.” I testified to every person I met the rest of that day, and I have kept it up ever since. I haven’t had a conversation of any length with any person, but I told them I was a Christian.
Some of the boys made fun of me, one cursed me, but apologized the next day and said he thought I was joking.
Those I had gambled with gave me three weeks to last—and put a teddy bear in my chair till I came back. And six years have rolled by and the teddy bear still has the chair so far as I know, and may keep it forever.
I have not wanted to chew or smoke since God saved me. For six years, I have been a new creature. While I used to swear and talk vulgar, I’ve never sworn once or said a word my daughter could not say. I’ve lived every day in the second verse of the Psalm, “His delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
The Lord helped me to memorize fifty chapters while doing my ordinary work on the car. “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”
I have delighted to witness to the wise and the unwise so that as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel and warn every man to flee from the wrath to come. I am sure I spoke to at least ten people a day for thirty days without seeing anybody that seemed to be greatly moved or pretended to even want salvation. But I got down on my knees the first day of the next month saying. “Lord, I am going to keep on fishing whether I land anything or not.” And seven days later the Lord landed a whale for me.
Frank Strong, a great big motorman, got on my car and said he was glad I had been converted. I said, “Frank, if you were really glad, you would want it, too.”
He said, “Charlie, if I could get what you have I’d like to have it.” I said, “If you pay the price you can get it, and if you don’t want it bad enough to pay the price, you can’t get it, and might just as well leave it alone and go back home.”
Tears came in his eyes, and he said, “Charlie, I want it, tell me how.”
He agreed to meet me as soon as I was through work and was on the spot, but smoking about the longest cigar I had ever seen. He just looked at me and took it out of his mouth and threw it away and that was his last.
I took him to our little tent where we were at camp meeting and my wife and I and Sister Schell, now in Glory, prayed together, and Frank found God. After being a slave to tobacco since a child and a very profane man, God delivered him so completely he has been a flame of fire for God ever since. In a short time he brought his wife, his children, and his aged parents to the Lord, and is still winning souls right along on his car. God bless him!
I want to add that my tobacco heart was healed the night the Lord saved me, and I have not taken a dose of medicine since. A part of the trash that went into the stove on the first day of April, 1913 was my old headache powders, heart tablets and pills.
Tonight Christ is my Healer, my Sanctifier, my coming King and wonderful Saviour.
Charles C Waterman
(This testimony is in tract form and was printed by Old Paths Tract Society, Inc., Shoals, Ind. 47581. Though Mr. Waterman has, no doubt, long gone to his reward, yet his wonderful testimony still lives on to tell the story of redeeming grace for all who will trust and obey Him. This tract used by permission.)
Two Stories on How God Supplied Water
In a very dry summer, I was helping on a farm. The springs dried up. It was a very difficult chore to haul water for the household for over a mile.
One Sunday morning, I told my aunt that God would send us water if we would pray. We went to church—I prayed for water and when we returned home the spring was full and overflowing. My aunt was amazed and had to say, “God did it.”
Rev. Claude Eshelman
When we first moved to where we now live, we had a real water problem. There was a shallow well on the place but it did not furnish enough water for our use. My husband bought large cement tiles and dug the well out, and put these tiles in to make a greater volume of water but we still ran short. So, next, he got a well construction company to come out and drill for water. After going down one hundred feet in our back yard, and not able to hit water, they moved a good distance to the edge of our property and drilled again. This time they hit a gusher. We were so thrilled after having to be so scarce with water for so long. But our joy was shortlived. The water had so much iron in it until it turned all my clothes, pots and pans, and bath facilities brown. It was a mess, needless to say. We contacted a water softener company and they came out and installed a water softener but it was not effective. It would clear up the water for a short time but before they got out to add more chemicals, it would go bad again, so we had the same problem. When the water was clear, I would buy dye-remover (the only thing that would take out the stain) and work real hard to bleach my clothes white again, and soon the water would be full of iron again and my clothes would be ruined. Oh, what a trial it was to me. Many times I have felt like crying as I hung up my brown clothes (and probably did cry at times). I would be so embarrassed for folk to see them hanging on my line. I had a young baby at that time and its diapers were so dingy looking. One can just imagine how I felt!
We finally decided to put up a nine-hundred gallon rain tank to catch the rain water so that I could have good water to wash in. But this, too, turned out to be quite a burden, for I had to carry water from the rain tank to pour into my washer, and it being automatic, it was quite a chore with several loads of wash daily. Many times I would have a bucket of water in one hand and the baby in my other arm. I would get so tired and wonder if there would ever be an end.
One day, I had carried water all morning to wash and I was exhausted. I sat down in a chair in the living room and was crying and praying. The Scripture from Isaiah 33:16 flashed through my mind—“bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” I took this as a promise from God that He was going to give us water some way. I was completely to the end of myself with our water problems.
Well, God did move in our behalf. We had tried and tried to get city water which was only about a mile from our place, but the water district would not agree to extend the water line to reach us. But after I got this promise from God, He gave us the money (in a way we never dreamed of) to buy the pipe ourselves and hook on to the end of the district’s water line. We approached them about it and they allowed us to do it, so at last, we had all the good soft running water we needed. Thank God, there comes an end to trials, “for the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers … “ I Peter 3:12.
Georgia D. McCain
We Have a Big God
We were building a new church and the foundation was about four or five blocks high when we had a rain storm and the foundation filled up with water. A man from our church had a gasoline pump to take the water out, but he couldn’t get it to work. My two brothers and I were helping him (or getting in his way, for we were very young. I was eight, my younger brother was five and my older brother was about thirteen.) The man, whose name was Clifford, asked us if we wanted to ride with him to the parts store to get a spark plug, so we went with him. As we were riding along about thirty-five miles an hour, my younger brother’s door came open and he was pulled out of the vehicle (the back door opened from the front to the back instead of back to front for it was an old car). His head struck a rock and made several large cuts on it. My older brother picked him up and we rushed him to the doctor’s office. The doctor called my parents and they sent my brother to the hospital in the ambulance. The doctor at the hospital cleaned and sewed up the wounds which took over twenty-eight stitches. After the doctor got through, he came out and told my dad that if he lived, he would be a vegetable, and that his eyes would be crossed. My dad put his hand on the doctor’s shoulder and said, “We have a big God.” The doctor said, “If this child lives, it will have to be God to bring him through.”
My brother was unconscious for one month. Dad prayed for him and the Christians prayed for him. God brought him through, and he could walk and talk and his eyes were not crossed. Praise His Wonderful Name!
The Hem of His Garment
I had been ill for a month, with a good bit of pain and loss of weight but had not consulted a doctor. About that time, God, through the Spirit took me to Heaven and showed me things that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love and serve Him.
But, after that wonderful experience my pain began to increase and I went to a doctor in April, 1954 and he informed me that I had cancer and had only six months to a year to live. I had felt like I had cancer even before I visited Heaven. I continued to grow worse until the pain became almost unbearable and I realized that I was going to die, or thought I was.
One afternoon my pastor visited me. I will never forget that Wednesday afternoon. I appreciated her visit so much. At that time,I was lying upstairs on the bed and when she came in the room where I was, she could see how close I was to death. She had heard about my Heavenly visit and she said, “Oh, Marilyn, it isn’t going to be long until you are back in Heaven, rejoicing with Jesus.” I was happy rather than sad for the excruciating pain and my vision of Heaven made me rather anxious to go. Her parting words were, “Marilyn, we’re going to give you the best funeral that you’d ever want.” Little did she know that God had other plans for me and that she would beat me to Heaven.
It was Sunday afternoon and my husband had carried me downstairs where I could be with the family, when my little girl, three years old at that time, came up to the couch and said, “Mommie, can’t Jesus heal you?”
“Of course He can,” I replied, “but sometimes when we ask Him, He says ‘no’ because He knows what is best for us. He might want to take me on to Heaven.” I loved my husband and family with all my heart and at that time it was my desire to stay with them.
“Please, Mommie, can I ask Him anyway?”
“Yes, Honey, you can ask Him,” I replied. Then she knelt down beside me and began to pray. My husband who was in the kitchen washing dishes, heard her and came in and knelt with her. My little boy in his playpen at the foot of the couch came to the bars and joined in. These are the words that the Lord let me hear Kathy pray that day:
“Dear Jesus, I need my Mommie so much, would You please come and heal her?”—and her words faded away; but I could still hear her and the others praying, when I heard a voice as clear as any I ever heard, saying, “If I could just touch the hem of His garment I would be made whole.”
From my couch, I could see into the kitchen, and draped in the doorway was a glowing, white, shimmering garment. I said, “Oh, yes, Jesus, if I could just touch the hem of Your garment I would be made whole.” The moment I said that, the garment slowly started moving toward me.
All I could see was the lower part of the garment—no hands or feet—no body, just the garment. It floated over a little above my head and behind me but I was so weak at that time that I couldn’t reach up for it.
I said, “Jesus, just give me strength in my arm to touch it; just my arm is all I ask, and I know I will be made whole.”
I made the effort; slowly reached up and touched REAL MATERIAL! No one can make me believe that I didn’t! The very instant I touched it, precious, sweet, soothing healing flowed through my body!
I jumped from the couch saying, “I’m going to church!” I ran up the steps two at a time; rushed into the bedroom and got ready. When I came back downstairs my husband, bless his sweet heart, was still standing in the middle of the floor, wide-eyed and dazed.
“Come on, get ready, honey,” I said, as I took our son from his arms, “We’re going to church.” I could see little Kathy, walking up and down in the hallway with tears streaming down her smiling face, saying over and over, “Thank You, Jesus—Thank You, Jesus. I knew You could do it: I knew You could do it!” Oh, for the faith of a child. Her faith took over when I was too weak to have any.
My husband was still so shocked that I had to help him get ready. When we reached the car I said, “I’m going to drive. I can’t trust you in the shape you’re in.” Although I hadn’t driven for months, I got behind the wheel and drove the thirty-five miles from Pasadena to Los Angeles.
They commenced singing just as we started in the church and when the song leader saw me he gasped and threw up his hands. Then the pastor noticed me and her face turned white, and everybody turned around to see who had come in. Several for whom we had been praying for months, jumped up and ran to the altar and eventually prayed through. We had a Hallelujah time in the service that night. Needless to say, there was no preaching.
After the service was over and the people all crowded around me, our pastor said, “Oh, Marilyn, can you imagine how I felt when you walked in the door. I thought it was your ghost. I had just told the congregation I was expecting a call from Brother Browning any moment telling of your passing. We had just started the singing when the door opened and you came walking down the aisle. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Please-Please-tell us about it, Marilyn.”
Scarcely any of the people had left the church and they crowded around me and as I related the miracle that God had performed on my body, much praise and rejoicing could be heard all over the chapel.
I thank God for all the pain I endured. It was worth it all to see the hand of God working through the faith of a child; and see the ones saved that had been too hard to reach.
(Taken from the book, When God Stepped In by Margaret Gouge, 2010 Meadow Lake Drive, Jefferson City, Mo. 65109-2013. Used by permission.)
An Eighty-eight-year-old Man Saved
It gives me great pleasure to relate the following miracle of God’s mercy and grace. In 1970, a young evangelist, Paul Gray, was conducting a revival at our little church in Tioga, Louisiana. I became burdened for my elderly father-in-law’s spiritual condition as he was eighty-eight years old and had never been saved. I discussed it with my husband and he went to see him and invited him to the revival, and offered to furnish transportation for him. (My mother-in-law was deceased.) Not only did “Papa” come to church that night, but he was anxious to come the next night as well. God put him under old-fashioned conviction and he was gloriously saved, a mighty miracle of God’s grace. Brother Glenn
Griffith said he was the oldest convert he had ever met in his ministry. People’s hearts, as a whole, are hardened by the time they reach that age, if they’ve never gone to church and it’s hard for God to reach them. So we were thrilled beyond measure at God’s mercy to Papa, and so happy that he heeded God’s voice when He spoke to him.
Papa lived eighteen years after this and went to church as long as he was able. He was a blessing to all who knew him. The last few years were spent in a rest home where he had to be tube fed, but he was a patient sufferer. He died at the ripe old age of one hundred six years old and the following memorial was given at his funeral.
A Tribute for William P. McCain
Due to the fact that the church Papa attended as long as he was physically able, The Wesleyan Methodist Church of Tioga, is presently without a pastor, the family of the deceased has requested me, as one closely associated with Papa, and also a member of the same church he was affiliated with, to say a few words in his behalf. Also, I am representing my son, Danny, who for years expressed the desire to preach Papa’s funeral when he passed on. But Danny is presently serving in missionary work in Nigeria, Africa and doesn’t even know that Papa is deceased.
In preparing this little memorial, several thoughts came to my mind concerning Papa. First, his relationship to God. Second, his meekness. Third, his love of peace, and fourth, his loving, his
caring and sharing.
In Revelation 3:20, we read, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
There was a time in Papa’s life when he heard the knock of Jesus on his heart’s door and he let Him in. It was during a revival at our little church in the year 1970. Though he was an exceptionally good moral man, and didn’t smoke, curse or steal, was kind and considerate, and worked hard to support his family, yet Papa had never been saved. In fact, I had never known him to go to church. But God placed a burden on my heart for him and we invited him to church and he came and was converted the second night.
After his conversion, he attended church regularly, always sat on the front bench and was prompt to testify at every opportunity. His testimony usually went something like this, “I want to stand up here and tell you I am a Christian. I was saved right here at this church.” And he would always add, “And I’m still saved.”
Once an older evangelist held a revival for us and he made he statement that Papa was the oldest convert that he’d ever seen. Papa piped up and said, “I’m glad I’m that person.” He was happy in his new-found experience.
After church, our family always took Papa home for dinner. His favorite food was turnip greens and corn bread, which I always added to our menu every Sunday. He would always show appreciation for the meal by commenting, “A good dinner, Georgia, a good dinner.”
Papa always asked for prayer as long as he was responsive whether at his home or later in the rest home. “Will you pray for me before you go?” were the words we always expected to hear, and of course it was a pleasure to oblige him.
Oh, the great mercy of God to reach down to an old eighty-eight-year-old man and pluck him as a brand from the burning. If any of you are up in the years and feel your life is spent and you have left God out and there’s no hope, just consider the mercy extended to Papa and know the same God will extend mercy to you if you will give Him a chance .
The second thing I want us to notice about Papa was his meekness. Let us read a few verses from Numbers 12:1-9. “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed.”
We notice in the first two verses that Moses’ brother and sister spake against Moses but he did not retaliate in any way nor did he complain to God. Verse 3 says the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.
When it came to defending God’s cause, Moses stood straight and tall like when the people made the golden calf to worship. Moses renounced it boldly, but when it came to defending himself, he said absolutely nothing. But though Moses said nothing, God did. His anger was kindled against Aaron and Miriam. He defended His servant, Moses.
I feel sure that many times God took notice of Papa when people would perhaps criticize or misunderstand him and Papa would say nothing. If Moses was the meekest man on earth, Papa must have run a close second. I have been in the family for forty-two years and not one time have I seen him ruffled. I’ve never heard him argue or fuss with anyone. Never has he tried to defend himself. He had an excellent spirit as did Daniel and was gifted with the virtue of meekness. I Peter 3:4 tells us that a meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price. I Timothy 6:11-12 exhorts us to “follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” I feel Papa has laid hold on the eternal life he has striven for and is now at rest with Jesus.
The third thing we want to notice about Papa, was his love of peace. Romans 12:18 reads, “If it be possible as much as lieth in you, live peaceable with all men.” Proverbs 16:7 reads, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
If Papa had an enemy, God evidently kept him at peace with him for he was one person on earth who, seemingly, had no enemies. He strove to get along with everybody. He expressed his love for peace in an interview for a newspaper on his ninety-fifth birthday. I quote “W. F. McCain, Pineville, does not want to hassle anyone and he does not want anyone hassling him. ‘Avoid confusion,’ he often repeated in an interview Monday. ‘It’s not necessary to always be arguing and fighting. Treat everybody right and go to church. Avoid confusion.’ “ End quote .
Not only was Papa a peace-loving man but he was a non-complaining person. Though the last two and one-half years of his life were spent in bed with tube-feeding, not once did he ever complain. Never did you hear Papa say, “This old tube stuck in my nose is driving me nuts—this bed is too hard—these bed sores are hurting me—my roommate is a nuisance—I’m too hot or too cold.” All the legitimate complaints of an elderly rest home patient were never expressed by Papa. It was always, “I’m doing pretty good. Come back and see me.”
On his 105th birthday, Papa was given a party and he knew everyone. He talked to them and asked about different members of their families and seemed so pleased to have everyone come and visit.
Not long prior to that, my husband and I visited him in the hospital and he named all of his children to us and one of his nephews, and said, “Tell all of them I love them, and to come see me.”
Yes, Papa was a dear. In all the years I’ve known him, I’ve never known him to complain once. Though he never had more than the bare necessities of life, he accepted it without murmuring and complaining, was content in whatsoever state he was in.
Lastly, we want to mention Papa’s Loving, Caring and Sharing.
James 2:15-16 reads, “If a brother or sister be naked, and destiture of daily food. And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled, not withstanding, ye give them not those things which are needful to the body: what does it profit?”
Years ago when times were very hard, Papa’s sister-in-law, a widow, passed away leaving several orphan children. Some wanted to put them in an orphanage but Papa and his beloved wife took them in their home, fed them, and did the best they could for them, loving them and sharing their meager existence with them. though they had a large family themselves. Papa didn’t say. “Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled,” but he reached out loving hands to them and shared such as he had.
Life has been rough for Papa, as a whole, but today he has laid his old armour by, and I feel sure as the rewards will be meted out, that Papa will be hearing Jesus say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joys of the Lord.”
Georgia D. McCain
God Answers the Prayer of a Mother Who Had Been Dead 65 Years
In the providence of God, while we were in Trinidad, He permitted an unpleasant incident to put me in touch with a man who needed God quickly before he slipped into eternity. A piece of mail had been put into my mailbox which belonged to someone else; actually it was only a part of a package from America. This I took back to the branch post office. What was left of this small, mutilated package was sent on to the young lady to whom it was addressed. She was a stenographer in a business firm and had come from America to be with her grandfather who was now alone and dying with a tobacco heart. He was a druggist and owned his own store, but had to give it up because of his illness. This young woman was very angry about her mail and made demands of the postmaster who could do nothing about it. The postmaster wrote me a letter requesting me to come in and see him, which I did. He told me that this package which had wrongly been given to me had come to them in the condition in which it was sent to this branch post office. He asked me if I would go to see her and try to pacify her. I went to see her at the address given but she was not there; she was at work. Her grandfather called for me to come in when he heard my knock. I went in and discovered the condition he was in. He told me that the doctor had given him only until Friday to live; this was Wednesday. He told me that his mother, who died when he was only eight years old, had been a Christian and had gotten him to promise that he would meet her in Heaven. Out in the world, away from Mother’s influence and with no one to lead him to Christ through the years, he was soon to face the realities of another world. His mother had put her dying hand on his head and prayed for her boy. I saw at once that God had permitted the mix-up in the mail to put me in touch with him. A mother’s prayers had to be answered.
As I talked with this man, propped up in his bed, I explained the way of salvation as clearly as I could. I urged him to pray, repent of his sins and trust the blood of Jesus for salvation. I stayed a long time and then committed him to God. I asked God to reveal Himself to this man’s heart, and left. I went back the next day to see him, intending to go every day until his death, and do what I could to get him to God. I found him rejoicing in Christ, his Saviour. God had revealed Himself and he had prayed through and was gloriously saved. We rejoiced together. I read the Bible to him and talked to him about the compassion of Christ and His healing power. I asked him if he would like for me to pray that God would raise him up and cheat the death angel on Friday, the day that the doctors said he would die. He seemed to grasp the truth and asked me to anoint and pray for him. God had given me faith for his healing before I spoke to him about it, as was so often the case in my ministry in those days. After anointing and praying for him, I again left him in the hands of God. I told him I would be back the next day at that time.
When I arrived I found him up and dressed, for God had healed him of the tobacco heart. He was rejoicing in spirit and we had a wonderful visit together. God was answering the prayers of that mother who had been with her Lord for more than 65 years. Day after day, I visited him. I invited him to the mission to give his testimony on Sunday morning. I went and got him, and together we rode the streetcar to the meeting. I had difficulty in getting to the meeting on time, for all along the way, he would tell everyone he met how God had healed him of his tobacco heart and saved him. When we got on the street-car, he stopped there and testified to the driver. He was a happy, faithful witness. God delivered him completely from the tobacco habit the moment He saved him. It does not always work that way but in this case it did. He was a great blessing and faithful as long as I was there, and no doubt, to the end of his days, which may not have been long.
Dr. William F. Beirnes
(Taken from the book, Seeing Him Who Is Invisible, by Dr. William F. Beirnes. Used by permission.)
Struck by 138,000 Volts of Electricity and Lived
God is stilI in the saving business today.
I thank God for His mercy to my never-dying soul. After thirty-one years of serving the devil, Jesus has forgiven me of all my sins. Praise God. On April 16, 1978, He saved my soul by answering my prayer of repentance. I was a wicked and vile sinner. I didn’t care for myself or anyone, at times. I started to drink, smoke, lie, and cheat at a very young age. As I got older and got married, I became even worse. I knew nothing about God.
In October 1967, I was working on construction when a crane that I was working with hit into high tension wires carrying 138,000 volts of electricity. I was thrown 18 feet into the air, and when my body hit into some soft ground, it left an imprint of about nine inches deep. I was taken to the hospital, and word got to my wife that I was dead. When she arrived at the hospital, she found that I was not dead but very close to it.
My right arm was welded into my chest, both legs were burned badly. I had to have most of the top of my right foot taken off to the bone, and three toes were amputated. The left foot was blown full of holes. The heel was blown out and a hole clear through the arch. If I would have died, that day, I would have already been in hell all these years.
After being in and out of the hospital almost two years, and having to learn to walk all over again, my heart full of hate, my life continued to grow worse and worse. My drinking increased to the point that I had to wake up to a warm can of beer to start the day. I was not able to work. We could not pay our bills because all I got went to my habit. My wife and children were ready to leave me, and I felt I didn’t care. Life had no meaning to me.
Then in Jan. of 1977, my wife went to a Church, and people prayed, and God poured out old-time conviction on her soul, and she got saved. This made me hungry because I was sick of my life. So I started to go to church and God delivered me from alcohol. I wasn’t saved yet, but God was helping me. Thank God, saints were praying. My wife was living a Christian life before me.
I continued to stay around the church people, and one day I went down to North Carolina from my home in Ohio because I got word that my brother-in-law had gotten saved. I couldn’t believe it. This man was as wicked as I was. Sure enough, there was that same glow on his face that I had seen on my wife’s face. I was so miserable I could hardly stand to be around where the Christians were. I was so hungry for God I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid I couldn’t make it on my own. Friend, you can’t make it on your own. I went to a little church there in Paster Branch, N.C. the next morning and there while saints of God were singing “Come Unto Me”, God spoke to me and said, “I will give you rest.” And I found myself at the altar praying through, and He saved me . Then in Alliance, Ohio God sanctified me. I have never been sorry or had any regret in serving Jesus. I now have a new outlook on life, new desires.
II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold all things are become new.” Dear Reader, you can enjoy this peace and rest in your soul if you will but heed the call of the Saviour today.
Rev. Richard Grewell
A Man Appeared to Me in White
I had prayed for many years for someone who was very dear to me, but he had never seemed interested at all in spiritual things. Now he was lying at the point of death, seemingly without hope of making it to Heaven. I was under a burden for him, as was our pastor. He had been visiting him and the sick man took a real liking to him and did not seem to resent our pastor coming to. see him or praying for him. In fact, one day as he visited, he asked for prayer. No doubt God was faithfully dealing with his heart because of the prayer going up for him.
But the man passed away, and as far as we knew, had made no profession of getting right with God. It broke my heart. I was too grieved for words. Our pastor came to me the morning he died and told me, “But I know I prayed through for him.” Perhaps this should have brought some comfort to my heart, but the evidence of him dying without a testimony seemed to be the final word. At the funeral home, I was so grieved until I didn’t feel like talking to anyone. Our pastor was there but was in another room. All at once, he and his wife came in smiling and came over to where I was sitting. “Come with us where we can talk,” he said. I really did not feel like talking but hated to refuse their request. I went with them and this is the message he gave me.
He said that the son-in-law of the man who died had come to him and told him, “He told me just before he died to tell the family not to worry about where he was going, that a man in white had come and stood by his bed with His hand outstretched to him and said, “ ‘Come,’ so I came. So tell my family not to worry about where I’m going.’ “
Oh, the faithfulness of God to do everything in His power to answer His children’s prayers.
Georgia D. McCain
He Picked Me Up
I want the world to know that the Lord can save a drunkard. I was left without father or mother at the age of sixteen, and getting out into the middle of the current of sin, went on down. I began to drink at the age of eighteen. I served three years in the United States Army where I learned to gamble and do everything the devil wanted me to do. At the age of twenty five, I found myself a drunkard. I then tried to quit but was not able. I married a good girl of seventeen years of age only to bring her down to disgrace with me. Two years later, a little girl was born. I loved my wife and baby, but drink had the best of me.
I had a friend I had drunk with for seven years. He was a habitual drunkard. Change of work put me in another part of town, so I did not see my drunkard friend for some time. One day I went into the old “hang-out” and I missed him. When I asked about him, they told me he was up at Wheeler Rescue Mission preaching. I laughed at them, but I heard later that he was saved and had quit drinking. Now this man had taken the Keeley cure twice, and it did not cure him; so I could not believe what I heard about his being saved. I had to pass the mission every day as I went to work, and I could not help looking over there and wondering about my friend .
After staying out one Saturday night until two o’clock in the morning, I came home to find my tired little wife sitting up, waiting for me. After a drunken quarrel, I went to bed. She called me at seven o’clock the next morning (Sunday) to go to the grocery for bread. I went and came back at One P.M. staggering drunk, with bread for breakfast. I went to bed and slept off that drunk. I got up at four o’clock, went down and got another drink, then came back to the house and dressed up. Two blue shirts, an old black tie, and a light, threadbare pair of trousers were all I had to wear. I said to my wife, “Come; let’s go to the picture show.” She said, “You know I have nothing to wear-no dress, no shoes, and no hat.”
Little Ruth was five years old and had nothing to wear like the other little girls. She used to say, “Daddy, I wish I had a new dress and new shoes like little Clara.” (Clara was the little girl next door.) That would break my heart, but I would do nothing to help it. Then I said, “Well, we will go to Wheeler Mission”; but as my wife had nothing to wear I started alone.
On the way I stopped and got another drink, then went down to the mission and stood out in front smoking a cigarette. I wondered what they would say if I went in. At last, I slipped in and sat down as far back as I could. I began to look for my friend. At last, I saw him sitting on a front seat. I hardly recognized him as he was cleaned up, had on good clothes, and did not look like himself. He came back to the door, spied me sitting there, and ran to me with a “God bless you, Charlie.” He got his arm around me and pulled me up in front. I said “Get away, man. You will disgrace yourself and this place.” But he said,“Jesus loves you,” and helped me into a front seat.
They began to sing, “In the Sweet By and By” and “I Will Sing the Wondrous Story,” and that got hold of the reverse lever of my poor, whiskey-crazed mind. I remembered how my father use to sing those songs as he went about his work. Then they had praise service, and men and women rose to their feet and told how they had been saved.
At last my friend arose and looked off toward heaven with a shine on his face and said, “I want to thank God that I am sober.” I do not remember what else he said. I was under such conviction that I could not move. The preacher began to preach, and he preached at me. He stamped his foot at me and shook his fist at me. Conviction kept falling.
My mind ran back to my mother’s knee, where she taught me to pray, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” A vision of a tired woman and a little girl at home, hungry and half-clothed, passed before me. The night of conviction grew darker and darker. I saw myself the meanest and most wretched man in the world. Then they gave an altar call, and I groped my way to the altar through the dark. They began to pray for me, and I asked God to save me and He did. Praise His Holy Name forever! He picked me up! I arose from the altar—Jesus had come to that room and had gone through and polished the lights. It was bright in there then.
They tell me the first thing I said was, “Where is my hat? I want to see my wife.” Home had always been the last place I wanted to go; but now old things had passed away, and all things had become new. I started home and could not walk fast enough. I did not wait for the streetcar; but finally one came, and I got aboard. It was the brightest car I had ever seen. As I entered the door, the conductor said, “Hello, old soak.” I said, “No!” and pointed him to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.
When I arrived at home, I knocked at the door, for wife had gone to bed. I could see through the glass under the shade; and as she came down the stairs, she looked like a angel to me. I could hardly wait for her to get to the door. She opened the door, and I ran in with a shout. She thought I was still drunk; so she ran upstairs, and I followed her. She jumped into bed; but I fell on my knees and told her the story of saving grace, the power of which had reached me that night. Then I went to bed, and the next morning, I woke in the most beautiful world I had ever seen. The sun was shining so bright. I looked over into my companion’s tired-looking face and kissed her. I looked over into a small bed, where lay little Ruth. Then I went to her bed, leaned over and kissed her sweet face. I noticed some water on her face, and as I looked, I saw it was a tear from my own eyes. It was precious to me. I said, “Ruth, you can have a dress and shoes like little Clara now.”
I prayed to God to help me. I called Mamma, and we went down the stairs. She kept her eyes on me. She was afraid to believe it—afraid it would not be true. We had breakfast at the same table where I had drunk, and sworn, and played cards. Now I asked God to bless our breakfast, and He did. Although it was not much, it was the sweetest meal I had ever eaten. It tasted like a birthday dinner. Then I started to work. How the sun did shine! All the trees seemed to wave their hands and praise the Lord, and the English sparrows sounded like mockingbirds. It was only one square and a half to the old saloon, and I had not been able to pass it before. Now I was nearly three squares beyond it before I ever thought of the saloon; the old appetite was gone. I worked one week, went straight home and handed my wife my week’s salary. The tears stole down her cheeks as she counted it, and looked up, and said, “This is the first time I ever knew how much you drew.”
Now we are both saved and enjoying the blessing of holiness. God has called me to preach His Word, and I am in His work. I give God all the praise and the glory forever.
By Charles M. Harrison
(This testimony is in tract form and was printed by Old Paths Tract Society, Inc., Shoals, Ind. 47581. Used by permission, Author.)
How God Paid the Bills at Northwest Indian Bible School
In 1968-69, two hundred and fifty six acres of pine-covered land was purchased for the Northwest Indian Bible School. School opened in the fall of 1969 with about thirty students. Classrooms were held in truck van boxes, garages to uncompleted houses, and even in an Indian tepee. The bills mounted up so high with so many buildings going up, school supplies to purchase, plus the daily expenses of a school. Brother Robert Pelton, our president, came to our Monday evening campus prayer meeting one week with quite a stack of bills. He passed them out to all the ones there, and we gathered at the front of the chapel to pray over the bills we had been given. God really helped us in that prayer time, and we left feeling a responsibility to keep praying until “our” bill or bills had been paid. One by one, we would hear that money had come in to pay a certain bill until in a short time, that stack of bills was completely taken care of. Recalling this answer to prayer, I have been encouraged in my years here at Northwest to believe God for all our needs.
Riding on an Empty Gas Tank and the Promises of God
It is great to serve God, to be able to rely on Him in difficult situations, to know He cares and will help us when we need Him most.
I remember once that we wanted to attend a camp meeting at Mobile, Alabama over the week-end. But we had a problem connected with the trip. We had to be home early Monday morning, so we would have to leave Sunday night after church and we wanted to honor the Sabbath day and not buy gas on Sunday. This was an impossibility unless God would intervene in some way, because our old car was a real gas guzzler.
Now as is always the case, the devil did not want us to go to camp meeting, so he assaulted me with this suggestion, “You are going to run out of gas on one of those long stretches of wooded sections of the highway, and will be stranded in the late hours of the night. The men will have to leave you and the little ones alone, defenseless, while they go in search of gas. Can’t you see the danger you will be in?” Oh, isn’t the devil concerned about God’s children? I wonder why I have let him scare me so many times with his suggestions, but he presents them in such a realistic way until they sound very logical.
Anyway, I went to prayer about the situation. I said, “Lord, Thou dost know that we want to honor Thee by not buying gas on Thy Sabbath Day. We will fill up our tank on Saturday night and leave Sunday night after church and drive as far as we can, but we won’t buy gas until after midnight.” I asked God for a promise to stand on because of the impossibility of it all, and because of what the devil had told me. Here is what He gave me from Psalm 34:22, “None … that trust in Him shall be desolate.” The word “desolate” means forsaken, so I had God’s promise that He would not forsake us. I felt relieved. In fact, I no longer feared the devil’s suggestion but I just rested in the Lord.
We went to camp meeting as planned, and after the service Sunday night we started back home. When we were fifty miles from a town where gas could be bought, my son who was driving, said, “Mamma, we’re about out of gas. We only have one eighth of a tank left.” I answered, “Son, God assured me that we would not be left desolate, so I know He will see us through.” We drove a few more miles and my son warned me again, “Mamma, the gas gauge is registering empty.” We still had about forty miles more to go before we could get gas. I assured him again “Son, I’m trusting the Lord’s promise. Just keep your eyes off the gas tank and keep them on God.”
What a trip! It was exciting, to say the least. We were riding on an empty gas tank and the promises of God. We drove all the way to Natchez, Mississippi and stopped at a red light and the car died on us. My son said, “Well, that’s it.” But he got the car started again and pulled into the nearest gas station. It was closed but just after we drove into the gas station, a car pulled in behind us. It was two policemen. They were checking to see what we were doing there since the station was closed. When they found out our problem, they offered to go and show my son where a gas station was open. They let him ride in their car. We emptied a gallon jug that was filled with water and they were soon back with some gas, which, incidentally, was bought after midnight because it was now after twelve. We, then, went and filled up the tank. We had honored God and He had honored us by keeping us from being stranded, and by leading us to an open gas station after the midnight hour. “Now the Lord saith … them that honour me I will honour” I Samuel 2:30.
Georgia D. McCain
After their wedding in New York, Will and Carrie Trusler boarded a train and headed for Kansas, where they were to live. Earlier, Will had had a desire to go west, and Kansas had appealed to him, so he had located in Eskridge, where one of his friends was in business. Will built a small building and stocked it with hardware. For several years, he slept in the back of the building and ate in a restaurant. Then, all of a sudden, loneliness enveloped him. One of his friends suggested he needed a wife, to which he agreed. Soon he returned to his home in New York, and while there he met a young lady, Carrie Lowns, whom he had known through the years, but now she became very special to him. They were married sometime later on September 25, 1883, and made the move to Kansas.
While living in Kansas, first Carrie and then Will were gloriously saved and later sanctified. Because of a consistent walk with God, Carrie was able to have faith to believe God for help in a crisis in their lives in the following true account.
The summer had been unusually hot and dry even for Kansas. The supply of water was getting dangerously low. No watering of lawns or gardens was permitted. A fire would be disastrous to the little town. Cattle and stock were needing water badly. Oh, if it would only rain! Just a few clouds, now and then, filled the sky but the sun soon broke through with its blistering heat. This was the weather pattern day after day. One hot, windy day, a spark, presumably from the railroad, started a flame which ignited the roof of the farthest building on Main Street. How rapidly the fire spread from roof to roof down the business district. Billows of smoke and intense heat enveloped the street.
“Trusler, your store’s next!” cried one of the business men whose hands were burned and whose face was blackened with soot. “Hadn’t we better carry out some of your stock?”
By this time, Carrie was in the store walking up and down the aisles, face and hands lifted heavenward pleading the blood and quoting Scripture. She was the one giving the orders.
“No!” she said with a tear-stained face and lifted hands, “don’t touch any of the stock. God is going to give the deliverance.” And on she paced pleading and praying.
“Trusler, your wife’s gone crazy! We’re going to try to save a few things,” cried one of the clerks. The fire was sweeping with intensity and all seemed lost. Then a miracle happened. At the edge of the roof of the Trusler building, the wind changed and the fire receded; a few sparks landed on the roof but died. The flames soon were quenched and the fire was a thing of the past. The store and all of its contents were spared, save stock that was taken out damaged by water and chemicals.
People met in little groups to discuss the recent fire and most of all the miraculous deliverance. The loss to the business district was tremendous, but “The Leader,” Trusler’s store, was open for business as usual.
“Mrs. Trusler—we called her crazy, but she’s a woman who knows God! W. Trusler is a fortunate man,” was the consensus of opinion.
(This account taken from Lillian M. Knapp’s book, A Walk to Glory. Used by permission.)
Carrie and Will Trusler were the parents of two daughters, Golden and Geraldine. Geraldine married Robb French. She and her husband, both very dear friends of the author, together with Rev. and Mrs. James Zuch, were the founders of Hobe Sound Camp in Hobe Sound, Florida. We have visited and been refreshed by this old-fashioned camp meeting for twenty-seven consecutive years. We have heard the other sister, Golden, sing at this camp and her songs were used of God to bless hundreds, perhaps thousands of her listeners. Thank God for the memories we have of these old-fashioned saints of God. Author
For Seventeen Years He Testified That God Had Promised To Heal Him
My dad’s mother died when he was only eight years old and he was reared by his mother’s mother and aunts and uncles. His grandmother was a Christian, but my dad grew up without getting saved.
After he got older, he worked in a coal mine in Pennsylvania, mining coal with a pick and shovel along with his uncle. One day, they were mining in a place that was about three or four feet high, when a rock fell and crushed my dad’s leg. He was taken to the hospital where he was told the bone in his leg was splintered into pieces like a toothpick. The doctor said his leg would have to be amputated. While he was in the hospital, the Lord began to talk to him and told him if he would give his life to Him that He would heal him. My dad was a chain smoker and smoked one cigarette after another. He would smoke them down to where they would burn his fingers. As he lay there in the hospital smoking, the doctor came in to make arrangements to amputate his leg. My dad informed him that he would not have his leg taken off. The doctor contended with him that if he did not agree to the amputation that gangrene would set in and he would lose his life. Nevertheless, Dad held his ground and refused to let them take off his leg, so they put it in a cast that covered most of his body. I believe the cast was left on for six months and when it was removed, his leg that had been shattered was two inches shorter than the other. He had to use crutches to walk, and during this time he had to walk a mile to work in the snow.
One Sunday night, Dad attended a church service in a Nazarene church. After going home that night, deep conviction settled down upon him as God began dealing with his heart. He walked back to church and got the pastor out of bed to help him pray, and he was gloriously saved. When he went out the door of the church that night, he took his cigarettes out of his pocket, and gave them a pitch and never smoked another. Praise God! Later my dad was sanctified wholly.
For seventeen years, Dad testified to people that God had promised to heal him if he would serve Him. One night in a revival service, God spoke to him and told him to get anointed for healing. He knelt at the altar and as soon as the oil touched his head, he felt his leg starting to grow. He got up from the altar, threw his cane away and ran out and around the church, for God had truly healed him. There were lots of people at church that night and not a one could stay in his seat. They were all up shouting and praising the Lord, even to the little children. Praise the Lord forever!
How The Lord Understood a Family’s Need
(A True Christmas Story)
The days following the first World War were very difficult days for those of us living in the Province of Alberta, Canada, for it was then that the flu raged across the country. This particular winter was a very cold one and because of the suffering of the people, it was a very hard one. The time came when the authorities thought it best to close the schools and churches, as they wanted to bring the epidemic under control. When the churches were closed, my father, being a preacher, was without salary; and we were left to get along the best we could. Every morning, he would get us around him for family prayers and would read the 91st Psalm, claiming the 7th and 10th verses to cover his family. Verse 7-- "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee." Verse 10-- "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." Our faith in God was increased because of his earnestly bringing his family to the Lord and pleading that this terrible plague would not come nigh our dwelling. None of us came down with the flu during this terrible scourge.
When the doctor went out on his trips into the country to visit the sick folks, he would come by and pick up my father. Father would go along with him and take care of the chores that others could not do—bring in the water from the pump, cut the wood, carry coal, and do other little things that would help the sick—while the doctor took care of his patients. Many times everyone in a family would be sick and down in bed.
The cold, wintry days came and went. Christmas time drew near. With six children in the family and with no money coming in, there was a good bit of speculation and talk as to what this Christmas would bring us.
After supper, one evening when we gathered around for family prayers, Father said, “We will not be able to have Christmas this year. We must be fair with you children and let you know how things are.” There was a hesitancy in his voice and a look of sadness on his face as he spoke.
We had noticed that our parents were strangely quiet and did not seem to join in with the “Christmas Spirit” which naturally builds up in a family during those days prior to Christmas. But we knew they were preoccupied with heavy burdens because of the many things that were happening, and too there was a great deal of uncertainty about Christmas as far as they were concerned. Nevertheless, we children were happy and joyous.
During these times when one went to buy sugar, he had to purchase certain amounts of oatmeal, rice, flour, etc., in order to be able to purchase a certain amount of sugar. A good supply of oatmeal, rice, flour, etc. found its way into our pantry, being given to us by friends and neighbors, but no sugar. Nobody was giving any sugar away. My mother became very efficient in making things out of these staples and whipping up some desserts. She did the best she could with what she had to work with. But now it was Christmas time and she needed some other things—things that we did not have.
The day before Christmas there was a heavy snow—a crisp, frosty, dry snow. We went out and found a Christmas tree. We then popped corn and hung strings of corn on the tree. How delighted we were to be able to do that much!
On Christmas Eve we all gathered around for family prayers as usual. The Christmas Story was read to us out of the Bible. At the close, Father paused a minute and said, “Now, children, we can’t have Christmas this year like we have had it other years, because there is no money. We can’t fill the stockings. We will be satisfied to get along and maybe later we can have our celebration.”
We all got down to pray. Father had tried to gently warn us before, but it had not penetrated. As we prayed, we earnestly petitioned our Heavenly Father to help us so that we could “have a Christmas.”
When we arose from our knees, we pled with our father to let us hang up our stockings in the place where we always had—on our coat hooks. He finally agreed, very weakly, to let us do it, seeing how our hearts were set upon it. However, he warned us firmly not to expect anything in them. There was nothing to put in them, he explained, and nothing with which to buy things that were needed for them.
In spite of his warning, we tripped up to bed and lay down to sleep with the confidence that the Lord Jesus was able to fill our stockings.
Our parents pulled their chairs up to the little black kitchen stove, and there they sat in gloom and doubt, wondering what was to happen. What could they do? Where could they turn? There were many others in desperate circumstances during this Christmas, but these little ones were their children and now their faith seemed to be at stake. Was there no way out? It seemed not.
The clock faithfully ticked off the minutes. The fire was starting to go out in the range. Father and Mother sat looking at those six stockings hanging in a neat little row—empty. And they were helpless to do anything about it. The clock struck 8:00. Then 8:30. Then 9:00. Then 9:30. Finally the clock struck 10.00. The room was beginning to get cold.
Father said, “Well, there is no use of us waiting here. We might as well go to bed.”
They sat a few minutes more before retiring. Father was starting to get up when in the distance they heard the ringing of some sleigh bells. They listened. In the crisp, cold, frosty air, they could hear even the crunch of snow under the horses’ hooves. Now the sleigh was coming closer and closer and closer. Suddenly, someone shouted, “Whoa,” and the sleigh bells were silenced in front of our house. Someone came and knocked on the door. Father flung it wide open and there stood the groceryman,
“Brother,” he said, “I am glad to find you up. I have been busy all day. I have had something for you but have not been able to get it to you until now.”
Out he went to the sleigh and brought in a big apple box full of groceries. Then back he went and brought in another large box. Father and Mother were astonished. All they could do was to stand there and watch. Upon setting down the second box, the grocery-man turned and said very cheerily, “A very Merry Christmas to you!” and, closing the door, away he went.
Father and Mother, stunned, looked at one another for a moment, then began to look at the contents of the boxes. In them they found everything they needed and more, to fill the stockings until they bulged. There were oranges, apples, nuts, candy, sugar, and many other things. There was warm underwear for Father—something he really needed in going out to labor with the doctor day after day, There were new ice skates for us children. It was just that extra giving, so characteristic of our Lord. At last Father and Mother went wearily, but happily, to bed. Their hearts were light, for now their children would not be disappointed in the morning.
It was tradition at our house that the first one up in the morning would yell, “Merry Christmas!” and thus wake up everyone else. So, early on that cold, frosty morning, the first one up cried, “Merry Christmas!” which brought up all the rest of the little heads—six in all. Out of bed, we jumped, dressing hurriedly. We were oblivious to the cold floor, as down the steps we ran in a wild rush for the kitchen.
There hung our stockings, filled to the top!
“Didn’t we tell you so? Didn’t we say that the Lord Jesus would do it?” we cried out excitedly. “He brought things for our stockings.”
Father and Mother watched us, their eyes bright with tears of joy. Afterwards, we crowded around them and one of us asked again, “Didn’t we tell you that Jesus was able to fill our stockings?”
That was a very happy Christmas. We know Who brought to us joy on this day which turned out to be a very disappointing Christmas for most children. There has been many a Christmas since then, and many lovely and more expensive gifts than those have been received, but there has never been a Christmas as real or as precious as that one was. What a joyous Christmas dinner we had as we heartily gave thanks to God and shared with our neighbors!
(This incident happened in the life of my mother, Mrs. Ruth Treese, East Liverpool, Ohio, as a girl in Canada. Written by Paul W. Treese.)
My Cupboards Were Completely Bare
I had scraped together everything I had in the house to feed my small children. My cupboards were completely bare. They had gone outside and played most of the morning, but it was noontime now and they were hungry, so one by one they would come in and ask for something to eat. I would try to put them off, but they kept asking to eat. I would say, “We’re going to eat,” but of course just when, I wasn’t sure. Finally, I took them in to the living room and took the Bible and opened it to Matthew 6:25-34, and read it to them. “Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” Verse 26—“Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” Verse 33—“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Of course, my children couldn’t understand so much of what I was reading but it was encouraging my own faith. Just as I finished reading, I heard my neighbor calling for me over the fence. I laid the Bible down and walked out to see why she called. She was whining and started telling me how her children didn’t appreciate her. I asked, “Now why do you feel that way?” She answered, “I cooked a full course meal and they barely touched it, and they won’t eat it if I warm it up later. I was wondering if your family has eaten yet? Would you be interested in the food I’ve cooked?”
“Would I?” She brought it over and I invited her into the living room and read her the Scripture I had just read my children about God’s care for us. I shared with her my predicament and told her how God had used her and her food to answer prayer. She was greatly moved upon and wept. How great is our God. Amen!
A Drunkard Redeemed
My life, like so many lives, was one affected by drink. I started at an early age with just one drink. Because of my build and size, I was never questioned as to my age when buying liquor. When I was sixteen, I had no trouble in buying drinks of high power in alcohol—by the age of twenty, it really had a grip on me.
Nearly all I made at work went for booze and high living. I became a slave and a debtor to the barroom, as it was seemingly on my mind constantly.
The darkness and sensual music that issued out of the dens of sin enticed me, and I yielded. Drink became my all. I was enslaved, as I felt I could have no joy without it. Its false security became my only place of escape, to find out when sober it had only wrought more pain upon myself, and pain upon my family. No other one in our connection was given to drink.
Nights and days spent in a barroom brought reproach upon a praying mom, a loving dad, who through self-denial gave the best they could to their family, the best sister any man could ever own, and a brother who provided for his wife and children second to none. Yet with all this knowledge, the voice of Satan continually caused me to yield to more and deeper sin.
In 1950, I met and fell in love with my wife. She came from a home—where drink was no stranger, as her father and brother were heavy drinkers. Her father died when she was only nine years old. She did not complain too much about my excessive drinking. On March 23, 1951 we were married. Everyone seemed to feel that this was just what was needed to straighten me out, but not so. I became extremely jealous, and drowned my sorrows with booze, and by now.any kind was desirable.
Our first child, Deborah, was born May 6, 1953. Upon bringing her mother home, that very night, I had a bout with booze. I grew more and more chronic in alcoholism and was warned by two or more physicians as to the outcome of my condition.
This only seemed to make me worse, as the, feeling, “I’ll show them,” was harbored in my heart. In February of 1954, I lost my car, and had to quit work because of sickness brought on by excessive drinking. On August 4, 1954 our second child, Raymond, was born. Now with even more responsibility upon me, I still grew worse and worse. In September, I was restored to my former job, yet continued to drink up a least half of my wages.
Throughout ’55, ’56, and ’57, I grew more grave in my alcoholism. Twice I was in the hospital for internal bleeding. On December 29, 1957 I was in the room with a man—a precious soul—who went out to meet God in delirium tremors, yet upon my release from the hospital, I went right back to drinking.
In February of 1957, I lost my job because of missing so much work. By then my physical condition was grave. My sugar count was high, and my weight-was in the 300 pounds.
In March of 1958, we moved to Pleasant City, Route 2, on a small farm of 21 acres. Some neighbors stopped and asked to take our children to Sunday school. We allowed them to go, and I would sometimes pick them up and then take them with me to beer joints the rest of the day.
My condition grew more and more grave. Between 1958 and 1961, life seemed to lose all reality. My wife had gotten work in 1956, and was our only support. I would hound her for money to get drunk on, then worked around until I not only got drunk, but I stayed drunk. I am safe in saying that, for the exception of 13 weeks, I was intoxicated for seven years in a row.
Finally, on January 19, 1961, the doctor let me out of the room, called my wife in and told her that if something didn’t change, I would not live more than two weeks to two months. On the way home, I questioned her concerning what he had told her, and she let me know.
I’d had an early education in church and Sunday school, as my mother had taken me and had insisted that I go even when I didn’t care for church. I knew that I was a lost soul because of my drunkenness and riotous living. My weight at that time was 365 pounds. I only washed and shaved when I wanted to; I filled my mind full of dirty jokes and sex books. I was devil possessed, for I feel I had a legion on board.
From the time I learned of my soon coming doom, I began to get down the old family Bible and read daily. I would walk the dirt road past the old North Star School. I remember that my feet and legs were on fire. I lost all desire for drink and couldn’t stand the smell of it. All filthy books lost their attraction for me in the light of the fact that I was lost, world without end.
I continued to read the old King James version of the Word of God. As the days seemed to race by, I realized more and more I was lost. The one thing I had always run to had no attraction now. My blood pressure had climbed up into the area of 300; my heart was a constant threat as it had been overworked, and one doctor told me I had the heart of an 80-year-old man, although I was only 34 1/2 years old.
Then one morning in February, the 7th, Tuesday morning, 1961, I was reading Matt. 18:11 where Jesus said, “For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost,” when I fell on my knees and repented of my sins, my condition, and my heart’s condition—friends, I repented of everything I could think of and God saved my soul for Jesus’ sake.
The burden of sin rolled away, praise His dear Name, and I became a new creature in Christ Jesus, my Saviour. I didn’t know it then, but later in church I learned that He washed my sins away by His blood shed for me at Calvary.
Friend, though sin-sick, physically doomed, and sick; having a corrupted mind and perverted thoughts, yet with all this considered, upon repenting with godly sorrow, all these conditions were washed away.
He broke the bottle in my life and replaced it with His blessed Word, the Bible. He took me from the barstool and put me in a church pew. The desire for drink was completely gone, and by His grace has never returned. Now I am concerned about others who are in the same state of life I was in. My prayer is for them to receive at the hand of God the same mercy, grace, and deliverance I received through the precious blood of Jesus.
Since the time of deliverance and conversion, God, through His blessed Holy Spirit, has called me into holiness—spirit, soul and body (1 Thess. 5:23)—and called me into the ministry. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
Since that day, I have found more than once that I was lost in His love. I’ve found His Word reproves, rebukes, instructs, chastises (Heb. 12:11) and encourages, supplies, keeps, and satisfies just to name a few of the wonderful ways God cares for His own.
I found the love that can be mine with my family. In my worst days, my children Deborah and Raymond, continued to attend church and were both saved at an early age. I believe that they had a big part being responsible for me obtaining mercy at the hand of God.
The church prayed, the saints fasted, and God delivered one old drunk and made him one of His own in the moment of repentance (2 Peter 3:9). My heart is gladdened in knowledge that through no works of my own that I had done, but by His grace, He saved me through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. Praise His wonderful Name!
Rev. Raymond Rice
A Husband’s Conversion and How God Averted a Heart Operation
A lady from Michigan writes, “We have some answers to prayer we would like to share. First and most important is my husband’s conversion. After praying for him thirteen years, the Lord performed the miracle. He was a rough sinner with no knowledge or desire for God, Bible or church. He and his entire family were unchurched. Though he was a good husband and father, yet booze dominated his life. But thank God, prayer was answered in his behalf and God saved him. When he got up from the altar, he testified, “I have a new boss now.” From then on, he has been a changed man. He had always hunted and fished on Sundays, as he worked six days a week plus lots of overtime. So Sunday was his day of recreation and he wouldn’t give that up for anything or anyone. He got saved in the middle of hunting season, but hasn’t fished or hunted on Sundays since. He has no desire to break the Sabbath. Also, God took away his desire for tobacco and booze. He loves the old-fashioned, conservative way which makes our home a real Christian home. I praise God for the wonderful job He did on my husband.
Also, I’d like to testify as to how God took care of a bad heart condition. In October, 1964, I had heart failure and was scheduled to have a pacer implant, but no pacer was available. By the time the pacer arrived, my heart was stabilized above fifty, so surgery was canceled. Praise the Lord!
Again in 1976, I had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital, and was placed on a machine to stabilize me until my doctor arrived. He scheduled me for surgery immediately, when he checked me, but due to a terrible accident, the surgery floor was filled. As long as my condition was stable, he said I could wait until morning. They had put me on medication by then and when the doctor came the next day, he said that if my condition stayed good on the medication, I would not need surgery. The next day, he canceled my surgery and discharged me a week later.
This happened again three years later, surgery being delayed by the doctor’s absence. Again he canceled the surgery when he arrived and checked me. This time he said, “Ruby, you have too many people praying for you so I won’t worry as long as you have the Master Physician caring for you.” My heart specialist, Ralph Brandt, is also a Christian, thankfully .
God has been very good to me and I praise Him for what He has done.
Ruby E. Hayner
Her Husband Testifies of God’s Help With His Transmission Trouble
We were on our way to Fort Myers to visit the mission there. We were coming from Miami. About halfway, the fluid started pouring out of the transmission. This forced us to have to stop along a very desolate stretch of road. It was almost dark so we had no choice but to spend the night. Thankfully, we were pulling our small travel trailer. As we were discussing the cost, I told my wife it would probably cost at least one hundred fifty dollars to fix it. Then I said, “I believe God can fix transmissions as well as people.” Then we promised God that if He would fix our transmission that we would give the money to the mission. We then discussed the fact that the devil could make us think it was fixed, then let us down. So we purposed to give one hundred and fifty dollars to the mission regardless if it was fixed or not.
The next morning I hitch-hiked into town. Thankfully, the first car that came along picked me up. A service station attendant suggested that instead of taking the wrecker, that we would first go out in his pick-up and take oil to fill the transmission, then drive it to town, then he could see where it was coming from. So that is what we did. All the way back to town, it didn’t leak, so the attendant told me he didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. So taking his word, we continued on our journey, driving one hundred miles to the mission. The transmission didn’t leak the whole way. Upon our arrival, when we saw Brother Walker, we gave him the hundred and fifty dollars, as we had promised God. Tears came into his eyes when he saw it and he called the assistant pastor and said, “See, I told you so.” No doubt, he had a pressing need and God used the money we gave to supply it. Isn’t that just like the God we serve?
We drove the car another fifteen thousand miles and the same fluid was in it when we traded it that was put in when we had the trouble. It had never leaked again.
So that proved that God can fix cars as well as people.
Brother Hayner’s testimony brings back memories of how the Lord fixed our old car once when we were going to Hobe Sound Camp meeting in Florida. (The following was taken from my book, Trials and Triumphs.)
Sometimes in our travels, the car would start to act up and we would claim God’s promise and somehow the old car would straighten out and we would be on our way. I remember once we were going to Hobe Sound Camp and had only traveled about seventy-five miles with over nine hundred more to go when the car started missing and losing speed. I had been up since three thirty a.m. so was dozing in the back seat, when I was aroused by my husband and son discussing the car’s condition. As I listened, I could hear it making a peculiar noise. From the human standpoint, it looked as if we would be stranded before daybreak, but by the grace of God, I was not at all alarmed as God had given me a promise years ago for our travels that He would preserve our going out and coming in from henceforth and forever more. So I just simply looked up to Him and prayed, “Now, Lord, You remember the promise You gave me years ago that You would preserve our going out and our coming in. I stand on Thy promise, Lord, and trust Thy Word for Thou art a God that cannot lie. I’m asking You to touch this car in Jesus’ Name, stop the missing and let us be on our way.” Just a simple prayer but prayed in complete faith in the promise of God. “What happened?” you might ask. God touched the car, it stopped missing and we did not have another minute’s trouble on the whole trip. I might say here that faith will not work unless all of our prayer channels are clear. If our channels are clogged up with unconfessed sin, we will be unable to claim God’s promises in times like these, for He tells us in Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” But when we know that all is clear between us and God, we have a perfect right to take Him at His Word and trust Him to answer prayer. Praise His Name.
Georgia D. McCain
The following is an experience of Ina (Shreve) McVey, a personal friend of the author. She and her husband, Harry Shreve (now deceased), were missionaries to China for many years. Here she tells of God’s intervention at a very crucial time in their lives while in China.
When the Japanese came in, they came from the North, and from the eastern part of China. We were driven into the West, and when the decision was made to go, we felt we could say like Abram—that we had obeyed. “So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken.” God spoke to us and told us to go west with our Chinese workers and preachers and their families. There were twenty-one of them, as well as my husband and myself. Going, going where? We were departing; we were leaving all behind; going to a new part. He said, “I will show thee a land, a field of labor.” He would show us where we could go and have one of the greatest ministries of our lives. There were many times when we had five thousand as a common congregation. At other times, there were twenty thousand in our congregation, listening to the Word of God, because God had said to us, “Get thee out of this country. Get up and go on. Go on into the western part of the country. It’s not time to quit working just because the enemy has come in and taken this portion of the country.”
I remember that, as we crossed the Yellow River, we went into the district where the Free Methodists were working, Cheng Chow. We had wonderful fellowship with them, but there came a day when we passed on beyond their station, farther west into new territory. En route, we stayed all night in a Lutheran compound. Early next morning, my husband put a cot out in the back yard where I could get some sunshine, rest, and quiet, and have my private devotions. While I was there, an air raid alarm was sounded, and I did not know at the moment where my husband had gone. I was looking to God, for had we not a whole group of Chinese, a small army with us? Twenty-one Chinese to feed, twenty-one to look after? My eyes fell upon these words as I lay upon the cot just at the sounding of the air raid and alarm. “Behold, I will send my angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him and obey his voice.” It was this word that I received as I arose from the cot and rushed down into the air raid shelter, which was way under ground—a dugout place prepared for hiding from these dangers. It was down in there that I met my husband.
We did not know where we would go when we landed in the city of Hsi An, to which we were traveling. We were asked, as in other cases, “Where are you going, and where will you stay, and do you not know that there are 500,000 people in that city? It is overcrowded. Many people have gone in there as refugees and are sleeping out in the street, and under trees, and it is impossible to get any room whatsoever.” But God had said to me, “I will send an angel before thee to keep thee in the way.”
We needed to be kept in the way for there were rumors that the railway was being bombed in different parts, that the bombs were falling everywhere, and that they were going to be falling on this compound in a few moments, for the airplanes were overhead now. But God had said, “And bring thee into the place which I have prepared,” which is past tense. As I met my husband down there in the air raid shelter, I said to him, “Harry, we have a place in Sian (Hsi An).” He said, “How do you know?” I said, “God said He had prepared a place, and that He was going to send an angel along to take us to that place.” My husband stepped out on the promise without questioning, and said, “Praise the Lord.” He believed as well as I did that there would be a place.
No longer on this journey did we have to wonder about what we were going to do with our Chinese and ourselves when we arrived in the city, because God had said that He had prepared a place.
What about the bombings? We had already come many days’ journey—almost a two-weeks journey-where there was no railroads. We were being drawn in carts and pulled by men. These carts were not rickshas. We just sat in them, “chia tzu ch’e.” My husband rode a bicycle, however, except up the highest mountains, and then he hired a donkey or boy to pull his bicycle up over the mountain. And so it was in our travels.
We were now to a place where we could take the first train and travel by rail. But how dangerous! The Japanese were determined that no supplies should be shipped along the railway, and it was now that the railways were being bombed. But God said, “Behold, I send an angel before thee to keep thee in the way.” Not only to keep us after we got there, but He was going to keep us in the way and then bring us into the place which He had prepared. This blesses my heart as I recall it. That day when the promise stood out and I first said to God, “Lord, that’s Old Testament,” He said, “It’s yours if you step on it.” And so it was that I stepped out on this promise by the help of the Holy Ghost, and a long, long, tiresome journey was made.
In places where the railway had been bombed, where we had to get off the train and walk, we hired coolies to take our baggage all the way across these bombed-out ravines, across places where bridges had been bombed out, and then we found a train on the other side to take us from there. Trains would just go up to the broken-out places, and then there would be others from the other direction of the broken places to receive us. Besides, we had to travel on trains, not as you think of trains, but in cattle cars and freight cars. One car in which we traveled was just a big freight, like a cattle car.
So many people wanted transportation that forty rode on top. Many rode underneath the cars, out on the engines, and wherever they could hang on. They just tied on and hung on. We went through one tunnel and forty people were raked off like flies and killed. But the train had no time to tarry, for the enemy was on our trail, and the dead were left to die unmourned. Relatives knew not where they were lost off, nor when. We were inside, crowded so that there was no place to recline. We were held up by one another, so crowded and jammed were we. I recall sitting on my baggage, but I had to stand up at times or be trampled underfoot, we were jammed in so tightly. As some got off, there was room enough to sit for awhile, or until at some large station we were “repacked”! The gas fumes from the smoke of the engine came back into the cars making it necessary for us to get right down and put our faces on the floor for air. At times, it seemed I would faint and pass out, but God was keeping us by His holy angel along the way.
After this tiresome journey had been completed and we had arrived at our destination in the city of Sian, Shensi, in West China, a man met us whom we had seen only once before for a few hours. He came down to the railroad station to meet us and to help us go through customs. He had very little trouble for he had only to show his card, He was a man of high position and a good friend to Chiang Kai-shek, We passed on through without any trouble. This man placed us in his automobile, hired rickshas for the Chinese, and told them where to go to spend the night.Then he turned to us and said, “Mr, and Mrs. Shreve, I have a compound with three courtyards all rented. All the red tape is finished and signed up. I heard that you were coming, so I got busy and had this place prepared for you.”
I said, “Well, praise the Lord! We knew that you had that place.”
He was so baffled he could hardly believe the words he was hearing. He said, “I don’t believe you understand that there are 500,000 people in the city, that we are overcrowded, that every hotel—we can’t find a place for even our own men, much less a permanent dwelling for as many people as you have with you.”
(Besides the people with us, we had three goats. Imagine trymg to get a place in New York City for a missionary and his wife, for some twenty Chinese, and three goats.)
“I have been living in a hotel for ever so long,” he went on “waiting for a place I have wanted for my office and my men.” (They had also evacuated from another part of China.) “The people haven’t moved out yet. So now we are staying in a certain hotel. It’s a miracle this compound is available to you. Tomorrow, I’ll take the whole crowd of you out, for there are three different courtyards in the compound.”
Later on, this man said unto me, "Mrs. Shreve, what did you mean when you said you knew I had this place?" (We had not been in correspondence at all.) I told him to come over some time and I would tell him. It was one afternoon when he came. He said "Now I've come and I want you to tell me how you could know that I had found this place for you. You do not know how difficult it is for people to find places to rent." And he explained to me how only through his position and prestige had he been able to persuade this man to rent this property to us. I said, "Well, it was because God said to me one morning in Lo- Yang, in the back yard of the Lutheran compound, 'Behold, I send my angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.' I explained that that was past tense, so I knew that morning that the place was ready for us. As he looked back, it was that very morning that he had paid the price, had the receipt and papers in his hand, and the house was emptied that we might move into this great compound. Tears came streaming down his face as he listened to us telling how God had kept us in the way, how we had had to jump off those trains, run into the wheat fields, hide under trees, and crawl on our stomachs down through the wheat to keep from being strafed by the planes. God sent His angel and I always looked up and said, "Now, Lord, You said You would keep us in the way."
God kept us every step of the way, and we did not lose a single piece of our luggage. This providence can be understood only by those who have traveled in foreign countries, for when a piece of baggage is left out of sight just a few moments, it is apt to disappear for good. But God kept every piece of baggage while we ran into the fields to hide. Upon returning to the train, we found our baggage there, intact, for the angel of the Lord had gone before, fulfilling the promise, “Mine angel shall go before thee, to bring thee in.”
By Ina [Shreve] McVey, taken from her book, ‘Tis the Master Calling Me’. Used by permission.)
I would like to relate another miraculous intervention of God during a mighty famine in China. Though the Shreves were cut off from all human help, they still had Divine assistance.
(I quote from her book) There was a time when the Japanese war was very severe. We were bombed for months and months. In the country there was not only war, but famine, too—a terrible situation. Due to the war, we were cut off from the U.S.A. for a time. No letters could go out or come in. Our financial situation was not such that we had hundreds on hand for such emergencies. We lived month by month. Now what would we do? Starve with the rest? Would there be a way through? God was testing us again. You say, “If God is a father, why does He let us go through hard places?” Here’s the reason. He wants to prove us. We can prove Him, but He wants to prove us, too.
Now we were helpless, but do you know what God did? A man, Chiang Kai-shek’s advisor, living in this city, was going to take a long trip up north. He came to my husband and said, “I want to leave my bank book with you.” Now, we didn’t have a dollar, but he was a rich man. He said, “Here’s my check book, my bank book, and I’m taking you down to the bank and introducing you to the man there, and you’re to use all the money you need as long as I’m gone.” Whoever thought he had his eye on us? Whoever thought he would remember us on the day he was to walk out of the city? We had not needed his help before. We never entreated help. But God had a man. He wasn’t a Christian—he was a sinner man; but he had respect for the gospel. He brought his bank book and handed it to Harry Shreve, and we had what we needed all those months when we were cut off from man, from all America, and from every friend we had. We were not cut off from Heaven. We could still look up. And God came down and supplied every need. Glory to God!
An Eighteen-month-old Scalded
My next door neighbor had given birth to a baby girl, and on this particular day of which I write, she had been discharged from the hospital, and they had called me to come and pick her up to take her home. It was a wet, nasty day but I drove carefully and soon she and her little bundle of joy were safely back home.
As I returned to my house, as usual, I had much work to do, so I picked up where I had left off before being called to go to the hospital. My little eighteen-month old son was playing around the house, and I would check on him from time to time, but I felt secure in the knowledge that there was nothing around that could harm him in any way. And then I heard an awful scream, and rushing toward the sound, I realized the awesome fact that he had climbed into the bath tub and turned the hot water on his sensitive skin. The hot water thermostat was turned up to a very high temperature, so when the hot water struck his tender skin, it just cooked it. First, it hit his stomach, and he turned to get out of the way, and it scalded his back, also. When I saw the fix he was in, I, momentarily, went into a state of shock, but even in that condition, I had enough clearness of thought to call the doctor. The nurse answered and I asked for the doctor, but when he answered, I was unable to tell him why I was calling. The nurse had recognized my voice as we had used the same doctor for many years, and she had told him who was calling. He could hear the baby screaming, he told me later, but couldn’t get me to speak up. He said he was contemplating trying to get in touch with my husband to find out the trouble (which my husband didn’t know at the time) when I finally got ahold of myself and talked to him. He wanted me to get him to his office as soon as possible. I called my parents who lived a couple of miles from me, and my dad drove me to the doctor’s office though he was completely unnerved himself, when he saw the baby.
It must have been an hour from the time he was burned until we got to the doctor’s office, and all this time, the baby was screaming constantly. Both of us were in quite a state by the time we got there, as was the baby. The doctor took the little suffering child while the nurse held smelling salts to my nose to try and revive me. Oh, what an ordeal!
The doctor gave little Randy something to relieve the pain and applied a medication to soothe him and then bandaged his burns. We were to take him home and come back in a day or so. (No doubt, in this day, things would have been done differently.)
What a time we had at home! Every time the baby moved, the bandage would rub a burned place and he would cry in the most pitiful manner. This was on a Friday, and all night Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday we went through this ordeal. I would sit by the hour and hold him on my lap, trying to keep him still, while the tears would flow down my cheeks as I suffered along with my baby. I could hardly eat or sleep because of the continual agony he endured.
On Sunday afternoon, as I sat in my living room holding my baby, some Christian friends who had heard of the accident came by to see us. They offered to pray for my little boy, and as we went to prayer in his behalf, God touched him instantly and he got off of my lap and started playing. We removed the bandages and by the next day (if my memory serves me right), even the redness was gone. He was healed without a scar or even reddened skin. To God be all the Glory!
Georgia D. McCain
Though My Dad Was Dead I Know God Answered His Prayers
As far as I can remember, God has had His hand on me. I was raised around a good holy church. My dad was a man of God who prayed for hours and would feed on God’s Word. He talked to me about the things of God. These things were brought back to my mind after God saved me, and have helped me in my walk with God.
I was thirty-seven years old when God saved me. I remember how God dealt with me a year before I surrendered to Him. Someone must have surely been praying for me, but also I feel God answered my dad’s prayers in my behalf though he had been dead for ten years when I got saved.
The Saturday night before I was saved, I was under conviction. I had been taking my children to Sunday school on Sundays and sometimes I would stay for church. This particular Sunday, the church was having a revival with Rev. Marshall Smart. It was September 6, 1981. I was getting ready for Sunday school and conviction was on me. As I closed the door of my house on the way to church, I felt God tell me that I would be different when I came back home. I felt impressed that I was either going to be saved or God was not going to speak to me again. I had always asked the Lord that, if I ever got saved, that He would have the preacher to preach on anything but hell, and not to let anyone invite me to the altar. That morning Brother Smart preached on Heaven and invited every sinner there but me to come to the altar. But I was doing business with God while still at my seat. I was settling it that I was going all the way with the Lord. I was not going to be up and down and in and out, but was going all the way.
I believe God saved me right there at my seat, but I went forward anyway and confessed my sins, and God came in a special way to my soul. Also, my children went that morning and were saved. I was sanctified the following Thursday.
My wife was raised in a church that didn’t teach salvation. They didn’t even know what an altar was for. They thought that, as long as one didn’t drink, he was all right. But thank God, my wife got saved in that same revival, and she believes different now. She, too, was sanctified later, and we are still serving the Lord. It has been twelve years (1992) now. Praise His Holy Name!
Praying for a Pair of Pants
My husband and I had not been saved very long. Our money was very scarce. We had three little boys and they didn’t have many clothes, but we tried to keep one good pair for them to wear to church. But one day, our middle son, Pat, tore his Sunday pants. I tried to fix them but they were beyond repair. I prayed, “Now, Lord, Thou knowest that we want to go to church, but Pat has nothing to wear, and we have no money to buy anything. Will You send him a pair of pants?”
I told no one, not even my husband, of our predicament, but I just continued to pray through the day Friday, when it happened, and on through Saturday. About nine o’clock Saturday night, Mrs. Chester Cooper came to my door. She said, “I have been cleaning out my closet and found these pants that will no longer fit my boy. Do you suppose they will fit your little boys?”
I answered, “I’m sure they will, I’ve been praying since yesterday morning for Pat a pair of pants.” Without looking at them I felt sure at least one pair would fit Pat. And sure enough, one pair fit him like it had been tailor-made. All Glory to Jesus!
Results of a Thirty-day Fast
The following testimony is from a lady from Pennsylvania. Her daughter and son-in-law, parents of a five-year-old, at that time, were having marital problems due to the fact that a young mother who had left her husband was making a play for her son-in-law. This caused the daughter to be very distraught, naturally, and placed a heavy burden on the mother’s heart.
The mother writes, “I felt the Lord wanted me to go on a fast. We’d been in a revival and I started fasting on a Friday. Well, after about three days I took severe pain in my back, hips and legs.
‘My habit, when praying in earnest intercession, was to walk back and forth, but the pain got so severe I didn’t know what to do, I felt this was surely an attack from the devil so I let him know I wasn’t going to quit. After a few days the pain left.
“I didn’t know how long the Lord would have me fast. Since He was leading, I would have to have His release before I’d feel clear to break the fast. It was thirty days before I felt clear to eat. I had only drank water that seemed to taste awful, and drank juices during the fast, eating no food at all. But, thank God, prayer was answered and the girl left town. My daughter was so happy that she invited us over for dinner the next day, and though I knew one should break a fast slowly, I went to the table and ate just as if I’d been eating all along. I didn’t get sick at all, proving to me beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the fast was from God.
“Things were fine for about two years or so when again my daughter found out her husband was having an affair with another woman. When he was confronted, he left her. Once again, I held on in intercessory prayer for them, knowing I had not fasted thirty days in vain. God gave me a love for him as if he was my own son.
“After awhile my son-in-law started heckling her to sign for legal separation until she came to the place of giving in. My husband and I decided to go talk with him, so we went to his apartment where he was living with another man whose wife had left him and married his friend. As we stood there, I hardly said anything, just wept, but my husband really talked straight to him, My son-in-law didn’t say much, just stood there and took it. Later he told us that it made him think. He had felt no one cared.
“Later my daughter and a girl, with whom she worked, went on a short vacation, and while she was gone, my son-in-law moved back home. But, sad to say, he had gotten into serious trouble while away from home and the law caught up with him. Being in this awful predicament made him see that his only hope was in God. He was now ready to talk to the pastor and to pray. Thankfully, God in His rich mercy, forgave him of his wicked life and took him back into the fold. Praise the Lord! He went around making restitutions and straightening things up. Because of all the money involved, they had to sell their lovely new home and move into a small trailer. He barely had his family settled in the tiny trailer when his trial came up and he was convicted and sent to jail. But being a Christian now, he witnessed to the other inmates and read and studied his Bible.
“We tried to help our daughter as much as possible, lending her moral support and keeping her little boy from time to time, and having them over for meals. She had a heavy load, trying to work, ofttimes overtime, to try and pay the bills.
“After awhile, the authorities let our son-in-law out of jail during the day on a work release program, but he would have to spend the nights and week-ends in jail. Then after a year, he was released and on a five-year parole.
“Time has passed and my son-in-law has gained the confidence and respect of the church people and others. He has been asked to give his testimony at different meetings, and was also interviewed for a Christian section in our local weekly paper. People realize he is sincere and genuine. He is presently a Sunday school teacher, an usher, a youth worker and on a church related board. God has wonderfully answered prayer. Praise His Name! I couldn’t have a better son-in-law, and their son, now seventeen (March,‘89), and around six feet tall is a fine young teenager who really loves his grandmother and often bends down at church to give her a kiss.
“It pays to fast and pray and believe God. Only He could have ever got to my son-in-law’s heart and got their home back together and on a solid foundation, helping them to work together in rearing such a fine son. I just feel like saying, Hallelujah to King Jesus! Amen!
Sgt. Alvin C. York, Christian Patriot and World War II Hero
Sergeant Alvin Cullum York, the third oldest of eleven children, was born December 13, 1887 in a one-room log cabin near Pall Mall, Tennessee.
Alvin attended school in a small frame building with one room, one teacher and split-peg stools. It was in session only three months of the year, and Alvin was able to attend just long enough to acquire the equal of a second grade education.
Though formal education was “hard to come by” for these mountain folk, it by no means meant that they were without keen intelligence and knowledge of “good clean livin’.”
Alvin loved the woods and learned from his father early in life to hunt and to shoot accurately. The stories of his ability in shooting are well-known, and he usually came out first in the “Beeves and Turkey shoots.”
At the age of sixteen, Alvin, a six foot, good looking blue-eyed lad, became the head of the family, as his father had died and his two older brothers had married. With the responsibilities so heavy, Alvin sought vainly for release by drifting along with the “wild crowd.”
The influence of several people weighed heavily on Alvin’s mind as he proceeded to drown his troubles in drink, and to gamble away his hope for a brighter future.
Here he tells about it: “I might say, too, that in my early days I got in bad company and I broke off from my mother’s and father’s advice and got to drinking and gambling and playing up right smart. I read about Frank and Jesse James. I thought if Frank and Jesse could be crack shots, I could too. I used to gallop my horse around a tree with a revolver and mess up that old tree right smart. And I got tolerably accurate, too. I used to gamble my wages away week after week. I used to stay out late at night. I had a powerful lot of fist fights.—I was bad for five or six years.Then I saw it was no use, that I was missing the better things and I decided to change my life and be a better boy.
“One night, after being very drunk and fighting, I got in after midnight, and found my mother sitting up waiting for me, and I asked her, ‘Why don’t you lie down?’ And she said, ‘I can’t lie down. I don’t know what’s going to become of you when you are out drinking and so I wait until you come in.’ And then she asked me, ‘Alvin, when are you going to be a man like your father and your grandfather?’
“I promised my mother that night I would never drink again; I would never smoke or chew again; I would never gamble again; I would never cuss or fight again. And I have never drunk whiskey. I have never touched cards, I have never smoked or chewed, and I have never fought or rough-housed since that night. When I quit, I quit all. I am a good deal like Paul—the things I once loved, I now hate.
“And then I was saved. My conversion was under the preaching of M. Russell, from Indiana, an evangelist to the mountains. He preached very close. All that was not right he fought.”
The next year a gifted and fearless preacher by the name of Rev. W. W. Loveless came to Pall Mall from Ohio. He was a member of the Churches of Christ in Christian Union; a small but growing denomination with headquarters at Circieville, Ohio. The Church that he represented was old-fashioned and placed much emphasis on the doctrine taught by John Wesley. They believed in staying close by the Bible and using it as their “rule of faith and practice.”
At the close of the revival, the Church of Christ in Christian Union was organized, the first in that part of the country. Alvin York was elected second elder and until his death remained an active member of this church.
A typical testimony of his religious experience would often go as follows: “I abandoned the old life completely and forever, because I jis’ kind der realized I was missing the finer things of life; and when you miss the finer things of life, you might jis’ as well be a razorback hog grubbing for acorns on the mountain side.—’ What theologian ever expressed greater truth than this?
After the U.S. entered the war (World War I), Alvin received a notice to register for the service. Later, he received a card telling him to report to his local board. Here he expresses his feelings concerning the matter: “I knew now I was in. I was bothered a plenty as to whether it was right or wrong. I knew that if it was right, everything would be all right—And I prayed and prayed. I prayed two whole days and a night out on a mountainside. And I received my assurance that it was all right, that I should go and I would come back without a scratch. I received this assurance direct from God. And I have always been led to believe that He always keeps His promise.
“And I told my little mother not to worry, that it was all right, and that I was coming back; and I told my brothers and sisters; and I told Pastor Pile, and I prayed with him; and I told everybody else I discussed it with.
“But it was very hard on my mother, just like it was on all mothers, and she didn’t want to see me go—
“And my little mother and Pastor Pile wanted to get me out—
“I never was a conscientious objector. I am not today. I didn’t want to go and fight and kill. But I had to answer the call of my country, and I did. And I believed it was right. I have no hatred toward the Germans and I never had.”
In November, 1917 Alvin Cullum York was inducted into the army and assigned to the 21st training battalion at Camp Gordon, Georgia.
Being a hardy mountaineer and the best shot in Fentress County, he was a good soldier, enjoyed basic training and found the rigors of army life invigorating. Quickly, he won the favor of his buddies and the respect of his officers, but his conscience still bothered him about “killin.”
He never shirked his duty, and his commanding officer, Captain E. C. B. Danforth. Jr. took his case to higher officer. Major George Edward Buxton was a Bible student and in self-defense had searched out for himself passages of God’s Word that permitted man to fight for his country. He was impressed with Captain Danforth’s story of this good soldier, diligent and obedient, but with religion that wouldn’t let him kill. That night, he requested an interview.
Alvin talked with him of his activities in the Church of Christ in Christian Union down in Tennessee and told how “the only creed of the church was the Bible and how he believed the Bible was the inspired Word of God and the final authority of all men.” With Bible in hand, Major Buxton explained that there were times when it was a man’s obligation to fight in order to protect his rights.
It was at this time he was given a pass and allowed to go home to pray about it. Neither his mother, Pastor Piles, his friends, nor Gracie (his girl friend) could help him, so two days and a night of his leave were spent on the mountainside in prayer. This vigil resulted in peace, “like the waters of the lake when the Master said, ‘Peace, be still,’ “ and kept him so that he could write, even when in France, of his calmness.
In May of 1918, the 82nd Division, of which York was a part, arrived in France and was sent to a training area. Wherever York went, he always carried his Testament and read it. In his words, “I read it in dugouts, in foxholes, and on the front lines. It was my rock to cling to—”
York was made a corporal just before the St. Mihiel drive in September. He wrote about the horrors of war: “Many of the boys were gassed or killed. Well, seeing the boys all shot up, gassed, blown to pieces, and killed lying about us, there is no tongue or human being who can ever tell the feeling of a man during this time. But I never doubted in the thickest of the battle but what God would bring me through safe. I had the assurance before I left home, and I never did doubt it.”
The battle that was to become the greatest war feat performed by an individual in the annals of United States history took place on the day of October 8, 1918. On that day Alvin C. York wrote his name indelibly on the honor roll of America’s heroes with a Springfield rifle, a pistol, and an unwavering faith that God was with him. Sergeant York was honored with the highest military medals of Allied nations fow what he did that day.
The Nashville Tennessean wrote up the account of the amazing battle in the Argonne, from which we draw from for the following events.
On October 6-7 the 82nd Infantry Division went into the front lines. On the 8th, Company G, 328th Infantry started across No Man’s Land toward an objective about three kilometers away. Their advance met with machine gun fire which resulted in heavy casualties. Seventeen men including a sergeant and three corporals were ordered to try to silence the guns. One of the corporals was York. They formed a skirmish line, and as York related later, “burst through the bushes after the Boche. We were upon the Germans before we knew it because the undergrowth was so thick that we could see only a few yards ahead of us.”
The Germans were taken by surprise as a major and two officers were seated in Conference, and a score or more of men were lying about at ease. The Americans, though startled, too, began firing at once and some of the Germans leaped to their feet and surrendered. The Americans had just captured the headquarters of the machine gun battalion.
York and some of his companions, as well as the Germans who had surrendered, fell to the ground, as there were suddenly bursts of fire from machine gun pits about thirty yards away. York was the only noncommissioned officer who wasn’t hit. Only six men were left under the command which York promptly assumed.
All the survivors except York got behind trees or other shelters, but York “just sat in the mud and used my rifle.” His men were given orders to guard the prisoners, while York pumped away at the machine gunners. He was the only American firing.
Bullets hit close by but being so near the Germans who were lying face downward, the enemy couldn’t hit him without wounding their own.
York won this battle single-handed. After the lieutenant fell, the German major agreed to surrender to York. York found himself with 132 prisoners, and upon checking, found he had only six of his men left to guard them and take them back to their camp. York took his place at the head of the group, and forced a captured officer to walk on either side of him and one to go in front. This way, if the Germans fired at them, they would kill their own officers. The six privates were placed alongside the prisoners. When they got back, the story of the combat was so extraordinary, that a checkup was made. The checkup revealed that twenty-five Germans were dead, none wounded, and twenty-eight machine guns
I quote here direct from the Nashville Tennessean: “The feat won the highest praise of military leaders, in addition to the many medals. General John J. Pershing called York, ‘The greatest civilian soldier of the war.’
“Curiously, it was not until some time after his historic exploit that he was promoted to sergeant and became, for all time to come, ‘Sergeant York’ although he was commissioned a Major by the U.S. Army in 1942.
“Sergeant York came out of World War I unscratched and returned to a hero’s welcome in the United States.
“He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor America’s highest decoration for bravery; the Distinguished Service Cross, the Medaille Militaire, Croix de Guerre witt palm the French Legion of Honor; the Croca di Guerra of Italy; the War Medal of Montenegro, and many others.”
The diary records: October 8—“So you can see here in this case of mine where God helped me out. I had been living for God and working in the church sometime before I came to the army. So I am a witness to the fact that God did help me out of the battle; for the bushes were shot all around me and I never got a scratch.
“So you can see that God will be with you if you will only trust Him; and I say that He did save me. Now, He will save you if you will only trust Him.”
After the signing of the armistice, Sergeant York was ordered to go with General Lindsey and some other officers back to the site of the battle. He marched them out of the field in the same manner in which he had marched the Germans. The general was described as a natural fighter who could swear just as awfully as he could fight.
Sergeant York tells that after he marched him back to the old lines, the general said, “York, how did you do it?” The answer given was, “Sir, it is not man power. A higher power than man power guided and watched over me and told me what to do.” With bowed head the reply solemnly came, “York, you are right.”
The simplicity of his faith touched even the skeptics and moved them closer to the realization of God.
Later York returned home to a hero’s welcome as a national figure known around the world. But as his son, George, states in “A tribute to my father,” he never expressed in any way a feeling of importance, or felt that he had really done anything to bring him world-wide fame and recognition. He would always say, ‘I only did my duty to God and my country, and every man should do that.’ “
York married the girl he left behind when he went to war, Gracie.Williams, on June 7, 1919. To this union were born five sons and two daughters.
After a long and useful life, Sergeant York went to his reward on September 2, 1964 from the Veteran’s Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of seventy-six years, eight months and twenty days.
(This account taken from the book, A Christian Patriot, compiled and edited by Rev. R. C. Humble, and published and owned by “The Churches of Christ in Christian Union,” Box 30, Circleville, Ohio. Used by permission.)
Author’s Comment: 1 am sure that some of my readers may have been conscientious objectors in war times, and I leave that with the individual and God. But one thing all of us need to appreciate about Sergeant York is the fact that he settled the issue of going to war on a mountainside in Tennessee, where he spent two days and a night with God until Peace “Like the waters of the lake when the Master said, ‘Peace, be still’” calmed his soul and gave him the assurance that God was going to see him through.
Personally, I feel I owe a debt to those who have fought for our country to help preserve our freedom. As Sergeant York said in an address at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, “There are those who ask me and other veterans of World War I, ‘What did it ever get you?’ Let me answer them now. It got me twenty-three years (his age at the time of the address) of living in America where a humble citizen can stand on the same platform with the president of the United States.
“The thing they forget is that liberty and freedom and democracy are so very precious that you do not fight to win once and stop. Liberty, freedom, and democracy are prizes awarded to people who fight to win them and then keep fighting eternally to hold them.”
Isn’t this like our Christian Warfare? It will be a fight to the finish, therefore, we must, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand … ,” for our fight is “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” And just as Sergeant York was a good soldier of the U.S. Army, so we are told in II Timothy 2:3 to be a “good soldier of Jesus Christ,” not to be entangled with the affairs of this life, verse 4, that we may please him who hath chosen us to be a soldier. Amen!
We Give Best Under the Weight of the Cross
Joshua Stauffer, in an article published in the Convention Herald in May of 1972, told the following story.
In the year of 1916, W. H. Lee went to Pueblo, Colorado, with a concern to start a mission in that city. He located an empty store building at a very strategic place, and, upon inquiry, learned that the building was for rent. The price was $500.00 a year, and the rent had to be paid in full a year in advance. Brother Lee did not have the money. He was publishing a small religious paper, and in it he mentioned his concern, the empty store building, and his need of $500.00.
In Eaton Rapids, Michigan, lived an aged, godly widow. She was very poor and took in washings to make her livelihood. The widow had a son who was wayward and sinful and did not heed the prayers of his godly mother. In the providence of God, one of these papers fell into the hands of this widow, and God spoke to her saying, “My child, I want you to send your $500.00 to W. H. Lee.” She felt the weight of the cross pressing heavily on her soul. She said, “Lord, this is all the money I have, and I saved it for my burial expenses.” But the Lord said, “Send it to W. H. Lee.” This woman staggered under the weight of the cross for a little while; then submitted to the voice of the Lord, which brought peace to her soul.
The next morning she took her bank book and the religious paper to the bank and said, “Banker, I want you to take my $500.00 and give me a bank draft made out for W. H. Lee, and I wiIl send it to him.” He looked at the paper, and said, “Lady, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. You need it more than he does and, moreover, he may have sent out a thousand of these papers. You had better keep your money.” She said, “Banker, the Lord told me to send it, and this is my money. You will please give me a bank draft for that amount.” She signed it over and sent it to W. H. Lee. He received it and, by the way, that was all the money he received; but it was enough to pay the rent for an entire year. W. H. Lee cleaned up the building, placed seats in it, erected a platform, and then started a revival.
The Lord did not forget this godly lady in Michigan and her giving, which was under the weight of the cross. Neither did He forget her prayers for her wayward son who was running away from God and his mother’s prayers. In this revival meeting, in which Brother Lee preached, the very first seeker who came to the altar to seek salvation was a handsome, middle-aged man. He wept, repented, confessed his sins, and believed in Christ. He was the first convert in that revival. But the thrilling fact concerning this first convert was that this man was none other than the son of that poor, saintly widow who had given her $500.00 to start this mission.
Who can feature the happy surprise that came to this newly-converted man when he discovered that his aged, praying mother in Michigan had given out of her poverty, given until it hurt, given her all to open that mission in which he was converted! Who can feature the joy that must have come to this devout, widowed mother who had given all her life’s savings to open this mission when she learned that the first convert was her wayward son! Who can feature the joy that most have come to the loving heart of the Christ of Calvary and the cross, who also is the Christ of Glory who died to redeem the lost, and especially to save this wayward son of a godly mother who had given under the weight of the cross! Christ honors and blesses all labors, sacrifices, and prayers that come under the weight of the Christian’s cross that is borne cheerfully for His sake. The providences of God may be clearly observed in this incident. God first worked at one end of the line and moved this godly woman to give her life’s savings. When she obeyed, God began to work at the other end of the line and brought her unsaved son to this mission, and there He fully answered her prayers by saving him.
Do you see that we give best under the weight of a cross? If this mother had kept that money for herself and her burial expenses, very likely her unsaved son would never have been converted. Anyway, this is the manner in which God chose to save him.
“To the old rugged Cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.”
God’s Intervention in the Matter of Sunday Work
A young man came to our church a few years back and was saved. As he didn’t have a Christian background, there were many things he didn’t understand about God’s ways and had to learn as he walked with God. He was working on Sunday as the assistant manager of a meat market at a grocery store. We began to pray that God would deliver him from Sunday work, but he kept on working every third Sunday. Finally, God took up the case and began to deal with his heart, that he should “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Though he was moved upon by God, it seemed an impossibility that the store would ever agree to let him off on Sunday as there were only three, perhaps four in the meat department and the manager was off every Sunday. But he began to fast and pray. For eight days, he fasted and still worked every day. Then he went to his boss and told him due to his religious convictions, he could no longer work on Sunday. They went ahead and scheduled him anyway, but when he saw the schedule, he told them he would not be there Sunday. They would get so provoked and threaten him that he was going to lose his job, but he held his ground, and by Saturday, they would change the schedule and let him off Sunday. This went on week after week, the same threatenings, but each time the schedule would be changed by Saturday. For several months they tried to wear him down and get him to change his mind, but he remained firm in his resolution to mind God. Finally, the top manager over the whole division sent word to his store managers to leave him alone and let him off on Sunday. One of my sons was working as assistant manager in the meat department of another of their stores in another locality, and had also been standing against Sunday work since he had first got saved, but at times they would give him a hard time, too, but now the managers were told to leave them both alone. That has been several years and they are still both off on Sunday. It pays to honor God and let Him work as He sees fit. I Samuel 2:30 tells us, “them that honour me I will honour.” Amen!
A Testimony of Salvation
I grew up in a Christian home but I was not a Christian. I was lost without God and without hope! I knew that Jesus was the Son of God; I knew He had died for the sins of the world. I knew it with my head! But by reading the Bible I began to realize with my heart who Jesus was, and that I was a sinner, and needed a Saviour!
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
I knew as a sinner I was condemned. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” I dreaded going to hell. I feared being separated from God forever!
I knew Jesus could save me. John 3:16 says so, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
I knew that Jesus had to die to pay for my sin, Hebrews 9:22. “ … Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission.”
I couldn’t understand how my sins were laid on Jesus, but God said it in His Word, and I knew He could not lie! I knew the Bible story of the man who asked, “What must I do to be saved?” The answer was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” Acts 16:31.
That day I just simply believed that Jesus died in my place. I believed He was buried and rose again to be my go-between with God. I asked Him to save me. I know He did!
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” Romans 10:13.
I can truthfully say Jesus has been a real Friend to me. He has carried the heavy end of all my burdens. I recommend Him to you! I’ve never been sorry I received Him as my Saviour and oh, how thankful I’ll be in eternity!
Going Out Like Abraham
Many years ago, while attending the Pilgrim Holiness Church in Pineville, Louisiana, I remember hearing a lady, Maude Baden, mother of Fred Baden, mayor of Pineville, Louisiana, testify. In her testimony, she told how Rev. G. T. Bustin came to Alexandria, Louisiana and pitched a tent and preached the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. It was in this tent revival that she found Jesus and surrendered her life to Him. She has gone on to her reward, but Brother Bustin, now 89, is still in the battle for souls. In fact, in a recent letter from him, he states, “God permitting, we hope to be in Belize, Central America (in missionary work) the first part of the coming year.”
The following account taken from Brother Bustin’s book, My First 50 Years, tells how God answered prayer and took care of him and his family for two or more years during the Depression, as they labored for him in Alexandria, Louisiana. (Used by permission.)
“I would never do it. The Depression is coming on and your family will suffer.” This was the advice of a certain preacher who had settled down to an easy life and eventually almost lost his soul. To this advice, I could not give heed, for I knew God had said to move on. This was settled one night about one o’clock when another preacher and two laymen knelt with me at an altar of prayer as I was seeking clear leadings. It was not the wish of the large majority of my people, for many were pleading that I stay in Jonesboro. It was not my natural wish, for I well knew that it would be harder to swing out into unknown parts. On this particular night the Lord made it clear that I should go into the state of Louisiana, and to the city of Alexandria, even though none of us was acquainted with a living soul in those parts. My wife had the same conviction that I had concerning this move.
About this time that prince among preachers, Seth Cook Rees, the father of Paul Rees, arrived on the scene for the purpose of organizing us into the Arkansas and Louisiana District. The Louisiana part of it was by faith, for at that time we had no work in Louisiana. I was elected as the Superintendent of the new District which was more of a vision than a reality.
After it was decided that the Bustins should go into Louisiana for the purpose of doing home missionary work, the question arose as to how we could go, for the old Model T Ford had seen its days. It was planned that we should take a large tent, camping equipment, etc. Some of our friends volunteered to work on a trailer which I had partially designed. As the work on the trailer went forward, people began to inquire, “What on earth are you going to pull that with?” They knew as much about this as I did. We all knew the Old Model T was out, but there was nothing else in sight. Providentially, and in answer to prayer, here was the way out. A man came to me one day saying he knew where we could get an A Model Ford in good condition for about twenty-five dollars difference between the T and it. This didn’t seem possible, but it was so. We sold the A for a good price, then someone came and informed me of an old Nash in good condition which could be bought for $60.00. This gave us transportation, also a bit of money to use for the trip.
Some weeks after, the conviction became clear where we should go. We found ourselves rolling into the city of Alexandria, Louisiana, on about two flats plus our pocketbook which was flatter than the tires. This was no little trial to us to be far from friends and home with no money to speak of and not one person we were acquainted with for scores of miles around. We lifted up our hearts to the Lord in prayer for His guidance as to where we should locate. We were directed to inquire at a certain house as to where we could find living quarters. This was certainly of God, for immediately we had a friend even though the party contacted was far from being a Christian. Immediately, this friend found living quarters at a reasonable price, helped us to secure land for pitching the tent, and befriended us in many ways. We were told then and there that all we needed to do when we got in a tight place was just to let “me know what you need, for my husband has a good job and we have plenty of credit at the corner grocery.” We settled it in our own minds then, however, that we would never tell this person of our personal needs which would involve gifts. This decision was adhered to under all circumstances.
It was dead winter when we arrived in Alexandria, but the grass was green and flowers blooming. Just after the tent was pitched and seated, a cold wave hit us which kept the people away, and of course funds were not forthcoming. We came to our last penny. We had brought along some canned fruit and vegetables, but ere long these were gone. We had quite a few blackeyed peas which stood us in good stead. We had peas for dinner, peas for supper, then those that were left over were mashed up and mixed with flour and salt and made into little cakes, thus affording us pea-sausage for breakfast. These were testing times, but good days, for we knew God had led us. Candy and ice cream for the children were out of the question. One day we were faced with the question of bread. This led me to the special place of prayer out in the garage. Here I reminded the Lord that we had forsaken family, friends, and salary in order to follow His leadings, and that He knew all about our needs, and especially the needs of the children. While out there my wife called. I went to the house and met a poor man who said, “The Lord told me to come over and see you and give you fifty cents.” How we praised God for His faithfulness. On one occasion since then, and many years later, I received a gift of six thousand dollars for the work of the Lord, but this fifty cent piece brought as much joy, if not more than the great gift, for our Father had signally answered prayer for bread and a little extra.
The following years were destined to be times of great testing, but we were in God’s great school. We saw many souls turn to the Lord, several small churches were organized, and some buildings erected when it seemed utterly impossible. We were out for about six months on this first out-swing of faith. God gave us a fine group of precious people who had been led into the light of holiness. A church had been established and a pastor secured. These folk were as precious to us as any we had ever known. Here we had proven the great faithfulness of God among a people whom we had never known before, and in the midst of the great economic Depression. Back at our Assembly in Jonesboro, Arkansas we had great news to tell. Almost a year had passed since we had had a salary from any source in the world, yet God had provided for us and we had kept free of debt. Until this time, we had been keeping up the payments on the house – “our little nest.” At this point we felt that the Lord would have us free from debt, so the previous owner kindly consented to take it back.
After having visited the work in the northern part of the district, we set out again for Louisiana to dig out some new works. Naturally, the way was becoming more difficult, for, at this time, tens of thousands were in the bread-line made possible by the Government. We, too, were advised to go and get our share, but not once did we do so. There are many stories of trial and triumph during these years of testing, but time forbids our relating many of them. We do feel, however, that our Father will be glorified by our relating a few of these incidents.
In the winter of 1932, we were conducting services in Pineville, Louisiana and renting small quarters from a maiden lady who was a nurse. She was very kind to us, also profited from the weekly rent which we prayed in and turned over to her. While we were there she received a sudden call to take care of a case some distance from her home. She said to me, “Brother Bustin, I would like for you to go to a certain grocery store every other day and get a piece of beef for my dog, ‘Old Major.’ I have arranged for this, and have also asked Sister Bustin to boil the meat for him.” These orders I carried out to the letter. It was good beef and its pleasant odors while boiling served to whet our appetites. “Old Major” seemed to enjoy the meat immensely, but would not thank us for the rich broth, so my wife didn’t feel-that we would be robbing the dog by taking the beef broth and making dumplings for the Bustins. While Major ate his meat, we enjoyed the dumplings made with the broth from his meat. (While relating this incident one time, a friend of mine said, “If it had been me, I would have snitched a bit of Major’s meat.”)
The pastor in Alexandria felt that he was having hard sledding on his small weekly salary, therefore decided that he could not carry on. This was a grief to us, for we could not afford to see the work go down, We earnestly sought God’s directions in the matter, then felt led to go back and take charge, also to erect a parsonage and church building. Upon passing on this information to our friends the answer came, “Brother Bustin, we don’t want you to come. Don’t misunderstand us, but we can’t stand to see you and your wife and children suffer. Conditions are such that we cannot promise you anything.” We knew what God wanted, so we went knowing that it would be hard, but with the conviction that the Lord would see us through. I literally told the devil that we were serving notice on him that by the grace of God we were going to carry on in Alexandria if we bleached our bones from starvation. Maybe, it is best not to challenge the devil, but by the grace of God we stuck by the battle. Again and again, we didn’t know what we would eat the next day, and at times we didn’t know what we would eat for the next meal which time was not an hour off.
The great test came when I said to our people,"We are going to build a tabernacle and parsonage." "It cannot be done" came from all quarters. We began to pray and seek out a place suitable for such buildings. A lot was offered to us for a very small price, and only twenty dollars down. This was in a good location situated in a new residential section and only about one hundred feet from a large paved street. With the consent of my folk, this was purchased. Then came the question, "Well, we have the lot, but how can we build with no money?" Prayer was made again for God to make a way in the wilderness. Someone came to me saying, "There are quite a number of good bricks in the city park which the authorities would like to be rid of. Some of these will have to be digged out of the ground, but they can be had for digging them out and transporting them away." This meant hours of hard work, but at last the task was accomplished, the services of a truck secured, and these good bricks were laid on our lot. One of our men secured the aid of a brick mason to put down the foundation. No building material was in sight, but prayer was continually going up. One day, a party came to me saying, "Brother Bustin, I know where there is a house for sale for twenty-five dollars. It is located at a mill site about twenty miles from here. I will take you there if you want to see it." We went and promised to take this place which contained much good lumber. In fact, practically everything in the house was good. The money came, then the wrecking began. Day after day, some of us worked, then hauled lumber on a trailer, behind our worn-out Chrysler, early and late. Much of the timber was exceedingly black from soot. Some of our neighbors, including one old man, felt that they were disgraced by what we were going to build near their nice houses. Poor old Mr. -- cursed and raved at first. After the timber was on the ground, I began washing it piece by piece. Never will I forget the last day I spent washing this lumber. The rain had been falling in torrents, so there was a large depression filled with water near us. As the evening wore away, a cold wave struck our part of the country. Barelegged from my knees down, and barefooted, I worked unrelentingly in order to finish the task. Even though I was working hard, I shivered in the cold and my legs were so red until it seemed the blood would almost break through the pores. The devil was right on hand with what seemed to be a whole regiment of his imps. He said, "What a fool you are. Here you are penniless, threadbare, the soles off your shoes, your family in need, and your poor wife expecting an addition any day." I couldn't argue, for this time he was telling the truth in part. My heart was heavy, but all the time I was reminding the Lord of His leadings and at the same time renewing my covenant to follow Him all the way. That evening, I went home shivering in the cold. Just as I was about to enter the house from the back way, a large nail passed through my practically soleless shoe and went about halfway through my foot. Before day, the temperature was such that the block of my old Chrysler froze up and burst. God alone knows the testing of these times, and yet we never told one person on earth what our needs were. He made the way.
It would be next to impossible to relate the many ways in which the Lord worked. Suffice to say that within sixty days we were living in our commodious parsonage quarters, and within sixty days more we were worshiping in a lovely tabernacle 36 by 50, and our total indebtedness did not exceed $600.00 including the two lots. God had worked wonders. Soon after we were in the new tabernacle, Mr. and Mrs. Berlin (the man who raved about building near their nice homes) came and sought the Lord and found peace. Their oldest granddaughter also found Christ as her Saviour and lived a beautiful Christian life until she went to be with the Lord at an early age. The change in Mr. Berlin was indeed radical. The lion was transformed into a lamb. He, too, lived a devoted life until the Lord called him home.
The testings were not over, for the very heart of the Depression was upon us. On one occasion I preached on Missions on Sunday morning. Satan said, “You are foolish to talk on foreign missions and take an offering, for the few dimes which will be given will come from what you and your family would have to live on this week.” I preached the best I could on missions, then took an offering. I didn’t take another offering, for naturally I knew there would be no use. There was a box at the back of the tabernacle for the pastor’s support. Great was my surprise that day to find that God had given us more than I ordinarily got in two weeks. Praise God!
We carried on for two years among our beloved people in Alexandria, Louisiana, and also spent some time looking after the general interests of the District, which was showing signs of growth. The heavy load had been a draft upon the health of my wife, so the Assembly voted to give me a six months’ release from District duties in order that her health might be regained. A hearty invitation came from friends in the state of Kansas to locate my family in their big house while I would be engaged in evangelistic labors principally in the west. Believing that this was in answer to prayer, we accepted the invitation and made the move.
Rev. G. T. Bustin
Some years after leaving Alexandria, Louisiana, God called Brother Bustin into missionary work, to Australia and other parts of the earth. Eventually, Brother Bustin felt God was talking to him about going to New Guinea. As he prayed, he told the Lord he would like to carry the gospel to New Guinea but “my hands are full in the West Indies, and Thou seeth that I have no means to use in opening a work in New Guinea. Father, Thy servant is willing to go, and if necessary even be eaten by these wild people in order that they might have the gospel. Lead me clearly.”
The next morning, he heard a knock at his door, and upon opening it, there stood a lady who told him how she was praying and God told her to give Brother Bustin one hundred pounds ($320.00 in American currency) for New Guinea. God sent the rest of the needed money in and soon he was on his way to New Guinea. There he blazed a trail for God, going among cannibals and other dangers. In one part, he ventured where no other white man had ever been, except perhaps a few government men, or explorers had been in the general area. God has mightily honored his efforts, and in a recent letter that I received from Brother Bustin, he states, “The greatest and wildest venture ever made was when I was in Australia, 44 years ago last summer, and God put it in my heart to go into a large area of raw savages far up into the highlands of New Guinea, even though I was told that I could not get into that closed territory. I told the Lord that if He would give me a thousand dollars, or the equivalent, I would go even if the savages would eat me. No person on earth knew what I had said to the Lord. Immediately the money came, and I was soon on the way. Incidentally, I have just recently learned that the work of the Bible Mission over there now has about three hundred national preachers and not one of these, to the best of my knowledge, is receiving any promised support from America. My heart was melted to tears when I heard that two of these national men were in a revival where fifteen hundred were brought to God. I can’t take much credit for what has been done over there; but I thank God I went.”
May God bless Brother Bustin in his continued labors for God. I quote again from his letter: “All across the years until this hour, we have had no promised support from any source, yet our God has been faithful.” Amen! We are serving a great God. Praise His Name forever!
Bible School Days
When my son, Danny, was in Bible school, he had a roommate by the name of Tim Hiles, whose mother had passed away. He had come to Bible school because it had been his mother’s heart desire for him to attend. He was a young lad as was my son and I longed to be able to help him financially, but with a big family and our own responsibilities and school bills, there was just no extra to spare. But I would write him and try to encourage him like his mother would have done had she lived. One day I sent him a promise from God’s Word, “ … My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19. Later, Tim left the school and I lost track of him.
One morning, some years later, I received a long distance call. The voice with a northern accent said, “Hi, can you guess who this is?” I answered, “No, I’m sorry, but I have no idea who you are.” He quoted, “ … My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Then he asked, “Now do you know who I am?” I answered, “I’m sorry but I still do not know who you are.” He then told me he was my son’s previous roommate, and reminded me of the time I sent him the promise, which I had long ago forgotten. He continued, “You will never know what this promise has meant to me down through the years. I have stood on it and have seen God move in wonderful ways in supplying needs in my behalf.” How this testimony encouraged my heart. I remembered how badly I wanted to help him financially but was unable, but I had given him what I could, a promise from God’s Word, and it far surpassed anything I could have done financially. The Scripture from Acts 3:6 comes to my mind, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I unto thee.” Had I had money to give, it would have long been gone, but the precious Word of God had endured down through the years.
Once again Tim faded out of my life. I often wondered where he was and how he was doing spiritually and otherwise. I would write him in care of his grandmother but he never answered. One day, I asked God to let me hear from him again. One night, I was sick in bed and the phone rang and who could it be but Tim? How faithful our God is.
Again, years went by, perhaps eighteen or twenty or more, when again I got a phone call from Tim. He had been backslidden for many years but again the prodigal son came home to Father’s house, so once again he had called to share the good news. Then, last year, I was at Hobe Sound, Florida attending a camp meeting, and a young man walked up to me. “Are you Sister McCain?” he asked. I replied, “Yes, I am,” as I wondered who this stranger could be. “I’m Tim Hiles,” he introduced himself. My, how good it was to see him again. God is good to let our paths cross once more. How we do appreciate His wonderful goodness to us.
I would like to mention another incident concerning my daughter Jackie’s roommate. Her name was Doretta Hoffpauir. She had come to Bible school trusting God to supply her need and help her pay her school bill. She longed to prove to an unsaved loved one how God will supply for those who trust Him and obey Him. Toward the end of the school year, I became greatly concerned, for according to my daughter, she yet owed several hundred dollars on her bill with no help in sight. I requested prayer at church relating enough of the conditions that they might know how important the situation was. I knew that if believing and united prayer would reach through to the throne of God that the answer would surely come. After making the request, the Lord moved on the pastor’s wife’s heart, and she said, “Let’s put feet to our prayers and send an offering to this young girl.” She didn’t even know her but was touched by her faith. No one else there knew her but my family, but God began to touch hearts, and though it was a very small church, God helped us to raise three hundred and fifty dollars to pay on this girl’s school bill. Oh, how happy I was to stick that in an envelope and send it to my daughter to give her. My daughter said she had never seen anyone as happy as was Doretta when she was handed that three hundred and fifty dollars and told it was for her school bill. God had not let her down for she had come to school by faith, and had done all she could do to pay the bill. What she couldn’t do, God did for her. Praise God! He will do it every time.
When my first son started to Bible school, I wondered how we could ever afford to pay school bills as we had several more children at home and much expense. I went to prayer and told God that I didn’t want to worry about school bills all the time and would He give me a promise concerning the school bills. As I waited before Him, He gave me this promise, “I will give thee … hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am … God … “ Isaiah 45:3. Amen! That was good enough for me. God was promising me that He would give me hidden riches of secret places to pay the school bills. I stood on that promise all the years my children attended Bible school, and though we had as many as four at one time enrolled in Bible school, when the school year was completed, the bill was paid.
I remember one particular incident that I would like to share. We were a little behind in the school bills and I was determined, by God’s help, to catch up, realizing that the school had their obligations that must be kept up also. Well, when my husband got paid and we made the bank deposit, I wrote out the needed amount for the school along with other checks for other obligations. After totaling it all up making sure our tithes were paid, there was only five dollars left in the bank out of my husband’s check, and it would be two weeks before he got paid again. We needed groceries plus other things, but I just looked up to God and said, “Well, Father, we are paid up through today.” I then walked into the living room and picked up the Bible. It opened to the book of Matthew and my eyes fell on these words, Matthew 6:33 and 34, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
The Blessed Holy Spirit settled down and talked to my heart in a wonderful way. He showed me afresh and anew that we were seeking first the kingdom of God by sending the children to Bible school, and He was well able to take care of us. He said, “You have the bills paid up for today, don’t worry about tomorrow.” Then He talked to me about the fowls of the air, how they sowed not, neither reaped nor gathered into barns, and yet He took care of them. Then I read about the lilies, how they toil not, nor spin and yet how well God clothed them. God spoke so plainly to my heart in words like this: “My child, if I take care of the birds and grass that are of such short duration, can’t you trust Me to take care of your needs?” Well, I had read that Scripture many, many times but God blessed it afresh and anew to me that memorable morning. I had even been tempted to try to find work for myself, but God showed me so plainly that morning that the fowls of the air did not work, and the lilies did not work and yet He took care of them. He brought the Scripture to my mind about women being keepers at home and said, “You obey the Word and I’ll do the rest.” Oh, how I rejoiced in Him that morning. It was a fresh revelation that He would continue to supply our needs and He did not need my little puny help. I think it was the same day that I went to the mailbox and there was a check for fifty dollars for some work my husband had done and we were expecting twenty-five for it. I was rejoicing so much until I didn’t check the other mail for awhile. When I did, I found another check for twenty-six dollars from an insurance company. They had underpaid us on a recent insurance settlement. Well, Glory! God just sent these two checks to us to strengthen my faith. Over and over again, He has sent in little extra amounts from “secret places” to meet our needs. It is wonderful to trust the One who is all-sufficient. Praise His Name!
I would like to mention an amusing incident connected with the children at Bible school. About the middle of a semester, God provided the means for me to fly down to visit the three of them. The reason I decided to fly was because it saved so much time, and it wasn’t feasible for me to be away from my family at home for very long. I had never flown before and was not looking forward to that part of the trip. I have a natural fear of heights and depths, so every time I thought of the plane ride, I would feel frightened. The morning I was supposed to leave, I was praying and asking God for a promise to give me courage to make that flight. He gave me this: “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage and he will strengthen thine heart” Psalm 27:14. Well, I had certainly waited on the Lord and had done my best to be courageous, so now He had promised to strengthen my heart. I said, “Thank You, Lord,” for I certainly needed my heart to be strengthened. A little later as I was busy getting my house in order before I left, I passed by the promise box and the same old fear seemed to grip my heart. I said, “Lord, if You can just give me something to put in my purse to take along with me, I’ll be so grateful.” I reached over and pulled a promise and here is what I read, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me … “ Psalm 23:4. Oh, how quickly I put that promise back into the promise box, and told the Lord that I would be content with the first one He gave me. Someone told me when I related this incident to them, that they would have never gotten on that plane after that. But I felt sure that in spite of all my fear and trembling, that somehow God was going to take care of me. Hadn’t He given me the means to go? And beside, there was a love for my three dear children and a daughter-in-law who would be waiting for me at the end of the journey, that compelled me to go through any difficulty to be able to spend a few short days with them. I had written my son that I was coming but told him I wanted to surprise the girls. The day I was to leave, I received a letter from my youngest daughter and this is what she wrote: “I dreamed the best dream last night. I dreamed you came to see us. It was such a good dream. I wish it was true.” It touched my heart very deeply as I felt the longing of a young girl who was homesick to see her mother. I was so glad that God was allowing me to go. My son got the girls to go to the airport with him to “pick up a lady.” They never imagined that the lady was their own mother, especially since they knew how afraid I was of heights. They never thought I’d fly. How well I remember their dear faces with such surprised looks, their excitement and happiness at having me come. How good our loving Heavenly Father is to make a way for me to visit my children that time and many times since. Bless His Name!
Georgia D. McCain
A Remarkable Deliverance
In December, 1911, I conducted a revival in Coal Creek, Tennessee. Coal Creek is the railroad center from which spurs run out to the mines in the mountains. Sunday morning, I was called from the breakfast table to the telephone. The Methodist preacher was on the other end of the wire. In a very much agitated voice, he said, “Brother Hicks, there has been an explosion in Cross Mountain Mine. I have a number of members in that mine and think I had better go up there. Would you be willing to go with me?” I replied in the affirmative. In a moment he was at the door with a horse and buggy. I climbed in and we drove up the valley to old Cross Mountain.
I can never forget that drive. It was a beautiful December day in the Southland. The leaves were stained red in the blood of the dying year. The squirrels were hopping along the roadside gathering their supply of winter nuts. The birds seemed to sing with pathos, as if they were touched with a feeling of our sorrow. We rode silently until we came to a sign saying, "Miners, buy your whiskey at --." My friend said, "Brother Hicks, that is solemn mockery in an hour like this." Evidently someone else thought the same for the sign was broken down as I passed back.
Soon we met some miners in caps and overalls and sooty faces, evidently just out of a mine, running down the road. We asked them, “What about the explosion?” “We’re from Thistle Mine,” they replied, “There is an entry from our mine to Cross Mountain. Some of our boys were blown on their faces but no one was hurt.” “But what about Cross Mountain?” we asked. “Oh, blowed all to pieces,” they replied, and ran on down the road.
A little farther, we came to the string of houses that make the mountain village. What a bedlam of sounds we heard! Women were crying and praying, children screaming and old men shouting excitedly. One woman with a baby in her arms ran out to our buggy and cried, “Oh, for God’s sake, do something to reach my husband and get him out of there. I don’t see how we can live without him.” “We’ll do anything in our power to save him,” we answered as we drove on.
Soon we rounded a spur in the mountains and got the first view of Cross Mountain Mine. It was a drift mine, entering quite a distance up the side of the mountain. Dust and leaves were floating slowly out of the mouth of the mine. The idle power house stood nearby with the smoke curling lazily from its stack. Everything looked grim and silent, as if the old mine were sulking after its deed of cruelty.
Such a scene I never expect to see again this side the judgment! At one end, a woman sat on the ties of the tramway screaming, “O God, if he’d only been ready to go!” Another stood near her twisting the ropes, her face as pale as death, not uttering a word. An old man wearing a mackintosh walked up and down the tramway crying, “My God, my poor boy.” The people became so frenzied that it was necessary to make a door and put it over the mouth of the mine lest some irresponsible person should slip in. One poor fellow rushed up to the door crying, “Let me in, let me in. I want to go to my brother!” They led him away stark mad.
After the men had been in the cave two days, we gave up all hope that any of them should come out alive. By and by, they began to bring out the dead. Wood, a leader in our campaign, went to his sister, Mrs. Henderson, whose husband and boy were in the mine, and asked her: “Where do you want Bill and the boy buried when they are brought out? I think they will reach their entry today.”
“There’ll be time enough to talk about burying Bill and the boy when they are dead,” she replied. He said, “Oh, you might as well give up. They’re all dead; they couldn’t possibly live in there this long.” She looked at him for a moment and answered, “Bill and my boy are not dead, I haven’t been on my knees two days and a half for nothing.” He thought she was going crazy. He asked some neighbor woman to watch her.
Upon his own initiative, he had the graves dug where he thought she would like to have them buried. That night after supper, Mrs. Henderson went into the kitchen and put some water on to heat. The watchers asked her what she was going to do. She said, “I’m heating water for Bill and the boy to wash with when they come out.” They said to her: “Mrs Henderson, they’ve had an explosion, and they’re all killed; none of them will come out alive.” “Oh,” she replied, “Bill and my boy will be out before ten o’clock tonight.”
Between nine and ten o’clock that night, somewhere in the bowels of old Cross Mountain, a rescue party had their lights go out. They were asking one another for a light, when a poor fellow behind some boards and mud plaster that had been put over an entry to keep back the bad air, shouted to them: “I’ll give you a light, if you’ll break down these boards.” Quickly they tore down the boards and there stood Bill Henderson. He had come down from a room a little farther back where he, his boy and three others had barricaded themselves, and spent the hours fighting back the choke-damp and praying. Most of them, not expecting to get out at all, had written farewell letters to their loved ones. These five came out before ten that night. Of the eighty-six souls that went into Cross Mountain Mine on the morning of the explosion they were the only ones who came out alive.
I. E. Hicks
(This account taken from The Faith Builder, published by Schmul Publishers, Rare Reprint Specialists, Salem, Ohio. Used by permission.)
How God Quieted a Restless Baby
One day we were invited to have an evening meal with Brother and Sister Martin. I observed that fourteen-month-old Donnie was having a restless time. He wouldn’t eat; just whimpered and cried. The mother informed us that she had taken him to two doctors and a baby specialist but all three told her that nothing was wrong with him, he was only going through a cross spell.
After supper, the Lord urged me to put my finger into his mouth. This I did and found a sharp object (a piece of granite) more than a quarter inch square, lodged between his four little front teeth and his gum. I removed it and he immediately stopped fussing and crying. Each doctor charged for his service but didn’t help any; but God knew where the trouble was and revealed it to me in answer to prayer.
Rev. Claude Eshelman
Praying for a Backslidden Preacher
One morning as I was ironing, a tremendous burden settled down on my heart. I kept ironing and trying to be faithful to the burden as I ironed, but the burden grew so heavy until I turned off my iron and knelt by a chair in my living room and began to fervently call on God. I had an awesome feeling that someone was about to drop off into hell, and God had put this burden of intercession upon me that I might stand in the gap to keep this individual out of hell. I prayed earnestly, though I can’t remember how long, until God lifted the burden, though I did not understand what it was all about.
Later that afternoon, I lay down to rest awhile and I was still meditating on the awful burden I had had that morning. I prayed, “Lord, will You somehow reveal to me what this is all about?” He spoke from Proverbs 29:1, “He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” He said, “You were praying for a backslidden preacher.”
On Sunday morning, I stood to testify and told of the burden and what God had told me. When I had finished, a dear lady,whose husband had turned his back on God and was out in sin, stood to her feet weeping. She said, “You were praying for my husband (a backslidden preacher). He was involved in a car accident and there’s no telling what might have happened, had God not put the burden on your heart.”
I was so glad I had been faithful to the burden and had not let my ironing hinder me that morning. Oh, the faithfulness of God! He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but seeks for someone to “make up the hedge, and stand in the gap” (Ezekiel 22:30) for never-dying souls. How we should praise Him for His love and mercy for the souls of men.
Georgia D. McCain
The Lonely Cabin on the Forty Mile
The following is “A battle between a Bible and a barrel of whiskey over the souls of three men.”
Whenever I give this story of “The Lonely Cabin on the Forty Mile,” the Lord seems to bless it, and so I’m giving it tonight by request. It is a true story told me by the principal character in it, and magnifies the grace of God upon a life wrecked by sin.
The story opens in Iowa with an old farmer by the name of J. Conlee. He was a father of twelve children, six boys and six girls, who grew up with every promise of becoming splendid citizens and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the father was a Methodist of the old school and brought up his family in the church and Sunday school.
Some of the children had grown to manhood. One of the sons had become a lawyer and another a doctor. Still another, a professor in one of the seminaries, and when the babe about whom we are to speak, arrived, the father and mother did what they had done with every other child, they dedicated him to the Lord. In his boyhood days the mother said, “I hope my little Joe will be a preacher of the gospel like two of his brothers are.”
The years rolled by and Joe was a good boy and a credit to the home. One day when high school days were over, the father came to him and said, “Joe, have you decided what you will be?”
“Yes, Father,” said Joe, “the course I have taken in high school has fitted me for civil engineering. I think I will be a civil engineer.”
A cloud came over his father's face as he said, "Oh, I am sorry. We hoped you would enter the ministry. Are you sure you haven't heard the Lord's voice?" He said he would pray about it, and after two weeks he came to his father and said, "Father, my mind is made up. I will enter the ministry." His father embraced him and kissed him and said he would send him to the University of Iowa, and when he had received his B.A. degree, he went for three years to the -- School at Ft. Dodge to fit himself for the ministry. One day one of the professors said to him, "You know there is a lot of superstition mixed up with what we originally believed. You are a brilliant fellow. I heard the President say he considered you one of the most brilliant we have. Weigh everything carefully. Apply yourself to the study of books. I want you to read Darwin, Renan and Huxley, every one of those philosophers." When Joe Conlee came out of that school, there was a battle of reason against faith, and reason was winning in the great war.
He accepted the pastorate in a little Methodist Church in Iowa, and while there he married a splendid Christian girl, the daughter of a Methodist preacher in an adjoining town. After three years, because of his friendship with the Bishop, he was transferred to the First Methodist Church of Santa Ana. He spent two years there, but there were years in which he was fighting a tremendous battle within his soul. Greater battles are fought within the confines of the human breast than were ever waged at historic Gettysburg or Ypres or the Marne.
They gave him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity and he progressed in his ministerial aspirations, yet, all the time, he was drifting into Modernism, looking at the Scriptures from the Modernist’s standard, interpreting them, not from the basis of faith, but from the basis of reason or intellectualism. He had been told that, in order to be well-balanced, he should see both sides of the question, and should not be swayed by emotionalism in Methodism. The Methodist Conference met in Los Angeles and the bishop complimented him on his excellent work and he became pastor of the First Methodist Church of San Diego, one of the largest on the Pacific Coast.
After two years of successful ministry, there he moved to Pomona, California, and it was during that time that he built the lovely Methodist Church of that place, a beautiful example of Spanish architecture. It was there the seeds that had been sown in his heart in the past began to bear fruit, so Joe confided to his wife that he was beginning to feel a little hypocritical, that he didn’t believe the things his congregation demanded that he preach, and finally he said, “I am going to quit. I cannot stand it.” He denied the virgin Birth of Christ and the miracles, and one day Joe Conlee went into his pulpit and said, “My friends, I am about to make a confession. I cannot believe the Bible. There has been a battle in my heart for years. Now I feel I will regain some of my self-respect. This is the last time I will preach.”
He was a gifted writer and soon got a job. He went back to Santa Ana and became the editor of The Santa Ana Herald. For years, his name was at the head of the editorial column. But he commenced to smoke and drink, and gamble a little and went from bad to worse. He left Santa Ana and went to Los Angeles and, for some time, was editor of the East Los Angeles Exponent. He moved to Covina and there founded his own newspaper, The Covina Argus Independent, a paper that is still in existence. He sold it for a small fortune and became an editor writer on the Los Angeles Times, and then on The Examiner, both of which positions he lost through drink. His pen never lost its brilliancy. It seemed to be dipped in the very ink of inspiration. There were many days he could not report for work. He worked on The Express but lost that job, as he was intoxicated nearly all the time. Tramping around from one place to another, the man who had been the pastor of the great First M. E. Church of San Diego and of the great church at Pomona became a dissolute, drunken inebriate shuffling around in his rags; you could find him any night in the back end of the Mineral Saloon.
Blaming his old life for his downfall, he started in his antipathy toward God, a series of open-air attacks on Methodism and Christianity. He became the president of the Free Thinkers Association of California, and for twelve years, he did not miss one night in back of the Mineral Saloon, giving lectures on atheism and drinking himself to death. He would raise his hand and defy God to strike him dead, and, when nothing would happen, say, “You see, friends, there is no God.” He would collect a few dimes and quarters and go into the saloon to again drink himself almost to death.
He would be carried off night after night to a praying wife, while delirium tremens seized him again and again. He became emaciated, a hollow-eyed, blaspheming, cursing, swearing and carousing man; he had gone down into the very mud and scum of things, but every night his wife, a daughter of a Methodist preacher, prayed for him. I wonder what the professor who gave him those books would have thought if he could have seen him at Los Angeles, dirty, ragged, holes in the knees of his trousers, beard grown and matted, a poor, old drunken sot!
One day, going down the street, he accidentally bumped into a man. Dr. Conlee was drunk as usual, and said, “Can you give a fellow a dime?” The man looked at him and recognized his old pastor. He said in amazement, “You are not Conlee, man? Tell me!” “That is my name, Conlee,” said the drunkard. “My old pastor! What are you doing like this? I cannot believe my eyes.” And the kindly Christian doctor, for he was an M.D., took him to his house, gave him a bath, a new suit of clothes and took him to a hotel not far away, explaining to the clerk what he was doing. Dr. Conlee pawned that suit of clothes and spent it on drink. The doctor interested his friends and they tried their best to salvage the old drunk, but could do nothing with him. Every penny he got went for drink until he got as low as a human being could possibly get.
At last, everybody gave him up but the doctor, and he said, “If we could get him away from the Mineral Saloon it might help him to pull himself together.”
It was at the time of the great gold strike in Alaska, and men were climbing over the Chilkoot Pass like a lot of ants on their way to the gold-fields, in a mad rush for the yellow metal, and his friends thought if they could get him in a change of environment that his life might be changed. The old drunk said he would be willing to go. So they packed his little trunk, bought him another suit of clothes and put him on the boat bound for Skagway. His wife and little daughter came to see him off. His little girl, Florence, put her arms around his neck and said, “Daddy, dear Daddy, Mamma put in a little medicine chest that she thought you might need if you should get hurt there, and do not forget, Daddy, we will pray for you, and, Daddy, inside the medicine chest I have put my little Book. I wouldn’t give it to anybody else in the world but you, Daddy. You read it!” That little Bible meant everything to Florence, and on the flyleaf she had written the words,’‘To my darling daddy. With love from Florence.” “Do not forget, we love you,” and the whistle blew and the old steamer plowed its watery way; and in the bottom of his trunk was the little medicine chest with the Bible inside.
In a few weeks, he was in that great seething cursing, surging mass of humanity, prospectors en route to the Yukon. The very first place he found was a saloon, the biggest in town. He got a job in that vile hell hole. The Rev. Joseph Conlee was sweeping up the floors and cleaning out the cuspidors, and his pay was “all he could drink” and food enough just to keep him alive.
One day the owner of a big place came to him and said, “Doc, I want you to go over to the 40-Mile. We have struck gold over there and I am the first man to hear of it, with the exception of the man who made the find. I have bought the old log cabin and I want you to go out and hold the place.” “Not me,” said Joe, “I will not leave here. You know my little weakness.” But the man said, “Joe, you can have all you want to drink. We will send supplies out for two weeks on the dog team. You’ll have nothing to do but to sit in the cabin and have a wonderful time.”
So Joe Conlee found himself out in the lonely cabin on the 40-Mile, with nothing to do but to drink. He had laid in a good supply as winter was coming on and he wanted enough to last. He laughed and laughed as he sat down to drink himself to death. The whiskey barrel was a quarter empty when one day in October, there was a knock at the door of the cabin. There stood Jimmie Miller, a Roman Catholic, who said he was cold and hungry. The latch-string is always out in Alaska. You dare not turn a man away, so Conlee said, “Come in, Pard. There’s grub and a whiskey barre1.” Jimmie Miller laughed as he entered the cabin door. So the two of them sat down to drink. They were there two weeks, drinking themselves to sleep every night—never missed a night, for the drunken orgies in that little cabin were beyond description-when there came another knock at the door and Wally Flett, a spiritualist medium from San Francisco, came, and when he saw the liquor, his mouth commenced to water, and he said, “Wouldn’t you like me to stay with you?” They said, “Yes,” and there were three of them now in the cabin. Their ribald laughter, their filthy jesting, their obscene story-telling, their drinking and carousing was unspeakable.
November came and went. They made three trips to Dawson with the dogs for whiskey and grub. Then the constant drinking got their nerves. The three of them drank, drank, drank, until they cried and cringed in torment, with delirium tremens, night after night. Then for fun, they had a spiritualistic seance, and Wally Flett, the old medium, told how he used to bunco people, showed them how the slate writing was done, and the tapping. Night after night, that was the program for the three in the lonely cabin.
Then one night, one came very near the border of death. Jimmie Miller had delirium tremens and a fever, and in great agony, he cried, “Get me a doctor. You cannot let me lie here and die.” But they were forty miles from Dawson City; it was forty below zero and the snows were deep. The delirious man kept screaming, “Get me a doctor.” Then Dr. Conlee remembered that down in his trunk was a medicine chest, so he brought it out, opened it, and out fell a little black Book on the floor. He opened it and read, “From Florence to Daddy”—“Florence! Florence!” Wally Flett said, “What you got, Conlee?” “It’s a Bible, curse it!” and Conlee strode over to the stove, but as he lifted up the lid to throw it in, Wally Flett shouted, “Don’t throw it in, Man. Don’t you know we haven’t a thing to read in this God-forsaken country—your only magazine I have read twenty times,” and he snatched it from the hand of Joseph Conlee. Dr. Conlee said, “If you want to read that, you may, but I will not. What was that written on the front page? “To my darling Daddy. With love from Florence.” He was a little more sober now. “My little girl! I am glad I did not burn the Book my little Florrie gave me.”
The medicine commenced to work. Jimmie Miller began to recover and as he was convalescing, he started to read the Bible. Jimmie had a habit of reading out loud. Joe used to tell him to shut up, but Wally Flett was interested. He would say, “What was that you read, Jimmie?” Then Jimmie would read it again. Wally said, “I had no idea there were things like that in the Bible. What do you say if we read it just to pass the time away, not to believe it. Joe was once a preacher; he tells us what fools the preachers are.” So they took turns in reading, and all unknown to them a change was coming into the Lonely Cabin on the 40 Mile—and the whiskey barrel went down more slowly. Some days, they would read five, six and seven chapters, and when they came to the New Testament, the cursings became fewer, the whiskey barrel began to be let alone, and Wally Flett said, “Haven’t you noticed a kind of change coming over us? I haven’t heard swearing now for three or four days. I wonder if it is that Bible that is doing it.”
Christmas came. They read the story of the birth of Christ. Wally Flett said,“Wait a minute. Do you know what day it is? It is Christmas day. I wonder what the little kids are doing in the States? What is the matter, Joe?” “Oh, just thinking about little Florrie. She used to hang up a stocking every Christmas before I made a fool of myself with the drink. There will be some happy folk around their firesides.”
January came, and they started reading the Gospel of St. John and then there came that eventful day—February 14th. It was Wally’s turn to read, and Joe got back of the stove: “Let not your heart be troubled … ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Joe’s hand brushed across his eyes. “What is the matter, Joe?” “Nothing!” “Were you crying, Joe?” “Yes, go ahead. I am thinking about my little girl. I am not crying because of that Bible.” Then Wally said, “I’d like to know if this Book is true. For the last five days, I’ve been wanting to pray and I was scared you fellows would laugh at me, but I will not be scared any more. I shall ask God, if there is a God, to speak to me.” Joe said, “Well, since you have committed yourself, I will tell you that my heart has been broken for the last week. I can hear my mother back in Iowa praying—though she is now in Glory. What about you, Jimmy?” “If you fellows want to pray, I will pray with you.” Three old, drunken soaks in the lonely cabin on the 40 Mile got down on their knees to pray. Their prayers rose higher and higher. Suddenly Wally Flett jumped to his feet. “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Jesus heard me!” While he was shouting, up jumped Jimmie Miller, and then Joe Conlee, the third man in that cabin, arose shouting Glory. It was two o’clock in the morning when they arose from prayer. Into that lonely cabin on the 40 Mile had come the Man with the seamless robe. I can see Him standing in Spirit by the old Yukon stove, as He put His hands on their heads.
Then Joe got hold of the whiskey barrel and rolled it to the door. Wally went for the hatchet and the cursed liquor ran out into the snow amid shouts of Glory. The angels were looking over the battlements of Glory as they saw what happened in the lonely cabin on the 40 Mile. Jimmie Miller, Joe Conlee and Wally Flett were born again by the Spirit of God.
I was holding meetings in Eugene, Oregon, and Brother Hornshuh asked me to meet the dean of the Bible School, and he introduced me to Doctor Joseph Conlee, He was the dean of the Bible Standard School, and that was the beginning of our friendship. Just before the end of my campaign, Dr. Conlee asked me to spend three hours with him in his room, to bring paper and pencil with me. He said, “I am not long for this world, I am going home to be with Jesus, but I have been praying and I believe God wants my story written down.” That night I was there in his room, and in the next room were Florence and his wife, who were living in the school quarters. He began, “You will have to forgive me if I cry a little, but I want to begin at the very beginning,” and he told me the story as I have related it to you.” Three times during the interview we prayed together. At four o’clock I embraced him and we wept together.
I went to Yakima for a campaign and during the first week was told by a student, sent from Eugene, that “Uncle Joe” had gone to heaven. When he knew he was going, he sent for her and told her to tell me that Jesus who found him in the lonely cabin on the 40 Mile was with him. Then he laid his head back on his pillow and was gone. Wally Flett is filled with the Holy Ghost and is preaching down in Texas. The last I heard of Jimmie Miller, he was preaching for the Holiness people, but dear old Uncle Joe is with Jesus.
Young friends, be careful what you read. There is no book like this Book, and if ever a battle starts within the confines of your heart and life say, “Lord, while I cannot understand I will believe Thee, and where I cannot reason I will walk in faith; and where I cannot see I will trust.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” Acts 16:31.
By Charles S. Price
(Taken from a tract entitled “The Lonely Cabin on 40 Mile” printed by Pilgrim Tract Society, Inc., Randleman, S.C., Used by permission.)
A Need for $16.14 Supplied
We were living at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, during the time the following event took place. My husband was working at a chemical plant, but he wasn’t making very much money. We were in need of a stove and a couple of mattresses, and not having the cash to pay for them, we had to buy them on credit.
Our practice was to pay our tithes first when my husband received his paycheck. Sometimes, the money just didn’t seem to stretch as far as we would have liked it to, so we had gotten behind on the note for the stove and mattresses. A man from the furniture company came to our house to pick them up. I asked him if he would please leave them with us until Thursday and I would really pray that God would supply this need. “But,” I added, “My rent will be due and I will have to pay that first for we must have a roof over our head.” The man was very reluctant but he finally agreed to wait until Thursday, and I prayed earnestly for God to supply. Our note was $16.14 a month. When my husband got paid, there was an extra check attached to his regular check with a note, “Cost of living bonus,” and it was for the exact amount of $16.14. I brought the check to the furniture store and gave it to the man that had come out to get our furniture, and told him, “See what the Lord has done.” He was so touched, and from that time on, if we should happen to get a little behind, he never again came out to pick up the furniture. Praise the name of the Lord!
A Thunderstorm Quieted
I’m from an East Texas town only fifty miles or so from the Texas-Louisiana border. Thunderstorms are very common in this part of the country. With the thunder rolling and the lightning flashing, it can be very frightening at times.
On Thursday evenings, my parents, my brother and his family, and my sister and her family would meet together for prayer meeting. My sister-in-law is a dear sweet girl who was saved and sanctified about four years ago, as were the others of us children. This particular evening, as we gathered for prayer meeting, the winds were blowing furiously, the thunder roaring and the lightning was flashing. My sister-in-law was terribly afraid. I took the Bible and began to read Psalm 91. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2—I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3—Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4—He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5—Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6—Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 14—Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: 15—He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.”
As I read these beautiful promises from God’s Word, the storm died. The thunder stopped, the lightning subsided and all was calm. God was seemingly everywhere. Some would say this was coincidental but I don’t believe it. I feel God was once again manifesting His power to increase our faith in Him. Praise His Holy Name!
1 agree with Karla, that these wonderful interventions are not always coincidental. God honors His children’s faith and He controls the elements, the thunder, lightnings, etc. I remember one day I was going some place and was caught in an awful electrical storm. I felt impressed to pray that God would protect my parents so I offered up a simple prayer for their protection. I then forgot all about it. But later that day when I saw my parents, my mother related to me about how near she had come to being struck by lightning. She had reached over to unplug a cord from an outlet, and just as she pulled her hand back, lightning struck where her hand had been. I then remembered praying for their protection and told her about it. (Taken from Trials and Triumphs.)
In this case, God did not stop the storm, but He controlled the lightning flash, withholding its strike until my mother was out of danger. Praise His Name!
In Mark, the fourth chapter, beginning in verse 36, we read where Jesus was in a ship, “and there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”
Hebrews 13:8-“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.”
Jake Saw the Man with Holes in His Hands
I was lost in a snowstorm one night high up in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Though I was frozen into unconsciousness, my horse carried me to a house. When consciousness began to dawn again, I heard a fire crackling at my feet and, looking up, saw a bearded man bending over, swearing because I would not open my mouth to admit the neck of a bottle. In a moment of delirium, I thought I was dead and had gone to the wrong place.
When my senses returned, I recognized the man as a notorious outlaw with a price on his head, a man who had vowed that physical violence would fall heavily on any preacher who dared to enter his house, and I did not know what to expect.
No man could have treated me more kindly; for my rescuer and his wife did everything possible for me. In the morning, I was little worse for my experience, but the sun shone and the snow was melting, and I was ready to go. Then it was that something said, “You have a chance that no other preacher ever had and you must try to save Jake Woods.”
How could I begin? Jake was sitting before the wide fireplace as I packed my saddlebags. I walked over to him. Taking a bill from my pocket, I said, “Mr. Woods, I regret to offer you so little, when you and your wife have done so much for me, but this is a little expression of my appreciation for what you have done. I would not repay you, even if I were rich.”
He looked me over from head to foot with astonishment.
“Put up your money, Doc,” he said. “What we done for you was because we wanted to be clever to you. If you had come to my house last night as a preacher, I would have turned you away in the storm and been glad if you were frozen to death this morning. Twenty odd years ago when the Almighty took my boy, my only child, I swore that no man representing Him should ever come under my roof, and I kept my word until last night; but when your horse brought you, I couldn’t turn you away. Now you can go and say that you have stayed all night with Jake Woods.”
His last sentence was hissed through clenched teeth. I never saw a man look so fierce. Certainly, I had done all I could and failed, so I picked up my saddlebags from the bedside and started toward the door. But something gripped my conscience with fingers like steel. “You must try again,” the unmistakable order came.
I walked the floor time and again to find a ship to Tarshish, but none was in sight. I was sure that he guessed what I was suffering, but he never turned his head. Finally, I walked over to him again, and with a voice trembling from emotion, I said, “Mr. Woods, I have a little book that I want to read, and talk to a Friend of mine before I go. Will you let me?” He turned to his wife, sitting in the corner, and said, “Doc, it’s all right; go ahead.” I began reading that wonderful chapter of Luke, about that one sheep that strayed, but was found.
There was the story of the Prodigal Son, too. When he came home in tatters within and without, his father was so happy that he would gladly have killed everything on the place to make merry because his son had come home.
Just then, I looked out of the corner of my eye and Jake Woods had turned around and was looking at me with interest, as much as to say, “What are you talking about me for?” I was, for he had sneered in the messenger’s face who came when his father was dying and begged his son to come home. I dropped to my knees and took hold of God with one hand and tried to reach JakeWoods with the other, but he was too far down. I held on and reached for Woods until I remembered that the sin of lacking hospitality is unpardonable with us. I said, “O God, I came here more dead than alive last night, and this man and his good wife took me in and nursed me back to life, and now they refuse to accept anything for their kindness. But Jesus Christ has stood at their door ever since they have had a house with outstretched hands bleeding and with thorn-crowned brow and they have slammed the door in His face. Help Jake Woods to tell Jesus Christ to come in today.”
When I got up, Woods was sitting on the floor, looking at the door. I followed his gaze but saw nothing but the open door, with the sunshine and melting snow. After a minute, he said to something apparently in the door, “Come in.” Then turning to me, he added, “He came in,” as much as to say, “You can’t throw it up to me anymore.”
When I left the cabin, he followed me to the gate. “Doc” he asked, “have you another of those little books like you read out of a while ago? My pap used to read about that boy, and I guess I’ve been him. If you’ll lend me one and turn down a leaf, 1 might find someone to read and I think I would like to hear it again.”
I gave him the Book and he turned away, saying that his “old woman” might come to hear me preach when I returned to the Flats schoolhouse again.
Several times before, I had preached at the Flats, sometimes to a few good souls, but when I arrived this time, the whole campus seemed to be covered with people. The first man who met me and gripped my hand until I thought I would fall off my horse, was Jake Woods. “Doc, I fetched ‘em,” was his greeting, and he had.
I walked into the schoolhouse. The women were on one side of the aisle. On the end of the second bench from the front, there was one who caught my coat sleeve as I passed. I looked down into her upturned face. It was Nancy Woods, at church for the first time in more than twenty years.
“Doc,” she said, “there’s something the matter with Jake.”
“What like?” 1 asked.
“I don’t know, but he ain’t like he used to be since you were there. He’s been real good to me, Doc. Please call for mourners today; maybe Jake’ll go up.”
The tears came to my eyes as I walked on to the table and laid my saddlebags down.
Jake Woods had beaten that woman almost to death once because she had given a coin to a preacher. Many times, he had driven her off in the storm to perish. Once, in a drunken delirium, he had thrown her into the fire. Now she had been in Heaven for three whole weeks.
I turned, and there the men came, with Jake Woods at their head, walking like he was on air. Just behind him was an old soldier of the Civil War hopping on a stiff knee. He hadn’t been in church since the war closed. Woods sat at the end of the frontbench, and the old soldier by his side. I shall never forget how the old man dropped down and adjusted his stiff leg, then crossed his hands with eager resignation, as he looked up into my face, as much as to say, “Well, I’m here.”
The house was full of good and bad. The sermon that I had prepared would not fit, so I took for my text, “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
I don’t think I ever so preached before or since, but somebody standing by that table did preach that day with power and conviction.
When I was ready to let down the net, Jake Woods sprang to his feet and went down the aisle, speaking in a voice that drowned mine; “Men and women, come on! Doc’s telling you the truth; for I saw that Man when Doc stayed in my house. When I opened my eyes, He was standing in the door with His hands stretched out, and there were holes in them with blood running out. I saw thorns on His head, too. And I told Him to come in and He came,and I haven’t been the same man since.”
They came until it seemed they all would come.
Jake Woods went out to exhort and save the people of his acquaintance, and he reached more of that class in the two years that he lived, than I could have reached in a lifetime.
Rev. J. S. Barnett
(Taken from a tract published by Pilgrim Tract Society, Inc., Randleman, N.C. Used by permission.)
Memorial for David Leo
Born: November 20, 1914
Died: January 16, 1991
The following memorial address was given at the funeral of a very dear friend, by the author. Brother Leo was a true witness for the Saviour he loved and lived for. After he passed away, his doctor, John Gorgonio, came from out-of-town to visit his widow. He knelt by her chair in front of her and told her what a fine Christian husband she had. He then said, “You don’t owe me one cent on his bill. It’s all paid.” Then he placed a hundred dollar bill in her hand. What a compassionate doctor! What an influence Brother Leo had had on him! Oh, may our influence, also, count for Christ. Our lives will soon be o’er, but our influence will remain.
My husband and I have been close friends of the deceased, David Leo, and his precious wife, Corrine, for a number of years. I feel it an honor to be able to give a memorial address in his behalf to honor his godly life.
Brother Leo was saved at the age of forty-one. The pastor of the Nazarene Church in his community, whom they called “Blackie” Edwards, brother of the former governor, Edwin Edwards (he is now the governor of Louisiana again at the time of this writing), took an interest in him and invited him to the Ft. Jessup Camp where Rev. H. E. Darnell was then conducting a revival. David Leo’s wife and children had other plans that night. They were going to a movie where all the children got in free, so were looking forward to this entertainment. But their daddy made a choice that night and went to the camp with Brother Edwards. It was all new to him. “People were praying everywhere,” he remarked later. But, thankfully for him the praying and straight preaching put him under conviction and shortly afterwards, he knelt by his bedside and gave his heart to God.
About a year later he was sanctified wholly as he worked at his carpenter’s job on Front Street. He told of being so happy and blessed at this time until a passer-by lady, remarked, “Something has happened to you.”
Yes, something had definitely happened to David Leo. His life had been transformed by the grace of God. In 2 Cor. 5:17 we read
“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away: behold, all things are become new.”
Not only was there a change in Brother Leo’s life, but there was a change in his home. Instead of taking his family to the movie theatre, he now took them to church.
“We walked two and one-half miles one way to church,” his wife told me, “A total of ten miles every Sunday. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, we went to church.”
Brother Leo sat on one end of the pew and his wife on the other, with nine children in between. What a beautiful sight this must have been to Almighty God, and to those who had prayed for and encouraged Brother Leo to get saved. One daughter added, “After Sunday school, some of the children of other families went outside to play. How we longed to follow them to have a big play, but Daddy never allowed us to go out. When our daddy spoke, we knew he meant what he said. He only had to speak once.”
A family altar was set up in the Leo home where devotions were held both morning and night. Brother Leo loved the old-fashioned way and hated every form of compromise. He held onto the old-fashioned principles of holiness until the end. Over and over in church or in the home, we have heard Brother Leo testify of his love for Christ and tell how good God had been to him. He loved the Bible and often quoted Scripture verses as we visited together.
Brother Leo was a firm believer in prayer. His family mentioned how he would go every Saturday night after he got saved to meet with other men of like faith, to pray. I have heard him speak of fasting and praying for those he loved and carried a burden for. “Many times when I was alone,” he stated, “I would spend time fasting and praying. I would walk back and forth through the house praying to God.” Not long after my son, Kenny, had gotten saved, Brother Leo told him, “I pray for you every day.” This meant a lot to him. He just recently mentioned it to me.
As often as they could, the Leos would visit our little church at Tioga. Sometimes the song leader would ask, “Does anyone have a special selection they would like us to sing?” “Number 120,” Brother Leo would always answer. “Is Not This the Land of Beulah?”
As we would mingle our voices together in song, the tears would course down his cheeks as he lifted his hand in praise to God and said a hearty “Amen-Praise the Lord.”
And no wonder. Listen to the words;
“I am drinking at the fountain where I ever would abide
For I’ve tasted life’s pure river and my soul is satisfied.
There’s no thirsting for life’s pleasures nor adorning rich and gay
For I’ve found a richer treasure, one that fadeth not away.
Tell me not of heavy crosses nor the burdens hard to bear,
For I’ve found this great salvation makes each burden light appear,
And I love to follow Jesus, gladly counting all but dross,
Worldly honors all forsaking for the glory of the cross.”
Yes, Brother Leo forsook all worldly pleasures and honors, and embraced the cross of Jesus. But today he has laid the old cross down and is rejoicing in Heaven because of the choice he made.
His wife commented, “I haven’t a doubt in my mind where David will go when he passes on. He lived the Christian life every day. It was all he talked about.” She had utmost confidence in her husband, and who is any closer to you than your companion?
Death did not slip upon him. He knew what he was facing, but he did not look on death as something fearful, mysterious and full of dread. Instead he thought of death as a glorious homecoming. I can almost hear him shout as he crossed over, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory.” Brother Leo was looking forward to Heaven. He had no sad stories to tell. One came away encouraged after talking to him. I heard him say once, not long before he passed away, “I want to look up St. Paul and have a long talk with him. Paul went through a lot and I want totalk to him.”
In Numbers 23:10, we read, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” Thank God, what wonders await the righteous. Even now, Brother Leo might be knocking at St. Paul’s mansion door. But whether he is or not, we know that he is having a wonderful time. We wouldn’t want to call him back if we could. But, thankfully, we can go to him if we will choose the same path he trod, the path to Glory. It will be worth anything we have to give up here to make it to Heaven.
In closing, let me tell you a true story:
There was a wonderful Christian lady who lived in Georgia. She had three sons who marched off to war during the Second World War. She promised with tears running down her cheeks, to pray for them every day. While they fought on the battlefield, they were encouraged at mail time to receive a letter from their old gray-haired mother back home. She told them that every day she went to a special place of prayer up in the woods, and like Jacob of old, she would take a stone and place it in this special place as she prayed for her boys. The days passed and the monument of stones representing her prayers for her boys grew bigger and bigger.
Then one day, the boys returned home. God had answered the burdened mother’s prayers. But sad to say, the boys continued on in their sinful ways. But their mother had prayed that God would save them at any cost.
Soon after the boys’ homecoming, the faithful mother took sick and went to be with Jesus. After the funeral, the boys with laden steps, returned to their mother’s home. Oh, how sad it was without her. How empty and lonely was her chair.
As the boys sat in silence with bowed heads, they thought of how their mother had told them of the sacred place up in the woods where she had prayed for them. Somehow, there seemed to be a magnetic pull in that direction. Slowly, they arose one by one and walked up into the woods in search of their mother’s place of prayer. There it was, a monument of stones deep in the woods. They could see the prints of her knees where she had knelt in prayer in their behalf. With subdued spirits and broken hearts, they knelt by the monument of stones and in deep contrition, they yielded their hearts to God. At last, Mother’s prayers had been fully answered.
Brother Leo, too, has built a monument of prayer for his unsaved loved ones. No, not a visible pile of stones, but an unseen monument of prayer. Day by day, the pile has been getting bigger and bigger. Now the last stone has been heaped onto the monument. His voice is stilled. He has prayed his last prayer for you.
Will his prayers be answered? Will you meet him in the Glory World? He will be waiting for you. The choice is yours. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if just as his whole family marched up the road to church, if all of you would some day march up the streets of gold to meet your daddy on the other shore? What a wonderful homecoming that would be! Praise God forever! Let us purpose to make it to Heaven.
Georgia D. McCain
A Poem to My Granddaughter in Nigeria
My granddaughter, Carmen, daughter of Danny and Mary McCain, who are presently in missionary work in Africa, often pesters me to write another book, also poems. She enjoys writing poems herself, so I thought she might enjoy the following inanswer to a letter she wrote me.
Carmen, Carmen, A great task you have asked of me—-
To write a poem and send a letter, for don’t you see
I’m getting old and I’m very forgetful and slow,
My mind gets all confused, plus I’m getting senile, you know.
These excuses should be enough to get me off the hook,
But since you insist, though I can’t, at present, write a book,
I’ll work at the job of composing a poem for you
And also, answer the letter that you wrote me, too.
I certainly do appreciate you taking out the time
To sit down and write your old grandparents a few lines.
Even though your brother came in to tease and pester you,
It didn’t seem to affect your writing for you sure came through
With an interesting letter that we surely did enjoy.
We could never guess that you were being pestered by a boy.
Anyway, I’m sure he meant no harm to you in any way at all.
Your mirror probably just reflected him, so handsome and tall,
Showing him why the girls you mentioned had flipped and fell.
It must be that pretty hair of his, that handsome face as well.
I had better quit teasing my grandson before I make him sad.
I’m only having fun, Daniel, so take it and be glad.
How is little sister, Laura, doing? Give her my regards.
Tell her to write Grandma, too, at least a little card.
Now back to your letter, Carmen, I’m really proud of you.
Your grades are very good, the C+ in Algebra will just have to do.
For “Algebra was invented to torture people.” Now isn’t that what you said?
But, honestly, it’s not so bad, is it? Or some folk would be dead.
They usually come through like you did, when they have done their best,
Though their grades may not be as good as you did on your Bible test,
And English, Spanish, Typing, Choir and all your other grades
Make me very proud of you, of how you’ve worked and what you’ve made.
So let me congratulate you on your first year of High School.
I guess by now your teacher knows the American is no fool.
Now, let’s get back to the rest of your letter
And hope that what I say will do until I can do better.
You asked if I had read the book, “Anne Of Green Gables,”
No, I guess I haven’t. I should add it to the rest of my fables.
As for “Anne of Avonlea,” I have never heard of such,
But of course, by now you know I don’t know very much.
About my summer plans, they wouldn’t interest you at all
For there’s been nothing exciting that’s worthy to recall,
Unless you like to hear of my picking blackberries, blueberries, peas and beans,
Shelling, snapping, washing, putting in the freezer, a sight to be seen,
Dishwashing, housecleaning, washing clothes and all that good stuff.
Do you want to hear more? You’re probably thinking, “Stop, that’s enough.”
One thing of interest, I’m praying about taking a trip
To Pennsylvania to a camp meeting, if one thing I could skip,
And that is the plane ride of which I’m very much afraid,
If it wasn’t for that scary part, I would have it made.
It’s nice you’re learning to drive, Carmen, but be careful as can be,
For wrecks happen so fast, my dear, as some day you may see.
I was in a terrible wreck when I wasn’t much older than you
And was disabled many weeks, but thankfully, I pulled through.
But, hopefully, you’ll be a safe driver, as careful as can be,
And we’ll pray to our Heavenly Father that a wreck you’ll never see.
I hope you enjoy your class, as “Hausa” you try to learn,
But I’ll stick with good old English, for as for “Hausa” I do not yearn.
And when you come to see me, “Hausa,” I don’t care to hear,
For I’m an English speaking lady, and “Hausa” is foreign to my ear.
Your reports on Physical Science and “Atlantis,” I would like to see.
Maybe you can bring them when you come and read them both to me.
You must inherit Paw-Paw’s ability for the spelling of words,
For he’s the world’s worst speller, I’m sure you’ve already heard.
Now you’re the one who said you weren’t very good in spelling,
But don’t be discouraged, all of us have certain failings.
Now about your adventure of walking in the dark,
I think that you, Ruth and Maria weren’t very smart.
Take an old lady’s advice and don’t try that stunt again,
Or next time you may not escape without a little pain.
I’m glad to hear you’re planning to write a book some day,
Keep that vision before you and never let it get away.
It’s so rewarding to see a book you write in print
And to receive letters commenting on its contents.
Just recently I received a letter from a lady in another state,
Who read my book and got back to God, this she did relate.
I appreciate all the poems you sent, you are quite a poet,
But I shouldn’t brag on you for you already know it.
I love to compose poems when it is as easy as it is tonight,
But sometimes nothing seems to rhyme or to come out right.
But in spite of the struggles, I have many poems stashed away,
And when you come to visit me, we’ll read them all some day.
I’d like to write another book, I want to write on prayer,
But when I take my pen in hand, the thoughts are just not there.
I guess my age is part of it, My busy life is against it too,
So it’s doubtful if I’ll ever write again, I just don’t know what to do.
Folks don’t understand, you see, they think all I have to do
Is pick up a pen and start to write and the Lord will see me through.
But I can’t seem to get going anymore, so I guess it’s time to quit
Though God helped me on my other books or I never would have made it.
Well, Carmen Dear, it’s late at night, and I must go to bed,
If I don’t get some sleep tonight, tomorrow I’ll feel nearly dead.
Thanks again for writing us, it sure did make our day,
I hope my answer satisfies you and you won’t throw it away.
Keep it for your scrapbook, it will be fun to read these lines,
For it’s not likely you’ll get another for a LONG-LONG-time.
Oh, I don’t want to forget to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
May you have many more. This is all I have to say.
Much Love and Prayer,
From here to over there.
To Miss Carmen Ruth McCain
From Me-Maw (last name the same)
P.S. Please excuse all mistakes,
I’m not a typist so errors I make.
A Mother’s Day Composition
Though the following article may deviate from the main line of thought in this book, yet I felt I should include it. This, also, was written by the author, for a church paper in honor of Mother’s Day.
I suppose that one of the most memorable days of my life was the day that a little red, wrinkled, black-haired eight-pound two-ounce baby boy was placed in my arms for the first time, and I realized that I was now a mother. The long months of waiting and the anguish of child-birth was instantly forgotten “for joy that a man is born into the world.” Though I was not a Christian at that time (I was saved a year later), yet my heart was filled with gratitude to God for such a precious gift. And the end was not yet! Six more times our home was blessed with a little bundle of joy, each time accompanied with the same old thrill of being a mother again. Oh, the blessedness of motherhood! Who can describe it? Whether God blesses a home with only one child, or nineteen as was the case of Susan Wesley, a true mother’s heart swells with love and thankfulness each time she brings a child into the world. It matters not if it is a boy or girl (or both), whether it is ugly or pretty, long and lanky or short and chubby, it is always just what she ordered. I recall an incident that occurred when my first daughter was born. My second son, Danny, had his heart set on another boy. When it turned out to be a girl, he was brokenhearted. That is, until he saw her. When we returned home from the hospital, he climbed upon the end of the couch and stood straight and tall so as to see her. When I entered the door, I pulled the blanket back, and he got his first glimpse of his little sister. He exclaimed excitedly, “I’ve changed my mind. I want a girl.” Isn’t that exactly the way it is, mothers? After getting the first glance and cuddling the little new-born darling in our arms, we can truthfully say, “I’ve changed my mind (about a particular sex or appearance). I want exactly what I’ve got.” Yes, it is a wonderful and rewarding experience to be a mother. But let’s take inventory and see if we are measuring up to all God intends for us to be.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies,” we read in Proverbs 31:10. “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.” Why? Because “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” She is a “keeper at home” (Titus 2:5), “working willingly with her hands,” looking “well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:13, 27). With food and raiment, she is content (I Timothy 6:8.) She is not slothful for “He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster” (Proverbs 18:9).
She is not wandering about from house to house “being a tattler and busybody and speaking things which she ought not,” but is “guiding the house”—so that she will “give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” I Timothy 5:13, 14.
She is a “joyful mother of children” (Psalm 113:9) and seeks to “train them up in the way they should go” and claims the promise “when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). In this training, she does not rear him by Dr. Spock’s book, but by the Holy Book, knowing that “a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15).
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26). Her wisdom cometh from God for His promise is, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). She is not contentious, knowing that a “continual dropping in a rainy day and a contentious woman are alike” (Proverbs 27:15). She follows after “righteouness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (I Timothy 6:11).
“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31:20), for God blesses those that consider the poor and deliver him in time of trouble (Psalm 41: 1). He also repays that that is given to the poor (Proverbs 19:17).
She is “filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). This enables her to “Rejoice evermore,” “Pray without ceasing” and “In everything give thanks” (I Thessalonians 5:16, 18). It also helps her to “Do all things without murmurings and disputings,” that she “may be blameless and harmless, … without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation”—among whom she shines as a light in the world (Phil. 2:14, 15).
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fearest the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:28-31).
How God Used Dreams for His Glory
Sometimes God uses dreams to get messages across though ordinarily, dreams are of no purpose at all. But remember when God was trying to encourage Gideon that he had nought to fear in going against the Midianites, He sent him into their camp at night and let him overhear a man relating a dream unto his fellow. Judges 7:13-15. This man said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath delivered Midian, and all the host. And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.”
The telling of the dream was used to give Gideon the courage he needed to win the battle, so sometimes God allows dreams to show us His will and purpose.
One night, I dreamed I was cooking a big meal (which I often do). I had several pots on my stove. While I was in the midst of my cooking, a young couple came to visit us and came on back into my kitchen. It was a couple who were very dear to us and at this particular time, the young man was in graduate school, and their money had to be budgeted very carefully, in order for them to make it financially. Well, in my dream, as they entered my kitchen, they seemed very hungry. I was surprised to see the young lady lift the lid off one of the pots and look in wishfully, as if she wished the food would hurry and cook. It seemed as if they could hardly wait to be fed.
When I awoke, the dream was still very vivid in my mind. All I could see was two hungry young people. I couldn’t get the dream out of my mind so I told it to my husband. I said, “I feel this young couple is in need. They evidently don’t have money for groceries. I think we need to send them some money.” He agreed, and I mailed them a check and told them about my dream and how 1 felt God was telling me their need, that they were evidently praying about. When I got a return answer, it was just as I had suspected. She wrote that they didn’t have any money for groceries, and if my memory serves me right, they had only a can of rice soup in the house to eat. I can’t explain this, but all I can say is that it was the faithfulness of God to supply for this young couple.
Another time I dreamed I was in a religious service and the glory of the Lord was so real. It was during a time when we had been without a pastor for more than a year and there was a spiritual drought on. Anyway, as God was blessing the service during my dream, a preacher whom I was acquainted with, led out in the song, “He Never Has Failed Me Yet.” I awoke about this time and felt as spiritually refreshed as if I had actually been in a real service. For days the song, “He Never Has Failed Me Yet” stayed on my mind, and I felt it was a special message from God of His never failing love and power.
About two weeks later, we went to Hobe Sound, Florida to attend a graduation for one of the children. On Sunday night, during a testimony service, God moved into the service in a woderful way. As the saints were rejoicing, the preacher on the platform led out in the song, “He Never Has Failed Me Yet.” I immediately recalled my dream and was so blessed to think that God had permitted me to enjoy that wonderful service, or one quite similar to it, in a dream a couple of weeks before this. We can never understand the ways of the Lord. They are past finding out. Praise God!
Georgia D. McCain
The following poem was written by the author and read at a special program for volunteer workers at Tioga Manor Nursing Home where I have held Bible studies for approximately fourteen years.
The Old Folks’ Home
“The Old Folks’ Home,” that’s what they call it, a dreaded place,
By older men and women of every kindred, every race.
As the first signs of old age begin to appear,
One thinks of the uncertain future with a fallen tear.
Here we find a widow who is living all alone,
Except for the cat that helps brighten her home.
Her children check on her as often as they can,
But it’s not the same as when she had her man.
Each day with effort, she gets out of bed
To face the new day with somewhat of a dread.
She reaches for her cane as to the kitchen she starts
To brew her some coffee and toast her some tarts.
But with eyes growing dim, she could not help but ignore
The telephone cord that was stretched across the floor.
She tripped on it and fell with a mighty crash
Which caused over her eye a painful and ugly gash.
With the blood gushing, she tried to get up again
But she felt in her hip an excruciating pain.
She blacked out temporarily and lay there alone
Until a little later when she crawled to the phone.
The next thing she knew, to the hospital she went
And from there to the “Old Folks’ Home” she was sent.
With a broken hip, she had to go where it would mend
But it seemed to the widow that her world had come to an end,
Her thoughts wandered back to her comfortable home
And her dear little cat that would be left all alone.
She thought of her kitchen, lots of memories there,
All the meals she had served to her family so dear,
And there was the bedroom with her comfortable bed,
She must get used to another, it filled her with dread.
Her living room had been furnished by her husband so dear,
Now her furniture would be sold by an unconcerned auctioneer.
There were other memories that brought pain to her heart,
As the little white church from which she’d have to part.
It was there at the altar that she had surrendered to God
And vowed that forever in His footsteps she would trod.
Could it be that in His footsteps she could be following here?
To an “Old Folks’ Home” could God be leading? Could He possibly be near?
All at once she heard singing coming from the Manor’s meeting place.
What was that they were singing? Could it be “Amazing Grace”?
As she listened her whole being began to relax once more,
Maybe God was leading for there stood an angel in the door.
An angel in white with a loving smile on her face,
“We welcome you,” she said gently, “We’ll love you in this place.
We’ll attend to your needs so carefully and see that you don’t lack
A thing to make you comfortable. Here let me turn you on your back.”
The widow smiled lovingly, for beyond the nurse she saw once more
Her daughter with mixed emotions, standing in the door.
Her daughter’s eyes were teary watching the reaction of her mother,
It had not been easy for her to place her in the care of another,
“Sh-h-h.” A hush fell on the little trio as once again they heard
A sound coming from the Manor’s meeting place, the preaching of God’s Word,
It rang out clear enough that these words could be heard,
“All things work together for the good to them that love God.”
Closing her eyes, the widow again committed her life to God,
She knew that she only had a short time left on earth to trod.
Her daughter saw her resignation as the lines of her face relaxed
And fresh tears swelled in her eyes as she tried to speak with tact,
“We love you,” she whispered, “and want you to have good care,
That’s the reason we brought you to the Manor, Mother Dear,
At home we don’t have the facilities and other things that’s needed,
But here you’ll have the best of care, and by good personnel, you’ll be treated.”
The widow reached out her arms to draw her daughter close,
Now she knew she wasn’t just being put away from those she loved the most.
She was just moving in to a new home, a temporary one,
Where she could be loved and cared for until her life’s work was done.
Why, this was not an “Old Folks’ Home” as she had always said,
This was a Manor, a cheery home, there was no longer any dread.
“I’ll adjust the best I can,” said she, “and try not to complain at all.
I’ll enjoy all my new friends and not be as lonely as before the fall.
I won’t be in the Manor very long, even though it could be years,
And after my stay here, I’ll move to my Heavenly home,” she smiled through her tears.
I have had some wonderful experiences in my year of volunteer work at the Tioga Manor Nursing home. One, especially, I would like to relate here. (Taken from my book, Trials and Triumphs.)
One day a dear saintly lady said to me, “I wish you would go visit my sister.” I had often visited her but had not seen her for a while. I promised the lady I would visit her after I finished my Bible class that day. As we walked to her room, her sister told me, “One of the last things she said before she went into a coma, was that she was a Christian and loved the Lord.” She said she had not responded to anything for some time now. We entered her room and walked up to her bedside and stood looking down at her. Her mouth was gaped open and she was breathing very heavily. Her eyes were open and she was staring unseeing into space. She wasn’t aware that we were there. Her sister and I talked a few minutes as we stood by her bed, and then I bent over her and asked, “Do you know Jesus? Jesus loves you.” The tears started to trickle down her cheeks. I continued, “I’d like to pray for you.“She responded in a very faint whisper, “Pray.” As I prayed, she shook with emotion. When I finished, I looked at her and could tell she was rational, so I said, “Here’s your sister.” She turned and looked at her and I felt sure she recognized her. It was a wonderful miracle, all because of the power in the name of Jesus. She passed away a few days later and I believe she is with the Saviour whom she loved.
Let Us Run with Patience the Race That Is Set Before Us
In concluding this book, I would like to relate a story I read in our local newspaper about a man running in a race.
It had taken the man eight years to get to this unforgettable moment. He was running ahead of everyone else and was halfway to the finish line, when he went down as if he had been shot.
He had had five operations on his Achilles tendons, left and right, but had felt he could qualify for the final and win a medal. But as he ran, his right hamstring popped.
“I heard the pop,” he said, “I felt the pull, and I went down.”
He was there a few seconds, sitting on the track with his hand on his head. Eight years ends in a heap. The roar of the crowd sounds like a flogging, and all you can think of is, “Why is this happening?”
Medical people came on to the track, and he pushed them away.
“There ain’t no way I’m getting on that stretcher,” he said. “I’m going to finish my race.
At this point, a man was seen double-timing it down the endless steps, from his perch way up at the top of the stadium. He brushed past the security people, ignoring the pleas and the scowls, the threats from the police, and jumped the wall and ran the hundred yards or so to the fallen man.
Who was it? It was the fallen man’s father. There had been an agreement between the two that no matter what, the son would finish the race.
The father grabbed up the son in his big arms, and together they finished the race, with the son hopping the last two hundred meters on his one good leg, while 65,000 people cheered them on.
“I had to get him to the finish line,” his father stated, “I’m his father. If he’s hurt, I’m going to help him.”
Though I’m not a sports fan, the picture of the son grimacing in pain, with his father’s arms about him, caught my attention. As I read the article, my heart was stirred and I thought, “If an earthly father could have such love and concern for his son, to help him make it to the finish line, how much more is our Heavenly Father concerned to help us, His loving children, to make it all the way to our Heavenly finish line. We may have many knockout blows as an individual or church, but we should have a determination that “there ain’t no way I’m getting on that stretcher, I’m going to finish my race.” Thank God, we have the blessed assurance that our Heavenly Father is always nearby to reach underneath with His everlasting arms and as we lean on Him, as the son leaned on his earthly father, we can finish our course, as Paul declared, and keep the faith. Remember, also, that we are “compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses” (cheering us on). So “let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” Heb. 12:1-2.
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
“To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen” Jude 24, 25.
“Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen” 2 Cor. 13: 11 & 14.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Georgia Davenport McCain
Mrs. McCain died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident at age 87 on December 9, 2013. She maintained her Christian commitment and ministry, as well as her writing skills, until the time of her unfortunate death.
At the time of her death, many of her books were out of print. To preserve the books and allow many new readers to enjoy, the books are being converted to e-books by her family. To increase relevancy and impact to a more contemporary and international audience, minor edits to the original text have been made to some of the books.
The following article was published in the Cenla Focus in October 2012 prior to Mrs. McCain’s death, and provides a synopsis of Mrs. McCain’s life as an author. It was authored by Holly Jo Linzay
Georgia McCain, an author of 10 published books, recalls the day she felt the Lord Jesus lead her to start writing. “I was standing in the kitchen, and God asked me, ‘What is that in your hand?” McCain remembers, and answered, “‘Only a pen, Lord.’ Then He asked me if I would use the pen for his honor and glory, and I said, ‘Yes, Lord, as you direct me, I will write for the glory and honor of God.”
That very night, her first short novel unfolded completely from beginning to end. “The Lord gave me the name of the book and just opened up the story for me from the first page to the last,” notes McCain about her first book, Through Troubled Waters, which was published more than 40 years ago. Her first book is a work of fiction interwoven with Biblical truths. McCain has sold thousands of copies, and has received letters from people all over the world expressing how the book touched their hearts. “I never dreamed about writing a book, let alone getting one published,” McCain notes.
As a child, McCain wrote poems and made up short stories. In the ninth grade, as her teacher was passing out Christmas gifts to the class, she called McCain to the front of the classroom. She told the class that Georgia had a gift for all her classmates. Stunned, McCain realized her teacher had made copies of a story she had written and shared it with the class. From time to time, she would write another short story. Later, she was asked by a preacher to write a story that would continue and develop in a religious paper. “I told him that I couldn’t just sit down and write a story. God had to give me the thoughts”, McCain recalls, remembering it was later that night that she heard God question her about writing. When her son, Danny, came home from college, he read her story, Through Troubled Waters, and encouraged McCain to get it published. “Everything I write, I want it to honor God,” McCain says with conviction.
The 84-year-old author is a woman of prayer, and has lived a life in pursuit of holiness. Growing up as one of 14 children In the rural community of Rigolette, McCain graduated from Tioga High School. At 19 years old, she met and started dating a young man named Carl McCain. He worked as a lineman for South Central Bell and she was working as a telephone operator. After a whirlwind courtship, the two were married on July 1, 1946.
The young couple made their home in Rigolette and raised their seven children—Ronald, Danny, Kenny, Randy, Barry, Donna and Jackie. The family attended Tioga Wesleyan Methodist Church, where Georgia and Carl served in every ministry they could. They have 19 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The two were married for 62 years before Carl passed away. Her home is a testament to a close-knit family with photographs vying for space on shelves stocked full with mementoes from the grandchildren. A legacy of love is showcased with framed drawings from the kids alongside epic poems written by McCain about her family.
In between her serving at her church and raising seven children, McCain found time to write more books. Her second book, Trials and Triumphs, is non-fiction and retates many of her personal experiences, including the loss of her four-month-old grandson, Nathaniel, to meningitis. Her third book, a fictional novel, Shattered Shackles, deals with alcoholism and its affect on a family. “My daddy was an alcoholic, who would say he was tapering off when he was trying to quit. Later, he did sober up,” McCain says, adding that her real-life experience probably played a role in the book.
Another of her books, God’s Little Lambs, is a compilation of stories written for children that can be read as bedtime stories or for family devotions. At one time, McCain says she felt impressed to write a novel about some twins. In Straight Paths, the story of fiery-tempered “Connie Slocum” unwinds as she struggles with heartaches, persecution, separation and loneliness. In the book’s sequel, Plucked Out of the Net, Connie’s twin brother, “Donnie Slocum,” is featured in a story of redemption.
Three of McCain’s books have dealt with prayer and answers to “prevailing” prayer. “It is absolutely amazing that God has spoken to me over and over, and keeps giving me books to write. He has faithfully led me all the way,” notes McCain. In all, she has written 10 books, and family and friends are after her to write a book of poems. She has written long poems with clever rhymes marking nearly every milestone in her and her family’s life.
It does not take long to get caught up reading one of McCain’s books, and believing the incredible stories of faith in the non-fiction books. Written In such honest prose, her words flow from her heart and from a life seeking after holiness. If her books inspire and encourage or cause someone to “seek the Lord,” then McCain says the books have served their purpose. “God deserves all the glory for anything accomplished through the writing or reading of these books,” she emphasizes.
A woman of faith, McCain has taught Sunday School and Bible studies in just about every ministry at her church. In addition, for the last 34 years, she has taught three different Bible study groups at three different nursing homes. McCain has been honored and received numerous awards for her volunteer service from Ball Senior Citizens Center and various nursing homes. In 2001, she was named the Volunteer of the Year of Tioga Manor and named “Most Faithful” volunteer at two other nursing homes.
When her husband Carl served for a number of years on the Rapides Parish Police Jury, McCain supported him by participating in a variety of ways in the community. Known as a great cook by her family and friends, her daughter, Donna, presented her with a cookbook of the family recipes on her 50th wedding anniversary. Besides serving the Lord, McCain says her most important role in life has been as a wife and mother. She said all her children are “successful and love the Lord,” and that they never gave her a “lick of trouble” beceuse she kept them in church and a “switch on their behinds”, if needed. Her son, Danny, who is a missionary in Nigeria, even calls her every day.
McCain says she is “blessed beyond measure by the Lord” with family and friends. Some have called her a “prayer warrior,” in seeking God’s will in her life. One piece of advice she freely gives out to all who will listen is the same encouragement she offers in her last book, Walking with God for Over 50 Years, “Sometimes when we can’t seem to pray our way through, we can often times praise our way through to God. Try it.”
Books by Georgia McCain
Trials and Triumphs
In Straight Paths
Plucked Out of the Net
Through Troubled Waters
Remarkable Incidents & Answers to Prayers
Amazing Answers to Prevailing Prayers
God’s Little Lambs
Walking With God for Over 50 Years
Celebration of Life, Family, and Faith – Collection of Poems, Tributes, and Stories
In addition, many of her family recipes are provided in the following book, compiled by her daughter, Donna McCain Wilson, on the occasion of her 60^th^ wedding anniversary:
Still Cooking After Sixty Years
Plans are to make all available via ebooks. Stay tuned.
Letters from Readers of Georgia McCain Books
The following are excerpts from some of the many letters I have received from my readers from different parts of the country from as far away as Alaska. Also, God has seen fit to place my books in several foreign countries, namely Haiti, the Bahamas, Republic of South Africa, New Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana, Taiwan, England, and South America. I have been encouraged time and again upon receiving letters from people relating how God used one of my books to help them spiritually. Some have been saved, some sanctified, some edified, strengthened, and encouraged. Again, I say, “all glory to Jesus!” He, it is that gives me a nudge when it’s time to write another book. And though I’m a very busy person in the work of the Lord, plus all my other duties as a housewife, when I feel God leading, I let many things go undone and busy myself with my writing, which I enjoy as God helps. I’ve often thought that if only one person would walk up to me in Heaven and say “It was your book that helped me to turn to Jesus and helped to enlighten my way to Heaven,” it would be worth all the time and effort put forth in writing them. One soul is worth everything.
I have a son who is a missionary to Africa. A few years back, he visited a man in jail named Olusegun Obasanjo, and gave him one of my books entitled, Amazing Answers to Prevailing Prayer. Later Mr. Obasanjo got saved, straightened out his life, and ran for president of Nigeria and was elected. Whether or not my book had anything at all to do with Mr. Obasanjo’s salvation, I know not, but later after he became president, my son visited him, and he told my son that his mother’s book was very inspirational. Later, the president wrote a book entitled Women of Virtue: Stories of Outstanding Women in the Bible, and my son brought me a copy on one of his trips home. So one never knows how far their works for Christ will reach when we put it in God’s hands and take our hands off. It will take eternity to tell any good my writing for God’s Glory alone has accomplished.
Trust you enjoy the following letters from my readers:
I have just become a Christian and your books have helped me so much. I have four and am wondering if you have written anymore. I really like In Straight Paths and Through Troubled Waters. Will you pray for me? I need more help spiritually.
Your six books arrived for the Stephen D. Herron Memorial Library, and we feel honored to place them in the memorial room. I trust that the people who use the room for study and prayer will profit greatly from reading them. You have always been a great blessing to each of us.
I cried most of the time while reading your book Shattered Shackles because many happenings had been a reality in my life. I’ve had lots of heartaches.
I am a young person who likes to read but am quite selective in what I read. So many of these so-called Christian novels are so aimless and mushy, it’s disgusting, but I would recommend your books to anyone. The explanation of holiness is very good.
I am so happy to know we have dedicated writers such as you who are willing to do the hard work of hammering out a good clean book for people to read. May God bless you as you use your talent for Him. We may never write best sellers but as long as we keep His smile upon our work, it is a best seller. Keep up the good work. (From another writer)
A note to say thanks for the books. Couldn’t put them down. Now that’s what I call talent. They were really enlightening. Thanks a million.
I read your book, which was a great inspiration to me. I never dreamed anyone could even imagine or dream up so much adversity and heartache as I have been through. Your book lifted my spirits in a very dark and lonely period of my life.
I’ve read two of your books in two days, as I couldn’t lay them down after I started. I will pass them around and I’m sure others will enjoy them, too.
I was happy when I came across your book entitled Through Troubled Waters. I read part of it, but the owner took it away before I finished it. My troubles are so great that at times I feel it may be I have sinned. I do not know what to do. The portion of your book I read inspired me greatly. Could you send me a copy and any other that will help me solve my problems. (This came from Ghana, West Africa, and I sent him a copy)
I just finished reading your book, Trials and Triumphs. and felt real impressed to write and tell you how much it encouraged me. I have been asking the Lord to give me more faith and this book helped me so much. Thank you so much for writing it,
A dear sister gave me two of your books, and I really enjoyed both of them. I feel they have helped me spiritually. I really crave good reading that will draw me closer to God.
Just finished your book, In Straight Paths, and it was such an inspiration to me. I was encouraged and excited when I finished reading it. I received your book at church as a Mother’s Day gift for being the youngest mother. It’s a real life book where I really feel like I can see me at times. It is indeed wonderful and makes me feel that God will help me, as I need it. Pray for me! God bless you.
Your book answers a need out in the public for explaining what real heart holiness is. There is much confusion at this point.
Have read your book, Through Troubled Waters, over and over. Very good.
I believe your book, Through Troubled Waters, is the best book I’ve ever read and the most spiritual for religious fiction. Keep writing books as they help many people.
Thank God for the old-fashioned way of salvation and holiness and for people like you who can write beautiful stories that holds high its banner. May God richly bless you.
Thanks so very much for your books. I read In Straight Paths once again and am now reading the sequel, Plucked out of the Net. I enjoy them so much. Praise God for blessing you with this gift! I pray it will always glorify Him.
I am writing to you in regards to your books I purchased in Findley, Ohio. I gave one to a lady who wasn’t saved. I later sent the other book, Shattered Shackles, to her. She has read them, and they have been a help to her. She has gotten saved and doing her best to walk in the light.
Hope you will write more books. I really appreciate how the Lord has helped you to entwine the gospel in your stories.
Enclosed is a money order for your book, Plucked out of the Net. Sure appreciate your writings. So good and stay close to holiness emphasis. So much today that is called Christian fiction isn’t Christian at all. May the Lord bless you is our prayer.
I’m happy to have the opportunity to receive another book of yours. They have all been excellent and wife and I have read and reread them during the long winter evenings.
I’ve enjoyed your books much and have shared them with others. In fact, they are all out now. I would like to order your latest one. We need more good Christian books for our young people. Also, us older ones enjoy them.
A friend of mine loaned me two of your books. I enjoyed them so much that I would like to send them to my brother who is in jail in North Carolina. One of the books reminds me of him.
I am so happy to have your books where interested and hungry souls can get them. I’m sure your writings are blessing many. The book Through Troubled Waters has been mentioned several times at church illustrating truths of the message given.
I thought you might like to hear of one incident where a young man was kept home from church because of illness in his family. Someone had loaned him your book, Through Troubled Waters, and he read it. The next week he testified how God had mightily dealt with his heart. The church prayed for him until he felt a clear witness.
I’m writing to see if you have written another book. I just read one and think it is wonderful. It has been a real blessing to me. I praise God for people like you that can write such a book, especially the teaching on holiness. If you have written another book, let me know.
The book, Through Troubled Waters, has been such a help to me in many ways. I wish I had what the nurse in the story had. I would gladly give all I had. She is so pure and good. Would that this old world had more like her. Wish I could talk to someone like the nurse but I’m afraid it’s too late. I’m not young anymore. I’m 37 and 1/2. (Thank God, there’s help for anyone who truly wants God in their life. I contacted the lady and did my best to help her. Author.)
Your book came yesterday. I read the inside information but haven’t read the contents yet, but will and also, will let others read it. Your talent came from your sixth grade teacher. ha (He was my sixth grade teacher.) I’m sending a contribution to help with your good work. Keep in touch!
God sure did inspire you as you wrote the book, Through Troubled Waters. Everything that you tucked away here and there as you wrote was amazing. How anyone could think of so much to fit into a story!! I was very much pleased with the way God helped you to use the Scriptures to teach sanctification. There are many who will read it in your book that never would study along that line any other way. I feel that this was the main reason God helped you to get this needful book out. I feel that souls will make it to Heaven because of it—souls that you would never have come into contact with, otherwise.
It usually takes me a week or ten days before I finish a book but finished yours in three evenings. The clear guidance into sanctification is the best I’ve ever read and helped me a lot. The story is so true to life. It holds you completely in suspense all the time. Thank you very much for the book.
We never dreamed we would get to see the author of that wonderful book, Through Troubled Waters. I have wanted to get a copy to send to a real good friend in South America and now I have it. So your good book will perhaps go around the globe.
My family and I have really enjoyed your first four books.
Your book, Shattered Shackles, is so touching. After reading some in your book this morning, I was so moved on by the Spirit to pray for those that are so shackled by drink or drugs. God can surely move on their heart to bring them to Christ.
I am fifteen years old and am writing to compliment you on your book, Through Troubled Waters. I am reading it the second time. I’m going to write a book report on it for school. I’m sure your book has helped many people.
I think you are brave to address the divorce and remarriage issue in your book, Plucked out of the Net. Our young people need that. Lots of people are getting awfully lenient about it. My husband and daughter read the book and really liked it. I think we all agree that it is the best yet. The message is real good.
We wanted to thank you for the privilege of reading your lovely little book. Our youngest daughter in California has just read hers and found it very profitable reading. We did, too. Of course, unless you truly loved the Saviour, you couldn’t have done such a book.
I praise the Lord for giving you such a beautiful gift of writing and for your willingness to share it.
I sat right down and read your book and I truly enjoyed it. We all have our problems and I am no exception. Your book came to me at a time when I was depressed and so unhappy. I received a real blessing from it. You have a wonderful talent in telling of God’s love through stories of life as we live it every day. Thanks!
I would like to tell the world what God and your book has done for me. Praise the Lord! It made me stop and realize there is a God and He truly loves me, regardless of the sins I had committed and the wrong I had done. God was calling me for one of His children. Before I read the book, I had so much hatred and bitterness in my heart. At times I even hated myself. Just as I put the book down, I had a strong urge to fall on my knees and ask the Lord to forgive my sins and to take the hatred and bitterness out of my heart. Praise the Lord! He immediately answered my prayer.
Believe the Lord has ordained the writing of this book for his people who are in troubled waters.
Enjoyed your book thoroughly. I want five more copies.
We all have our problems and I am no exception. Your book came to me at a time when I was so depressed and so unhappy. I received a real blessing from it.
Surprised and happy to receive your book. The Lord certainly used you in writing it. It is interesting, emotional and evangelistic, very well written, and I’m sure it is a blessing to all who read it. I am interested in ordering some more copies. .
We agreed to use your book for a part of our yearly youth Reading Course. Each year we recommend four or five books for the spiritual edification of our youth and sell them as a package to each youth society. I am heartily recommending it to our youth for two reasons, one is the danger of not obtaining holiness of heart and the other is the need of more personal workers on a one-to-one basis. The book is well written and I’m sure will continue to bless many lives.
Finished reading your fine book. It has an evangelistic message that is up to date and practical. Its message is desperately needed by thousands today.
The story is so true to life. It holds you in suspense all the time. I really enjoyed reading it. The clear guidance into sanctification is the best I’ve ever read and helped me a lot. My copy will be passed on to others as the Lord guides, and pray with me that many will be brought to a better understanding and to the blessing of sanctification.
I read your beautiful book and was truly blessed by it.
Magnificent! It really inspired my mind as well as my heart.Thank you! I will pass this wonderful book on, for truly it’s a soul winner.
If possible, we sure could use more books in this place.
A wonderful message for both young and old. Sure it will be a blessing to many people.
My grandmother taught me you could live above sin in this life. Your book has enlightened me in this matter
Have read your book and found it very enlightening.
May God continue to bless you. (This letter is from the Louisiana State Prison at Angola. I sent more books.)
May God bless those who have taken time to write to me over the years concerning my books. I deeply appreciate it. There are more, but we will sign off for this time. (Author)
Excerpted from the Preface: Praying is the lifting up of the soul to God. David tells us in Psalm 25:4-5 (after lifting up his soul to God) to "shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me .... " What a privilege, learning of God, His ways, His truth. "And this is life eternal, that they should know thee, the only true God" John 17:3. We need a revelation of God, a realization of His Glory, His Majesty, His Power, His Grace and His Love. We need to wait before Him until He manifests Himself. Only then can we pray aright. Only then should we offer up our petitions to Him. Prayer! What a privilege! That we, poor weak worms of the dust are invited to come before a Sovereign God to commune with Him, to bring our petitions to Him and have the assurance that He hears and answers. Ephesians 3:20 tells us that He is "able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think." God delights to answer His children's prayers. Multitudes of God's children have testified to this fact, and we are endeavoring, by God's help, to record here some of these wonderful answers to prayer, some taken from my book, Trials and Triumphs, and others used by permission from God's people to whom God has manifested His power and glory in answering their prayers and in working mighty miracles in their behalf. Also, I am including some poems, memorial addresses and other items believed to be of interest to the reader. I have felt for several years the need of writing a book on answers to prayer, to encourage God's people in these dark and troublesome days just before the coming of the Lord. But because of the lack of response for testimonies, and because of a very busy life in God's vineyard, I had postponed it, and had almost given up the hope of ever writing another book. But recently I read a book on answered prayer by Margaret Gouge, and a flame was rekindled within my heart to seek God's will in the matter, recognizing the fact that unless He helped and led, my poor efforts would be in vain. Thankfully, I feel He is leading me on, helping me to glean material and get it typed up, for which I humbly praise Him. In my personal experience, when I am earnestly praying for spiritual, physical, or other needs, I often search through my library for a book on prayer or answers to prayer, to encourage me, as God does not always answer immediately, though sometimes He does. Many times God has led me to just the right book and as I have read how others held on until they prevailed with God, it would inspire me to do likewise though the answer tarried. Thank God! He does answer. He rewards faith. Let us keep holding on in these last days, believing God to work in our behalf. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" Hebrews 4:16 All entries are from reliable sources used by permission of the writer himself or by someone who had the authority to grant me permission. Many of the writers are personal friends of the author. Georgia D. McCain