At this present time..today, Monday 2008...
I've returned from an evening of wonderful preaching. We are having our first Mission Conference this week. How timely for my story, as tonight was a reminder of what seems so impossible for man...is possible with God.
Souls...are the mission field.
As my last entry stated..my father came once again back into my life.
WHY? Surely, this was not just for a visit. God had plans!!
My father intended only to visit! However, God chose otherwise. The home my father had inquired about, rejected his application. He had no place to go.
The next few weeks were very trying. My father was sneaking his drink..and his smoking was nearly choking us!
A lady in our church operated a mobile home park and offered him a furnished place.
We helped him settle in and then began times of "visitation"!!
Each visit was a continual witness of God's presence in our lives.
Not long after this he became very ill and ended up in the hospital. The doctor's told him if he ever picked up another cigarette he was a dead man. Needless to say...we cleaned out his trailer of any evidence that he ever smoked!
Unfortunately, this of course distressed his system and drove him to drinking even more. We worried about him. One day my children and I decided after school to go visit him and found him sitting in the doorway...drunk. My heart sank and we drove off. He didn't want to hear any more about God.
My children were now very aware of his condition, we spent much time in prayer as a family for my father.
One particular day, he drove up in my driveway and just sat there in his car. He was drunk. I began to witness to him about his condition and his need for the LORD. He got very arrogant. I asked him to leave. He refused and then got out of the car and sat on a bench by my front door. Now, the pity party started. "If you loved me...If you loved me."
The children viewing this from a window...went to the bedroom and knelt to pray. They knew, mom needed help! and from the LORD.
I was getting no where with my father and so I called to my children to get in our van and we drove off. That was one of the hardest moments for me. He looked so pitiful as we drove from our own home and left him there to wallow in his own pity.
He went home mad....but, he realized...this behaviour around my children, would not be tolerated.
Weeks went by without seeing my father. My husband spent many nights with him talking about the LORD. Little by little, my father began to respond. He came to church off and on... mainly for the children's sake. He did realize, he didn't want his grandchildren to see him a drunk. When he was sober, he was a very good, and loving grandfather.
(How perfect is God's timing!) He came out to a special meeting we were having at our church. He liked our Pastor. he liked our guest speaker...and little did we know, how much he admired my husband and the FAITH these MEN possessed!
(my father always viewed a church man as weak...WHO is really the weak...man?)
As he continued his struggle with drink...Our Pastor and guest speaker decided to pay him a visit. During this visit they shared verses in Scripture that my Father had never seen before....
I Corinthians 6:9
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, NOR DRUNKARDS, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
...NO DRUNKARDS!! My father, realized this was HIM! His name was right there...
Then they read to him verse 11...
And such WERE SOME OF YOU: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of our Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
They expounded upon the scriptures and then left him to think about God's word.
That night after they left, my father humbled himself before the throne of Grace and submitted his unbelieving heart to the LORD OF GLORY. He confessed he was the sinner of I Corinthians 6 and that by faith in the shed blood of the LORD Jesus Christ, he wanted to be born again...washed from his sinful life. Not just drink, but lying, and all the sins that kept him from God. He wanted to be clean.
He called upon the name of the LORD.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. He hath put a new song in my moth, even praise unto our God" and many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
My father came by one day shortly after this night to speak with my husband. He told him to keep me and the children away for a week. He was drying up!
When my husband shared this with me...oh, how I cried! I cried for him and the struggle it would be. But, I knew, in the LORD...he could do it! What joy we had this day!
When we finally got together and talked. He told us his testimony of the work of God all these years...and now, how for once...he saw REAL men, living what the believed! He saw men of true faith! He understood now, why we could loose a child and still praise God. He understood the depths of our desire to see him saved and why I had to drive off that day and leave him to himself. He knew...the BIBLE was true.
My father began to then come to church...faithfully. He also volunteered to help in our Christian day school where I taught and my children attended.
He became known as every one's......... GRANDPA.
and....he was my dad.
...no longer the atheist...he now was a born again, Bible believing...CHRISTIAN!
(this is not the end of the story!)