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ON A PAINTING JOB, 250 MILES FROM HOME

Pastor Bill Smith was in Lawrenceville, Georgia, preparing to attend a church growth conference at a local church. At 7:00 a.m. on the Tuesday the phone in his hotel room rang. It was Randy Thomas from Perry, Florida, where Pastor Smith had pastored eleven years before. Randy had sent his children to church, but he and his wife seldom attended. However, he had remembered his friendship with Pastor Bill. Randy’s voice was husky, and something was obviously bothering him. On this particular morning, Randy, a painting contractor, was 250 miles from home on a painting job. He had switched on the TV in his hotel room and stopped to listen to a preacher, and the Holy Spirit began convicting him of his sins. He wanted to pray, and he wanted to get right with God, and he wanted Pastor Bill to help him. God was indeed working. Pastor Smith began sharing Scripture with Randy, but wished that Randy could read the Scriptures for himself. Then the Lord reminded him of the Bibles in the hotels, and he told Randy, “Look in the drawer of the bedside table. There should be a Bible there.” Randy looked, and pulled out the Bible he found.

Randy looked, and pulled out the Bible he found. The pastor referred him to 1 John 1:9. Randy said, “Yes, I have it.” Randy read that verse, and several others, for himself, and the pastor was able to explain what he could do to have his sins forgiven. He then asked Randy if he was ready to confess his sins and be forgiven. Randy said that he was, and that he wanted to pray his own prayer. After praying, Randy knew that his sins had been washed away and his name was written in heaven. The tears turned to joy. The painter went to work a new person. The pastor went to his seminar with awe and excitement. God had brought all of it together. The Gideons International

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