"My Personal Testimony"
I guess I should start by giving some background leading up to my actual, being born again experience.
My dad was a minister from the time I was big enough to remember and I grew up in a very good Christian home. I didn't appreciate it then as much as I do now, but when you are a PK (preacher's kid) growing up, it is very difficult trying to be one of the guys. All eyes are on you and when you do anything that is not according, well, everybody notices it. At least more so than the other children. I was an average boy but I seemed to get into mischief more than the others or at least it seemed that way.
As I grew older I got in trouble for playing pranks, fighting, being down right ornery, but never anything to go to reform school over or jail. I quit high school my senior year and joined the army but I didn't take orders, especially stupid ones, which most of them were or so it seemed. It was in the army that I became a drunk. Finally I received a Honorable Discharge but was put down as inadaptable to military life.
I got my GED and went to College and met my wife, Connie, shortly after we moved to Hopkinsville. We were soon married and began a family. I was working at U.S. Steel as a boilermaker apprentice and I painted cars on the side. I never went to church and was always into something. Not a good something either.
In 1973 I was a master craftsman boilermaker, rough as a cob, and headed to a devil's hell. But I didn't have the since God gave a goose at that time but I thought I knew it all.
How Connie ever put up with me through those years I'll never know. We moved from Gary, Indiana back here to Kentucky and I got a job as a boilermaker welder at T V A....
We bought this Ranch and started to raise Appaloosa Horses.
I also had a paint shop and I guess that I was very busy which kept me out of trouble. I did quit drinking because I could see there was no future in it, but I was still a lost sinner.
In 1977, dad passed away, (story on the angels' page) at the age of 54 after a long battle with cancer and that impacted me with a knowledge that I wasn't going to live forever. For the next 2 years I would ponder from time to time just why was I here and what purpose or impact would my life have after I had left.
It was at work during lunch that I noticed little pamphlets on the table about going to hell, the mark of the beast, and how to be saved. They were in comic book form and I began reading them. A Christian boilermaker noticed me reading and brought more everyday. Those Chick Publications comics didn't look like much but God used them to scare me into not wanting to go to hell. I was thinking more and more about hell all the time and I didn't like the thought of burning forever in a lake of fire, to say the least...
Well, In Aug. of 1979 my life was about to change. As I recall it was on a Thursday afternoon as I was getting ready to go to work at TVA on the 3 till 11 shift. I was getting out my motorcycle and tying my lunch box on the back when Connie came to the door and asked me to stay home and go to church with her and the boys. They went to Allegre Missionary Baptist Church but I had never darkened the doorway there.
Any way, there was a revival going on and Connie said that she thought that Jimmy, my oldest son, was going to accept Christ that night. I would like to insert here that if you knew my wife, she never wanted me to miss work, and for her to ask me not to go, well, it must be terribly important. Thank you God, for a Godly wife and mother, for she was right. Jimmy accepted Christ that night but little did anyone know that I was being drawn and dealt with that night. I believe that I left finger marks on the pew where we were sitting when the call to be saved was being offered. That preacher had preached a hell fire sermon and the music. Well it was almost more than I could stand. But I did! Besides, nobody was going to see me walk down that aisle, crying.
The next afternoon, after a sleepless night I took off for work an my motorcycle. Now it is about 40 miles to work and that gives you time to think. Should I go to work or go back to church. Well, I had some business to take care of at Greenville, so I passed up the shortcut I usually took to work. After taking care of my business I turned beside the courthouse and was headed on to work when at the first intersection a yellow station wagon full of children pulled out, right in front of me. I was doing probably 40 mph by then and no way could I have stopped. So I swerved and some how miraculously I managed to miss that car full of kids.
I still can remember thinking, God does not want me to go to work. God is trying to kill me. Note here: God doesn't work that but at the time I didn't know better. With this in mind, I turned around and started home. But after my nerves had settled down, about 2 miles outta town, that old liar, the devil, jumped on my shoulder and said, That was just a close call.
You have had close calls before, besides, you need to make that money and you already missed one day this week. On the other shoulder was a guardian angel saying, you really need to go to church tonight. As I think back on this, I now realize that someone or several must have been praying for me. The short cut through the country to work was coming up and a decision had to be made quick, fast, and in a hurry, so I made it. The wrong one of coarse. The road made a 'Y' and as soon as you turn off to the left it goes into an 'S' turn.
For you who have never ridden a motorcycle, I am here to tell you that it requires your full attention and is not the place to have your mind on anything else. As I made that turn I noticed that I was running over 90 mph. Way to fast for making this kind of maneuver. I laid the bike over as far as I could, the foot peg was dragging on the pavement as I veered to the others side of the road. I got through the first part of the 'S' turn and laid the little 500 Ram Air Suzuki over the other way in the attempt to negotiate the second part of the 'S' turn when I noticed 3 large rocks right in my path. I was doing all I could do now to keep upright but the inevitable took place.
I hit one of those fist sized rocks and I am here to tell you, Evil Knivel never rode a stunt like that. I was everywhere all at once. I went backwards, sideways, one peg drug then the other. It was a nightmare BUT I never went all the way down. After I slid to a stop, I got off and was shaking soooo bad. It finally soaked into this hard head of mine that if I kept pursuing this path to work I was going to get killed. So, what do you do when in a predicament like that? Why Sure, Make a promise to God.
As I stood shaking on the side of the road looking at the bike I said,
" All right God, I promise that IF you let me get this hunk of junk home I'll go to church tonight." Under my breath I said, "But I am Not going to walk that aisle." Now wasn't that big of me? Yea
I arrived home with out another glitch and Connie said, what are you doing home and I just said, I'm going to church with you again tonight. That night the preacher got all fired up and if they hadn't of given the call I would have tried. Anyway, the second the music started this big, burley, construction boilermaker went sobbing down that aisle like a baby, repenting of his sins and accepting Jesus as my personal Lord and Saviour. You know what? I didn't care who saw me bawl. I finally knew what the Love of Jesus really meant and what peace and joy came over me as I was being filled with the Holy Spirit. I wouldn't trade my salvation and personal relationship with Jesus for, ANYTHING... That week all three of my sons, Jimmy, Scott, and Eric, along with myself were saved. The next Sunday the four of us were baptized to show the world our newly born again experience as we joined in symbolism, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And in so doing became members of the Allegre Missionary Baptist Church... Well Glory!
What has happed since becoming a child of God?
Click for; My
Testimony continued Part 2
YES, dear friend, The way of the cross leads Home. If you
don't know Jesus personally, won't you repent of your sins, believe that
Jesus was born of a virgin, suffered and died on the cross for your sins,
and arose from the grave the 3rd day and is alive today in heaven. Then in
faith and believing, ask Jesus to
come into your heart, forgive you of your sins, and save your soul,
writing your name in the Lambs Book of Life. If you do this you will know
the peace and joy and Love that only Jesus can give. And you will then be
able to say that you've been adopted into that family of God.
Well Glory! May God Bless You All.
|Song is; "Why Me Lord"
Sung by: Johnny Cash
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Updated Sept 1, 2009