Larry’s Testimony

In 1985, my life smashed into a brick wall. I needed thousands of dollars to start a publishing company and bail my family out of debt. My sources were all maxed out and the hope level in my reservoir was hovering at empty. I was finished.

The only untouched asset I had was a $125,000 life insurance policy. So, my solution seemed obvious: suicide.

As for taking my life, I had no problems with it because I was an agnostic. No God equals no problems with eternal judgment, right? It wasn’t personal, just a business solution for my family and me.

My plan was uncomplicated. I figured on enjoying one last weekend with my family and then committing suicide on that Monday evening.

Thus, on May 20, 1985, I spent the day finishing up loose ends. Then, for some reason, I stopped at an insurance agent’s office. Although we knew each other, Bill and I were not intimate friends and had never really talked to each other before that day.

Bill invited me into his office. We discussed baseball. Then in the middle of our conversation, he stared at me and said, “You’re thinking about committing suicide, aren’t you?”

His words hit me like a sledgehammer. How did he know? I told no one. It was my secret $125,000 payday. I was speechless. As I sat there, a vision played across my mind about my car ramming into a viaduct and killing me.

I wept and although I tried to regain my composure, I could not. “How did you know?” I asked.

“Oh,” said Bill, “the Lord told me while we were talking to each other.”

His words shattered my unbelief. God was alive and He cared about me. We continued talking and he finally gave me a book to read: Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers.

When I arrived home, I began reading the book. After a few pages, I walked into the bathroom, closed the door and knelt in front of the sink. Looking into the mirror, I prayed, “Jesus, I’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked. I guess I’ll give You a try.”

Instantly, I was changed. Fear and shame were no longer a part of me, but instead, joy and hope filled my heart. Bowing and worshipping my new King, I promised to never let go of His hand.

If my story were a fictional Hollywood movie, perhaps it would resemble It’s A Wonderful Life. Jimmy Stewart would play me and Donna Reed my wife. The angel would get his wings and everyone would live happily ever after. The end.

But sadly, my life has not been a work of fiction. It has been a day to day journey, filled with a few good experiences, but also many mistakes, false starts and failures. Divorce. Loss of friends. Numerous firings from sales positions. Low-paying jobs. Poverty. Rejection. Loneliness. Not exactly, a picture perfect Christian life.

And yet, it has been in the deepest valleys where the Lord has truly revealed Himself to me. It was there He became my loving Father and I learned His grace was sufficient for me.

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112 responses to “Larry’s Testimony

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  4. Larry,
    I’m glad you didn’t kill yourself. I still think you are crazy. 😉

  5. Larry Who

    Thanks Jim.

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  7. jezreex

    I say Amen to that. God always finds a way for us. He gives us hardships and problems to test us but if we endure His promise is written in 2 Timothy 4:8

  8. Larry,

    I’ve been reading a lot of your posts, and your words as well as the words of many of your commentors have been helpful in my current state of spiritual confusion, especially regarding the election. It was nice to see I’m not alone.

    Your testimony is similar to mine in terms of a dramatic initial turnaround, followed by the “day-by-day journey, filled with some good experiences and many mistakes, false starts and failures.”

    You’ve encouraged me today, my brother. You’re going on my blogroll!

    God Bless,
    -Rob V.

  9. girldujour

    I’m glad I read your story. My father gave me that prayer… “It was then that I carried you”.

    Chin up, my friend. You are not alone.

    🙂

  10. What an amazing testimony! God bless you as you continue to grow in Christ!

  11. Jim

    Very impressive testimony. I am writing my life’s story on a blog: musingsofanoldman.wordpress.com. I’ve only spoke thusfar of my initial salvation, but the real day of commitment has yet been written. Your story is indicative of a spirit led life. A man with experience is never at the mercy of anyone else who might say different. Continue on.

  12. ag721476

    HI LARRY WHO:

    I AM ALONZO GREEN. I WAS SAVED IN 1987. I LOVE YOUR QUESTION AND ITS PREMISE. SOMETIMES WE CAN DEPEND TO MUCH ON MEN INSTEAD OF GOD. IN MY 21 YEARS OF SALVATION I’VE BEEN WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN FINANCIALLY AND THE LORD BROUGHT ME OUT. ITS A LONG STORY BUT I WAS OVER $340,000. IN DEPT AT ONE TIME AND NOW I HAVE ALMOST NO DEBTS AND AM ABLE TO SUPPORT MYSELF AND MY WIFE ON MY RETIREMENT AND DO ALMOST ANYTHING I REALLY WANT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TESTIMONY.

    AS A RESULT OF THE PRISON MINISTRY I HAVE BEEN IN WITH MY CHURCH I HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK CALLED “WALKING WITH GOD” BY ALONZO GREEN. (I ENTITLED IT BEFORE I HEARD OF ELDRIGES BOOK BY THE SAME TITLE.) IN IT I OUTLINE SOME THINGS THE LORD HAS DONE FOR ME IN CORPORATE AMERICA AND SOME OF THE THINGS THE LORD HAS TAUGHT ME ABOUT HIM, LIFE, AND MYSELF. I FOUND THAT THE SEVERITY OF HIS LOVE FOR US WAS SOMETHING HARD FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND. THIS MISUNDERSTANDING CAUSED ME TO MAKE MANY MISTAKES AND MANY TIMES TO PUT ALOT OF EMPHASIS AND ENERGY INTO THINGS THAT I THOUGHT WERE MORE IMPORTANT TO HIM THAN THEY REALLY WERE. AND TO NOT PUT ENOUGH EFFORT INTO ALOT OF THINGS THAT WERE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO HIM (REV. 2:1-7). HE HIMSELF IS OUR FIRST LOVE AND OUR PEACE.

    I GREW UP RIGHT AFTER SALVATION IN A PENTICOSTAL CHURCH WITH A POWERFUL MAN OF GOD. FOR EXACTLY THE REASON YOU HAVE MENTIONED I MADE A POINT OF NOT GETTING CLOSE TO HIM OR LETTING HIM KNOW MUCH ABOUT ME SO THAT WHEN HE SPOKE BY THE SPIRIT I WOULD KNOW I WAS HEARING FROM THE LORD AND NOT MAN. I THINK THE PREMISE OF YOUR QUESTION IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR OUR TIMES.

    MY BOOK IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT XLBRIS.COM\ALONZOGREEN OR ONLINE AT BARNES AND NOBLE, AMAZON AND OTHER 3RD PARTY ONLINE BOOK STORES. I HOPE IT BLESSES YOU.

    ALONZO

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  14. royingle

    Great testimony. May you hold firmly to the Lord all the days of your life.

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  16. Hello Brother Larry,

    What a beautiful testimony!

    I noticed that you mentioned that your life had been shaped by Kenneth Hagin and other prophets. I thought you might find my website interesting. Kenneth Hagin frequently mentioned that he was mentored by Brother and Sister Goodwin. I never knew Brother Goodwin. He went to be with the Lord many years ago. However, Sister Goodwin became my friend and mentor for the last ten years of her life.
    There were many audio recordings made at the Goodwins’ church over the years, and the Goodwin family asked me to make these recordings available to the world through my website, http://www.brothermel.com, which I have done. Visitors to my website can listen to these wonderful recordings, by download, for free. So far, in the last 2 years we have had over 723,000 hits from people downloading the recordings and materials in 96 countries. Speakers include: the Goodwins, the earliest known recordings of Kenneth Hagin, Howard Carter, F.F. Bosworth, David Du Plessis, T.L. Osborn, and several others.

    These ministers stood the test of time, stayed sound doctrinally, and prophesied things that consistently came to pass. These are safe spiritual wells from which to drink.

    I also share my own teachings on spiritual gifts, and genuine prophetic ministry as I learned it from the Goodwins, from scripture, and from personal experience.

    In addition to these materials, I also offer something that I believe you may initially disagree with me about–I confront various extreme teachings in the Word of Faith (to which I belong), and in the New Prophetic Move. I do this not to criticize anyone. I do it to offer to Believers the prophetic and faith teachings that were universally taught by Wigglesworth, Carter, and the other early giants, encouraging believers to take a second look at some of the teachings that have become common in our midst. Read these with an open mind, and then conclude for yourself what of these materials speak to your heart and are undergirded by clear scriptural support.

    God bless you.

    Kind Regards,

    Brother Mel
    Joplin, MO

  17. Larry Who

    Brother Me,

    Thanks for stopping by and your kind words.

    I will check out your site.

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  19. Matt

    Larry, what a wonderful testimony.

    Lord Jesus, I ask that you work in Larry’s in a new and powerful way. Let his testimony touch many. Soften people’s hearts as Larry talks to them about what you did in Larry’s life. I ask that you guide Larry in every step of his life. Talk to him. Infuse him with your spirit and truth. I pray for your blessing in Larry’s ministry. In your perfect and wonderful name I pray to you, Jesus, Amen!

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  24. As I was reading your testimony. I remember a similar senario with my husband. Our finances were bad and he had met with a lawyer to file bankruptcy and found out we couldn’t even afford bankruptcy. He decided that since we had a huge insurance policy that the best thing for his family was to get the insurance check so we would have money to live on. He had decided to pull into a diseal truck. He saw one coming and swerved in front of it, but something pulled him back. He immediate realized that God had intervened. He was a pastor at the time, but God got a hold of him and changed his life to fully trust in Him. God had other plans for him.

  25. fireball3316

    wow larry, that is an awesome testimony. i am so glad for Bill and how he listened to God and spoke up and asked you about what was going on. yay God! what a intervention! yay God! blessings, claire

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  34. Larry, I just read your testimony and can only say like you, INDEED GOD IS GOOD.

  35. gladwellmusau,

    Indeed, He is.

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  38. I love testimonies and yours is an amazing one! Thank you so much for sharing it! God bless you always . . .deb

  39. Debbie,

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  49. Larry,
    I was reading through the study and found the portion of your testimony you posted there, which led me to here. We recently hit a similar dead end after starting a high end subdivision about 7 years ago. We finally became one of the casualties just a few months ago. We are starting over from scratch. This time I no longer have a goal to be successful in business. My goal is to follow – to take what my Shephard gives – to trust in His care and provision. In the past few years, I have seen enough of it to rest in it. This time around, whatever we end up with, will be because He had given it to us; not because we went after it. So far, He has given little but little is much when He is in it.

  50. Mike,

    I certainly know how bad it feels when things to wrong. So, go with God.

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  54. Tam

    God bless you Larry. I have been asked to do a monologue for a service at a nursing home in August. I believe the Lord is leading me to do Peter’s wife, so, I googled that and your comments came up. They were extremely helpful. I am glad you did not kill yourself, but I am sorry to hear about your marriage and subsequent troubles. I pray your life is steadier today and I’m thankful to know that you understand that God is with you regardess. Tam

  55. Tam,

    Thanks. My life is steady in Jesus’ name, but the waves have kept on coming.

  56. blessings to you Larry… so glad His grace is evident in you! His name be praised!

  57. thefisherlady,

    Thanks. I love your name.

  58. Wow….I just got through the first paragraph of your testimony, and I got shivers running up and down my spine, I had to stop and write a reply to collect myself again. I am putting myself in your spot imagining the inner suffering hidden behind your eyes as you are going along getting stuff in order and about to end it. Man…I hope that God sends other souls that are thinking of ending it to this site.

  59. Great now you made me cry……got to go to the bathroom and hide cause I am at work. Don’t worry it is a good cry….from the empathy department in my heart on the second floor right near the fax machine and human resources.

  60. jasonwartz,

    Thanks. You’ve made my day.

    At times, the Lord has used me with people who were thinking about suicide, but for the most part, my testimony is used to open doors with unbelievers.

    God bless you.

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  62. SR

    Larry,

    This is a wonderful story and so glad you shared it. I think I have seen times such as these myself. God never let go of me though, no matter how many times I let go of Him. Cannot wait to read more. God Bless, SR

  63. SR,

    Thanks. I appreciate your comments.

  64. Oh, this is GREAT! I came here by way of Deb’s Blog, and so glad I did–wonderful to meet you, brother Larry!! Will see you again (& you’re welcome to stop by my place, too). Have a blessed Christmas and New Year!!

  65. Caddo Veil,

    Thanks for stopping by. Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

  66. Larry. Oh boy. That was a really tough read, especially when I got near the end and saw that it wasn’t a clever work of fiction, it was your life.

    I got saved in a station wagon, prayed the prayer, and was transformed by the Holy Spirit in an instant. As you described, the change is astounding and everlasting. I grabbed on right away, same as you. Do or die.

    I always assume I’m the only one who has really messed up. It’s nice to know I’m in good company. God bless you, Larry. Glad you’re saved and still here to tell about it. Hugs… : )

  67. Linda,

    ” I always assume I’m the only one who has really messed up…”

    Thank God for grace and then understanding what Paul meant when he said, “… but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

    Just keep moving forward.

  68. Hello Larry

    Great to read about your conversion. Many thanks to your insurance agent for having the courage to challenge you.

    This is a clear picture of how a living God can work through one his followers.

    I’d rather spend 5 minutes with a Spirit filled saint than sit through 5 paint by numbers Church Services.

    Stephen

  69. Snowgood,

    Thanks.
    I like your analogy: “paint by numbers Church Services.” It’s a good description.

  70. Pat

    Praise God!! Wonderful testimony!!

  71. Pat,

    Thanks. God bless you.

  72. “Jesus, I’ve tried everything else and they haven’t worked. I guess I’ll give you a try.” I love reading your bio (again) because it reminds me that my own informal, unplanned, last call to the Lord was exactly the way God wanted it to be. Un-graceful stories of salvation make me smile…

  73. Linda,

    If I would have had time to write a great and memorable prayer, I would have, but instead, I tossed what I had toward heaven and it worked. Thank God for that.

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  75. Dear Larry

    I’d like to make a point or two from a skeptic’s perspective – take it as you will, and I won’t be offended if you delete my comment.

    There are just two things I’d like to offer. First, it seems to me that anyone who knew a little about you or had observed your behavior might have known that you were really struggling, and possibly even suicidal. An insurance salesman, especially, might have guessed your intentions regarding a large insurance policy. I’m curious, then, how much of an impact your conversation with Bill really had on your decision to turn to God, and how much was the result of your desperate need for help?

    My second point, which follows naturally from the first, is that I’m always a little suspicious of major changes of worldview that are made under stressful conditions. Personally, I would worry that if I was emotionally distraught over tough financial or personal straits, I’d be vulnerable to any promise of happiness made to me, regardless of how much or how little that promise made sense.

    This is not to say that serious self-evaluation isn’t possible during difficult times. Indeed, difficult times can help build character, and realign one’s priorities. But it seems to me that fundamental questions about the existence and nature of God can only be properly assessed through careful, stress-free deliberation.

    Indeed, I suspect that God himself, if he existed, would want us to make our decisions about him in a calm, rational manner – with a clear head – not from the depths of despair when we’re all too ready to reach for whatever is offered us.

  76. Keith,

    Good points, but not valid in my case.

    Bill was not my insurance agent and knew very little about me. He did not know my financial condition or anything about me, except I liked sports. In the middle of our conversation about baseball, he said, “You’re thinking about committing suicide, aren’t you?”

    His words blasted away my unbelief and I knew there must be a God who cared about me.

    “…Indeed, I suspect that God himself, if he existed, would want us to make our decisions about him in a calm, rational manner – with a clear head – not from the depths of despair when we’re all too ready to reach for whatever is offered us…”

    Wow! You really don’t know and understand God, do you?

    Paul was blinded on the Damascus Road. Martin Luther was almost killed by lightning. David Yongi Cho was on his deathbed. Countless millions of people have given their lives to Christ in the midst of despair and stress. The Father uses whatever He has to so that we will turn our lives around and seek Him.

    It’s too bad you’ve never had an experience where God revealed Himself as real to you. But you know what? You can always ask Him to reveal Himself to you in such a way that you will know that you know it’s Him.

    If nothing happens, then you will still have your atheism to comfort you.

  77. “Wow! You really don’t know and understand God, do you?”

    I’d like to keep this conversation as polite as possible, so I’m not going to respond further to this remark.

    “Paul was blinded on the Damascus Road. Martin Luther was almost killed by lightning. David Yongi Cho was on his deathbed. Countless millions of people have given their lives to Christ in the midst of despair and stress.”

    You’re making an argument from popularity here. You’re saying that if everybody does it, it’s OK. This is not necessarily true. I still maintain that if you hold a person’s feet to the fire, they are not going to make the best decisions.

    “The Father uses whatever He has to so that we will turn our lives around and seek Him.”

    This strikes me as a little unscrupulous, as if he’s taking advantage of people in their moment of weakness.

    “It’s too bad you’ve never had an experience where God revealed Himself as real to you.”

    How do you know I didn’t? As I commented to you on my own blog, I believed for the longest time that I could communicate with God inside my head. In retrospect, though, I realize that I was just talking to myself.

    “You can always ask Him to reveal Himself to you in such a way that you will know that you know it’s Him. If nothing happens, then you will still have your atheism to comfort you.”

    I am quite happy to make such a request. And although your comment about atheism strikes me as a little unkind, I have to say that yes, my atheism (and, more specifically, my humanism) does actually comfort me – I am far more at peace now than I ever was as a Christian. As someone who is taught by his God to love and be compassionate, you will, I hope, not begrudge me my happiness!

  78. Ann

    Larry, I rarely run out of words , tonight all I can say is ‘thanks for sharing’ and ‘to God be the glory’….

    Blessings,
    ann

  79. Ann,

    Thanks. God bless you.

  80. Hi Larry… I just had to read this again and have passed it on to others… funny you mention the comparison to it is a Wonderful Life… we are going to watch it again this afternoon! I am smiling big that God came to you at just the right time. Have a blessed new year as you share His Living Word

  81. thefisherlady,

    Thanks and God bless you in 2013.

  82. Thank you Larry for your honesty, so many try to excuse their sin instead of repenting and putting their flesh to death but sadly we are not taught to do this today or that we need God’s wisdom, yet we were not born with it.

    Like you were Larry, I was going to kill myself but it was because of the evil I had done, even as I called myself a Christian but I did not really know what this was or my Abba Father’s heart of Love, I even thought because I was so evil He could not Love me anymore…. How sad that I was so deceived, God is Love and He does not stop Loving us, His planes for us are good not evil. We may walk away like the Prodigal son did and He allows us to do so, we are not His puppets, He wants us freely to choose to Love Him but if we have not rejected Him in our heart, we will come to our senses and repent, then He Lovely restores us… He never lets His lost sheep remain lost but those who reject Him in their heart not just their head, are eternally lost.

    Thank you again Larry, I look forward to sharing with you and reading your messages.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

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  86. Beautiful testimony! And I appreciate your transparency. God bless you.

    ~Your neighbor

  87. Yahobahne,

    Thanks.

    ~ Your friend

  88. Great story, Larry. So glad you’re still with us and that you have tasted the sweet love of Jesus! Isn’t God amazing?

  89. Elizabeth,

    Thanks. God is amazing and then some.

  90. Larry, What an beautiful testimony. The Lord often takes us stripped down to nothing so that HE can build us back up in HIS way. Despite that, still what a hard thing to have to go through. I admire you, I look up to you, and I’m blessed to call you a dear brother in the Lord. Marty 😉

  91. Marty,

    Thanks. I’m blessed to call you my sister and to read about your lovely family on Facebook.

  92. Leamac

    Hi Larry,

    What a wonderful testimony. I hope you are going from glory to glory in the Lord. It’s funny that I would come across your testimony today as I find myself at a time in life where I should be feeling as you did because my financial world and all it’s security is in the process of crumbling around me. The difference between our stories is that you found Jesus through your darkest moment and I have known him for a while.

    The peace and joy I feel today as I face this challenge is indescribable and I am full of expectation of how God will be faithful and provide as that is who He is and he cannot deny himself. Coming to a place of abandonment, has been liberating as I let go of the struggle and now have no other choice but to let God be God.

    I do not know what the future holds exactly but I do know God has an amazing plan and that He will use this for his glory. There are people out there going through financial struggles that have no hope, but I have hope because of my God and know that I will be able to comfort and share with those ones that the Lord brings across my path.

    I ask myself, what would I prefer: a secure and comfortable life with no challenges or need for God (a little boring) OR, a life totally dependent on God, full of surprises and adventure (never boring)? I probably never would have chosen the latter one for myself, but even though I’ve been forced into it, there’s a strange sense of excitement about it. The peace of God is amazing. When you compare what it’s like to have it and not to have it there’s a universe of difference between the two states of mind and the reason is clear. It’s the spirit of the living God within us. GLORY !!

  93. Leamac,

    Most of us would never choose the journey the Lord has placed us on. I know that’s true for me, but He has a way of drawing us into it. Step by step. In your case, you have a divine calling on your life, which means many trials with few people understanding what you are going through or why. This is the “dying daily” regimen God has selected for you. The good news is after a “while” you will be dead enough to be used in miraculous ways to help advance the kingdom of God.

    God bless you.

  94. Lea

    Hi Larry,
    Thanks so much for taking the time and being so sensitive to God’s voice to respond to my post in such a way. This touched me deeply !!
    Bless you too !
    Lea

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  99. Wow, Larry, I really got teary eyed reading this. We have a great God and He loves you and has work for you too do. I have a similar scene in my upcoming novel to the one you mentioned happened to you, based on an experience I had. Great site! My husband and I do mission work in India, too. (He’s from India). And oh…false starts and missteps. We’ve all done them, me especially. Thankfully we have a loving God who always wants us back no matter what.

  100. Holly Michael,

    I could write a book on my false starts and missteps. I am so thankful for His grace and faithfulness.

  101. Thanks for sharing this amazing testimony of God’s love for us! I appreciate your boldness and zeal for the Lord! Blessings to you on your journey!

  102. Heidi,

    Thanks. God bless you on your journey, too.

  103. Thank the Lord He saved you so we didn’t lose you as an agnostic. Today you are skillfully dividing the word and inspiring many around the world. Cheers Larry!

  104. Albert,

    There’s never a day that I don’t thank the Lord for being saved and alive. So, I am truly forever thankful for His grace.

  105. Praise Jesus you didn’t kill yourself! It shows that miracles still happens in today’s world. His grace and mercy follows you.

  106. Mon Ange,

    Praise God, I’m alive because He lives. God bless you.

  107. Yasha Qodesh Ben-Yah

    Larry, that sucks. If I didn’t completely understand what it is like to be in those shoes in a sense you would not have convinced me to serve God. But your right sometimes we get stuck in those valleys and God show up. My question is why can’t he meet us for lunch on the mountain top?

  108. Yasha Qodesh Ben-Yah,

    Doesn’t He meet you for lunch on the mountaintop? He does me.

    God bless you.

  109. Tony

    Thank you for sharing your testimony Larry!

  110. Tony,

    God bless you.

  111. Carol

    Larry, I loved your testimony! Thank you for sharing. Please pray for my son who is an atheist. He is such a miserable person and tries to make everyone around him miserable.

  112. Carol,

    I will, but just so you know: atheists are one of the easiest groups to turn into fired up Christians. They’re waiting for an encounter with God to evaporate their unbelief. Our job is to believe for them to have that encounter.

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