Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

May 8, 2015

59 Years Ago!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 6:00 am

59 years ago I was 21 years old!

59 years ago I was a pinsetter at the bowling alley!

59 years ago I owned no car!

59 years ago I tried to save a man in a flood!

59 years ago I failed a college course (Bible)!

59 years ago I said ‘no’ to God!

59 years ago I said ‘yes’ to God!

Yes . . . 59 years ago this Mother’s Day I surrendered to the call of God after a fierce struggle within my life!  I did not want to give up my plans for my life!  My rebellious attitude was the reason for anger and misery.  My rebellious attitude toward the call was the reason for failing the college course!

But it all changed that night when I got on my knees and said ‘yes’ to God!  I gave up and yielded to whatever God wanted from me.  And the journey began!

Yes, 59 years ago I began my public ministry.

Immediately after surrendering to God’s call to minister, I was asked to preach!  Without any experience or ‘know-how’ I stood in a pulpit the following week.  That began a public ministry that now has reached 59 years!

Immediately I formed a youth revival team!!  With the immediate opportunities that came to preach, I understood God was confirming that He had called me.

I must share an interesting experience that occurred within the first few weeks.  I was invited to preach at an African-American church.  The church had received the morning offering.  Then I preached.

Following the sermon, the pastor indicated it was time for another offering.  As the ushers received the offering, the pastor sat down beside me.  He patted me on the leg and said that it was now time for another sermon.

What?  Another sermon?  But I only had that one sermon!  I did have some notes in my Bible in preparation for another sermon, but it was not ready to preach.  But . . . it would have to do!  So the best I could . . . I gave another sermon.

When I concluded . . . same scenario!  I sat down . . . another offering was taken!  I almost panicked!  Will they ask me to keep preaching until they get enough offering?  Fortunately, the pastor did not pat me on the leg this time.  Perhaps they were motivated to give so I would not preach again!

These 59 years have been filled with such wonderful memories.  Unless you are one that has had the joy of the pastoral ministry . . . you could never understand what the call of God over your life can mean.  It brings a more fulfilled life than one can ever have through his own planning.

And all my dreams of becoming a soldier of fortune?   Well, the adventure part has come true.  I have walked in those dense jungles, gone down rivers in dugout canoes, climbed to the top of volcanos, entered villages where they had never seen a white man and wanted to touch my skin to see what it felt like, sat in the high places in the Orient, been a guest in the Oval Office and the White House, and, well . . . you see the adventures that have come because I surrendered to God’s call.

53 years ago, God gave me a life partner in this call.  Without the wife God gave me, the churches, ministries, and missions could never have brought the joy and satisfaction that I feel.  God knew exactly the person I needed in my life to bring completion and purpose.  Again, God blesses the “called” with so much more than one can ever make, arrange,  or accomplish on his own.

59 years . . .  and still counting!  And God still gives me opportunities to preach and minister.  It will not be over until the next call comes . . . the call to the heavenly home.  On my desk, I have a statement that Dr. B.H. Carroll gave to the ‘preacher boys’ at Baylor University:  “Preach the Word ‘til God calls you Home.” 

Yes sir . . . that is my commitment!

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”  (Proverbs 16:9)



1 Comment »

  1. There are so many interesting stories in your lives and I always enjoy hearing and reading them. You both have meant so much to my family and me and I will never forget either of you. Love you and thank you for all of your ministries and think of the lives of your children and how they all have helped and are helping now, so many people in so many places all around. Please keep sharing!

    Comment by drswht28 — May 9, 2015 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

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