HAPPENINGS ALONG THE WAY TO HEAVEN
"In His name shall the Gentiles trust" (Matthew 12:21). "They that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for Thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee" (Psalm 9:10)
This letterhead is at least 15 years old, and I have 1,000 of them. The paper is very good. It would be a shame to throw it away…and difficult for me, having grown up in the Great Depression where wastefulness would be a sin! My father was Walter A. Smith -- well known for his honesty and trustworthiness in business. He never had a Job Contract, printed business Agreement form or guarantee. If a man wanted a parking lot or driveway, he and my dad would talk it over, come to an agreement on construction and price, shake hands, and that was IT. When he paved streets for the City of Houston, the Job Contracts would be 2 or 3 inches thick!
In 1941, Dad left his paving contractor partnership and started his own business. Mother and my sister Elaine kept his books and office work. Elaine left in 1956 when her daughter Bonnie was born. I, then, became the bookkeeper until the business closed in 1997. Daddy died June 29, 1984 at age 84. Mother died December 2. l975 at age 78.
It was about one o'clock in the afternoon of August 9, 1987 when I was paying the invoices to our suppliers, 153 companies, when the Lord spoke to me. I've never heard Him audibly, but I can tell when He speaks. Suddenly, my arms became very heavy. I received the message, "Put your stories in the envelopes with checks in payment of bills."
Once or twice a year, I'd experience an amazing "happening" or answer to prayer that definitely came from God. I'd write about it and put the story in greeting cards mailed to my family. I had 10 such writings from several years. I would never, NEVER think of sending them to anyone else -- especially businesses!! This certainly was not my idea.. I argued with God all afternoon: "I can't write good enough for anyone other than family. What would I write about every month? How can I write to strangers? I do not know these people I'm paying bills for. What would strangers think about ME sending letters to them?" The message came on stronger and stronger, "Write your stories!" It wouldn't go away; nor would the heaviness in my arms.
I saw the light go off in my boss's office. I couldn't stand my discomfort all night. I met him in the hallway and asked, "You know those stories I write sometimes about the Lord? What do you think about me sending them with your checks when paying bills?"
He was as surprised as I about this idea, and said, "Oh! I don't know about THAT!" He just stood there, silently, as if thinking it over, for a full minute or two. I said, "It's o.k. But it is not MY idea. It's the Lord's." Without hesitation, he replied, "Then, DO IT!" I returned to my desk and burst out in tears as I said, "O.K. Lord. I'll do it." All the trauma in my arms disappeared. My fingers felt like angels were moving my hands as I worked over the invoices and wrote out the checks, enclosing my latest story. This is story #290, and I have not used all of the original 10. When God calls you to do something, He supplies all your needs.
A man at a car parts company told me that he shares my "Happenings" with his father, who is a deacon at his church. They give copies of my writings to everyone attending church.
Another man sends copies of "Happenings" with his regular donations to Focus On The Family ministry. He got a letter from James Dobson (founder) who wrote, "Thank you for your donation, but where is my letter from Tillie?"
I am a friend of the mother of an Assistant District Attorney who showed a copy of my "Happenings" experience when I was called for Jury Duty to District Attorney Johnny Holmes. He said, "I've got to have a copy of that!" Copies were sent to the whole criminal justice system.
A lady in my Sunday School Class sends a copy to her brother in Washington State. He sends out a monthly business newsletter to countries all over the world. He wrote asking permission to include one of my "Happenings" in his newsletter! He may have sent more.
Forgive me if I seem boastful in even a small way. I'm telling you that when we surrender our lives to the Lord, He develops these talents we were unaware of. I was 14, attending a revival meeting when I gave my heart to Jesus, promised to follow His teachings and live for Him the rest of my life. It was REAL. When I was 15, my brother Bubbie ran away from home at age 11. There were 9 of us children. Elaine, age 12, said, "I think we all should pray." The eight of us climbed on our parents' bed, sat in a circle, bowed our heads to pray. Elaine said, "I think Tillie should say the prayer because she is closer to God than the rest of us!" That was the most touching thing anyone had ever said of me. I never forgot those words, and spent the rest of my life living up to what she had said. To think that I had that influence over my siblings was something I wanted to keep. At 17, God called me to teach Sunday School to 10-year-old girls;
at 26, to teenagers; at 32, to adults. At age 37, He told me to arrange flowers on the church altar! All I knew was to cut them and place them in a fruit jar! I studied books at the library and made fantastic flower arrangements representing key Bible verses of the pastor's sermons and Sunday School lessons. At age 66, He told me to write "Happenings." Every time there was a struggle and the "I CAN'T" just like Moses and Jeremiah and others in the Bible. God has contributions for YOU, too. He makes miracles! I am proof. He created each of us for a purpose. Believe!
He is my daily Companion.
> April 2011