"CLICK" -- that was the hammer on my .38 Smith and Wesson.
It fell on a dud. The gun was against the head of a rival gang member. Had the shell fired, I would be a convicted murderer today. I was only 15 at the time and that was but one incident in my life of crime.
Kidnapped at the age of 5, I wasn't found until a year later. It was no fun. I was raised by sickly grandparents who provided no supervision. So I ran wild, running with gangs, stealing cars, breaking into stores at night and setting fires. When I got caught, I was scared. I vowed to go straight if the Lord would deliver me from the mess. He did. Then when I was 21, the phone rang -- "Hello". The voice responded.... "This is your father. I'm down at the corner gas station and I'd like to meet you."
So, I went to the gas station and met my natural father for the first time in my life. Our parents were divorced when my brother and I were babies. I was always curious to know what he was like. It was exciting to set eyes on him and look for resemblences.
My newly found dad was in the building business and he taught my brother and me the ropes. We had just gotten started when the war came and put us on hold for a few years. After separation from the military, my brother and I returned to the building business. During the 40's, we did very well building motels and hotels.
In 1942, I met my life partner, Marjorie and married her. We have two lovely daughters, Linda and Donna. Donna has blessed us with 2 grandchildren who in turn extended the blessing with 2 great grandchildren.
Everything changed when I met the Lord Jesus. I was so thrilled to be a child of God, I quit the building business. That cost me a sizeable fortune. I went back to school to train for the ministry which required four more years of college, plus three years of seminary (Magna Cum Laude). Then more graduate work in other schools, picking up a couple of PhD's and a DD. I found time to be a director of the Lockman Foundation and served as an editor of the Amplified New Testament. Also, spent three years as Chaplain to the sick and dying at Los Angeles County General Hospital. I later became an Air Force Chaplain, retiring as Lt. Colonel.
My soul was aflame with the idea of bringing people to Jesus. I became involved in street evangelism and in the process perfected the skill of confronting people with Jesus in a way that they knew He was alive. Then the Lord sent Warren Belknap into my life who encouraged me to put the skill into a book in 1954. We called it Soul-Winning Made Easy and it proved to be a powerful book with many Christians winning their first souls to Christ.
This book proved to me the power of a book and I decided to use that power to get God's people ready for the Lord's return. Since then, 45 books have been written all to that single purpose. In fact, the slogan of our ministry is....
PREPARING FOR HIS APPEARING.
I have assigned priorities to the truths I feel are the most urgent for Christians, along with the books that develop those truths:
- Salvation is number one, obviously. Thus, SOUL-WINNING MADE EASY heads the list, with an encounter with Christ.
- The truth of the believer's two natures, without which the Christian can't possibly understand himself. This one is labeled DYNAMIC TRUTHS FOR THE SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE..
- The knowledge of our enemy Satan and how to deal with him. DEALING WITH THE DEVIL shows how to catch Satan in the act of deceiving a Christian and how to put him to flight.
- Intimacy with the Lord, and how to "draw nigh" to Christ. LONGING TO BE LOVED shows how to fellowship with Jesus in the secret place.
- How to "lay up treasure in heaven" by WITNESSING MADE EASY 10 easy steps to becoming a successful witness.
In 1951, I founded the Baldwin Park Baptist Church, which we later re-named Personal Christianity Chapel. We wanted to minister to the whole family, not just Baptists. This is why you find no denominational emphasis in any of my 45 books.
MARANATHA! (O Lord come!)
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