- 1 My Personal Testimony
- 1.1 GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND INTRICATE INVOLVEMENT REVEALED IN MY LIFE
- 1.2 GOD’S PROVIDENCE OVER MY LIFE
- 1.3 MY FIRST RECOGNITION OF GOD AS HE REACHES DOWN AND TOUCHES ME
- 1.4 GOD IN HIS PROVIDENCE NOW REVEALS HIMSELF TO ME
- 1.5 GOD’S FIRST REVEALED MIRACLE IN MY LIFE
- 1.6 GOD’S SECOND REVEALED MIRACLE IN MY LIFE
- 1.7 GOD USES HIS WORD TO MOLD AND RESHAPE MY LIFE
- 1.8 GOD REVEALS THE WORKINGS OF HIS KINGDOM TO ME
- 1.9 GOD REESTABLISHES MY BROKEN LIFE
- 1.10 CONCLUSION
- 1.11 My Personal Testimony Continued 11/2011-1/2013:
- 1.12 My Life January 2012 to January 2013
My Personal Testimony
I learned a number of years ago through personal experience that God indeed has the ability to create trials, tribulations, testing, circumstances, situations, and events that reveal Him and His love for all of His created human offspring. His intervention in my life bringing me to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, Lord God, and Master is an example of His Sovereignty, Providence, and love for me because He reached down, touched me, and changed my life forever. He is able to do the same for you! (1)
(1) And Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons, But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear for God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed [by Him]. (Acts 10:34-35) AMP
My great great grandfather and his family traveled through northern Illinois in the late 1840’s and could have homesteaded a 160 acre parcel of land during this time, but in 1849, he heard the call that “Gold had been discovered in California” and left his family for California. When he returned to them in the 1850’s, all that he had to show for his folly was the tattered clothes on his back, one shoe, no horse, his gun, and a gold nugget to show that he had been to California. By then, all of the land in that area had been homesteaded. Around 1910, his son – my grandfather bought a 120 acre parcel that was eventually owned and farmed by my father and my mother. Many of my grandfather’s and grandmother’s relatives of my dad’s genealogy were good prosperous farmers in northern Illinois and northeastern Iowa.
GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND INTRICATE INVOLVEMENT REVEALED IN MY LIFE
I was born in northern Illinois in 1938 and raised on my parent’s dairy farm. I am the oldest of five children. During my high school years, I was elected president of the Student Government, president of my junior class, president of the local Future Farmers of America Chapter, and graduated Salutatorian of my class. Being born and raised on a small dairy farm, all members of our family knew the responsibility and work it takes to care for animals and to plant and harvest the crops needed to feed the animals. My mother always had a garden so we had many of our own fruits, vegetables, meat, milk, milk products, etc. We were just a normal farm family making a living in rural America.
My mother was a Catholic and my father was a Protestant and when they went to my mother’s priest to get married, he told them that all of their children had to be raised in the Catholic tradition which did not sit well with my father. That being said, my family only attended church occasionally. They did take me to the local Methodist Church during my eighth grade for some religious instruction which did not take root. That was the extent of my introduction to and knowledge of God and religion until I was 35 years old.
My only desire was to farm. It was so strong that I quit college after 1½ years, got married, started a family, worked at a couple of different jobs for a couple of years, and in 1960 my wife and I rented a farm adjacent to my parent’s farm. After being a tenant farmer for 5 years, we were able to buy an excellent 260 acre farm in southwestern Wisconsin. My wife and I worked 24/7 to realize the “American Dream” i.e. of becoming prosperous, well respected landowners in our community. Between 1965 to my going broke in 1985, we accumulated 510 acres. We raised four wonderful children – three girls and a boy who produced eight grandchildren – four girls and four boys, and I now have three great-grandsons.
But what about me? Who was I? I was a no nonsense guy who had a physical “nuts and bolts” mentality which did not include anything spiritual including God. I supposed there might be a “god” but it didn’t really matter – I didn’t have time for Him. It doesn’t really make any difference how little or how much education one has, but for them to believe, love, and trust SOMEONE you can’t see is literally out of the question when you have been raised to believe in yourself and what I can do. I was shrewd, calculating, manipulative, abusive, loved the world and the things of the world, and certainly didn’t express the love for my wife and family as I should have.
During the course of our marriage, my wife became a Christian and tried to raise our children as Christians, but I didn’t want any part of that and I made it known in no uncertain terms. My wife and numerous others started to pray for me to “meet God and be saved.” And God in His Sovereignty and Providence was continuing to arrange His predestined circumstances, situations, and events in my life to lead me along His path to Him and my salvation through true faith in Jesus Christ.
GOD’S PROVIDENCE OVER MY LIFE
As I look back on my life, I can now discern God’s hand on my life from my very beginning. How He used the genealogy of my parents to bring me into existence at this particular time and place in history in accordance with their predestined events. I did not realize it at the time, but in my youth, I was involved in two incidents whereby I could have died. The first involved a swimming hole incident about 3 miles north of my parent’s farm where many neighbor kids went swimming during the summer months. I was about 15-16 years old and several of my friends and I went swimming. I could not swim and I somehow got into water that was too deep and the next thing I remember was being pulled up on the shore where I regained consciousness.
The next incident was when I was about 19 years old when I was involved in a fatal car accident. I do not remember any of the events leading up to the accident nor anything about it. The first thing I remember was waking up in the hospital. The details of the accident are what the other survivor shared with me. Three of my friends and I were riding in a car that was broadsided at an intersection. Two of my friends died in that accident. My other friend was unhurt and I had a broken back – two crushed vertebrae that had to be fused together which caused me to wear a full body cast for a full semester in college. Why God spared the life of my friend and I, I do not know, but in writing this book, I found that God’s hand was indeed upon my life. Scripture states, “Since a man’s days are already determined, and the number of his months is wholly in Your control, and he cannot pass the bounds of his allotted time — (Job 14:5) AMP Scripture shares that according to God’s predestined plans and calculations, He tried to use these events to get my attention to reveal His presence in my life, but I was not paying attention! I now realize that because of Him and His plans for my life, I am still alive today!
Some interesting God incidences from this accident:
One of the nurse’s aides working at the hospital became my wife and the mother of our four children.
The insurance company’s settlement from this accident enabled my wife and I to start farming in 1960.
A few years ago, I had my back x-rayed and when I asked my doctor about my fused vertebrae, he said there was no evidence that my back had ever been injured. This was not what the x-rays revealed and the pain that was in my back many years ago. God’s hand was and is indeed on my life! Your life too!
MY FIRST RECOGNITION OF GOD AS HE REACHES DOWN AND TOUCHES ME
My wife started to attend home Bible studies held in neighbors homes and somehow that group arranged to meet at our farmhouse one winter evening in February, 1973. I suspected they wanted to meet at our home to confront me because they had been “praying for me.” I sat in on the study and at the end the leader asked if I WANTED TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS MY SAVIOR AND LORD. How ABSURD!!! Me accept Christ? You MUST have something wrong with you!!! I am TOO smart and have TOO much going for me to give my life to SOMEONE that you cannot even see, Someone that is ONLY revealed in a book that is at best “myths, fairy tales, and half truths!!!” But if the truth were to have been known during his asking me to accept Christ, I had a warm spot in my chest that I still remember to this day. But I couldn’t share that with anyone nor could I let something like a “warm and fuzzy” touch me and get in my way!!
In the Midwest, farming has two seasons – planting and harvesting. If either one isn’t done in a timely fashion, what little profit there was in farming became a loss. I was very innovative and figured out how to cut many corners to save operating costs but I always seemed to be on the red side of my profit and loss statements. Land prices were rising drastically during the 1970’s and I was able to pyramid my holdings – the process of buying a farm at a reasonable price, making payments on it for a few years, then refinancing that property at a higher value so that I could buy another, etc. and I eventually parlayed our original 260 acre farm into 510 acres much to my wife’s dissatisfaction. In fact, my goal was to ultimately own a 1000 acres as my own kingdom.
GOD IN HIS PROVIDENCE NOW REVEALS HIMSELF TO ME
The spring of 1973 was very wet and cold and during the first part of the month of April, it was almost impossible to get any field work done. Any time there was a break in the weather, everyone would go crazy to do any field work that they could. In between the rains, I was spreading fertilizer on my cropland. Everything was so muddy that is was hard to find solid ground to spread it on. I had a five ton load of ammonium nitrate fertilizer ready to spread in the morning and that night it rained several more inches. The tarp covering the fertilizer tore thoroughly soaking several hundreds of dollars worth of fertilizer. If I waited until the crop fields were solid enough to spread it, it would have caked up in the spreader and would have been a mess to clean out. So I decided to spread it on the firmer ground of some pasture land on one of my other farms. As I finished spreading the fertilizer, it started to rain again. I was driving an older tractor with no cab. I was five miles from my home farm. The rain was like sleet in my face. I was thoroughly soaked. I was cold and I did something that I hadn’t done in years….I started to cry. (2) Unbeknownst to me, God was using the weather to make circumstances so that I couldn’t accomplish what I thought I needed to do as I wanted to do it i.e. I was not in control of my life! He had “touched my spirit” during the Bible study a few weeks earlier and now in His Providence, He began to “break my spirit.” (3) As I was driving that old tractor home in the cold and the rain, I did something extremely stupid for an Unbeliever. I challenged God. I’ll never forget my words, “God, if You’re real, show me!” (4)
(2) He loads the thick cloud with moisture; He scatters the cloud of His lightning. And it is turned round about by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them upon the face of the habitable earth. Whether it be for correction or for His earth [generally] or for His mercy and loving-kindness, He causes it to come. [Exodus 9:18, 23; 1 Samuel 12:18, 19.] (Job 37:11-13) AMP
(3) God seals up (stops, brings to a standstill by severe weather) the hand of every man [and now under His seal their hands are forced to inactivity], that all men whom He has made may know His doings (His sovereign power and their subjection to it). (Job 37:7) AMP
(4) God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength. He seals the hand of every man, That all men may know His work. (Job 37:5-7) NKJV
It soon stopped raining, the sun came out and soon everyone one was in the fields preparing them for planting. Everything was just a “humming.” My wife was driving one of our tractors preparing our fields for planting. We had some part time help and he was busy with other chores. My challenge to God was forgotten and consumed by more important things.
One noon in the middle of April, 1973, I needed some supplies so I jumped into my pickup truck to go to the local village. One of the rural roads adjacent to our home farm was a through road and to cross it, I had to stop at the stop sign. As I approached that road, I looked both ways before I got to the stop sign, no one was coming, so I started to cross the through road without stopping. My pickup truck had large side mirrors and hidden from my view behind the passenger side mirror was the Driver’s Education car from the local high school. As I started to cross the road, I ran directly into the center of the driver’s side of the Driver’s Ed car.
To make a long story shorter, the local sheriff came to investigate the accident. It clearly was my fault! I wasn’t hurt at all although the student and driver’s Ed instructor were shaken up pretty good but not hurt. Their car and my truck were totaled. I did not have my driver’s license with me, so they had to send me the ticket in the mail. End of the story? NO!
My youngest daughter was ten years old and we played a game racing each other for various reasons. It was April 21, 1973, the rural mail carrier brought our mail and we raced each other to the mailbox out by the road in front of our farmstead. Of course, she always beat me and after I had taken the mail out of the box, she asked me “What’s in the mail, Dad?” It was getting close to the end of the month and there were a large number of bills and other mail. As I was looking through it, I noticed my ticket for the accident had come and I said, “I got my ticket for the accident.” She said to me, “But God was with you.” I said, “What! How can you say that? If He was with me, I wouldn’t have had the accident!” Her reply was, “But you didn’t get hurt!” This was true, but this “wisdom” from a “ten” year old? – yeah right!
The following week was the same – the sun was out, the weather was just right for planting – busy, busy, busy. My wife informed me that a Christian concert was going to be held that Saturday evening at one of the local churches and that she had invited Mrs. Jones to go with us. Great! I was renting Mrs. Jones’ farm which I wanted to purchase and this would be a great opportunity to show her what a good guy I was by taking her to this Christian concert. This just might be the ploy that I needed to get her to say yes to my buying it. So I told my wife that I would go to the concert.
A very talented Christian lady in our community with a Pentecostal bent had formed a Christian youth group who went around to the local churches giving Christian concerts. She could play anything on the piano by ear and with great gusto. I did not then nor now appreciate music as many people do but what the “hey,” I would look good to Mrs. Jones! That Saturday evening came – April 28, 1973, my wife asked me to pick up Mrs. Jones. “Why should I do that?” She just lives a couple of blocks from the church in the village where the concert was being held. We can pick her up on the way to the concert. “No,” she said. “I mean the other Mrs. Jones” – our neighbor with the same last name who lived a mile in the opposite direction from us and the church.
Man, I was between a rock and a hard place! I didn’t like music or the church and this other Mrs. Jones was so churchy that I couldn’t stand to be around her, but I said I was going to go and I was dressed to go. (A side note – a number of years later I was privileged to be a pall bearer at her funeral.) What else could I do without revealing who I really was to my community? My family already knew who I was. I went. The church had seating for about 120 people. The place was packed out! They had extra chairs in the aisles, chairs in the foyer, people standing. Not a good place for me to be! I sat there with my arms folded across my chest, smiled, said nice pleasantries to my friends and neighbors – “Hey, I’m Mr. Nice Guy!”
GOD’S FIRST REVEALED MIRACLE IN MY LIFE
Everyone was excited! Everyone was standing up, clapping their hands, singing loudly. The place was “a rockin!” And there I sat with my arms folded across my chest – big deal. Then a neighbor lad who was the youth leader got up to give the message – pitch really to ask for some money to support their youth ministry. Oh, he did read some Scripture and said some things about God and Jesus but it was still about money. Then he asked if anyone that evening would like to accept Jesus Christ into their heart and life as Savior and Lord of their life. When he asked this, my arms fell to my side and there was such a bursting sensation inside of my chest that I HAD to move. I did NOT know what was happening to me but something was happening inside of me that I couldn’t control! I HAD TO MOVE!!! I got up from my chair and quickly walked to the altar, knelt down, and the young man asked me some questions and prayed over me and I publicly accepted Jesus Christ into my heart and life as Savior of my life that evening. I have often wondered what would have happened to me if I had not moved. Many Christians consider that God acts as a “Gentleman” in dealing with His offspring, but I can tell you that when you are as hard headed as I was, He had to do what it takes!
As I shared earlier, the church was full of friends and neighbors and I had made a public profession of faith in front of all of them. Afterwards, everyone came up to shake my hand, pat me on the back, congratulate me, many with tears flowing except for one elderly neighbor farmer who came to the concert wearing his bib overalls. After everyone drifted away, he came up to me, didn’t shake my hand or pat me on the back but clasp his hands inside of the bib part of his overalls and said, “Now comes the hard part.” I was so taken back that I wasn’t able to respond normally and I finally blurted out, “What do you mean, ‘Now comes the hard part?’ I’ve done the hard part. I have accepted Christ as my Savior and I did it in front of my friends and neighbors.” He didn’t respond. Little did I understand the truth of his words of wisdom that he shared with me that evening – the daunting task of sanctification that it takes to make Jesus Christ not only your Savior but also your Lord God and Master of your life.
This is my first known incident whereby God arranged the circumstances, situations, and events in my life so He could touch my spirit and soul with a warm feeling in my chest and then He broke my spirit using the weather causing me to ridiculously challenged Him, “God, if You’re real, show me!” He did! He brought me to my knees – humbled me in front of my friends and community bringing me to accepting by faith Jesus Christ as my Savior.
GOD’S SECOND REVEALED MIRACLE IN MY LIFE
Within a week after I accepted Christ as my Savior, God revealed Himself to me in such a way as I will never forget. As I have shared, spring planting time is extremely hectic and crucial in getting things done in a timely fashion. If anything goes wrong causing a delay in planting of the crops, there can be serious financial consequences at harvest time.
The operations for my planting schedule had three parts – chopping and disking the old corn residue, plowing it under, and then planting the corn. I had one big tractor that did all three operations. If anything were to happen to that tractor, I was in serious trouble. I had completed the chopping and disking operation, and I had just started the plowing operation. It was dusk when I struck out my first strip, and after I had done two or three rounds of plowing, the right hand rear axle drive bearing of the tractor started to squeal very loudly. This tractor had a cab and I exited it to see what was the problem. I put my hand on the axle housing and it was so hot that I could not touch it. I tried to grease the axle bearing but it was so hot, the heat just melted the grease. Anyone with any mechanical knowledge knows that amount of heat has totally destroyed the axle bearing meaning the tractor would have to be repaired ASAP. This is not only expensive but very time consuming and would delay the planting process.
Oh, what was I to do? My old way of doing things would have been to get it fixed, but when I accepted Christ as my Savior, I had many people tell me that night that God was a God of miracles. So in my naiveté, I did something that was utterly stupid and ridiculous to those of the world. I put my hand over the axle housing and prayed for God to “heal” my tractor until I got done with all of the planting operations. As I got back into the cab and sat on the seat, I felt a “big, warm arm” come around my shoulders and a voice said to me, “It will be alright!” Guess what? As I plowed for a few more hours, the bearing did not squeal, and as I quit work that night, I got out of the cab, went around to the axle housing, put my hand on it, and lo and behold, it was cool to my touch. I finished the rest of the planting operations without any further problems.
Remember my prayer to heal my tractor “until I was done with all of the planting operations?” Well, I had forgotten that part of my prayer and put the tractor in the shed rather than getting it fixed. After the corn had started growing, I went around to my various corn fields to see how the corn was doing. I got to one field where I had forgotten to turn on the herbicide spray for about three hundred feet and those six rows looked like a carpet of weeds. There was so many that it was difficult to see the corn rows. So, I went home, put the cultivator on this tractor and went back to cultivate out the weeds.
I got over to the corn field and let down the cultivator. I had not gone more than 100 feet when that rear axle bearing started to squeal again. I chuckled! I took the tractor to the dealer for the necessary repairs. This was a big tractor at that time. The rear tires were taller than I. They were filled with fluid and had cast iron hubs for extra weight, but when the mechanic removed the wheel from the axle and removed the bearing housing that surrounded the axle, all the parts of the bearing fell out on the floor. Upon further inspection, we found there was no damage done to the axle or its housing. Is God AWESOME or what? We installed the new bearing, put things back together, and I drove the tractor home.
What did I learn? God can “heal” anything whether mechanical or a human’s physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual parts if we will but trust Him with all things!
GOD USES HIS WORD TO MOLD AND RESHAPE MY LIFE
As I also shared earlier, I am nuts and bolts type of guy and one of my favorite quirks was to try to find a loop hole in whoever I was dealing with to find a way that benefited me over my competition/adversary in business. To me, everything was another inning in the game of life. And I was pretty good at it too. My first Bible did not have any references and as God started to open up His Word to me, I found that I could not find any loop holes in it. I began to study His Word more and more looking for loop holes. So much so that it became close to an obsession with me. I would spend too much time studying the Bible and not enough time with my farming enterprise which began to suffer. As I said earlier, financially things were not going well for me and my family, and now I wasn’t working hard enough to save our dream to become prosperous, respected landowners in our community. My physical world was falling apart around me – I was losing my wife and my dreams of my kingdom! And I wasn’t finding any loop holes in God’s Word either, but I was finding my life! Unbeknownst to me, God was using His Word to break me away from the kingdom of the world, its god Satan, and the things of the world that I loved, worshiped, and served and was introducing me to Him and His Kingdom – the spiritual supernatural Kingdom of God.
My wife wasn’t only dissatisfied but also unhappy with our life together. All of the things that she and I had worked so hard for together I was now letting slip away. The drastic rise in land prices in the late 70’s now went south, the prices for farm commodities was low, and because I was so highly leveraged, I could not meet my financial obligations. I owed approximately one million dollars. My creditors started to foreclose on my real estate and personal property. My wife finally left me. The hand writing was on the wall. My dreams, goals, and love for farming, my wife, and family were all going up in smoke.
My oldest daughter and her husband lived in Washington State, and they just had their second daughter. Because of the reduced scale of my farming operation, I had some time to go visit them in February 1985. A friend and his wife who lived in Madison, Wisconsin, winter vacationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, for six weeks every year and when I told him I was going to visit my daughter and her family in Washington State, he suggested that I come to Hawaii and he would show me “paradise.” As I have stated, I was always short of money but I somehow had enough to visit my daughter. He called his travel agent and found that it would cost only $200 extra to include Hawaii in my plans. Great!
The only person that I knew in Hawaii was a former grade school and high school class mate and friend who originally was from where I used to live in Northern Illinois but now owned and operated a dairy farm in Waianae, Hawaii. In my visit to Hawaii in February 1985, I visited him and his family at their dairy operation and told him of my dilemma. He offered me a job working on his dairy. This was the only job offer I received. I went back to Wisconsin and held a farm auction in early April 1985. I hopped on a plane and came to Hawaii on April 15, 1985, with two suitcases, two duffle bags, a paid one way plane ticket from Chicago to Honolulu, and $509 cash in my pocket. This is all that I had to physically show for 47 years of my life.
GOD REVEALS THE WORKINGS OF HIS KINGDOM TO ME
My wife had left me, our children were grown and married living on their own, I had now lost my first love – farming, I had not achieved that “American Dream” of being a prosperous land owner. My kingdom goal of my owning 1000 acres and working myself, my wife, my son, and my son in-law to death was NOT God’s Kingdom goal for me – a Kingdom that won and nurtured souls for Christ. My spirit had been broken/humbled by God. I had been a Christian for 12 years – look what I had to show for it! I was so hard headed that it took Him 12 years to get me out of the kingdom of the world to where He could use me in His Kingdom of God. But through all of these trials and testing, my faith was ever increasing, and I now found that my faith walk and work with God was really just beginning!
We all know that God is never finished with anyone. Scripture shares with us, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) NKJV He gave me a second chance to start all over, but He told me that I must change! He shared with me, “That if I didn’t change, all of the sinful baggage that I had coveted would catch up with me and I would continue living a life of deception.” He had my attention. It was either or for me – either change my profane worldly thinking and heart to following Jesus Christ as a True Believer or continue my life as a Make Believer with my ultimate destiny with the Unbelievers in Hell. (5) In all of this process, my wife and I divorced.
(5) “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18) NIV
(5a) “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.]” (Mark 9:43-44) NASU
God had touched my spirit, God had broken my heart/spirit, God now was changing/ transforming my profane mind set from the secular humanistic kingdom of the world to the spiritual supernatural Kingdom of God Biblical Christian Worldview. God had to move me some 4,500 miles from my love for farming, my wife, my children, my grandchildren, my siblings, and my friends to take the spiritual scales from my eyes (6) so I could more clearly see what His Kingdom here on earth is really about. (7)
(6) But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. (2 Corinthians 3:14) NIV
(7) your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10) NIV
(7a) “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you….. to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ (Acts 26:15-16, 18) NIV
GOD REESTABLISHES MY BROKEN LIFE
God continued to reveal His hand on my life by revealing to me in my mental understanding how He can arrange all things for one to find His Way and Will. (8)
(8) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2) NIV
I arrived in Honolulu in the afternoon of April 15th and that first evening I had dinner with my employer’s family on their dairy farm. The wife asked me if I wanted to stay with them on the farm or drive to another of their properties in Honolulu to spend the night. Before I could answer, she said, “Let’s just look in the paper to see if there is any housing available.” As she was looking through the for rent ads, she said, “Oh, here’s a studio apartment for rent right here in Waianae. Let’s call them.” Come to find out, the owners of the apartment were an acquaintance of hers and the studio was fully furnished and ready to move in to. Only one problem – someone else had called to look at it. But for whatever reason, the owner said, “Why don’t you come over and take a look at it anyway.” We did and they rented this fully furnished apartment to me right on the spot. All I had to do was to buy some groceries.
Now another problem. I did not have the deposit for the rent but my new boss paid it for me and my very first night in Hawaii, I slept in my own bed in my own one room house. Little did I realize until I had lived here for awhile that housing was/is extremely tight and expensive and to have my own home the first night had to be God’s doing.
The husband of the family where I lived was extremely gifted with mechanical know how and besides his full time job in the Honolulu Fire Department, he worked on all kinds of mechanical things – fixed boats, fixed tractors, fixed cars, fixed motorcycles, built his own airplane, anything that had a motor in it he could fix. He had just reconditioned an older car for one of his customers who wanted to sell it. Again, I didn’t have any money but I needed a vehicle to go to work, so my boss lent me the money for the car. I was now ready to participate in the second chance that God offered to me – a chance that I needed to spiritually worship and serve God in action and not just lip service. (9)
(9) You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22) NIV
Hawaii is certainly a wonderful place to visit but to live here and care for others is very hard because of the spirit of poverty that reigns over these Islands. Waianae is an impoverished community along the Leeward side of the Island of Oahu. Much demonic spiritual activity infests the community – a lot of drugs, violence, crime, all forms of abuse, incest, prostitution, a homosexual and transvestite influence in the community, a huge welfare population, plus racism. I was told by two different local men when I first arrived in Waianae that because I was “Haole/white/foreigner that if I wanted to get along in the community, I would have to keep my mouth shut as to what I saw and not to try to throw my ‘money and weight around’ to influence the community with my ‘white man’s ways’.”
My background was of a hard working blue collar, middle class farmer whose nearest neighbor was a quarter of a mile away. We didn’t lock our doors at night or when we went away. I knew everyone in the community. They were hard working, honest, solid people! Yes, we had our social problems but they dealt with trying to make an adequate living to meet one’s financial obligations plus raising your family which basically trickled down to alcohol and the problems of social abuse that it brings.
Waianae was the exact opposite. The studio that I lived in was so close to four other houses that if I was outside when the telephone rang, I would have to let it ring two to three times to determine whose phone was ringing. Many residents of my new community were on welfare. Everything had to be under lock and key so that it didn’t walk off – be stolen. Whatever was stolen was fenced and the money used to buy alcohol and drugs and the many social problems that they bring. My new neighbors were friendly but it was a surface friendly emulating the “Aloha Spirit” that is supposedly a Hawaiian trait. It was hard to get the trust of the locals so you could know them because they had been raped so many times by the Haole/foreigner and his schemes designed to help the impoverished locals, but when the grants and funding ran out, so did those who were bringing change to the local community. The local community was left high and dry each time a little worse off than the time before. My new environment was diametrically opposed to the culture in which I had been raised in Northern Illinois and lived and worked in Southwestern Wisconsin. Isn’t God AWESOME!!!
I remarried in August 1986, to a wonderful sister and friend in Christ – Faye. She celebrated her 39th year in the Hawaii Department of Education before retiring in July of 2008. In 1991, we adopted her sister’s boy – our nephew who has recently graduated from Northwest University in Washington State. I worked on my friend’s dairy farm for five years, then I worked in construction work, then in an office job from which I was fired, and then I worked for the Hawaii Department of Education as a substitute teacher along the Waianae Coast for about nine years. I retired in 2003, became a licensed pastor by the State of Hawaii. I have been doing pastoral duties serving a church and a para-church ministry and two Christian nonprofits in different roles. As of January 1, 2012, I stepped down from serving God in everything except the church. God indicated that I was to worship and serve Him full time in the ministry of running my website – www.pastorharrysimons.com
What you will learn from this book is that God indeed has had His finger on every nanosecond of your life from before time began and yet He allows me/you the latitude in my/your life to make decisions about the final destiny for my/your life – whether we will be with Him for all of eternity or separated from Him for all of eternity in Hell. Our choice! As you can see from my testimony, I had chances in my life to accept Christ, I made financial commitments that I could not meet, I could not make plans for my own life that I could keep, and my love was for the world and the things of the world. My life was BEYOND my control – in actuality, as you will see, SO IS YOURS!!!
As God continues to reveal more of Himself and His truth from His Word as revealed by God the Holy Spirit, we will come to realize that God in all of His magnificence and awesomeness is so able to intervene in your life – into the very core of your being – at any instant that He desires. It is beyond man’s comprehension! God is the One Who constantly puts stumbling blocks, situations, circumstances, events, trials, and/or tribulations in your life for you to respond. The Psalmist said, “Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the [uncompromisingly] righteous [those upright and in harmony with You]; for You, Who try hearts and emotions and thinking powers, are a righteous God. [Revelations 2:23.] My defense and shield depend on God, Who saves the upright in heart.” (Psalms 7:9-10) AMP God shares His magnificence and awesomeness when He states, “I form the light and create darkness, I make peace [national well-being] and I create [physical] evil (calamity); I am the Lord, Who does all these things. (Isaiah 45:7) AMP And The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand: (Isaiah 14:24) NKJV God is beyond AWESOME!!! How is He able to achieve this? I pray this book will help you to see the intricacy and the intimacy of His involvement in your life and the lives of all living things here on earth plus all other parts of His creation found in the whole of the universe. (10)
(10) “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ (Acts 2:17-18, 21) NIV
As I try to learn more about the other religions in the world, I have come to the conclusion that while they seem to be different, they are the same. This sameness comes down to the fact they have no remedy for sin nor any real hope or expectation of life after one’s physical death. What they offer is, “What you see is what you get! They do not have any future hope thus they cannot offer any either! How different from Christianity! (11) As I try to look at the big picture of the intricacy and intimacy of God’s involvement with all of mankind, His planning and preparation of creation to bring the phenomenon of His Gospel message with His Savior Jesus Christ into being and to fruition in history is utterly beyond man’s intellect to receive and comprehend let alone say a simple prayer accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. You are the reason for His creation. You are the one that He first loved. You are the apple of His eye. Honor Him with your heart, mind, and soul – your life!
(11) Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day. For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!], Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) AMP
(11a) [Resting] in the hope of eternal life, [life] which the ever truthful God Who cannot deceive promised before the world or the ages of time began. (Titus 1:2) AMP
My Personal Testimony Continued 11/2011-1/2013:
My testimony now continues from November 2011, through January 2013. My website contains my book that is about 270 (81/2×11 inches) pages and has approximately 2500 scriptures in its content. I could not publish my work as a book because of the large amount of scriptures used. I got permission from two Bible publishers to go beyond the set limit that can be used without charge, but I am not allowed to sell my book. Therefore I am offering it FREE to anyone who wants to download my book or table of contents on line.
My original website – www.mysteryworldview.com – was established 8/2/11. It was hacked twice – the first time in October did little damage to it, but the second time in the latter part of November 2011, the hacker did so much damage that they completely and totally destroyed it. The provider of the website – Yahoo.com – could not restore it sufficiently for my webmaster to reinstall my original book using the original website address.
This meant that I had to spend considerable time and money to re-establish my website – www.mysteryworldview.net which was created in January 2012. Hackers have tried to hack into it over 175 times since the end of November 2011 through January 2013. Praise the Lord, my webmaster added numerous anti-hacking measures to the new website that has not allowed them to be successful. The question that MUST be asked, “Why would ANYONE want to destroy my website?” I am a nobody! I am an unknown anything in the world. My book is way too long. It does contain some material that is anti-Islam, anti-abortion, anti-homosexual, but my book still does not really matter in the overall “worldly scheme of things.” It was written to help Christians to know about the processes of justification and sanctification i.e. how to constantly walk and stand firm in their Christian faith from the beginning to the end with God.
Let’s go back to the latter part of 2011 when I published my book on the internet in September 2011. My webmaster made it so that people could comment on the many chapters and appendix in my book. When they wrote their comment , it included their name, email address, and their own website address. After reading these comments for awhile, I discovered that some of the websites were pornographic, but I could edit out their website address and still use the positive comments. I was receiving upwards of 500 comments a day that all needed to be read. I was feeling pretty good about this because I was an unknown writer. But unbeknownst to me, this was all a ploy. Many of those making regular comments were in reality a loose knit group of internet business people using my website to “make a buck” or “get acknowledged” any way they could.
In early January 2012, I had such an intimate time of sharing with God as I never have had before. I cannot explain to you where I was with Him, how long I was with Him, or what we did during this time, but the ONLY thing that came from this encounter was God telling me that “IF I took His hand, He would lead me through ALL of the things that would be happening in the near future.” By His including “ALL of the things,” it could even mean physical death. I really did NOT realize the extent that God was going to show me that He was involved in my life and I in Him, and if He is in my life and I am in Him, then He is in YOU and YOU are in Him TOO!!! God does NOT show favoritism! What He was going to show me is meant for you too!
After this encounter and because of the amount of work that my book and the internet were generating, I resigned my positions on three nonprofit boards and stepped down as the leader of the Adult Sunday School at my church. Little did I realize what God had in store for me.
An important fact of my life was the last time I was hospitalized was when I was involved in an automobile accident at the age of 19. Two other occupants in the car in which I was riding died in that accident, but I survived with a “broken back” for which I wore a full length body cast for several months. A few years ago, my doctor took some ex-rays of my back. I told him about my accident and my broken back. He looked at me and said “Your back is fine. It has never been broken.” PTL!!! I had not been in the hospital or taken much of any medication for 55 years. Let’s see why is this important?
My Life January 2012 to January 2013
Following is the scenario of the events that took place in my life from January 2012 through January 2013:
- My webmaster finished my new website in January 2012. He revised some of the security measures in the new website to make it more difficult to hack.
- In March 2012, our house was burglarized. The only item stolen was my lap-top with the original book manuscript and many Bible study teachings. Fortunately, I had made a backup file for the manuscript. I replaced the lap top with another that has better security features. We had installed an alarm system for our entry ways into the house and motion detectors placed in strategic rooms a few years ago, and now we updated it by placing guards over the lower louvers and having all of the louvered windows also alarmed. Can you see a pattern emerging here? Our physical freedoms were being eroded as we had to put up walls to protect ourselves from the violence that God said would happen around the world. “And they did not repent of their murders or their practice of magic (sorceries) or their sexual vice or their thefts.” (Revelation 9:21) AMP
- In April 2012, someone shot two of our three front plate glass windows of our house with a BB-gun. We had to replace them.
- At about the same time, someone threw eggs at the street side of our house. We had to wash that area of the house.
- In the latter part of May 2012, I suffered a heart attack. I went to the hospital where they found that I had colon cancer and rectal cancer, and the oxygen deprivation to my heart caused by internal bleeding caused the heart attack. I was operated on for both colon and rectal cancers, and a stent was placed in the main artery of my heart. I did not require any other hospital treatments for the cancers or my heart. PTL!
- In August 2012, I was operated on for melanoma skin cancer on my right temple and a skin cancer on my right hand, but the surgeon did NOT get it all, and he would operate after the first of the year 2013. The day before Thanksgiving 2012, a pastor friend whose ministry is spiritual warfare and deliverance called me to tell that as he and his wife were engaged in their morning prayer session, my name and face came into their vision. I had a river flowing in my head that was red and black. The colors of red and black indicate blood and death. As I have stated when I was operated on for the melanoma skin cancer in August, the surgeon did NOT get it all, and their vision prompted me to email my surgeon to remove the rest of that cancer ASAP which happened in December 2012. The surgeon still did not get it all which will mean another minor operation sometime in February 2013, to get the rest of it.
My Personal Testimony Continued 8/2013:
My book is doing well! My new .net website was established in January 2012, and now a year and a half later, I have given away over 1735 books and over 1200 Table of Contents around the world in many different languages. At the present time, hackers are attempting to hack into my website with a cumulative total of over 1200 attempts. The website is repelling the hackers.
I am now blessed to be able to announce a revision of my original book into 4 separate books. And this new website www.mysteryworldview.org is where these new books can be read or downloaded in an ePub or PDF format. My new website also contains an eBible and Bible Studies. I will continue to use the .net site.
My Personal Testimony Continued 9/2013:
My book was doing well! My www.mysteryworldview.net website was established in January 2012, and now a year and nine months later, I have given away over 1810 books and 1274 Table of Contents have been downloaded around the world in many different languages. Up until 9/19/13, hackers were attempting to hack into my website with a cumulative total of over 1200 attempts. On 9/20/13, the hackers tried to hack into it 101 times, and they succeeded after 77 more attempts on 9/21/13 giving a cumulated total of about 1440 tries. The website was totally destroyed! It cannot be restored!! PTL!!! I sure would like to know why my website attracted this kind of concerted effort! My webmaster turned on my new website on 9/31/13 – www.myteryworldview.org
My Personal Testimony Continued for 2014:
My wife and I were preparing to visit our son and her sister in Washington State, and as I went to print out our airlines tickets, my computer would boot up and bring up the airline page, but it would not allow me to print out the tickets. I called my web master who was driving us to the airport so he came by about an hour early to see if he could figure out why my computer was acting strangely.
He could not find out what was happening, so he called an on line computer service to see if they could figure it out. They found that someone hacked into my computer and filled the hard drive with a cancerous type of cyber gibberish so that it could not function properly and was about to “crash.” They said the computer was destroyed beyond repair. So I had to buy another new computer in April of 2014.
My Personal Testimony Continued for 2015:
My webmaster has made some significant additions to my website – added many pictures and music to its format. I think it looks great and works quite well! I thank God that 4,350 of my books and studies have been downloaded by my website readers. May they use this material to Glorify God!!!
In March, my web master was going to do some work on my website, and as he attempted to use the site’s password, it would not allow him access to the site. STRANGE?! What was going on? He was finally able to access the site and found that somehow someone had hacked into it making himself its administrator and changed its password. This person had spent over 100 hours on the website and according to the software programs that were SUPPOSED to protect my site, they did NOT change anything. Oddly, when my webmaster first tried to access the site, the email provider locked him out as a trespasser. It was working properly when he tried entering it using a now unauthorized name and password. The hacker was clever enough to hack my website under my name using my password and then changed things for him to be the administrator with his password.
My question still continues to be, “Why would anyone want to hack my website? What is there for them to gain?”
I also pray that the story of the rest of my life will be the same as what Joshua declared to his people – “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) AMP
In His Service, harry