Monday, May 27, 2019 -
I was convicted in my heart when looking through the list of miracles I made shortly after arriving in prison how I should have written more on May 25 (Kathie’s and my 38th wedding anniversary) of other ways God has blessed us, as we have blessed others with what He’s provided for us to steward.
After first getting married, I became sorely convicted of the little debt I did have (Romans 13:8), and the need for us to always be exceedingly generous people.
Well, immediately after coming back from eloping to Las Vegas, God had provided a small bungalow for a mere $200 on Gaviota Street in Long Beach, about a mile from the beach, right off the Pacific Coast Highway. Many warned us about the neighborhood, but God’s hand of protection was upon us, and Kathie, as always, had a tremendous rapport with the many neighboring children, to the point their parents shed tears when we moved back east. I’ve already shared previously in this journal how God miraculously gave us a nearly brand new car that had been seized from a drug runner.
Well, when we moved to Niagara Falls, New York, and we began to learn what God tells us about it being more blessed to give than to receive, and the many other principles I’d learned from Larry Burkett’s course, are true! We began to see that every one of God’s principles concerning finances is absolutely true. We began a budget and regularly made an effort to tithe to the church and write regular checks to other ministries, over and above the tithe, primarily for reaching the unreached with the gospel. God in return blessed Response Unlimited, the moonlighting business I’d put on the back burner while working in California. The agency that handled Concerned Women for America’s direct mail acquisition program gave our little company all of their mailing list brokerage business.
A short time after moving to New York, we were forced to move because Kathie had developed an allergy to formaldehyde, which was abundant in the fabric store surrounding the apartment we were renting. But Kathie found us the upper two stories of a huge house on Park Place, close to the waterfalls, in a wonderful neighborhood. When the landlord, who lived across the street, realized we lacked certain furnishings to fill that huge apartment, she gave us the name of a gentleman around the corner who was about to move into a retirement home, who was looking to sell his belongings. We’d saved a little bit, maybe $300, and so we went to see this wonderful 96-year old widower who had moved from England to Canada and then New York. We didn’t bicker about whatever the price was of what we specifically wanted to buy (I think a bedroom suite), so he CUT THE PRICE because he liked us (probably more Kathie than me)! Not only that, he began going through his apartment just giving us many, many things (mostly antiques), or selling items to us for just a few dollars. He tried desperately to give it Kathie a set of china for free, but she wouldn’t have it! So he said to give him $80 and he would be happy. We bought his wife’s complete set of Noritake China, a service for twelve, for a mere $80. For a young couple just starting out, this was a miracle of God! This began a friendship with Mr. Thomas, to the point where we even had him for Thanksgiving, along with his lady friend from the retirement center. Tears welled up in his eyes at one point during dinner when he reminisced and realized his “things” were now beginning a new life with a new family.
And so, as God continued to bless us in these many ways, we became increasingly aware that God intends for us to help anyone whose path crosses our who has a need.
Just as we thought we were in a position to buy a house, and we about to put an offer on one, two blocks from where we were renting, the Lord decided it was time for us to move to Virginia.
And so, we took a weekend to house hunt in the Charlottesville area. But a dollar in Niagara Falls is worth a lot more than a dollar in Charlottesville, which we soon discovered in the center of one of America’s most affluent communities.
After spending an entire Saturday with a realtor searching fruitlessly for a “fixer-upper” within our budget, we were very discouraged. But that evening, looking at a map, I saw a town named Waynesboro 25 miles away on the other side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Somehow we had gotten a hold of a realtor’s magazine that had a realty company from Waynesboro listed. Kathie liked the looks of one of the realtors, so we called her, and agreed to meet her at 8am the next morning.
We discovered that the mountain at that time was a barrier which few commuters were willing to cross, even though the prices were half of those in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Though most of the homes she showed us in the first few hours were considerably over our budget, we decided to put a ridiculous offer on one of them, which she indicated would be a miracle if accepted. Well, guess what, our God is a God of miracles, and it wasn’t long after returning to New York we received a call from her, “You won’t believe this, but they accepted your offer!” Mrs. Roysie, the 88-year old neighbor was so very happy to have us for neighbors. She had been praying for that place to be sold to people that loved the Lord! We were best of friends! We kept that house for six years, fixed it up, and sold it for nearly twice what we paid for it, so we could move into the “country” where we’d also have an office for Response Unlimited.
God truly blessed us, throughout our entire marriage in these many miraculous ways! More to come…maybe tomorrow!