Logger Finds a New Outlook on Life

May 22, 2023

Logger Finds a New Outlook on Life

As a child, I was taught about God, but for a long time the Gospel just never appealed to me. When I was about thirteen, I went to the altar to pray, and the Lord showed me some marbles I had stolen. He asked me about making restitution and I refused. I left the altar and didn’t pray again to get saved until I was over forty-three years old.

I went through high school as an amateur boxer and a football player. I should have been happy because I was young and healthy. I had all the things that young people want, but there was something inside that was never satisfied.

When I got out of school, I went to work in the logging camps. There I lived just like the rest of the loggers. I came to town and drank, fought, and got into all kinds of trouble. I never thought about serving the Lord. Nobody could convince me that you could be a Christian and enjoy living. When I visited my mother, I would go to church with her. But as soon as the service was over, I would walk out the door. She asked me about going to church more often and I said, “Why should I go when it makes me so miserable? There are all kinds of places I can go where I can really have a good time.” I didn’t realize that God was convicting me when I went to church.

I was ambitious and worked hard. I made a lot of money, and I spent a lot of money. Then one day, everything changed. I had been doing construction work on the overpasses of the Interstate 5 highway into Medford, Oregon, and when the job ended, I didn’t know what to do next. On a Saturday afternoon I was sitting in a bar watching a football game on television when I heard a Voice say, “Pete, where will you spend eternity?” The stool beside me had been empty, so I turned to see who had sat down, but no one was there. Then, as I turned back to the game, I heard the Voice again. This time it said, “What difference is it going to make out in eternity who wins that ball game?” Right then I knew Who was talking, and I got up and walked out of that place.

Although I was never one to be afraid, that afternoon I was terrified. I was afraid I was going to die before I could get to church and pray. I went to church the next Sunday morning, but at the close of the service, it seemed there was no way I could walk down the aisle to the altar of prayer.

Sunday night found me back in church, and as the congregation was singing the final song, a man came and asked, “Pete, wouldn’t you like to go pray?” That was all it took; I went to the altar and started to pray. I kept praying until God came down and saved my soul. A wonderful transformation took place; He made a change in my life. The habits and appetites of a lifetime were gone in a moment, and I had a brand-new outlook on life.

At home, one of the first things I did was dig in my suitcase for the Bible my mother had sent me years before. It was still in the original box, unopened. That night I started to read it and couldn’t get enough. Then in the middle of the night, I woke up, turned on the light, and instead of lighting a cigarette and getting a drink, I opened the Bible and read more. I told the Lord, “How can I do what You say in the Book if I don’t know what is in it? I need to know.”

I was afraid I was going to die before I could get to church and pray.

After I had been saved for a few weeks, I heard that I needed to be sanctified. I knew nothing about that experience, but one night sitting there in my apartment, I realized something was lacking in my life. I told God, “You know what I need. You know I want it, so please give it to me.” Right there the Lord sanctified me. The glory of God filled that apartment, and I couldn’t stay inside. I went out and walked up and down the streets, laughing, shouting praises, and crying. Finally, I told the Lord, “You’ll have to stop blessing me. I just can’t hold any more.”

I went on that way, so happy in the Gospel. Then one night in a mission meeting, a brother who had a disability got up and testified. He could hardly speak or be understood, but the Lord told me, “There’s a testimony I can use because it has My Spirit on it.” That man had the baptism of the Holy Ghost and I didn’t. Right there I realized how much I needed that experience. I didn’t understand what it was and had never seen anybody receive it, but a hunger sprang up in my heart.

A few days later, the pastor of our church asked me if I wanted to go with him to the Midwest camp meeting. He said he had room and the Lord told him to take me. I said yes and went with one purpose in mind—I wanted to receive my baptism. The camp meeting started on a Saturday night, and I prayed that night, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. By Wednesday I was getting discouraged. However, as I walked into church that night, I told the Lord, “If any power falls around here tonight, some of it is going to fall on me, because I’m going to be here.”

I had my own ideas about receiving the baptism. I was never one for a great deal of noise. I felt that when the Lord baptized me, I would just speak a few words in another language and that would be it. I wasn’t interested in a lot of demonstration; I just wanted the experience. That night, the Lord showed me that He was going to baptize me in His own way. Then He said, “Now will you let Me baptize you?” I said, “Amen,” and that’s the last I remember. Afterwards, I asked those praying with me, “Did I leave this tabernacle? It felt as though the roof lifted.” Well, I had the baptism and that was the important thing. It has been a wonderful experience, something every Christian needs.

I moved to Roseburg and went back to work felling timber. One day I met with a terrible accident—a tree fell on me. I knew I was seriously injured because I couldn’t get up. They got me on the stretcher and called an ambulance. When we got to the hospital, the doctor said I would not live through the night. Our pastor in Roseburg was already there and prayed for me. Before I went into a coma, I told him, “It’s all right, where I’m going it won’t hurt anymore.” I felt the presence of the Lord and it really didn’t make any difference to me if I lived or not. I knew where I was going if I died, and I tell you that’s a wonderful feeling.

The nurse on duty that night said she called the doctor two different times to come and cover me and take me out of the room because I was gone. However, the Lord spared me, and I was still alive when morning came. The nurse said, “There was a Presence around your bed last night, a peace that I have never felt before in all my nursing experience.” I could tell her, “Yes, the Prince of Peace was here last night.”

I had been torn up so badly that nobody expected me to live. My back was broken in three places. Most of my ribs were broken or torn loose from the backbone, my shoulder was smashed, and my spleen was ruptured. I don’t know what else was wrong inside, but the Lord came down and healed me. Two months after that accident, I was back to work.

Over the years, I’ve found that I can go to God with all my problems. One time I bought a house to remodel and sell, but then couldn’t work for a few months. By the time I got the house finished, the economy was in such a state that banks weren’t lending money to finance a house of that kind. The real estate broker told me, “Pete, there is no way to get financing on that house.” I said, “I’ve got some notes coming due in about four months and they must be paid in full. I’ve got to get cash for this house.” I went to the church and started to pray. I prayed each day until one Friday afternoon when the Lord said to me, “The house is sold.” That was it as far as I was concerned. I didn’t know how it was going to work out, but I knew the house was sold. The latter part of the next week, the broker called and said the house was sold. When I went to look at the contract, he told me, “This is the best contract possible.” The buyers not only paid cash, but they paid the full listing price. I ended up doubling my money at a time when others were happy to break even. Yes, the Lord takes care of His people.

I have proved God in all kinds of situations. You know, the Gospel is the only thing I’ve ever found that gets better with the using. Shortly after I was saved, some of my old acquaintances told me that the Gospel would get old, and I would soon be back drinking and carousing around. They were wrong. Today I love the Gospel more than ever because I know a lot more about God. I know how He can work, and I know what He has done for me. The Gospel makes life worth living and I intend to hold on to it for the rest of my life.

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