Find Hope

My corporate and political friends considered me nuts.

It would take me thirty minutes to work up the courage to say a word. I was just so inwardly petrified. I would have the bible at the corner of the East Village grill and I just couldn’t open my mouth. It was crazy.

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Go to the drug store. Get a sign, and write on it something about Jesus, and go to the White House. And uh, of course, I as usual, I didn’t want to do it. I fumed and fussed, but I gave in. The sin of my life, the sin of my whole family was that I was a great people pleaser, so I spent five years as a political fundraiser. The Lord blessed it. I was on a couple of winning campaigns. I was a member of First Baptist in Atlanta. The Lord just sort of spoke to me as these things happened. The first thing was, He was trying to get me to go out of my home there in Tucker, Georgia, and begin to witness for Him. The first step was to walk up and down La Vista road where I lived and talk to people early in the morning. My fight with Him was, “I understand the church and that you work in the church, but this I don’t understand.” Really, I could not understand it. I didn’t think that God was outside the church. To show you my faulty theology, if you will, but what would happen is, I was in my little house. It was actually my grandmother’s house. She passed away in 1994, and I moved in and stayed there for several years. I would be in her den, and I didn’t want to go. It was almost one of those childish things. I don’t want to go. I’m going to lay down in the floor and throw a tantrum. I don’t want to go. I’m not going, but what I couldn’t do was to get rid of it. I couldn’t go to bed because I couldn’t sleep. But the power of God coming on to shove me out that door like a cannon. That’s happened every time almost. It had to happen because I was not going! Things that used to taste good, didn’t taste good anymore. Things I used to like to watch and read, I couldn’t do it. I would go down there. It would take me thirty minutes to work up the courage to say a word. I was just so inwardly petrified. I would have the Bible at the corner of the East Village grill, and I just couldn’t open my mouth. It was crazy. So then I would start doing it. Something would happen, and I would stop thirty seconds later. Then it would take me another half hour. Man it was madness. As I began to go back down to the Capitol and other places and stand before people with the Bible, guys I knew in politics, and they didn’t really agree with what I was doing. So I say it’s one thing to be a conservative Christian. It’s another thing to be a Jesus freak. The next stop was Buckhead, where the bars are at. I’m an old drunk. I knew what they were doing. I knew the culture, and really all the Lord was asking me to do was to go down there with a Bible and proclaim the word. And that’s all I have been doing for now almost twenty years.

So I have been to fifteen Super Bowls, the Olympics, World Cup Soccer, Final Four Space Ball All Star games, Baseball, NBA All Star games, and the list goes on. How many people were involved in the last seven super bowls? We have had about one hundred people on average attend, which is a pretty good number of people from across the country to come and spend four days. The numbers are increasing in participation. There’s thirty-three that will be in Louisville this weekend for the Derby. We had uh, there were nine or ten of us in Indianapolis for the Final Four. The Lord’s raising up a lot of men. If we had to gather everybody that could stand there in open air and preach with the Bible, it’s probably five hundred people across the country. That’s one real thing that we are up against is the predictable image of the street people. The street preacher with a sign and a bull horn and yelling at everybody. That’s not really what’s going on. A lot of what I focus on now are the gospels of course. What I want people to hear is the name of Jesus. So if you take that message, versus complaining about the state of affairs in the country or you know, “I hate football. You should too.” People need to know who Jesus is. They need to know because when it gets down to it, they need to know who He is so they can call on His name and be saved.

I didn’t pray a prayer. “Oh Lord make me a great evangelist.” I didn’t even know what it was. I never wanted to be in the ministry. I don’t want to be in it. I’m not in it. I don’t know how to think about it. I’m a fish out of water, but the Lord sent me to preach the gospel, and that’s what I’m doing. He just said, “Come on let’s go.”

Bill - My corporate and political friends considered me nuts.

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