When God Stepped In
that showed me
God is Real
I can Trust in Him
PREFACE: How it all Began
1. My Vocal Chords are Restored
2. China: God Heals Two in One Morning
3. Bone Spur: “Now You See it…”
4. Melanoma: Negligence Overruled!
5. Chest Pressure: God Demonstrates His Watchful Care
6. “First Things First”
1. Moscow: Rescued from an Ambush
2. Leningrad: Twilight Zone at Twilight
3. The Biggest Angel, and Curiosity at 7th and Hennepin
4. Fifteen Feet from Death
5. Whiteout on I-29
III: GOD’S CAR – & HE LETS ME DRIVE IT
1. Finding the Car
2. He Lifts Me out of Trouble in Sioux Falls
3. Fargo: A Lift and a Push
4. What Could have Happened…
5. Transmission Failure, a Minimum Inconvenience
6. 500 Miles of Adventure
IV: I LEARN ABOUT PRAYER AND GOD’S HEART
1. Will God Answer My Prayer?
2. “Raindrops Stop Fallin’…”
3. God’s Patience
4. Prayers Answered: One Last Chance
V: PROTECTION, SHIELD AND PROVISION
1. Not Enough Time to Pray
2. The Impossible Happens
3. Living on Borrowed Time
4. High Drama on Ice
5. Out in the Middle of Nowhere
6. “It’s for You”
VI: GOD’S QUIET WHISPER, & LEARNING TO LISTEN
1. The Assignment
2. Another Urgent Assignment
3. “The Road (Almost) Not Taken”
4. My Elusive Neighbor
5. Who’s Behind the White Door?
6. “We Would have been Killed”
VII: TIMING & FULFILLMENT OF GOD’S PLANS
1. A Series of Astounding Developments
2. “A Chain is as Strong as…”
3. Finding Our Perfect House
4. When Paths Cross
5. “Black Friday” in Minsk
A. The Dream: Missing the Train
B. The Email
I shouldn’t be alive to be writing this book. I have been told by several that they are “amazed” that I survived the devastating auto wreck of last year. My dear wife, Yvonne, did not survive.
About two months later, when by this time I was finally out of intensive care, out of the hospital, and had begun to partially recover from a long list of injuries, I had a conversation with one of the paramedics who had been at the crash scene. He told me that at the time, they had questioned if I would survive.
You have heard the expression, “A cat has nine lives”. The nickname of one of my granddaughters is “Cat”. The ironic thing is that it seems I am the one with nine lives. My life has been punctuated with a series of miraculous acts of the Lord.
Throughout my life, as I look back, I believe that God has allowed me to get into many unexpected, dangerous situations – and then rescued me in often-spectacular ways.
As the memorable words say, in the song “Through it All” by the gifted songwriter/musician, Andrae Crouch,
“If I’d never had a problem, I wouldn’t know God could solve them.”
I want to say right here that I know it has not been because in any way I’m more special --or of any special value-- to God than anyone else. I’m not-- definitely not. I know I’m not. On the contrary, I have said many times that I know God doesn’t need me – but rather that I desperately need Him, and it is vital that I be yielded to Him.
Yet – this book is not about me; it is about God. If it were about me, it would have a different title, such as “Undeserving at Nineteen; Undeserving Now”.
Yes, I “shouldn’t be alive” to be writing this book. Nevertheless, I am here to be able to write it because of the amazing mercy of God – the patient, gentle but powerful mercy of God who has kept me alive over and over and over again. And as you read, look to see God in action.
Chapter 1. My Vocal Chords are Restored
What do you do for a life career when you can’t talk? What are your options?
Already, as a teenager, I had begun to wonder about that. – And I hadn’t come up with any good answers.
At about the time I turned nineteen, I was faced with a prolonged problem that could have changed the direction of my life unpredictably but totally.
It was in the middle of the winter of my second year in college when I began to experience hoarseness in my voice. Now, I had experienced hoarseness before, but usually for a day or two at most, and usually connected with a cold. This was different. The hoarseness went on for weeks and became raspy.
The college had an a cappella choir that went on an extended three-week tour every spring. I had hoped to audition for a spot in the choir. But now that seemed totally out of the question. I could barely talk, let alone sing.
Several weeks passed. What could I do? What should I do? I needed answers. So, I went to see a specialist downtown. The doctor examined me. He said he had bad news. He said that due to misuse or abuse of my voice, I had developed growths, or polyps, on my vocal chords – one on each vocal chord. He drew a sketch, showing the locations of the growths. Then he brought in another doctor who looked down into my throat at the vocal chords and agreed with his diagnosis. The doctor told me that surgery was needed to remove the growths. So surgery was scheduled for between two and three weeks in the future.
Each morning during the following weeks I would test my voice. Every morning it was still the same; a raspy hoarseness, sometimes only a hiss at first. Each morning – until the morning of the day the surgery was scheduled to take place.
That morning. That wonderful morning. That amazing morning. That morning, my voice was totally clear!!!
When I walked into the living room, Mom was sitting in an upholstered chair, with her back toward me. As I stepped through the doorway into the room, I said excitedly, “Mom!! My voice is clear!!” As I write this, emotions well up in me again. My gentle, yet firm mother, my characteristically calm (at least most of the time) mother, my mother who felt things deeply, my praying mother only said two words: “I know.” She had been praying for me, and the Lord had revealed to her that He was healing me!
That afternoon I went to have doctors look at my vocal chords. A doctor examined them and told me that the growths/polyps were gone! There was no longer even a trace – no scars, no scar tissue. There was no longer any need for surgery! He did give me good advice: Take good care of my voice. Gladly! Gladly!
A few days after that, I was talking with Jere B., a fellow student, an accomplished pianist preparing to be a missionary to France. He told me that the surgery would have been risky and delicate. He told me of a friend who had had the surgery. His voice was never right after the surgery, but remained permanently hoarse and raspy. I have since learned of other similar cases.
In the spring, I auditioned and was accepted into the a cappella choir at the college, my acceptance to begin in the fall. It was my privilege and opportunity to travel with the choir on several tours, into almost every state. And I have been singing ever since!
All because of the mercy and grace of God.
--and a praying mother. Lord, you are so good to me, over and over again.
You healed me! This was the first of many amazing miraculous experiences!
“I will tell what the Lord has done for me.”
“Sing to Him; yes, sing His praises. Tell everyone about His miracles. Exult in His holy name; O worshipers of the Lord, Rejoice!”
Psalm 105:2-3 NLT