VERY DIFFERENT
October 26, 2016
Mathew
November 11, 2016
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Pastor Charl Shaw

There was no better way to put it than that Charles W. Shaw was a confirmed alcoholic. His first contact with the Gideons came back in 1943 when he was inducted into the Army. That day he was presented a Service Testament from the Gideons International. He read that it was a New Testament so he put it in the bottom of his duffel bag and there it stayed.

Months later, just before entering combat in the Philippines; his thoughts turned to the possibility of being killed while in combat. “Fear” gripped his heart because it was so real, but then he saw his squad leader reading a Gideon Bible. Suddenly he found himself asking him questions about the Bible, Christianity and everlasting life. His squad leader shared with him the plan of salvation but Charles never actually received Christ as his personal Saviour. He carried that little New Testament all through the war because something about it gave him comfort. During the heat of combat from his foxhole, Charles found himself making promises to God but those promises never stuck with him.

After his discharge, Charles started drinking like never before. He worked hard to provide for his wife and two kids, but somehow almost every weekend he found himself drunk in some motel. And next to his bed Saviour. He carried that little New Testament all through the war because something about it gave him comfort. During the heat of combat from his foxhole, Charles found himself making promises to God but those promises never stuck with him. After his discharge, Charles started drinking like never before. He worked hard to provide for his wife and two kids, but somehow almost every weekend he found himself drunk in some motel. And next to his bed he found a Gideon Bible.

It made him mad because that Bible reminded him of his sinful life. Charles even said it seemed impossible for him to find a motel without a Gideon placed Bible in it.

Many weekends, in fact many months later he woke up one morning from another drunken spree only to see that copy of God’s Holy Word that had been placed there by the Gideons and he screamed “I wish those Gideons would get off my back. They follow me wherever I go!” After months of trying to find peace in the bottle, one day Charles came to the end of his rope. He woke up in another motel room but this time he felt like he was the loneliest person on earth. He longed to be home with his family but he wanted it to be a normal family relationship. He was overwhelmingly ashamed of his life and then something happened. He saw that copy of the Word of God that had been placed there by the Gideons. This time he was not mad. He was glad because this time he remembered the little Testament that he had received years ago in the service.

He remembered how it made him feel secure during the war. So he picked up the Bible and began to read. Charles found these words in the book of Romans “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” As tears were flowing down his face and he cried out to God “forgive me a sinner.”

Then something happened, suddenly Charles found himself rejoicing in the Lord. He picked himself up and went home to ask his wife and children to forgive him. Today for over 30 years Pastor Shaw has been preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ sharing his testimony with others how that Christ can change lives.

The Gideons International

 

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