I thank God for this wonderful Gospel. I surely thank God for the day that I heard such wonderful testimonies. I was just a young man. I loved the things of the world with all my heart. I never knew what a Christian life meant. I never heard a father’s or a mother’s prayer in my younger life. There wasn’t even a Bible in the home where I was raised. My father was a drinking man. I remember him coming home under the influence of liquor when I was a small boy. When I grew up in my teens I followed right in his footsteps. I knew nothing else, but I’m thankful to God that an invitation came to our home to attend a revival church service. About thirty-four years ago, my father and mother attended those meetings. They came home one night after they had attended night after night for nearly a week and said how they had prayed after the altar call was given, and God had made a real change in their hearts. My father said, “If I always feel like I do tonight, I never want another drink of whiskey and I never want another smoke of tobacco.” I didn’t see how he could quit those things because looking back in his life, many times he had sworn off and said he was going to quit; but in a little while he would be right back in that old rut of sin again. I thought it would be the same way this time, and he would soon be back in that old life.
I was going along the same avenues of sin that my father had for years, but I had the privilege of living in that home for a year-and-a-half after my parents’ conversion, and I could see that God had made a real change in their lives. The cursing, swearing, and temper that had my father bound were gone completely from his life.
Everyone that lived around us knew that God had made a real change in my father and in my mother. Also a younger brother and sister were saved at that time and went back to school as Christians. Oh, what a change in their lives and in that home!
It put something into my heart which caused me to want the same thing, but I didn’t have the grace of God. I turned it aside, and I went my own way for months. I was married and our home was nearly broken up. The dances, the whiskey and the wild life were wrecking our home; but oh, I praise God for the day that conviction struck my heart. My little wife prayed one day when I was gone. She felt so miserable she couldn’t stand it anymore. One night when I came home, Ruth met me at the door and said, “I gave my heart to Jesus today. I prayed and the Lord saved me. He put real peace in my heart and I’m not going out with you anymore to the dances, picture shows, or the parties. God has taken those things out of my life.” I was happy about it. I was carrying such a load of conviction that I could hardly bear up under it any longer.
I’m thankful to God that an invitation came to our home to attend a revival church service.
My parents were making every effort to get us to Klamath Falls, Oregon, to an Apostolic Faith meeting, and a few days later we went. Brother Ray Crawford preached about the love of God. He said that Jesus loved me enough to die for me, but that if I would go on in my sins I would lose my soul in Hell. Although I was impressed, I refused to pray, and I went on living as I always had, but I was never the same after that.
One night I went to church with my wife and a minister from Medford, Oregon, came and preached a message that reached my soul. When he finished his sermon, he asked, “Is there anyone here who wants to be saved?” I raised my hand. That was what I had come for. It was a small group with about twenty-five people there that night. I was the only stranger, and I was sure they were all looking at me. I had seen enough of what the Gospel had done in my parents’ home and how my father now lived to know that there was something to it, and I wanted it. Yet, when we stood to sing, I was rooted in my tracks; I couldn’t move. The minister came to me and asked if I wanted to pray; I said, “Yes, I want to pray.” He took me by the elbow and we walked together to the altar where I got on my knees. I didn’t know how to pray, but as I knelt there I said, “Lord, if you will save me and give me peace and take this awful defeat from my life, I will give you the balance of my days.” I didn’t pray very long, but what I said I meant with all my heart. The Lord did not disappoint me, but He gave me grace to go out and sin no more. For over thirty-three years I’ve been serving the Lord.
My wife had heart trouble for twenty years and also trouble with her back. She lay in bed and was right down to the jaws of death. A doctor told her that a valve was closing in her heart and there was no hope for her to be well again. At this time we prayed to the Lord. The same Jesus who saved our souls was with us to give us power to stand for Him in our time of need. We were able to prove the power of God to heal.
One morning as I was praying by her bed I just called on God for help. God said, “I have healed her if she will just believe it.” As we prayed my wife said, “God, I do believe that You heal me now.” It wasn’t two minutes until she said, “The pressure is all gone out of my head. And God has done that for me, I’m not staying in this bed another minute.” She sat up on the edge of the bed and her limbs did not turn blue. She put on her housecoat and walked out into the living room (after not being able to walk for seven months) and ate her lunch. She went back to bed and slept like a baby for two hours. She never ate another meal in bed. When God touched her, He healed her heart and also her back which had caused her so much suffering. From that day until this she has been sound and well with better health today than ever in her life. What a wonderful Savior! Why should we be afraid to trust such a wonderful God? He will give us power over every power of the devil.
I’m happy that I have some loved ones over on the other side—in Heaven—my father, my mother, a younger sister, and a dear old grandmother who, after she was eighty years old, received this wonderful Gospel in her life. The Lord took her out of this world praising God. My soul is rejoicing in this glorious Gospel. I’m looking forward to the day when I can see my blessed Savior who has done so much for me. I praise Him with all my heart.