Pastoring was one of the most fulfilling seasons of my life. I once heard someone say, “Faith is for the middle.” They were referring to the time Jesus told His disciples, Let us pass over unto the other side, and while they were in the midst of the sea the big storm arose.
There is so much truth in that statement. Think about it…the disciples had no problem jumping into the boat just after Jesus had encouraged them and strengthened their faith by His message, and it was certainly no problem to believe once they saw the other side. They needed their faith in operation while they were in the middle of the sea, in the midst of the storm.
At the end of last year, the Lord directed Phyllis and me to close the church we pastored for 30 years, so we did. Since that time, many who were part of our church have contacted us and told us how their lives were affected by the Word they were taught. Though it doesn’t always feel like you are helping people and that the people are making the connection, things are happening…right smack in the middle!
Below is a testimony we received from one of our faithful members…
I am sure you have heard many stories like ours but we feel the need to take a few minutes to tell you how our lives have been affected by your ministry. When we first started going to Word of Life we lived in a 14×60 ft. mobile home and we couldn’t really afford the payments on IT. We had an old Honda accord and an old Volkswagen that a relative had given my husband to drive to work and he had to carry an air pump in the backseat of it because he had to pump up one of the tires every morning before he went to work. There were many days he didn’t eat lunch because we just didn’t have enough money to make ends meet. We had both been raised in church but never knew who we were in Christ. It took time for all the wrong teaching we had heard all our lives to get rooted out, but it did.
Today, we own a profitable business that’s paid for. Several years ago we bought 3 acres of land on the top of a mountain and the owner agreed to hold the mortgage. He also agreed to not charge us interest if we paid it off in 30 days. God provided and we paid it off in 26 days. We built a 7200 square foot house on the land and God provided, so we paid cash for that too. We’ve paid cash for all our vehicles. We are financially free to live life the way God intended. We understand the importance of forgiveness, keeping strife out of our marriage and home, and we know how to pray. We know who we are in Christ Jesus and we want to thank you for that and for all the years that you were faithful to teach the Word and share the anointing that is on your life.
There are so many stories of prayers that have been answered because you and Mrs. Phyllis taught us how to pray. There was one time in particular I have to tell you about. It was not long after 9/11 and we had troops fighting in Iraq and you had told us to spend some time praying for something specific for our troops. I wasn’t sure exactly what so I asked God what to pray for and immediately I heard Him say “Pray for their feet.” That sounded a little strange but that’s what I did. I prayed in the Holy Ghost for the feet of every soldier. I prayed that their steps would be ordered by God and that their feet would be protected. I did that for several days until I felt I was done and I didn’t think about it anymore. About a month or so later I was watching the news about the war and this particular news station had a soldier on who was in a hospital bed. He had some bandages in different places and he was telling a story. He said he was standing on top of a supply truck that was taking supplies and ammunition to a certain place where it was needed. It was a truck that didn’t have a hard top; it had canvas stretched across the top. The truck was moving in a convoy and his job was to stand on top of it as a guard. All of a sudden he saw a missile headed straight for the middle of the truck he was standing on and before he could jump it exploded and threw him into the air. He said all he could think of was his feet had been blown off. As soon as he hit the ground he started trying to get his body turned to where he could see his feet because there was no way they could still be there. He said “I finally got to where I could see my feet and I grabbed them and said my feet, my feet, they’re still there! I can’t believe my feet are still there!”
Some might say my prayer had nothing to do with it, but I believe God showed me
that day that He had protected that man’s feet because I prayed, and I prayed because you instructed us to. This story may seem random but there have been so many things like this that have happened through the years and that just seemed to be a good example of people we don’t even know who have been blessed by your ministry.
We love and appreciate you and Mrs. Phyllis so much and just wanted you to know.
Glory to God! This testimony blessed us so much, and I use this to encourage every pastor and congregant. If you are a pastor, remember that when the uncompromised Word is being preached, it IS making a difference. You may not see the difference or the change, and you may not hear about it until years down the road or possibly never. But if the Word is going into the hearts of your people, it is doing its work, and your fruit shall remain!
Teach your people to pray! In the days that we live in, this is of utmost importance. My wife and mother committed themselves to doing this and they saw tremendous results. To this day, there are prayer groups and ministries established in many churches because of their obedience to that call.
Perhaps you’re a member of a church; be encouraged by this testimony. James 1 tells us that it’s the doer of the Word who is blessed. Many people can relate to where this sweet family began, and if you’ll do what they did in remaining faithful, you’ll have a testimony like them too! God is no respecter of persons, and the faithful man SHALL abound with blessings!