I want to share with you a true story about a three year old
boy who lived in a small farming community in Texas. Brownfield Texas comes by it’s name honestly. Brown fields are everywhere. If you have never been in a dust storm in Brownfield Texas you know very little about dust, dirt and sand storms. I remember as a child playing outside and the wind was not blowing very hard, but on the horizon we could see a wall of dirt filling the sky. Within twenty-minutes the wind picked up, straight line winds were blowing about fifty miles an hour and everything went black. It was literally dark in the middle of the day. Dust covered everything inside the house. I am sure that is why they named Brown field TX, Brownfield.
In Brownfield a young working class family was doing their
best to live the American dream. Raynell was a young housewife. She married at the very young age of fifteen, giving birth to Cindy when she was seventeen, Fred when she was nineteen, and she gave birth to Rickey when she was twenty.
Alfred and Raynell lived about a half -block off the main highway running through the heart of Brownfield. Texas. Alfred was at work. Cindy was at school, Fred and Rickey were playing in the front yard with their little black and white puppy. Raynell was washing the morning dishes. Raynell and Alfred’s peaceful lives were about to be shattered by Fred’s screams
As Fred and Rickey were playing with their puppy. The puppy wandered out into the street and Rickey stepped off the curb into the path of an oncoming car. The car literally ran over the toddler. Somehow the child’s body lodged between the back wheel and the axel, and was dragged for almost a block before being dislodged from the automobile. Fred ran into the house crying and screaming, “Bubbas been runned over!, Bubba got runned over!” Raynell turned from the kitchen sink as Fred continued to scream hysterically. Raynell dropped the dish she was holding and ran out the front door.
Rickey was rushed to the emergency room and was later transferred to the Methodist hospital in Lubbock, Texas. Emergency brain surgery was performed and the prognoses was not good. The brain surgeon came out and told the young parents, “There is a strong possibility that your son will not live through the night and we want you to be prepared for the worst. If your son lives he will be confined to a wheel chair for the rest of his life, and he will be severely mentally challenged. The back of his brain has been destroyed.
Shock, fear and helplessness gripped their hearts.
Raynell has a sister named Wanda Faye. Wanda attends one of ‘those’ churches that really believe in the power of prayer, divine healing, the laying on of hands, anointing with oil and miracles. When Wanda Faye, living in Lubbock Texas at the time, heard the news about her three-year old nephew she called on her church to pray. She asked her pastor, Rev. John Kershaw to come to the hospital to pray for her injured nephew.
Pastor Kershaw walked into the hospital room and said, “I felt so helpless, as I looked upon the broken body of that baby boy.”
Little Rickey was wrapped from head to toe with bandages and stitches. His little body had been scraped and bruised from head to foot. He lay under an oxygen tent fighting for every breath. Brother Kershaw took out his ‘anointing oil’ and placed a little on the tiny hand of this broken child, and began to pray the prayer of faith according to James chapter five and verse fourteen. He prayed, “In the name of Jesus heal this child! Give us a miracle! Heal his brain from all injuries, and let him walk again!”
God answers prayer! God honors His Word! God respects our faith! And God touched little Rickey! Rickey lived through the night! Rickey responded to light, and Rickey responded to touch, and Rickey was recovering very fast considering the extent of his injuries.
When Rickey was released from the hospital. The surgeon told Raynell, “I want to see Rickey in two days so we can run some test on his brain activity and make sure there is no swelling. To the doctors surprise two days later Rickey came walking into the doctors office holding his mother’s hand! Raynell said, “When we walked into the doctor’s office the Dr. staggered backwards, set on his desk and began to weep, saying, “This is a miracle!”
I know this story to be true, because, I am Rickey! I am fifty-two years old, and yes I still walk, and no I am not mentally challenged, (just a little crazy). This incident happened in 1962. That is a wonderful miracle. God completely restored my sense of balance, healed my brain, and gave me life! However, the greatest miracle happened twelve years later after my family moved to Amarillo, Texas. God had greater plans yet for my life .
You would have thought that after such a significant miracle my parents would have turned to the Lord, but they did not. My Dad turned to the whiskey bottle and cases of beer. My father was an alcoholic for the greater part of my childhood. Drinking whiskey right out of the bottle, all day everyday, along with can after can of beer. I can recall several times my family huddled around the kitchen sink watching my father weep, pouring a bottle of whiskey down the drain and promising us that he was going to stop his drinking. Only to buy another bottle as soon as the liquor store opened the next morning. My father was bound by, possessed by, controlled by alcohol.
Because of my dad’s drinking my mother was a nervous wreck. She spoke of death often, telling us, “If it were not for you kids I would kill myself!” I remember mother at times shaking uncontrollably, with a cigarette in her hand. As I look back on my childhood I realize my mother was a very unhappy, unstable, angry person. There were times she took her anger out on her children. She yelled a lot, she cursed us often, and when she whipped us, she beat us. Not with fist, but with the lashing of a belt, very hard. I will admit at times we needed a good spanking, however, Mom went too far.
I remember an incident that happened when I was in the third grade. My brother Fred and I got into a little scuffle, and Mom was going to spank (beat) us. I did not start the fight, Fred did and I was not going to take a whipping for something I did not instigate, so I ran! Bad mistake! It gave mother all the more reasons to vent her anger on me. When I was dragged into the house she unleashed her fury on me. I was slapped to the ground, and she sat on my chest and commenced to slapping me across the face repeatedly.
Something changed in me after that. I became very angry at my parents. I hated Dad’s drinking, and I hated my mother’s abuse. Thus at a young age I learned to hate and rebel. I was mad at God, I was mad at my parents, I was an angry young man.
Years passed and now I am a teenager in junior high school. I fell into what some would call the wrong crowd. At the time they were my best friends. Everyone of our parents were probably drunks, drug abusers, and pretty much miserable. So we all had a common denominator, we were young, angry and frustrated.
This was in the early seventies, so we were all still caught up in the hippie movement. We all had long hair and we all hated authority, and all of us never wanted to go home. So we went to Sam Houston park and we did as our parents taught us to do. We drank alcohol, some smoked cigarettes, and all smoked pot. Except for me, for some reason dope never appealed to me. However, I loved whiskey, cheap wine, and loud heavy metal music.
I was only thirteen-years-old when this was taking place. Drinking heavy, and getting involved in things a thirteen-year-old has no business doing. Something is wrong when a thirteen-year-old can get a hold of hard liquor and cheap wine. We sat in broad daylight in a city park drinking whiskey as pot was being passed around. The police were driving by constantly but they never slowed down to see what we were up to. Perhaps it was because God was still with me, and He kept me from getting in trouble and going that direction.
By the time I was fourteen I drank every day. All my friends were getting into deeper narcotics, popping pills, huffing acrylics, gasoline, model airplane glue, and smoking a lot of pot. I stuck with drinking anything and everything I was given.
What is weird about all this is my parents either did not know what I was doing or did not care. I was fourteen-years-old coming in at one o’clock in the morning, or later. They never said anything about it. I believe they were so miserable with their own lives that they overlooked their children’s lives.
When I turned fifteen things were about to change for all of us. God works in mysterious ways and uses people and circumstances for His glory and to fulfill His will.
My Mother had a brother by the name of James Byrd. We always called him uncle Bud. Uncle Bud became a preacher. He was an evangelist, and when his travels brought him close to Amarillo, Texas, me and my brother and sister would go listen to him and my aunt Von sing, and preach. I was young then about seven or eight. I really did not understand much of what he preached, but he was Pentecostal and I enjoyed how excited he got preaching. He would jump on one leg, swing his arms excitedly while emphasizing the point he was making. After church he would always, without fail take us to get an ice cream and a soda pop.
I loved my uncle Bud. He had his life together. He was married to the sweetest woman I have ever met. They had two children Martha, and James Jr.
Uncle Bud was the real deal. He was not a Christian by title, he was a Christian by deed and actions. He loved everybody and always had a smile on his face.
Uncle Bud was thirty-three-years-old when he was diagnosed with cancer. We have all witnessed what chemotherapy and radiation treatments can do to a person battling cancer. Uncle Bud was no exception. I wept openly when I visited him in the V.A. Hospital. He had been a large man and now he had lost a tremendous amount of weight, and his hair had fallen out. At thirty-three he looked old. I was devastated.
Towards the end of his battle with cancer my mother had gone to visit him in the hospital in Temple, Texas. One afternoon he called my mother over to his bedside. As always he had a smile on his face. He took his big sister’s hand and told her how much he loved her and the rest of his family. They wept together for a few moments. Then He told my mom, “Skeeter.” Skeeter was my mother’s nickname given to her as a child because as a little girl she was no bigger than a mosquito. Holding my mother’s hand he looked her in the eyes and said, “Skeeter, Jesus loves you and Alfred. You do not have to live the way you do. God can change your life. Jesus died on the cross for your sins and He will forgive you of right now. My mother knelt down beside my uncle’s hospital bed and repented of her sins. She was soon thereafter baptized in the precious name of Jesus Christ.
Mom came home a different person. She was determined to live for God. She went to the First United Pentecostal church in Amarillo, Texas and mother received the baptism of the Holy Ghost! When Mother received the Holy Ghost, Hell lost! Mom changed drastically. She was radically saved! My mother came home glowing, and smiling the biggest smile I had ever seen on her face. She was singing all the time, she was hugging us, and all she wanted to talk about was Jesus and church!
Raynell, ‘the new convert’, was determined to get her family in church and filled with the Holy Ghost. She was on me and my brother relentlessly about coming to church. I mean it was a continual everyday mission for her. She knew she had salvation, and she wanted her family saved. Thus after about three weeks of relentless pleadings, one Sunday afternoon I told my brother, “Fred we might as well go to church, because mom is not going to quit asking, and maybe if we go we can get her off our backs for a while“. My brother agreed to go with me to church that night.
Keep in mind that we hardly ever went to church. I could probably count on one hand how many times I had gone to church as a teenager. Church was for the weak, the wimps, and the elderly that knew that they were about to die, and as a last minute gesture to get on God’s good side they went to church. I did not know one scripture. I did not even know John 3:16. I did not know Genesis from Revelations. I mean I was totally ignorant concerning church. However, I did know that God thought enough of me that he healed me as a child. That’s all I knew about God and Church.
Fred and I went to church October 6, 1974. I will never forget walking into that church! These people were absolutely the most excited people I had ever seen in my life! The most radical sports fan could not hold a candle to these people!
Not to be demeaning or anything, but the few times I did go to church it was so boring, and mundane. Keep in mind at that time I was a young hippie. Hard rock music and alcohol was all I lived for. So when I walked into this church that was ‘loud!’, had drums, guitars, bass guitar, organ, piano, saxophone and about five tambourines. I was just a little taken back!
These people were freaking me out, and nothing ever freaked me out! These people were clapping and raising their hands, and worshipped God with a great amount of enthusiasm. I was a nervous wreck!
My brother and I sat in the back. Mom, however marched right up to the front like she had been going there for years. I remember watching my new mother get involved in the service and she was really having a great time. Honestly I was a little embarrassed for the way my mother was acting. You wasn’t supposed to actually have ‘fun’ at church. I thought you was supposed to sit there and endure to the last amen.
After about thirty minutes of exuberant singing, and after the choir sang, ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ and these people reacted like they anticipated being swooped up at any moment by Elijah’s chariot. Pastor Elms got up to preach. I had never really sat through an evangelistic sermon.
This man was on a mission! He looked out in the congregation and saw two young men that needed God. One was a short haired, country and western listening type of guy, and the other was me, a long greasy haired, unkempt fifteen-year-old kid that hated just about everyone and everything.
I remember slumping down in the pew and putting on my hardest face. I stared at this man that seemed to be preaching right at me! I will never forget that message as long as I live. Pastor Elms preached on the subject, “Voices From Eternity!” It was a ‘Hell fire and brim stone’ message.
As the pastor preached I began to squirm. During the course of the sermon I reached up and grabbed the back of the pew in front of me. His eyes were boring holes right through my heart! He looked right at me as he took the microphone and lowered it over the platform and asked the question, “Can you hear your voice screaming out in Hell?
For all of eternity you will cry out from a Devil’s hell! Can you hear your voice in Hell?”
All of a sudden I stood up, my hands shot up in the air! I put them down to my side, but it was like two angels on each side said, “O’ no you don’t and put my hands back in the air. All this time I was heading towards the altar. When I got close enough, I literally threw myself into the altar. Pleading for God to have mercy on me, and please do not let me go to Hell!
I did not know how to recite a prayer, or quote a scripture. All I had to go on was my physical miracle as a child; my uncle Bud’s testimony, and my mother’s conversion. I did not know how to repent. I had never heard the word repent, or repentance. I do recall these excited Christians got even more excited when I went to the altar. They swarmed around me like bees on honey. Praying with, and for me.
I remember pastor Elms laying his hands on my head, and praying more fervently for me, than he did while preaching to me.
Then something supernatural happened. Something miraculous happened. God filled me with the Holy Ghost! I began speaking in a language I did not know, and joy flooded my soul! I felt a world of iniquity lift off my shoulders! I was free!
The love of God saturated me. This was real! This was powerful! This was amazing! No wonder these people get happy in church! After a while I stood up, and looked across the sanctuary and there stood my brother at the altar, hands raised in worship. I walked over to him fell in his arms and hugged my big brother tight and God filled my brother with the Holy Ghost!
Needless to say my mother was beside herself! Some churches believe in shouting, and some do not. This one did, and so my mother who had just witnessed her sons being filled with the Power of God was beside herself, along with about seventy-five other Holy Ghost filled saints! Wow, what a time we had that night!
After things calmed down a bit, one of the young men asked me if I had ever been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. I said no. He asked, “Would you like to be baptized?” I was ready to do anything, and everything that God wanted me to do. So after Steve Beattie gave me a quick Bible study on baptism, I was baptized in the precious name of Jesus Christ for the remission of my sins! I came up out of that ice cold water, on fire for God! I was without a doubt born again of the water and of the Spirit! I was radically saved. Everything in my life changed! Everything!
This is my story and the greatest miracle that I know is not that part of my brain was destroyed when I was ran over by a car. The greatest miracle is not that I can walk. The greatest miracle I know, is that I am born again of the water and the Spirit!
Old things passed away, behold all things are became new! I was made a new creature in Christ Jesus! I now love everybody and amazingly, I am not mad at anybody!
One night after we had been in church for about four months, my stubborn alcoholic father walked into the church on a Wednesday night. The service was almost over, and some of us were standing around the altar praying. In walked my father. He did not pause to acknowledge anyone. He walked right to the altar, fell on his knees, threw his hands up and surrendered his heart to God. God instantly delivered my father from the awful vice of alcoholism. My Dad that very night went to the car and threw out every bottle of whiskey that he had, weeping as he did. Like the turning of a page, my Dad was set free!
I am so very thankful to write this testimonial, about the saving power of Jesus Christ! The Alfred and Raynell Musick family were all born again in 1974. At the time of this writing September 15, 2008 we are all still in love with Jesus Christ. I am the pastor of a wonderful apostolic church in Memphis, Texas. Cindy is a faithful member of a church in Brekenridge, Texas. Fred attends a wonderful church in Longview, Texas. My mother attends the church that I pastor. She sits on the second pew from the front, and still has the same zeal she had in 1974.
Dad, passed away thirteen years ago. The last time I saw my Dad on this earth he was laying on a hospital bed in my daughter’s bedroom. He was under Hospice care. Cancer had taken its toll, and Dad was slipping away. I was getting ready to go to work, and looked in on my father. My mother was on one side of his bed, and (Aunt) Sis. Wanda Faye was on the other side of the bed. My father had his hands in the air, holding onto the sleeves of their blouses. They were praying. I chose not to interrupt them. That day Dad passed away. The last words I heard my father say on this earth were, “Jesus, I love you!” That is the greatest miracle I know.
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