Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 9- Resist the Devil and He Shall Flee

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  (James 4:7)

The Lord had provided my family and I with a converted school bus to live and travel in as we held revival services in nursing home facilities across the southwest.

We were privileged to be a witness as those in their 80’s, 90’s, even 100 prayed for the first time in their life and ask Christ to come into their heart and were wonderfully saved. But the adversary, the enemy of God: the devil was not happy about what God was doing.

I had allowed myself to become lackadaisical in our approach to finances and our needs. As I watched our provisions and offerings dwindle, my attitude was “God knows what we need. If He wants us to do this work, then He will provide.”

It all sounded very spiritual, but I had forgotten my part. The Bible declares that we “…fight the good fight of faith.” I was being presumptuous, not faithful.

We had gone to bed the night before we were scheduled to hold a service in Mineral Wells, Texas. We went to bed with no money for gasoline to go, and nothing to eat when we woke up.

I awoke with a start at 5:00 AM for no apparent reason, and thought “I’ll go back to sleep for about an hour.”

Immediately, I was in a deep sleep, and began to have a vivid dream.

In my dream, I was in a dark room, and I could make out shadows and shapes of large forms crowding me. These forms were cursing and blaspheming God.

I thought to myself, “I can’t stand this any longer”, and I began feeling along the wall for a door to escape. I finally felt a door handle, and I flung open the door and ran outside into the fresh air and sunshine.

As I stood there gasping for air, the Lord spoke to me. “Why are you running? Haven’t I told you to resist the devil and he will flee?”

I thought to myself, “That’s right. Why am I leaving? They are the ones that have to go!”

I walked back to the door and knocked. The door opened, and a large dark form filled the doorway.

“What do you want?” he growled. “I rebuke you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and I cast you out!” I said.

My eyes opened wide as I awoke, and I knew this was a dream sent from God.

I shook Glenda and said, “Wake up honey. The Lord showed me that we have to pray and rebuke the devil.” I quickly told her my dream, as we began to hold hands and pray. I said, “Let’s get up and get dressed. The blessing is on its way.”

We had no sooner gotten dressed, than there was a knock at the door. I opened the door and it was one of the ladies from the Church.

I welcomed her in and she said, “I hope you don’t mind me coming by so early. I had put together some groceries for you and was going to drop them by after work, but I felt like the Lord wanted me to bring them over right away. So I’m on my way to work but I had to come by here first.”

My wife and I were grinning from ear to ear as we helped her bring in the sacks of groceries from her car. We had told no one about our need for food. We had only told God.

After she had left, Glenda was putting up the groceries when I said, “That’s not all. We still need money for gas to go to Mineral Wells.”

As I finished speaking, there was another knock at the door: this time it was the Pastor of the Church, Bro. Sonny.

He said, “I was on my way to Ft. Worth to make some hospital visits, but the Lord told me to come over here first and give you half of what I have in my billfold. I have $14, so here’s $7.”

I thanked him, and asked the Lord to bless his visitation. We now had our gas money to go to Mineral Wells, but there would not be enough to return.

By this time, our faith was so high, that we believed if God had to, He would multiply the gas the same way that He had multiplied the loaves and the fishes!

We arrived in Mineral Wells and had a wonderful service and souls were saved.

After the service, something happened that had never happened before, nor has ever happened since.

A little elderly gentleman on his walker came up to me, reached into his sock, and pulled out three crumpled $1 bills and said, “God wants me to give this to you.”

I started to say, “Oh no brother, you need to keep that.” when suddenly, God spoke so loudly in my heart that it seemed almost audible.

“How dare you shame my servant? He wants to give an offering unto me and that is all he has.”

I felt so humbled and ashamed as I accepted the offering and thanked him. Another little lady opened up her coin purse and handed me $2.

No one other than my wife and God knew that we did not have enough gasoline to drive back to Weatherford. The Lord had provided us with the gas money we needed and had taught me some humbling lessons in the process.

Tomorrow- Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 10- Through the Cross

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Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 8- Unto the Least of These

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  (Mat. 25:40)

The Lord had miraculously provided my family and I with a bus to travel and hold revival-type services in nursing homes.

We weren’t able to paint the entire bus, but the Lord had given us a name for our ministry and we had painted “THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD” in huge letters on both sides.

The Lord had revealed where He wanted us to go first, so I had called Bro. Sonny in Weatherford, Texas and told him what God had called us to do. He was thrilled and wanted to be a part of our ministry.

He asked me to come preach and said that we could park our bus at the Church while we were there.

I called the nursing homes that were in Weatherford and set up service times when we could come and minister. We now had our first stop on our missionary journey.

Our relatives were apprehensive, to say the least, about what we were going to do (actually, I believe they thought that we had gone a little crazy), but they came around and wanted to do what they could to help send us off.

They filled our bus with food and supplies, gave us cash donations to get us started, and we were set to leave on the following Monday. There was just one other thing that I wanted to do before we left.

I had often read in the Bible that before a battle was to be fought or a deed was to be done, the saints of old would seek the blessing of the man of God. There was something special about that blessing, and I wanted to have it before we left.

That Sunday morning, after the morning service, I approached our Pastor at the back of the Church as he was shaking hands with the members who were leaving.

“Pastor”, I said, “May I tell you something if you have time?”

“Of course. What is it Bro. Candy?” he replied.

I said, “The Lord has called me and my family to go and hold revival services in nursing homes throughout the Southwest.”

With a surprised look on his face, he said “Well, that’s wonderful, but the Church is not able to support another missionary at this time.”

“Oh no, Pastor!” I said, “You don’t understand. I’m not asking for any support. The Lord has already provided us with a bus and we’re leaving tomorrow. I’m just asking for your blessing before we go.”

As a big smile spread across his face, he said, “Well, you have that.”

He asked those who were still standing in the foyer to join in prayer as he laid his hands on me and gave his blessing, asking God to bless and prosper our journey. I don’t think that this white haired man of God ever had someone just ask for his blessing before.

A few months later, I received a letter in the mail from him, along with a check, stating that the Church had appointed us as their home missionaries and would be supporting us on a monthly basis.

The Bible says that God knows what we have need of before we even ask.

The Lord had shown me that when we went into a nursing home, we were not to skimp on our service in any way, but we were to sing and preach as if we were conducting a revival service in a football stadium.

Our little curly haired daughter was a doll, and even at four years old had become a very good singer. The people in the nursing homes just adored her.

God had made a way for us to get an electric guitar, an amplifier, microphones, and stands; and we would set everything up. We would dress, sing, and preach as if we were in the largest church in America.

It didn’t matter whether they put us in the cafeteria or the TV room, whether there were 4 residents that came to the meeting or 40 residents that came. We wanted to always give our best.

We arrived at the Community Church south of Weatherford, Texas and Bro. Sonny welcomed us with open arms.

The nursing homes seemed eager for someone to come in from out of town and hold a special service, so we agreed to hold additional services as long as we were in the area.

At the first service we held in Weatherford, I noticed an elderly man in a wheelchair that came to the cafeteria and sat in the back. He had a fly swatter with him and a scowl on his face.

He stayed for the singing and the preaching, but left in a huff when I began to give the altar call.

I always wove the need of being born again into whatever message the Lord would give me to deliver, and was always excited to see the hands go up to receive Christ no matter what the age of the individual.

A well-known Evangelistic organization had come out with some statistics, which stated that after the age of 50, the chances that a person would accept Christ were virtually insignificant. They concluded that by the age of 50, the majority of people had already decided what they were going to believe.

Consequently, we found out that although the nursing homes had multiple religious services for their residents, most of them were comforting sermonettes without a call to salvation.

No matter how many church services that I would see listed on the bulletin board, I never assumed that the people there had already heard the message of salvation and did not need to hear it again.

That’s why, during our time of holding revival services in the nursing homes, we saw over 600 people accept Christ and be born again.

The Lord began to open other doors for us to minister in all of the surrounding towns. Some of the towns had one nursing home, while other towns had several, but we were able to have multiple services in each one.

When we arrived the second time to hold a service in the Weatherford nursing home, I noticed the little man with the fly swatter had returned, but this time he was a little closer to the front and stayed for the entire service.

The third time we returned, he was on the front row.

After the singing and the preaching, I said that if there was anyone that would like to pray and receive Christ into their heart and be born again, to please raise their hand and I would pray with them.

After a few moments, he slowly began to raise his hand. We prayed together and he asked Christ to come into his heart and save his soul.

Not long after, the nurses told us of the wonderful change they had seen in his life.

He had been so cantankerous, that if there were no room for him to play checkers, he would knock the board and pieces off of the table so no one else could play. He would often hit the nurses and attendants with his fly swatter out of spite.

However; since He had accepted Christ, he was a totally different person. He was becoming friends with everyone, going up and down the halls telling people about Jesus.

Instead of a fly swatter, he now carried our Gospel tracts and would hand them out. If he knew that we were coming, he would go to all the rooms and tell the residents that they needed to come to the service.

We came to call him “Pops” and he was a dear friend to us all the time we were there.

We also visited the rooms after the services to pray with the people who could not attend. We witnessed the Lord touch many that were sick and infirmed.

We saw dazed and confused eyes come to clarity at the name of Jesus, and dementia patients could speak with us rationally as we shared the love of Christ.

We were privileged to be a witness as those in their 80’s, 90’s, even 100 prayed for the first time in their life and ask Christ to come into their heart and were wonderfully saved. But the adversary, the enemy of God: the devil was not happy about what God was doing.

Tomorrow- Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 9- Resist the Devil and He Shall Flee

"The Servants of the Lord: Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism"- Available for $4.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, at the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

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Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 7- Whom He Calls, He Justifies

“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”  (Rom. 8:30)

(If the Lord calls you to do something, He is always faithful to provide you with what you need to get it done.)

A short time after our return from Weatherford Texas, I was sitting on a wooden swing in the back yard of my mother-in-law’s house, when I received a visit from God.

I had read about this experience in the Old Testament, when the prophet would say, “And the Word of the Lord came unto me saying…”

I was reading my Bible, meditating on the Scriptures, gazing up at the warm summer sky, when the presence of the Lord came over me and He began speaking.

“I am going to give you a bus, and you and your family are going to travel across the southwest holding revival services in nursing homes. I have much people there. I have called others to go and do this but they would not go. And the blessings I would have given them, I have stored up and will give unto you if you will go.”

I said, “Yes Lord, I will go,” and the presence of the Lord left me. Trembling, I was excited that God would call me to such a task.

I had previously quit my job before we had gone to Weatherford and I had begun working in the ministry full time.

I believed that the same God that fed the children of Israel for 40 years in the wilderness could feed and take care of me and my family if I would only do His will and do the work that He called me to do.

I couldn’t wait to tell my wife what the Lord had said, and we began praying for the Lord to make a way for us to receive this bus.

Knowing the Lord could do anything, I was expecting someone to pull up any day with a brand new Winnebago motor home and say, “The Lord told me to give this to you.”

But God usually doesn’t work the way we expect Him to. His ways are higher than our ways.

I continued to do ministry work through the Christian Outreach Center, going out on the streets during the day and to the clubs and bars at night, witnessing to the patrons in the parking lots and on the streets.

My wife and daughter had also begun to go with me and hold services in nursing homes.

On one particular day, I had taken a brother-in-Christ home from doing some street witnessing, when I passed a field with old junk cars and a white, partially rusted school bus sitting in it.

The bus had a “For Sale” sign in the window and high weeds had grown up all around it, as if it had been there for a very long time. I didn’t think much about it and continued to drive, when the still, small voice of the Lord said, “Go back. That’s the one.”

I thought to myself, “I must be mistaken, that can’t be God’s voice. God’s going to give me a new Winnebago.”

I kept driving, but the further I drove, the knot and the sickness I began feeling in my stomach got worse. Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer, and I made a U-turn and went back.

The field was behind a rundown mechanic’s shop. I pulled up, got out, and asked the mechanic “Hey, is that old bus out there really for sale?”

“Yeah, it sure is. You want to take a look inside?”

I said “I guess so.” thinking, “What is the Lord getting me into?” and we headed out through the weeds to the bus. When he opened the door, and we walked inside, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The bus had been completely redone on the inside.

It had a full size bathroom with a shower, a full kitchen, two couches that turned down into full size beds, closet space, two potable water holding tanks, two sewage holding tanks, and a power generator for electricity.

It also had two large butane tanks for heat and two large air conditioning units.

Everything was brand new and had never been used. The rusty places on the outside were from where the welding had been done.

The mechanic told me that it was once owned by a man who worked for Executive Motor Homes, and that he had converted it to take people on ski trips to Colorado when he retired.

He had completed everything, had put new tires on it, and was about to paint it, when he had a heart attack. He had survived the heart attack, but instead of finishing the bus, he used it as a trade in on some real estate.

The real estate agent had placed the bus at the mechanic’s shop hoping to sell it, and it had been sitting in that field ever since.

I was astonished at what the Lord had led me to, and I repented for ever doubting.

I got the information about the real estate agent and hurried home to tell my wife. The real estate agent wanted $3,500 for the bus, so I called my banker and asked what should I do next?

He gave me the name of an appraiser and said that after I had the bus appraised, to come in and we would talk financing.

I called and found out that the appraisal would cost $50. That was all we had in the bank.

My wife Glenda said that if I really believed it was of the Lord, then we should have the appraisal done. We prayed that the Lord’s will would be done, and I met the appraiser at the bus.

He appraised the bus at $2,800. I called the real estate agent and informed her of what the bus appraised for, and she said that she would take $3,000 and no less. This was still $200 more than what the bus appraised for, and we had just spent the last of our money for the appraisal.

Still, we believed that if it was God’s will for us to have it, then God would work a miracle.

I left to go to the bank with the appraisal in my hand, and as I went, the Lord told me to just be truthful.

I sat across from the banker and explained my situation to him. I told him that I had no money to pay tax and title, that I had spent my last $50 for the appraisal, and that I would need to borrow enough money to cover the total cost.

He sat and looked at me for a moment, and then he said something that I will never forget.

He said, “ Raymond, you’re telling me that you are a full time minister, you are going to take this bus and go to nursing homes where you can receive no offerings, that you have no support behind you, and that you don’t even know where your first stop is going to be.”

“You need to borrow more than the bus appraised for in order to purchase it, and add to that enough for the tax and title with no down payment; and yet (he paused), I know that I am supposed to do this for you. I’ll draw up the paperwork.”

We got the bus the next day, and drove it home.

We weren’t able to paint the entire bus, but the Lord had given us a name for our ministry and we had painted “THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD” in huge letters on both sides.

Praise be to God Who rules and reigns in the lives of men.

Tomorrow- Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 8- Unto the Least of These

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Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 6- To Other Cities Also

“And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.”  (Luke 4:43)

The Lord began to open other doors of ministry also.

I had followed the advice that we always gave to others, and my family and I had begun attending a Spirit-filled Baptist Church. I knew that God had called me to preach in addition to the one-on-one witnessing.

I began to go with a gentleman from the Church and assist in some nursing home ministry and I had prayed asking the Lord to help me learn to play the guitar.

We had gone to the State Fair of Texas, handing out thousands of tracts and had seen hundreds come to know Christ as their savior.

Bro. Tony had put together some Gospel Singing concerts in the park, where the groups would sing and we would go out to the people and witness one-on-one. He had even arranged for us to have a soul-winning crusade in the football stadium in Lewisville, TX.

However, my life, family, and ministry were about to experience a dramatic change.

Bro. Tony had been invited to bring a soul-winning team to Weatherford, TX and teach soul winning to a group of hungry Christians. I did not realize that this was the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.

My wife Glenda had begun to go out with me and witness on the streets and in the parks whenever she was able, but taking care of our precious three year old daughter was a full time job.

My guitar playing had improved to the point that I would take my guitar to the nursing home and sing for the residents before I would bring the message from the Word of God. Even my daughter had begun to learn and sing some of the songs with me.

However, they would not be able to go to Weatherford. We were going to be there for a week, holding soul-winning classes in the early evening and then taking people out on the streets to witness at night.

When we arrived in Weatherford, we stayed in a two-story building near the downtown square that was being used to store spare beds and other nursing home equipment. After settling in, we went across the street to arrive early at the meeting hall for the first soul-winning meeting.

Wondering what kind of response we were going to have, I was pleasantly surprised when five minutes before the start of the meeting, the doors opened and the meeting room filled up with people from most of the different churches in the area, all hungry to hear how they could reach the young people of Weatherford.

It seemed that Weatherford had the same problem that a lot of small towns have.

With little or no recreation, theatres, entertainment, or activity, the teens and young adults had begun to spend their evenings driving up and down the main thoroughfare, stopping and gathering in the parking lots of closed businesses.

There they indulged in drinking, smoking, playing loud music, and generally causing assorted problems.

The difference between this situation and something similar you might find in the city, was that on Sunday morning you could find most of this “wild bunch” sitting in church pews, but their evening activities decried their professed Christianity.

Although everyone that came to the meeting displayed a great desire to find out how to reach these young people, one Pastor seemed to stand out from the rest.

Bro. Sonny was the pastor of a community church outside of town, and had already begun to reach the youth by having a regular Youth Night with singing, games, and preaching. He would even drive into town to pick up any young person that wanted to come.

At this first meeting, Bro. Tony presented a stirring message from the Scriptures about winning souls, and we shared about the wonderful outpouring of God’s Spirit and the harvest we were witnessing in Dallas, Texas.

Then Bro. Tony told the congregation that if they would come back the next night, he would tell them how to reach the young people of Weatherford, Texas.

The next night, even more people showed up at the meeting, and after going over the Scriptures contained in our Gospel tract, and how to use them to lead someone to Christ, he said “Here’s how we do it. We just go.”

“We put one foot in front of the other and just go. Most Christians will never lead someone to Christ because they never go. This is your opportunity to go. Come and follow me.”

And with that, we divided up into groups of two or three, headed out the door, and down the street.

The Lord had already spoken and showed me a particular way to witness to these young people in Weatherford.

When I would approach them about Christ, and they would say “Oh yes, I already belong to such-and-such church”, then I was to say, “Let me ask you one question.”

“If you were to die right now while I’m standing here talking to you and If your heart was to stop beating just like this (and the Lord showed me to snap my fingers), and you found yourself standing in front of God Almighty, would He say ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the presence of the Lord.’? Would he find your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, or are you not sure?”

More times than not, they would reply, “I’m not sure.”

Then I would say, “The Bible says ‘I write these things that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life.’ Would you like to pray this prayer with me and be born again, and know that you have eternal life with God and have a home in Heaven?”

Many bowed their heads in prayer, and we saw hundreds of young people that week come to know Christ as their Savior. After prayer, I would always ask “How about now? Do you now know for a fact that you are saved and that Jesus came inside your heart?”

Without a doubt, the answer would always be “Yes!”

Truly we were seeing the fulfillment of the Scripture in Romans 10:9- “That if thou shalt confess WITH THY MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

When we returned to Dallas, I went to visit my Mom and share with her all the things that we had witnessed God do in Weatherford.

As I was telling her about the way that I would witness to the young people there, she began to gently sob. “Are you alright, Mom?” I asked.

She said, “I don’t know for sure that I would go to heaven if I died.”

Now my Mom was one of the most righteous people that I knew. She was what we call in the south a “straight laced, die hard, dyed in the wool Baptist.”

With her there was no drinking, no swearing, no smoking, and no gambling. I can’t remember how many times I heard her say, “They gambled for Jesus clothes.”

And now this good, righteous lady was telling me that she was unsure of her salvation. The Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

Without faith, there is no salvation.

God has provided for us to know that we are saved. When His Spirit comes and lives inside of us, it becomes a point in time to which we can look back to and know that we were born again.

“Well Mom”, I said, “we can pray and you can know for certain that you will go to heaven when you die. Would you like to pray?”

She said “Yes”, and she prayed out loud, asking Christ to come into her heart, and she was gloriously saved.

I had the honor of standing by her bedside years later when she walked into the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tomorrow- Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 7- Whom He Calls, He Justifies

"The Servants of the Lord: Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism"- Available for $4.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, at the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

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Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 5- Go into the Highways and the Hedges

“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”  (Luke 14:23)

As we became more sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, He began to lead us into places and to people that we would never think to go to.

There was even a time when the Lord led me into an empty parking garage.

One day, while we were in downtown Dallas, Bro. Tony and I were walking down the sidewalk, when suddenly the Holy Spirit said, “Turn here.” Without thinking, I immediately turned to the right and found myself walking into a downtown parking garage.

“Where are you going?” Tony asked.

“I don’t know” I replied, halfway laughing. “The Holy Spirit said to turn in here.”

Suddenly, a door opened and a gentleman walked into the garage. He looked at me with a surprised expression as I walked toward him saying, “Excuse me sir, but do you know that Jesus loves you?”

I assumed that he was the attendant as he glanced nervously at another man in a shirt and tie that was standing in the doorway behind him. The Holy Spirit began giving me the words to say.

“Don’t worry about him. You’re not going to get into any trouble talking to me. God sent me in here to tell you that He loves you. He sent His only Son to die for you, to forgive you of your sins and save you.”

The man in the doorway stood reverently silent as I continued to share the Gospel with this gentleman and lead him in a prayer of salvation. I left him looking at the Gospel tract that I had placed in his hand.

We met people in the big city of Dallas, in the heart of the “Bible-belt”, that actually did not know who Jesus was other than just a word they used when they swore.

We met people who had never heard the phrase “born again”, although Jesus said in the Gospel of John that this is the ultimate requirement for any man to see the Kingdom of God.

As I was crossing through a busy crosswalk one day, a gentleman in a suit was approaching me and the Holy Spirit said “him”.

I quickly handed out a Gospel tract as we passed and said “Sir, do you know Jesus loves you?” He glanced at the tract as he reached the sidewalk, turned and said, “What did you say?”

I hurried back to where he stood and I said, “Do you know that Jesus loves you?”

He said with a smile, “I sure do. I’m a Presbyter of the Presbyterian Church here downtown.”

My natural instinct was to say “Wonderful” and go my way, but instead I heard myself saying, “That’s great! Have you been born again?”

He said, “I don’t know what you mean. What do you mean by born again?”

I shared with him what the Bible says about being born again and how that Jesus said we must be born of the “water and the spirit”.

I shared that when we are born again the Spirit of God comes and lives inside us and that the Bible says “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.”

We must invite Jesus in. Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock. If any man opens unto me, I will come into him…”

I said “Would you like to pray with me now and ask Jesus to come and live inside of you through His Holy Spirit and be born again?”

He said “Yes”, and there, on a downtown sidewalk in one of the busiest cities of the world, out in plain sight of everyone, possibly even members of his own congregation, this humble leader of the church prayed out loud and asked Jesus to come into his heart and be born again.

We began to go out at night as well as in the day. The first night we went out, we decided to go downtown and start at the Greyhound Bus Terminal.

As we parked and walked toward the terminal, the others that came along that night all went inside to witness to the passengers waiting for their buses, but the Holy Spirit was directing me toward the area in the terminal where the buses were loaded and unloaded.

As I rounded a parked bus, I saw three men in work uniforms sitting on the dock talking to each other.

I handed each one of them a tract and began to tell them of the love of Christ, when suddenly one of them got an unusual look on his face as he spoke and said, “You’re not going to believe this, but not over ten minutes ago I put my girlfriend on a bus going out of town, and her last words to me were “I’m going to pray for you that you get saved tonight.”

I said “God heard her prayer and He sent me in here to pray with you so that you can be saved and her prayer be answered. The other people that I’m with went inside, but God sent me out here to you because He loves you and wants to save you now.”

I explained the Scriptures to him that were printed in the Gospel tract, we prayed together, and he received Christ.

After witnessing to others, we left from there and made our way over to the area of downtown where the clubs and bars are located. We wanted to be there when they closed at 2:00 A.M. and the patrons began to leave.

We arrived there a little early, and I approached a group of men that had just come out of a bar and had started walking down the street.

As I approached them, I began talking, “Hey fellows, do ya’ll know that Jesus loves you?”

One of the men in particular seemed unsteady on his feet. As I shared the Gospel with them and asked if they would like to be born again, he spoke up.

“You know, I would, but you see that other bar right down there, right down the street? I’m going to go down there and have one more drink and then I’m going home and go to bed.”

They all laughed in agreement, but the anointing of the Holy Ghost was upon me and He filled my mouth with words.

“I tell you what”, I replied, “I believe the God I serve is so powerful, that if you believe Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for your sins and rose from the grave, and you pray with me right now to ask Him into your heart;”

“I believe that He is so powerful, He will come into your heart and change your desire and your “want-to” so that you won’t even go have that other drink, but God will sober you up and send you home to have the most peaceful night of sleep that you have ever known.”

“Do you really believe that?” he said. “With all my heart”, I replied.

“Well, if you believe it, then I’ll do it!” he said. We prayed the sinner’s prayer together and he asked Jesus to come into his heart and save his soul.

I told him if he needed further help or prayer to call the telephone number written on the back of the tract, and I left as he began walking back down the street.

The next day, Bro. Tony had transferred the prayer line to my house. It rang, and I answered it with the usual “Jesus cares. May I help you?”

The voice on the other end was a little hesitant as he began to speak, “You know, I was downtown last night, and this great big guy handed me a brochure with this number on the back and said I could call it if I needed any help.”

I knew that he was talking about me when he said “great big guy”, so I said, “Sure, what can I do for you?”

“Well”, he said, “The fellow that gave me this said that if I prayed this prayer with him, that Jesus would save me, sober me up, and that I wouldn’t want to go and have another drink. And you know, he was right!”

“I felt so good on the inside after we prayed, that I didn’t go have that last drink, but I went home and went to sleep, and when I woke up this morning, I felt so good that I wanted to go tell all my friends.”

“But when I told them they laughed at me and I got mad and cussed them out. When I got mad, that good feeling left, and it was like a little voice told me to have a drink and it would come back.”

“So I did, but instead of feeling better I felt worse, and then I remembered this paper and this phone number so I’m calling. Can you tell me what to do?”

I told him that I was the “big guy” that had prayed with him the night before, and that when he got mad and cussed, he had sinned against God and broke his fellowship with the Lord.

It didn’t mean that he wasn’t saved. As a matter of fact, it was the Holy Spirit in him that was making him feel bad about his sin. I told him that was called conviction.

The voice that told him to have a drink and feel better was the devil, but as he found out the devil is a liar.

I told him that when we stumble and sin, God still loves us and wants to forgive us, if only we will confess our sins, repent, and ask Him to do it.

I told him that this was a prayer that he would have to pray on his own and that I could not pray it for him.

He began to pray. He told God that he was sorry for getting mad and cussing and drinking. He asked God to forgive him and help him to not do it again.

He said “Amen”, and then he said “Its back, that good feeling is back.”

I told him that was the peace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and the next time something like that happens, he didn’t have to wait and call someone or have somebody else pray for him, but that he could pray for himself right then and ask God to forgive him and God would do it every time.

There were those who criticized us, and said that if we did not disciple the ones that we prayed with on the streets, their conversion would not be real.

We had always felt that the Lord had called us to plant seeds and bring in the harvest, and that the Holy Spirit and others would tend to the harvest once it was brought in.

That is why we always encouraged the new converts to find a church of their choice, and also to call the prayer line if they needed any other help or prayer.

We prayed and asked the Lord to confirm to us that we were doing the right thing, and not long after, we began to run into people on the street and receive phone calls from people that we had prayed for.

They would tell us of how their life had changed, how they were now attending church, had been baptized, or how they had been delivered from drugs or alcohol, and how families had been restored.

We praised God, for as the Apostle Paul said, “We had not run in vain.”

Tomorrow- Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 6- To Other Cities Also

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Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 4- And They Preached Everywhere

“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”  (Mark 16:20)

Bro. Tony and I began to go and hand out Gospel tracts on a regular basis. As more tracts were distributed, the 24-hour prayer line was becoming more active.

God even opened doors for us to have a public service announcement about the prayer line to run on some local television and radio stations.

People were calling in not only to ask for prayer, but to share how they had prayed the sinner’s prayer on the back of the tract and had accepted Christ.

Bro. Tony would always instruct them about their need to begin reading the Bible, talking to their Heavenly Father, and to start attending a local Bible-believing Church of their choice.

The prayer line was becoming so busy, that oftentimes they would call-forward the line to ring at my house so that I could answer it when they needed to be away.

On one particular evening, Bro. Tony had call-forwarded the line to my house so that he could attend some other ministry requirements, and then he would transfer the line back to the Center when he returned.

I went to bed as usual, and awoke about 2:00 A.M. to go pick up my newspapers downtown, and run my route. As I went out and tried to leave, my brand new truck would not start.

I tried again, praying, “Lord, please help me. I’m already running late.” but the engine would not turn over. It was dead as the proverbial doornail.

It was then that I looked up and saw my porch light flashing off and on, off and on. As I stepped out of the truck, my wife stepped out on the porch and said, “There’s a man on the phone and he’s threatening to commit suicide!”

I ran back into the house, took the phone and said, “Jesus loves you. Can I help you?”

He answered, “ I have a gun in my hand and I was about to pull the trigger, when I looked down and saw this paper that someone had given me laying on my table.”

“I decided to give it one last chance and call this number on the back, but if you can’t give me a reason to live, then I’m going to take this gun and kill myself.”

Not knowing what to say, I started to open my mouth to say something, anything, when suddenly that same feeling of power, which I had felt at the motel fire, seemed to fill me, and I heard myself saying in a loud, firm voice “You’re a liar, and the Devil is a liar.”

“What?” he said, “I tell you I’m going to kill myself, and you call me a liar?”

I replied, “The Bible says that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; but that Jesus has come that you might have life, and life more abundantly. The Bible says that the devil is a liar and the father of it.”

“He’s the one that’s trying to talk you into killing yourself, but I rebuke him in the Name of Jesus Christ! You’re not going to kill yourself. Jesus loves you and has a plan for your life, and wants to save you and set you free.”

He started to cry and said, “I wish I could believe that.”

I said, “You can. You didn’t call this number by accident. God ordained for you to have that tract, and call this number, and that I should talk to you. He wants to save you now, forgive you of your sins, and give you a new life.”

We prayed together, and he invited Christ into his heart and was born again. He began to laugh and rejoice. I told him that the angels in heaven also rejoice over one sinner that comes to repentance.

I hung up and called Bro. Tony. He had forgotten to transfer the prayer line back to the Outreach Center.

I went outside, got in my truck, and, to my amazement, it started right up.

I began to praise God as I realized that He had caused my truck not to start in order to keep me there and lead this man to Christ.

By the time I got down to the newspaper, everyone was gone and my papers were stacked up on the dock. I had to climb up on the dock and load them myself by hand, but I didn’t mind one bit.

God was beginning to teach me just exactly how much He has everything in control.

This would not be the only time that I would see a vehicle not start in order for God to save someone‘s life.

Not long after this, Bro. Tony and I had gone downtown to hand out tracts as usual.

We would often stand at the corner of Akard and Elm streets, handing out tracts to the lunch crowd as they hurried about their business, rarely actually praying with anyone to receive Christ, but content to know that we were sowing seeds for the harvest.

Oftentimes, after the crowd had dispersed, many of our tracts ended up on the ground so we would retrieve what we could and hand them out again.

On this particular day, the Lord put something in my heart, and I turned to Bro. Tony and said, “You know brother, as I read the Bible, the disciples were constantly going.”

“They went, they didn’t just stay in one place, and the Lord confirmed His word with signs following (Mark 16:20). Instead of standing here in one spot, let’s start walking and see what the Lord does.”

We started walking and instead of handing tracts out to everyone we saw, we would approach people as the Holy Spirit would lead us, and begin to talk to them on a one-to-one basis.

After several hours, and after walking around much of downtown Dallas, we realized that we had prayed with over 30 people to receive Christ in their hearts. We were ecstatic as we headed back to the Outreach Center.

From that day forward, we never stayed still, but we went.

It became miraculous the way that the Holy Spirit would lead us. Some days, we would walk together and some days we would split up and then meet back together at a certain time.

We began to see 50, 60, sometimes over 70 people come to Christ after just a few hours of walking around downtown. God was truly bringing in a harvest of souls.

We began to see many miraculous conversions as well. Drug addicts, prostitutes, alcoholics, and religious folk, anyone whose heart the Holy Spirit had prepared to receive the Gospel.

As we became more sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, He began to lead us into places and to people that we would never think to go to.

It might be a lady all alone, having her lunch break, reading a book under a shade tree. The Holy Spirit would say “Go to her, she’s the one.”

Instead of being afraid of a stranger approaching her alone, she would accept the tract with the good news of Jesus and pray on the spot to accept Christ into her heart.

Or perhaps it would be a group of people sitting at a bus stop. Once, the Lord had it all arranged for one individual sitting there.

As I approached the bus stop, I came to the first person and said “Hi. Do you know that Jesus loves you?”

“Oh my, yes” he replied, “I go to the Baptist church.” “Great!” I said, “Praise the Lord!”

As I spoke to each individual in order, they each one replied similarly. They all knew the Lord, had been born again, and each attended church. The only difference was that each one belonged to a different denomination.

My reply was the same for every person: “Great! Praise the Lord!”

As I came to the last one and began to speak to him, he stopped me and said, “Wait. Before you say another word, I want to ask you a question.”

“I listened as you spoke to each of these people, and each one told you that they attended a different type of church, and yet you said, “Praise the Lord” to everyone. Why is that?”

I replied, “Because there’s only going to be one heaven. It doesn’t matter what denomination or church you belong to, what matters is whether you have been born again and have asked Jesus Christ to come into your heart and save your soul.”

“He will write your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life and give you eternal life with Him. How about you, have you been born again?”

“No” he said, “But if that’s the kind of God you serve, then I want to be.” He bowed his head and asked Christ into his heart while everyone else at the bus stop looked on.

Tomorrow- Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 5- The Highways and the Hedges

"The Servants of the Lord: Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism"- Available for $4.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, at the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

“The Servants of the Lord: Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism”- Available for $4.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, at the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 3- Go and Tell

“Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”  (Mark 5:19)

The next morning after accepting Christ, I couldn’t wait to tell my wife Glenda what had happened to me.

“Guess what, Honey”, I told my wife, “Last night I got saved.”

I told her about the dream and what had happened. She was thrilled for me, but I think also a little skeptical.

I had gone through so many phases in our marriage and tried so many different things, only to give them up after a short time. Nothing ever really seemed to satisfy me, so who could blame her.

After all, this wasn’t your “run of the mill”, walk down the aisle, and shake the Preacher’s hand type of salvation story.

But this time, that emptiness I always felt was completely gone, and over the next few weeks, she began to realize that something genuine had happened to me.

I looked up Calvin as soon as I got to work. “Hey, Calvin. Last night I got saved.”

He was excited for me as I told him my story. “The only thing is”, I said, “I don’t know what to do next.”

He suggested that I get a Bible and start reading it, and “Oh yeah” he said, “You might start listening to this Christian radio station that I’ve started listening to. It’s really helped me.”

I turned the dial on my radio when I got back into the truck, and I bought a paperback Bible on the way home.

I started reading the Bible instead of watching television.

Calvin had suggested that I start in the Gospel of John. It was amazing.

I had tried to read my wife’s big coffee table Bible in the past, when I would go through one of my “turning over a new leaf” phases, but I would lose all interest when I would get to the “begets” in Genesis and that would be the end of that.

But this time it was different. I couldn’t seem to put it down. It was as if I was living it instead of reading it.

It seemed as if I could hear the people when they talked, as if I was walking on those dusty roads with Jesus, watching Him perform the miracles, listening to His teaching.

I would stay up most of the night reading before I had to go to work, and then while working I would listen to the Christian radio station as I distributed my newspapers.

One day, as I was servicing my newspaper machines, I stopped at a pay phone to call my wife. “What’s that loud noise in the background?” she asked.

“That’s this preacher on the radio.” I replied. “When I first heard him, I thought ‘You don’t have to shout like that when you preach’, and it really annoyed me, but I just can’t seem to turn him off.”

Little did I know that it was the anointing of God that was drawing me to hear this preacher full of the Holy Ghost.

He preached about a Jesus that “…was the same: yesterday, today, and forever.”

A Jesus that still does the same miracles today that you read of in the Gospels and the Book of Acts.

A Jesus that still heals the sick, raises the dead, causes blind eyes to see, and fills people with the Holy Ghost.

His motto was, “You don’t have any trouble. All you need is faith in God.”

I knew that Jesus could change a person’s heart, could make him brand new from the inside out, but I was beginning to believe in a Jesus that could do much more.

Another preacher on the radio did a week long teaching series on “How to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost”. He said that Monday through Thursday he was going to be sharing the Scriptural basis for this experience, and then on Friday, how to receive it.

If it was Scriptural and came from Jesus, I wanted it.

That Friday, he shared the Scripture from the Book of Acts 2:39-”For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

I knew that God had called me, so that meant this promise was for me also, and then he said how to receive it.

I turned the radio up louder and leaned close to listen as he said, “Just ask and believe.” Luke 11:13- “…how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?”

You mean it was that simple? Just ask?

I believed that the words of Jesus were true, so I asked in prayer for Him to baptize me with the Holy Ghost.

After I had prayed, I didn’t feel any different and nothing unusual happened, but God’s Word said that if I believed, then I would receive: Acts 1:8- “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…”

It was not long after this that I came upon the woman in the fire, felt the power of God, and experienced my first miracle.

After my encounter with the miraculous power of God at the motel fire, it was as if everyone that I cared for had a cancer called “sin” and I had discovered the cure.

I couldn’t wait to tell friends, relatives, acquaintances and anyone I knew that might listen to me about how Jesus Christ would save and set them free.

I couldn’t wait to tell them that we didn’t have to be lost or sinners anymore! I couldn’t understand why they weren’t as excited as I was to find this out.

I had yet to understand about the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit and that He would lead me to the ones whose hearts He had already prepared to receive the good news of Jesus Christ, even as He had to prepare my heart before I could receive.

The night DJ at the Christian radio station had announced that if anyone wanted some Gospel tracts to distribute, they should contact him and he would be glad to provide them.

I thought that I could insert these Gospel tracts into the newspapers that I sold and this would be a great way to spread the Gospel. His name was Bro. Tony, so I called and he remembered me from the conversation we had the night of the fire.

He said that I could come by the next day and pick up the tracts from a Christian Outreach Center that he operated in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas.

I went the next day to pick up the Gospel tracts and began to insert them in the newspapers, and whenever I needed more Bro. Tony would provide them for me.

They were a simple tract with no man’s opinion or theology, just simply “Do you know Jesus loves you?” written on the front.

They had short Scriptures on the inside about the need for being saved and “born again” along with a simple prayer for salvation on the back, the address for the Center, and the number of the 24 hour prayer line.

One evening Bro. Tony announced that if anyone wanted to go with him and his wife to hand out tracts downtown, they should meet at the Outreach Center on Monday before noon.

I knew that I had to go.

We met at the Outreach Center and rode together in Bro. Tony’s van, parked on a side street near downtown, and began walking to the corner of Akard St. and Elm St.

It was at this intersection in Dallas that thousands of people from the office buildings crossed each day at lunchtime.

As we were walking, Bro. Tony and his wife began handing out tracts to people we passed, asking if they knew that Jesus loved them.

Soon I felt emboldened to also start handing out tracks and saying, “Jesus loves you!” to perfect strangers.By the time we reached Akard and Elm, I was so energized and on fire, that I told Bro. Tony “I’m so excited, that I believe I could preach!”

He pointed to a marble planter about two feet higher than the sidewalk and said, “There’s your pulpit so preach.”

With a lump in my throat that seemed the size of Texas, I stood up on the planter and opened my Bible that I had brought, turned to the Gospel of John where Jesus told Nicodemus “…Ye must be born again” and began to read out loud.

It wasn’t long before a crowd started to gather around and listen, when all of a sudden, we could hear a brass band coming down Elm St. and drawing nearer.

The people turned to see what was happening as the band and a group of men shaking hands approached the intersection. As I continued to read, I heard someone in the crowd ask another, “What’s going on?”

He answered, “The Governor is in town campaigning, and that’s him with a brass band.”

As they crossed the intersection to where we were standing, Bro. Tony said something to the leader of the band and they broke out into a loud rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In”.

Everyone started clapping and singing, and the next thing I knew, Bro. Tony was standing in front of the Governor of Texas, handing him a Gospel tract, and asking him “Governor, do you know Jesus loves you? Have you been born again?”

He seemed flustered and didn’t know what to say, so he turned away and began talking to other people while his aides surrounded Bro. Tony.

They started explaining what charities the Governor supported, what Denomination he belonged to, and all that he had done to help those in need.

Then the reporters covering the event chimed in, asking Bro. Tony “What did you ask the Governor that seemed to upset him.”

Tony answered, “I just asked him if he knew that Jesus loved him, and if he had been born again. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

At that remark, the reporters seemed to scatter and head up the road where the Governor and his entourage were going.

Then as quickly as it had begun, the Governor was gone, the band was gone, the crowd was gone, and we decided to call it a day.

The Lord had arranged for me to go from being afraid to talk to a stranger about Jesus one moment, to preaching in front of the Governor of Texas the next.

Bro. Tony believed that these events transpired that day for the Governor to take a public stand for Jesus. The Bible says in Psalms “…he putteth down one and setteth up another.”

The next day in the Dallas newspaper, there was an article entitled “Governor breaks up downtown revival meeting”.

By the way, the Governor lost his re-election bid that year.

Tomorrow- Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism: Chapter 4- And They Went Everywhere

"The Servants of the Lord: Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism"- Available for $4.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, at the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

“The Servants of the Lord: Memoirs of Miracles and Evangelism”- Available for $4.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, at the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices