Psalm 97:10 “Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for He guards the lives of His faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”
Steve was in the Information Systems Field for twenty years prior to answering God’s call upon his life. Carla was working on her Master’s Degree in Hospital Administration, and after they married, she worked in a hospital. They moved from Atlanta, GA, to Knoxville, TN, to work with abused children. After four and a half years, they went to work at the Rescue Mission in Knoxville. They are now in ministry at Shepherd’s Gate in Livermore, California.
Steve’s testimony follows:
My wife, Carla, and I were married November 4, 1989. We left corporate careers in 1992 to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. We left our home in Atlanta, Georgia, and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where we began working in the ministry for abused children. We later left that ministry and worked with a rescue mission in Knoxville. God was training us for our next assignment. We felt called to move to California in 1996 to serve as directors of Shepherd’s Gate. Shepherd’s Gate is an organization that serves and houses battered and homeless women and their children.
Prior to moving to California I had lived in the South all of my life, and my choice of diet consisted mostly of deep fried foods with lots of gravy and sauces. In my younger years I had also used drugs. I did nothing to “protect” my body, but I sure did abuse it.
During the Christmas holidays of 1998, Carla and I were visiting her parents in Colorado Springs. One afternoon around 3 p.m., I had terrific pain in my chest and down my left arm. I was having a hard time breathing, and broke into a sweat. In less than five minutes, all the symptoms subsided, with the exception of the shortness of breath. This continued on until the evening. I decided, once the symptoms left, I would just wait until we returned home to see a physician.
When I returned home I was still feeling a little weak. I went to the physician’s office and he ran an EKG. After consulting with a cardiologist, my doctor told me that I had had a heart attack! It was the end of the week, and he decided to send me home with nitroglycerin tablets to rest until Monday. He told me that they would run more tests in the hospital to determine just how extensive the damage was and what would need to be done. He said he thought I would be less stressed at home than I would be in the hospital for the weekend. I was to take the nitroglycerin and call 911 if I felt any pain over the weekend.
Our church was having a speaker over the weekend. Her name was Delores Winder and she was to speak Friday through Sunday. Carla and I were head of the prayer team. Delores requested a meeting with the church leaders prior to the meetings, and asked us if we had any needs or problems. I certainly did! I told her that I had had a heart attack and was scheduled for tests on Monday. She simply touched my chest and said, “Jesus, give him a new heart.”
The weekend meetings went well and many people were touched by God. The meetings often went until midnight, but I felt full energy the whole time.
On Monday, I went to the hospital for the tests that were scheduled. I, however, did not tell the doctors what had happened, especially that I had not rested at all.
They put radiation in my veins and ran a machine over my chest for about 25 minutes. I then was put on a treadmill and walked/ran for 15 minutes. Close to the end of the treadmill, the cardiologist said I seemed to have the heart of an athlete. (I have never in my life been athletic.) They put more radiation in my veins and ran more tests. All tests showed a very healthy heart and clear arteries. Jesus’ healing power through the Spirit gave me a new, restored heart!
I do try to eat healthy now, and exercise. Why? The Bible says:
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”
1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”
I am eternally grateful to the faithful servant of God, Delores Winder, and to Jesus for His love and mercy. The Lord now uses us sometimes to heal the sick in His wonderful name. I want to pass on what God has given to me to others.
Ephesians 6:10-12 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
The devil is not “Omni” anything, but he sure tries to get into the middle of everything and mess up the plans that God has for His children.
In Acts 10, Peter received a vision and was told, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” Peter said, “Surely not, Lord! I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” God told him, “Do not call anything impure that God made clean.” However, what we have done to many of things that God made clean for us is another story. We over indulge…we add too much grease, salt and sugar…we have made alcoholic drinks and used drugs, as Steve did. We are not being good stewards of our bodies or the creations of God as He intended. Therefore, we open the door and invite satan into our lives. He uses our weaknesses to damage our organs and bring disease upon us. 1 Peter 5:8, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’
What better way to destroy God’s plan for Steve than to use his (fleshly ways) early eating habits and drug use to give him a heart attack. But God had other plans. What the devil intended for bad, God used for good. He sent his servant, Delores, to Steve’s church to tell him about what God wanted from him…not just him, but from all of us. God has called each of us to work alongside Him to achieve His purposes. How many answer? Have you answered?
When she asked about the problems among the leaders, Steve told her of his recent heart attack. Isn’t it wonderful how God got Steve’s attention and then sent one of his servants to complete the call?
Delores knew that God wanted to heal Steve. There, again, not just Steve – all of us. She asked God for a new heart for Steve, and God gave and Steve received.
If we are obedient, he will use us just as surely as he uses Delores…and Steve and Carla. Remember what Samuel said…”Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Follow-up note from Delores:
At the end of 2009 Steve had a comprehensive medical exam. When the reports came back, there was a number by his heart report. He asked what that meant, and finally, they told him it was like he had the heart of an eleven year old. At that time, it had been eleven years since his healing. Isn’t God good!