Pastor Shannon was in Iowa this past weekend. In his stead we heard three testimonies from our church family.
“I was born Sept 14, 1939 in a logging camp. My mom was German, my dad Ojibwe.” Beth shared how she grew up in a 9’ x 12’ house, her parent with four children. When they moved from location to another the whole house, which was built on runners just for this purpose, was dragged by a Caterpillar to the new location.
Beth first heard of Jesus at age 6 when she was baptized. At age thirty, when she was married with two children, her husband’s mother died. It was the first time she had to deal with the death of someone close and significant. It caused a great upheaval in her heart and mind.
For several weeks she was weighed down by this. Then one day, while driving to work she began crying and couldn’t stop. She drove to a Lutheran church and went in, still bawling. She spoke with the pastor saying, “I need His peace.” The pastor replied, “Jesus already died for you,” and he gave her a Bible to read. She read it for two weeks till God’s truth broke through and “I got it.”
“I hate roller coasters,” he began. Eric shared how his life has itself been a roller coaster of highs and lows. Though he accepted Christ at age 12, he stated that a spiritual roller coaster is not a healthy thing.
On one occasion, while reading the book of Chronicles, he observed that when the kings of Israel followed God and obeyed, things were good, and that when they disobeyed and did not listen, things went badly. In his heart he said, “Don’t they get it?” In this manner the Holy Spirit gently pointed out this truth to his heart.
A meaningful verse for Eric is John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life…” I AM the way is a now reality.
Eric said things are not always easy still, openly sharing some of his personal challenges from this past year. In closing he turned us toward God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Dorothy, who is 85 years old, began by sharing how twenty years ago she was not expected to live through the night.
Dorothy’s Christian walk began 75 years ago when she was going to church in Homestead and gave her life to Christ in Sunday School. She has seen God’s hand in her life ever since, including the choosing of her husband.
She and husband became “Winter Texans” after he retired. One morning in 1987 she woke with her feet paralyzed. The hospital said she had “French polio” which would go upward through her body. One day the doctors told her husband that he should spend the night in the hospital with her because she would not live till the next day. They stayed up nearly all night talking about the life they had shared.
But the Lord had different plans. The paralysis that went up her body bypassed her respiratory system. One night, while lying in her hospital bed, the devil was prancing back and forth across the bottom of her bed saying, “I’ve got you right where I want you.” She replied, “I’m with the Lord.” The devil promptly disappeared and has never been back.
She lost her husband Gayle years later, but God has been her comfort. This verse shared in closing: I Chronicles 16:9. “Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.”
“That is why I am still here,” she said, "to tell of God’s wonderful deeds."