The Word of God is as, “Sweet as Honey”.
My testimony from being on top to the bottom where Christ wanted me…
Some may not know why I was called to preach. Well, I will give you my testimony and I hope that this clears up a few things…
A Bit of Background History on My Family
When I was physically born into this world, I was blessed. My parents, Jerry and Sandra Howard had my two brothers and then they had me. I was supposed to be a girl if you ask my mom but, I guess I am not the person that always pleases everyone because she definitely had a boy. My parents, since their salvation, have always loved the Lord and as far as I know now, they still do.
In my earlier years, my parents loved the Lord so much that they wanted to follow him with their whole hearts. So, they went to their pastor and ask him what they could do for God. The things their pastor had told them to do left them hungry for more service for the Lord. They told the pastor in a few months they wanted to do more, the pastor told them about Bible college and they prayed about it and took the pastor’s advice. They made their way to Baptist Bible College, in Springfield, Missouri.
With three boys, from ages 3-7, we as a family when to Springfield for Bible College. I really can’t say what happened but I do know that God let Satan had a field day with us almost like Job. My mom had back injury right when we got there which required surgery and my dad was working deep nights while going to the Baptist Bible College. I can just imagine trying to stay awake in the classes, with all the events that had happened. They were very stressful times for my parents, I can just imagine that they felt like God had put more on their plate than ever before. So, they stopped going to Bible college with all that had happened to them and they went back to Dallas, Texas.
While in Dallas, my dad got a job at Gardner Denver as a welder. We were going to a church in Mesquite, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, where we also lived. We even went to the Christian school through my kindergarten year at the church we attended. I had even made a confession that God had saved me, although, those were just words. Until then I knew my family loved God first. But, in Matthew 16:24-28, the Lord Jesus asks a very profound question. I would say that my parents were still serving the Lord but through financial hardship, my mom went back to work. You can be saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ and still go ahead to do things that are not in His Will for your life.
I have an idea what caused my dad and mom to take these steps in our lives and whether or not it was for the family or God, it was a blessing from the Lord. Through God’s hand and guidance, my brothers and I were soon in a public school system again. I was in the first grade, my brothers were in the third and fifth grade. God had blessed my family again while we were living in Mesquite. My dad had gotten a job with TRG Drill a company in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. So, we made our way to the great state of Oklahoma during the summer after my second-grade year and settled in Moore, Oklahoma.
Working in the secular world is great. Right now, I hold a secular job with Northside I. S. D. But, I could drop the job if the Lord told me to through the Holy Ghost, prayer, and the earnest reading of God’s Word. If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, the Lord wants to live through you. You should live in the way of the Bible, Holy Ghost, and different happenings throughout your life. The will of God is the best way to live because you aren’t your own anymore, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
From the move to Oklahoma on to my thirteenth year the whole family just lived from the blessings of God. Because I think that we had gained the things of this world and had forgotten what the Lord had said in his Word. I guess you can make the tradeoff in your own life, just as we did. But God is amazing, to have you in just the place you need to be, even if you are not following his will. Because I know that from that point until I was thirteen and I was living like hell. I could tell you some of the things that I did from the late 1970’s to the early 1980’s and all you could see was a reprobate. I think God that he will still save a reprobate like me. From Oklahoma back through North Texas and finally back to San Antonio, in the summer of 1984. My family went from the northeast side and ended up on the Southwest side of San Antonio.
My oldest brother had a plan for his life, I can’t say if God gave it to him but, my brother followed through with it as much as he could. The two younger children the middle brother and I, really needed some prodding to find our place in this world. Once we were in Southwest Independent School District, both of us thought we found our place in life, football. I thank God that he will set you in a place where he will speak to you for the last times about salvation and, I can say that he spoke to me during a tent revival at Fellowship Independent Baptist Church.
While going to Fellowship Independent Baptist Church after I was saved, I became frustrated with the way my life was turning out. I was always in arguments with my family and the things that I should do, I would not do and that which I shouldn’t do that I did, Romans 7:15-20. Finding the Lord and playing football may seem to be something that goes hand in hand but, that was just a way to bring me to where I had a very big complex in my life. The complex was over me, I thought the world could not survive without me. I mean I was the star football player that did extremely well playing the game. I should have used as much energy reading my Bible and witnessing to the lost because I will tell you what happened when my family followed a coach to Springerville, Arizona.
When did I become a Believer in Christ?
I have been a born-again believer in Christ Jesus from June of 1986, my 13th year of life. I thought that once you had gotten saved, all of your cares would vanish away. I was correct in saying all of your cares, the things that you care about don’t always line up with the Word of God. God has taken me down a long road to places where I thought I would never have to go. Now, that the Lord has taken me through this life, do you know what? I can say that I have been blessed throughout my entire life and, I hope that you can see that if you are a born-again believer in Christ Jesus also. I saw the hand of God always moving throughout my younger years and I see the way that his hand moves me, to follow his Will, in my older age. He is the potter and I am definitely the clay… Jeremiah 18:1-4.
In the latter portion of chapter 18, it talks about Israel and how that nation went awry, just as I did after salvation. God does bless you, even when you can’t see it or, don’t want to see it. Take me for instance, just after I had found salvation, in my earlier years, 13 – 14 years old. I lived with my parents here in San Antonio, Texas. I thought that I was a good Christian.
I read my Bible – During church.
I prayed – Before almost every meal.
I wanted to see what God could do for me – Not the other way around.
I even submitted my life to God during a Revival meeting at Fellowship Independent Baptist Church – And that is where God had me.
As you listen to the things that I did, you better make sure that you are living in the Will of God because I wasn’t. I was as far from God and I think my family was too.
As I said, my family was not the poster family for living in God’s Will. I know this from different happenings throughout my younger years. I think that God was always on the back burner at this point in my life. Looking back on it now, it was sort of like the book of Ruth. As soon as things got a little hard for the Howard’s, I believe, we left the place where God has told us to stay. I can remember moving throughout my younger years at least ten times, whether it be in the same town or different states. Although I know one thing for sure now, you can’t move away from God. If you believe in Christ, you can say that you are following the Will of God but, you can be as far is far from it.
At the later point of my 14th year of life until almost my 16th year, I felt that I was Samson in Judges 13-16, not in all of the womanizing he did but, in the brute strength that he had. I began to think what could I do for myself, sort of like Samson, besides reading my Bible and pray all of the time, I didn’t want to do that because that wouldn’t help me further my agenda. I mean, my family had moved up to the White Mountains in Arizona to further our lives, not to hinder them. We thought that God would be sure to bless us there and my, oh my, were we right. Once you are born again, God has complete control of everything in your life.
Just before my 16th birthday, God had one of the biggest blessing’s planned out for me that no one knew about. I had played football, from my 8th-grade year and I lifted weights. I became rather strong and the problem was that I knew it and that was the problem. I thought that God was on the back burner for a reason, and that reason was that I was getting quite good at football. With the most valuable player, I received in junior high. In high school, the act of playing freshman and junior varsity football in the same year then moving up to varsity was good for the flesh but bad for my spiritual life.
I had the one thing that God hates more than anything, pride. In Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” That is why it took the blessing of God to bring me back down. I had a giant cerebral aneurysm in the midst of the 2-a-day practices for football of my sophomore year at Round Valley High School. Through all of the things I had learned, had done, or had lived through, I found that it is nothing without the Lord. I want to follow God’s will for my life and not anyone else’s especially my own. I want to have the good blessings of God and not the bad ones.
When did I know that I were called by God to Preach his Word?
Three years after having the aneurysm, my family wanted to move back to where the Lord had told us to come in the first place. In the summer of 1992, we made the trip back to San Antonio, Texas. We started Worshiping the Lord at Fellowship Independent Baptist Church. Again, the Lord is very good at letting the men of God know just what they are to preach because the Lord is very convicting.
At Fellowship Independent Baptist Church in the Spring of 1995, I was listening to Brother Mark Green, preach a message to the congregation and, you might ask how do you know that the message was meant for you? I knew the things which I had thought that I was doing for the Lord, were just fleshly. I knew that my life had been unprofitable for God. Because my life was not what he had bought me for, I knew that God had called me for something. 1 Peter 2:9-10, I remember this because of Bro. Green said that I was a peculiar person. I should have shown God all the glory for letting me live until then, which I didn’t. All that I had done in my life was trying to please myself through my own righteousness. Believe me, as a born again believer in Christ, there are a lot of things that you can do out of God’s will, things that are harmless to regular Christians and I was doing just that.
After that meeting, I told my pastor, Bro. Mike Kent that God wanted me to do something more for him but I did not know what it was yet? He told me to just be available for the service of God. From that point on I have tried to make myself available. So, on December 31, 1996, I had shown my availability by preaching in a nursing home, going door to door witnessing on the southwestern side of San Antonio weekly, and filling in during Sunday school or Wednesday night services, and received a license to preach from Fellowship Independent Baptist Church.
What has God led me too?
At that church, I had met Blanca, who is now my wife since November 31, 1996. I have two son’s and whether good or bad, I can’t complain about anything that God has blessed me with. Because you see, God knows the exact moment that you need everything in your life. God is good all the time. I guess Satan got a hold of the church after my wedding because, from that point, it had seemed that all hell broke loose. Through church splits, the pastor having prostate cancer, which is in remission now, and people were falling away for whatever reason that is not Biblical, the church was dissolved in 2012. This was just another place that God wanted me to live through to bring me closer to him.
From there I went to Faith Baptist Church on the pastors’ recommendation. The pastor of the church is Brother Mike Martin, a good man. There I learned that God wanted me to do more for him. Being there, I had more chances to grow spiritually than ever before. While at Faith Baptist, I was given the opportunity to preach, go out witnessing, and for the first time in my life go to a 30 day Boot Camp put on by Pastor Danny Farley at Shady Acres Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. That is when I was able to really start searching for God in my own life.
At the Boot Camp, there were seven men and one moderator, Brother Terrell Jackson. That is where God had shown me a few things, be faithful, never stop doing what God has told you to do, glorify the One who made you, and to preach with fervency. With a devotion at 7:00 am, morning service at 9:00 am until 12:00 pm, afternoon service at 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm, then an evening service from 7:00 pm until we were tired, from 10:00 pm to 12:00 am, Sunday thru Friday, and Saturday we just had the devotion and the evening service.
Let me say that I was taught the way that God wanted his children to live like, through his Word. While there I was able to listen in person to Pastor Phil Dunn out of Lighthouse Baptist Church, Evangelist Brother Dan Meaders, Brother Chuck Leonard Missionary to Ukraine, Evangelist Gary Lutrick who was a Missionary to Germany, Brother David Lindsey Missionary to the West Indies, and Prison Evangelist Mike Saunders. I was able to see and meet men of God that were able to share their life’s experiences with me and how God had always blessed. That is when I knew that I needed to live for the Lord more than ever and, not to be afraid of what this world, man, or even saved brethren can do to you. Just do what the Lord opens the door for you to go through and do it with fervency until it ends. Because the end is coming.
Finally, I am at Liberty Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas, ever since Fiesta 2017. At Liberty, I know that there are like-minded people who love God and want to serve him. Because through prayer and reading the Word of God, I thank God for leading me to this church and I know that he did.
What are you doing for God now?
Now, since my natural birth on September 3, 1973, I ask myself, where has all of the time gone. Do you want to know something about the Word of God? It is all good, a matter of fact it’s as, “…sweet as honey…” Revelation 10:10. Yet, in the same verse, “…as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter”, it continues in verse 11 saying, “Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” Now, I am finally doing just that.
Throughout my walk with God and not knowing why God has put you in whatever position that he has is a little strange. When it comes to knowing the reason why God is doing something in your life, it is good to know that he is the final authority. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
It took me about fifteen to twenty years to realize that God can do anything he wants with your life. I believe if I would have submitted to God earlier in my life I would not be in the position I am in now. When you feel that God is doing something wrong in your life, you need to wait and see how God is going to use the situation in your life, whether it is chastisement or to let others know that you believe in a big God. Don’t get me wrong, you should find Christ, get saved. Then do the will of the Father, work in the way that God wants you too.
I do believe God wants me to do more for him, whether that be speaking to groups of people, schools, people in the hospital or at a place of Worship. God has things for me to do, I just have to find where it is at.