Thursday, October 1, 2020

A Mile Marker 30 Years Ago

Back in August, I told you about a few recent milestones in our lives. You can click on the link in the first sentence to read about those Mile Markers. After that post, it occurred to me that we had passed another Mile Marker without even noting it.

The last week of June marked 30 years since our first foray into full-time evangelism. I had already been preaching revivals while working a public job for years, but in the last week of June 1990, we preached our first revival as an evangelist living on the road.

The funny thing is, it happened kind of by accident.😁

I had been working a good, but temporary job most of the year in 1990. It was due to end about the middle of June and I was trying to line up another job. Bro. Kevin Clounch had been calling me from central Oklahoma, asking me about preaching a revival for him in a church in Oakhurst, south of Blanchard, OK.

I did not have a permanent job lined up, but I did have another temporary job that would last 3-4 weeks in July and August. I told Bro. Kevin I would preach revival the last week of June IF it would work for him.

There was one small catch. I did not have a car that was reliable to drive 900 miles one way. I heard about a car that was for sale cheap and I went to look at it. The only trouble was, it would start and then die.

The guy that told me about the car thought the only problem was the mechanical fuel pump that mounted on the front of the engine. We bought pump, paid the owner of the car $900, changed the pump in his yard in about 10 minutes, cranked it up and it was running perfectly.

The owner of the car was looking like he had been taken for a ride as we pulled out of his yard (He was sure it would have to be towed away) and I felt like a million bucks. I was was the proud owner of a 1984 Plymouth Reliant station wagon with the headliner hanging down and the fake wood siding peeling off. It certainly did not look like much, but it was a very good running car.

As an aside, I drove that car over 50,000 miles in 10 months. It laid down and died over 1000 miles from home, but that is a different story. Also, after I had committed to revival and before we purchased the car, the little house we were renting flooded and we had to move all of our stuff out. That is definitely a story for another day!🙄

Two days after buying our $900 car, we were on our way to Oklahoma to preach revival. I had also charged the AC and we had cool air the first few hundred miles. It was soon blowing hot air again and we discovered why the headliner was loose. Four windows rolled down was the only way to survive the heat!

We preached that revival for Bro. Clounch and stayed over for the next week for two youth camps in the area as we planned. We had a good revival and also met several preachers that asked us to preach for them.

One of those pastors, Bro. Dewayne Norvell asked us to preach two weeks at the end of August and so we committed to do that. I worked a few weeks in Ohio the latter part of July, we attended two camp meetings in August, including at home in Dayton and then went back to Oklahoma for revival.

By the time that revival was over, we had two weeks scheduled in Texas in October, two weeks in Kansas in January and also had several more invitations in Oklahoma.

Like I said, it was kind of an accident, but that revival in Oklahoma launched us into evangelism. That was 30 years ago in June. That is a Mile Marker in our lives!

I have considered that period in our lives many, many times. I am not completely sure to this day if we were in the center of God's will or not. It may have been better for us, in the long run, to be right at home working in our home church and soaking in a good dose of character and integrity. However, we met some life long friends during that adventure and we learned a bunch too.

I will never discount the value of making friends that last for a lifetime!

So I will lift my bottle of Sam's Choice water and celebrate a wonderful summer 30 years back!

Thank you for joining us today.