On Mother's Day 2004 I started an email going, it included my testimony and
asked that everyone add theirs to the bottom and send it on.
Here's what I've collected so far, I'll update this page weekly for as long as I get replies.
Just my testimony so far. Check back in next week for more....
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will
make your paths straight.
The classic example for giving one's testimony is to tell some about your
life before salvation, then to tell about your salvation experience and then to
tell some about your life after salvation. I was saved at the age of six so I
don't remember much about my life before that. I was blessed to be born into the
family of a Baptist preacher, I am the 3rd (and youngest) child of Joe Ray and
Dorothy Land. I was born in Bartlesville, Ok and born again at First Baptist
Church, Shattuck, Ok where Dad was pastor at the time. I was saved during
a revival at the church that was preached by Robert Odd an old friend of my
Dad's. I don't recall all the details but I do remember asking Him into my heart
and later being baptized one Sunday evening. We moved from Shattuck to
McAlester, OK when I was only 8 years old, in the 2nd grade. I spent my
childhood and youth there, the first few years at Victory Park where Dad was the
pastor and then later at First Baptist Church after Dad became the Missions
Director for the association. Looking back now I can see the hand of God was
with me during those years. He directed me to a great church where I grew in the
Lord and learned more about him. I had several great Sunday School teachers and
the privilege to attend Falls Creek Baptist Assembly every summer. We also had
some great youth ministers and God worked through them and my Christian friends
to bring me closer to Him. After High School he led me to Oklahoma Baptist
University. During my years at OBU God led me to my wife, Sherre. We were
married after graduation and moved to Little Rock where I attended graduate
school while working at the school. After graduate school there was a period of
about 6 months where we searched for His will to find an occupation. Today, 6
months doesn't sound like very long of a period but at the time it felt like
years and years. Finally He opened up a door and made it very clear that He
wanted me in Ponca City, Ok to work for Conoco. That was more than 25 years ago.
Soon after moving to Ponca City we found a church where we could serve Him and
be blessed too. One of the things I struggled with early on was finding what God
had given me as a 'gift'. My Dad was a pastor but I didn't feel led to do that.
My gifts did not match the classical ones you read about in the Bible.
Eventually He showed me that my gift was a technical one. I'm the guy who knows
or finds out how things work and then makes them work right. I started on the
sound committee 25 or so years ago and I'm still there. I also help with the
lights along with the projector and computer systems in the church, the
technical stuff. One of those guys who works behind the scene to make sure the
Word is heard without any problems. It's been my blessing to serve Him all these
years and also to serve as a Deacon since 1990. God also blessed me with
two wonderful girls who are now both in college or about to graduate from
college. They both are following Him in their lives. So, as you can see, my
experience isn't as exciting as some folks but I expect it's fairly typical.
Without God I wouldn't be where I am today, He has certainly let me and blessed
me my whole life.
Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name
of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
David R. Land, FBC, Ponca City, OK
----- Original Message -----From: Dorothy LandTo: Dave LandSent: Thursday, May 13, 2004 6:36 PMSubject: testimony
Hi, Dear One --- your testimony warmed my heart - and what you are doing with these is great! Good ole e-mail - kinda like going 'from door to door' in the old days.I don't remember if I told you children my testimony: as an 8 year old child, I attended First Baptist Church with Mom and Dad -- spent most sermon times 'sleeping' as children do. But the message got through! I remember being at home one evening, sitting on the back steps of the house. I was facing an operation soon -- now, it was only to have my tonsils out, as all children do these days, or 'did' those days, but it was an OPERATION ! And I would be put to sleep! The thought occurred to me that I might die during this. The Holy Spirit sent conviction of sin to this 8 year old - what if I died on the operating table? I would go to hell, I realized, because I had not asked the Lord to forgive me and make me His. At church, then, I asked Dad to walk to the front with me. I vividly remember my baptism experience - I even still have a mental image of the dressing room and the baptistry in OKCity First Baptist Church, and the dress I wore - it was a small child's dress, kinda like you see on baby dolls these days. I also remember the great joy in my heart. And what do some children do when they are very happy? They jump up and down. Guess what? I jumped up and down in the baptistry. Of course, I was so small and OKCity FBC was so big, I am sure noone ever realized what I was doing - jumping for joy! WELL, now at age 82 and soon to be 83, I am still HIS -- and I KNOW from experience what heaven is like.You see, when your older brother, John, was born I had a 'death experience' - I can tell you that the believer 'is absent from the body and present with the Lord' because'I WAS THERE' !! By the way, the 'sky' is not blue (there is no need for oxygen) -- the scripture says 'the Lamb is the Light' - so what I remember is a gentle ivory glow.I am grateful for all the wonderful gifts of love and family the Lord has showered upon me, and for a place of service in His Kingdom, even at 82! Love, MOM
----- Original Message -----From: Al SummerfieldTo: Dave Land KD5FXSent: Friday, May 14, 2004 10:39 PMSubject: Re: Testimonies
I would like to give a testimony that I have not made to the church. There was a young man that was introduced to Christ at a very young age. Did not necessarily go to church all that much but did love the Lord. He was not the best student in school and was active in band and orchestra. Was in the Youth choir at church. He graduated and then joined the Navy,Being in the navy and never had touched liquor, was introduced to a new Satan. Was told by his peers that this would loosen him up to play jazz and be in the "in". He later found out that you can mix a healthy juice and a liquor to make you feel good. One drink led to many to leaving out the healthy juice and just the liquor. He was now up to a liter a day and had to have it before the morning muster. One day he found himself in a place in tthe Bedford-Stuyverson area in Brooklyn. Did not know how he got there but knew he certainly did not belong there. Coming back to the base, dirty and reeked with the smell of alcohol, deceided that this is not the life that he wanted. He cleaned up and went to any Minister that was available. He vowed to break the hold that liquor had on him and went "cold turkey". Sin can be broken if you let someone higher that you. This person was me. The first time I ever gave this testimony was at a JC convention Sunday morning breakfast. I am not proud of my addiction to alcohol but this is not a problem any longer
----- Original Message -----From: Larry MastersTo: kd5fx at cableone.net ; Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 11:14 PMSubject: Re: Testimonies
My salvation testimony is about how Jesus changed my heart, my life, and my ultimate destination back in March, 1961 at age 15. God convicted me during a Friday night Revival service in Ada, Oklahoma. I claimed to already be a Christian as a result of walking the aisle in church along with several of my friends back when I was 7 years old. I was baptized that very night and grew up as an active church member, participating in almost everything the church program offered. By the time I became a teenager, many people probably thought of me as one of the leaders in the youth group, the school, and in the community. To some, I suppose, I played the part, looked the part, and spoke the part of a committed Christian. After all, I was the Pastor’s son (ha!), an honor’s student, an adult choir member, and a high school varsity athlete. But on the inside I was a hypocrite; I was like a grain of wheat that looked real, yet was empty on the inside. I was sinful, self-centered, and lacked the power and the presence of Jesus inside. I had what some have called “Church-anity” instead of “Christ-ianity”. I had a lot of head knowledge, but no heart experience. During that Friday evening service, God spoke to me and helped me realize that I was like a baseball player that was rounding second base, but failed to touch first base. I finally realized that my apparent “salvation decision” back when I was seven years old was a sincere attempt to please God, to please all my friends, and to make my parents proud of me. I did love God, but at that age I wasn’t convicted about my own sins. Let me interject that I do believe there are legitimate salvation experiences for many young children. So, after that service, I asked my father (also my Pastor) to meet with me. And there on my knees in the Pastor’s Study, I told God that I was going to turn away from my sinful life. I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my life. I thanked Him for dying on the cross for me and thanked Him for becoming for Savior and my Lord. It felt as if a 2-ton weight was lifted off my shoulders because I had been trying to carry my load of sins on my own power. On the following Sunday morning, I stepped out of the choir loft and went forward during the Invitation Hymn to publicly profess my faith in Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord. That night, I followed the Lord in “believer’s baptism”. From that weekend on, my life and my future was changed. Jesus has led the way through all my marriage, family, and career decisions. He has given me a sense of direction. He has blessed me with a Godly wife, children, and grand children. He has seen us through some difficult challenges. He has sustained us through 40 years of vocational Christian service in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. He continues to bless me, to teach me new lessons, and to forgive me when I fail. I know that when my life here on earth is over, I will instantly go to heaven to be with Jesus and to serve Him. I will enjoy a happy reunion with loved ones, with friends, and with those souls that I have helped find Jesus. I have never regretted one time that I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I praise God for the joy, the peace, the purpose, the abundant life, and the power that He has given me. Is He your Savior too? I pray that He is!
First Baptist Church, Ponca City, OK