Atlanta CPA Asks…Have You Been Praying for Someone for Decades?
Do You Think Christ is Busy…or is Nothing Happening?
As a Faith Based CPA Firm we believe God can and will do anything with those who love him and seek out his will.
For some twenty years I have been praying for my brother seeing nothing but God was busy doing something GREAT. The below is a note I received from my brother just today. Stay the course, walk the walk, talk the talk and live in obedience to Him and He will do great things using your hands and feet.
I want to start by telling you about a young boy who was doing what any young boy would be doing during his summer vacation from school. It was a balmy day with big white clouds floating along in the sky occasionally blocking out the sun. It was warm and while he was standing on the back porch of his home he witnessed something that absolutely terrified him at the time. After seeing what he saw, he ran into the house, shaking, almost in tears. His mother was at home but he did not tell her what he had seen, frankly because he thought she would think he was crazy or something. He just kept it to himself and never told anyone. I will tell you what happened to that boy but first let me tell you briefly about my past and even more important what I have experienced very recently.
I was brought up in what I thought was a Christian home. I attended church with my parents and at least 4 of my brothers and sisters while growing up. I was baptized when I was 10 years old, I believed that Jesus was my Savior and as far as I knew I was a Christian. We never talked about God or the Bible at home except maybe just in passing and I did not know that people actually did that at home. I thought that was just for church on Sunday and youth meetings on Wednesday nights. That was the extent of Christian training for many years.
I enlisted in the Air force when I graduated from High School at the age of 17, and for the next four years never really gave God much thought except when He would, in a very particular way, remind me of His presence. I got married at the age of 19, and was discharged from the service after my 4 years of service. I worked in a couple of factories in Decatur Illinois for a period of time and eventually went to college on the GI Bill. Shortly after graduating from college for some reason I got divorced and ended up in Atlanta Georgia. I blew through a few more marriages over the next few years, drinking to the point I was probably by anyone else standards an alcoholic. In 1980 I met Donna and in 1981 we were married. I would say most people would think that this marriage would not last since I was 36 years old and Donna was 18. I, in my heart of hearts, probably felt the same way except something happened this time that never happened before. God’s unique way of reminding me of his presence came to me and this time He very bluntly told me that the vows I was about to give were not only to Donna but were being given in His presence as in the past. He expected me to live up to the vows being made before Him this time!!! Without going into a lot of details, I can only say that the first 8 to 10 years of our marriage were very rough. We went through two miscarriages and eventually had two great children. But my drinking was making life let’s say less than desirable.
Then when our children were 5 and 7 years of age, and after a particular bad night before, we had a family meeting. During that meeting my 5 year old daughter told us that she had had enough and she was ready for us to get a divorce. That was tough to here but timely. I told her that divorce was just was not an option! I made up my mind that day and promised myself that I would do my best to avoid any further arguments between Donna and I (impossible) or at the very least none that would resemble the old me! I would prefer to walk away than continue a senseless argument that leads to us saying or doing things we do not mean or regret. I know I have not been totally successful but we have managed to be married for over 30 years now and at least in my mind we are very happy.
Sometime after that meeting our children began asking us to take them to church. Their desire was brought on by their grandmother, not by Donna or me. So occasionally I would take them. Sometimes I would actually go myself, but usually I would drop them off and wait for them at the Waffle House next door to the church. But for the most part my children did not get much exposure to church or what it was all about.
We moved to Gainesville in 1998 to get our children out of what I call a transition area. I was working for a local store here and Donna later started working for a local manufacturer. Shortly after Lanier Hills Church started meeting at the old theater here in Gainesville someone had invited my daughter, Chelsea, to go to church there with them. After going there a couple of times she insisted that I go with her to LHC. I told her I would take her and she said no, she wanted me to go with her. This is quite unusual in that it should be the parent making the child go to church, not the child insisting the parent go with her. But for some reason (that little nudge God would give me once in a while) I succumbed and went with her. That was the day my life really began to turn around. I continued to attend LHC very regularly until Ron Barker left. I could come up with a lot of reasons I started searching for another church but they all come down to one thing, I was being very self centered. I did not learn that until my next head on encounter with the Lord.
Back in January of this year (2011) my Brother-in-Law, John asked if I would be interested in attending another retreat. He said it is much better than the previous one we had attended, which was, for me pretty good. After thinking about it I told him I would attend. It is called the North Georgia Walk to Emmaus. I went to it starting on the afternoon of April 30th and it ended the evening of May 3rd. I did not know John was not attending until we got there. I guess he thought I would not go otherwise. (Probably right) However something told me it really did not make any difference because at that moment in time, this is where I am supposed to be. I cannot really tell you much about what went on there since that is very essence of what it is all about. No telephones, no computers, no watches. You are about to be totally immersed in the GLORY, PRAISE, JOY, PEACE & ABSOLUTE PRESENCE OF THE FATHER, THE SON, & THE HOLY SPIRIT! I can only say that my walk has been absolutely life changing for me!
Many people that I have known over the years that have been born again always claimed to experience this BIG BANG when it happened. I have waited for that Bang for years. Then FINALLY I realized something. Let’s go back to that 10 year old boy which was in 1954, almost 57 years ago.
While he was standing on the porch that balmy afternoon a train was coming. The railroad tracks were less than a 10th of a mile from the house and he loved to watch the trains and count the cars it was pulling. Back in 1954 the trains were still steam engines and here it came with the smoke just billowing out the stack and blowing that whistle for the crossing it was approaching. Just as it made the crossing he looked above the billowing smoke and there coming out from behind one of the huge white clouds was a man! Yes a man walking across the sky! He just stared and began to tremble as the man walked what seemed to be forever until he disappeared behind another large white cloud. That man was wearing a long royal blue robe with some type of white furry trim all along the edges and around the hood that was bunched up around the back of his neck. He was wearing sandals that had leather strapping up to his calf and he was wearing some type of white garment underneath the robe. He had long, shoulder-length reddish brown hair and a full beard. The boy realized although the man was up in the air about 500 feet and at least a quarter of mile away, it appeared I could reach out and touch him as he seemed to be that close. Yes that boy was me and now I realize that was my Big Bang! But I was either too young physically or to immature spiritually to understand what happened that day.
It has been almost 57 years since that day. I never told anyone about that experience for almost 35 years and the very few people I have told have reacted pretty much the way I thought they would. None have, except my wife, really believed me. They just thought it was a figment of a young boy’s imagination. But I can tell you that just as real as it is that I see and talk to people every day and as sure as there is a God, I saw what I saw that day. Oh I know what you are thinking. Gary is saying he saw Jesus Christ! No, the only thing I am saying is I saw a man walking across the sky that day and I believe it was a Heavenly Person. It could have been Jesus, or it could have been Paul, or just possibly an Angel. But I believe the person was there for my purpose that day and that vision has persisted for almost 57 years and continue.
It has been that vision that God has used all these years to be that little nudge to remind me of His presence at times I was getting to far away from Him. It was that vision that He brought to my mind and heart during the Holy Spirit’s indwelling at my walk to Emmaus. That was not a big bang, but a very gentle, warm, peaceful, and joyous feeling coming over my entire body and The Heavenly Father telling me that it was now time for me to stop ignoring Him when He wants to talk with me and accept the fact that there is something He wants me to do! My pastor was right; God usually speaks in a very gentle, quiet, but powerful voice. All you have to do is open your heart and LISTEN!
I do not know why I felt it necessary to put all this in writing. I guess I just want people to know that we do serve a very patient God. A God that I am so thankful for loving me first and has not allowed my heart to be hardened to His presence over these many years. I have covered many years, omitting most of my experiences, mostly of which I would be ashamed to put in writing, but I did leave out some good things in my life. One was, but not intentionally, my oldest daughter. It has been that I abandoned her so many years ago and the guilt that I still carry, the Lord has been my ox to help carry most of that burden. I still have not been able to forgive myself totally, but to know that she has forgiven me is evidence that God will forgive me too if I can just let it go. I love her so much.
If I ever decide to share this brief biography with anyone, I hope it will serve as an inspiration and they too will realize that it is never too late. God is waiting and He loves you. Just ask! I know!