Sunday, January 30, 2011




"Thou hast covered me in my mother's womb......the Lord
shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve
me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory forever
and ever. Amen." Psalms 139:13; 11 Timothy 4:8

Outside the closed door, the little girl crouched in fear. Screams from the woman behind the door penetrated the night air. Putting her hands over her ears, she tried to make sense out of it all. Many times her mother had come to this house. It was always the same. Locked doors. Screams. Blood.

It was many years later she was to discover that she alone, of all her mother's babies, had escaped the abortionists scalpel.

At seven years of age she was sent to live with Aunt Nissy and Uncle Bill. More than once she wanted to quell the sound of Aunt Nissy's condemning voice. Resenting the fact she had to take care of her niece, Nissy would scream, "You've ruined my life, brat. You're going to be a tramp just like your alcoholic mother."

Life makes funny turns. Instead of becoming a down and outer like her mother, Lou went to the top of society. She was what I call an “up and outer.” Sometimes they're the hardest fish of all to catch!

Lou's husband was our family doctor. He enjoyed a good reputation in our town. His waiting room was always full. He had that unique bedside manner that made you feel as if you, of all his patients, were special.

I didn't know much about his wife except that she was always busy in the community, including being our Congressman's "Girl Friday". If you had a problem that could be solved politically you called Lou, and she would do her best to help. She loved people, too. When she heard of Jeanette's son David, dying of leukemia, she was one of the first to go the hospital to encourage the family. Giving them a self-help book, she did her best to bring comfort to the family in crisis.

Self-help. That was the key phrase in her life. Lou was diligently seeking help for herself. Very few people in our town knew that the doctor's wife, living in a large brick home with a swimming pool and tennis court, was desperately seeking an answer to life; something to fill the emptiness that was always present.

She had read many books on self-improvement, but they only left her frustrated. There had to be something more. She began going with a close friend to visit fortune tellers and tarot card readers in Atlanta.

Wanting to remember every word spoken to her, she would use her recorder to tape the sessions, but to no avail. Though her friend’s recorder would always work, when she would get home to listen to her tapes, they were blank.

She began reading the works of Edgar Cayce and other clairvoyants. Soon her books had run into thousands of dollars but still no answer. Her husband, always ready to encourage her, never minimized her intense quest for the answer to life. He knew it was something she had to do.

With her three children grown and living on their own, the big brick home provided quiet solitude. The long hours the doctor worked gave Lou a lot of time to continue her search for a meaning for her life. What was her purpose for being here anyway?
For what purpose had God preserved her life?

Before moving to Cochran Lou had several close escapes from death. While living in Conyers, Georgia, Lou and her family were providentially away from home when a tornado ripped the entire roof off their house. Another time she hit a moving train and miraculously escaped serious injuries.

Now, years later, it seemed that every avenue she had searched was virtually a dead end. Maybe she needed to own a business of her own. Perhaps she would feel fulfilled in this way. It was worth a try. She spent long hours working and though it was fun, it turned out to be another futile attempt at finding peace in her soul.
Through the years that Lou was on her search, I would see her from time to time.

Not ashamed to let people know where I stood about God, she and I had talked on more than one occasion about the Lord. When you're secure in what you believe and why you believe it, people can be somewhat intimidated. I had no idea when I would go into Lou's sandwich shop that she was hiding from me.

"There's that Jerri Tuck," she would whisper to a co-worker. "Tell her I'm not in." Then hiding until I had finished eating, she would come back to the lunch counter. "That woman's scares me," she would say.

Later I had a good laugh over this story when Lou recounted the episode to me. "Goodness, Lou!" I retorted back in mock indignation, "All I wanted was a sandwich! I wasn't coming to get you!"

One day I got a call from Lou. In tears, she was begging me to come by and see her in an hour. Then before the hour was up, she called and told me to forget it. This went on for over a week. Desperate calls from Lou and then cancellations. Finally, in desperation, she let me come to her house.

As she lay on her bed, recuperating from a recent back surgery, she told me of the trials she was going through. Besides her search for reality, she had problems in her family she was dealing with. I prayed with her that day, and it wasn't long before I started seeing a change in Lou. She no longer avoided me. Instead of new age literature, she started reading Christian books.

During this season in my life, I was actively involved with Women's Aglow Fellowship. Twice a year they held retreats where women from all denominations could go and be spiritually refreshed. Since we were nearing the time for our fall retreat I invited Lou to attend. To my surprise she accepted. I was elated! The theme of the retreat was “The Wedding Invitation.”

Trembling with anticipation, Lou went to each meeting. Surely God was going to reveal Himself and His purpose for her. Over the weeks and months that we had been talking, Lou was beginning to see her spiritual vacuum could only be filled by the Lord.

During the last night of the retreat, a young woman (Barbara Gleeson) stood at the pulpit and began to sing the sweetest song in the Spirit. As she sang, Lou could only see Jesus, her bridegroom, beckoning her to Himself.

Like the Shulamite woman in Solomon's love song, who had searched and searched for her bridegroom, she had at last found Him. The quest was over. This was why God had preserved her life, from the earliest stirrings in her mother's womb, to the roaring of an oncoming train.

As we left the conference center, Lou literally glowed. "Oh Jerri," she exclaimed in wonder, "isn't Jesus precious? I don't remember a thing about last night, only that I know He's in here now." Placing her hand over her heart, she breathed deeply. "I know He's here. He'll always be here."

I never cease to be amazed at the change that takes place in someone who receives Christ. Talk about a book-burning. All the books by Edgar Cayce and other clairvoyants were destroyed. Her husband was thrilled at the change he saw in Lou. They began to experience a closeness they had never before known.

Only one year after receiving Christ, the Lord took her precious husband home. But Lou was okay. She had Jesus, and He said He would never leave her. At his funeral the Lord pulled back the curtain of eternity and their deaf daughter Margaret saw a vision of her daddy. In a mist she saw him ascending a ladder. Then she "heard" a voice saying, "Come on Charlie. Come on up." The doctor was home.

Today I count Lou as one of my dearest friends. It's been many years since her husband passed away. No longer on an unending search for fulfillment, Lou spends her time blessing others. At the time of the writing of this book she had a little granddaughter named "Charlie" who was named after her deceased husband, Charlie Brooks. Lou spent many happy hours babysitting during those early years of her life. Today Charlie is a devoted Christian and is studying at the University of Georgia to become a pharmacist.
Several years after her husband passed away their son William sent word to me that his wife was in labor. Jumping in the car, I prayed, "Lord, please let this baby be okay." William's wife had been suffering with kidney stones. It was to be a long night as Lou and I sat, reminiscing about all of the Lord's goodness to us, and praying for this little one about to be born into the world.

"Jerri! We have a baby," Lou shouted. I guess I had dozed. It was 3:30 in the morning. Rushing into the labor room with Lou, we heard the baby cry. A girl. We started hugging and dancing. Then abruptly, this grandmother fell on her knees in front of a chair and with folded hands, I heard her saying over and over, "Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus." I was so touched with this scene. My eyes filled with tears.

This little baby, like Lou many years ago, had been covered in her mother's womb...preserved for His heavenly kingdom. Driving home in the wee hours of that morning, I talked with my Father. "Oh, Lord thank you for sparing Lou's life when she was in her mother’s womb. Thank you for preserving her through the tornado and most of all, thank you for saving her and letting me be her friend." "My good friend, Lou Brooks - Christmas Parade 2010"

Dear reader, this story is not over. There are many more people out there just like Lou, like William's baby, Sierra. They've been preserved. They're waiting for someone to tell them their reason for being. They're asking why? I hear their voices. Don't you?

Prayer for Today

Dear Lord,

Each life is such a miracle. When I think of the many aborted babies, my heart grieves. Oh, Lord, perhaps the person you send my way today may be like Lou. Someone spared from the abortion’s scalpel; someone that you have ordained to eternal life. Please help me to be sensitive today dear Lord. Dear Lord… especially bless those who are in the midst of the battle for the lives of the unborn.

In Jesus name,


Friday, January 21, 2011


Beauty for Ashes

"The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty;
he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he
will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

"Oh no," I thought as I looked out the window. There, coming down my long dirt driveway, were two women headed for my front door. Thinking they were representatives from a local cult, I braced myself for the usual pitch. "Do you know the end of the world is coming? You need to buy one of our books and maybe you can escape the great tribulation."

Taking a deep breath and mustering up a smile, I answered the door. A disgusted and disgruntled woman with a pretty young teenager standing behind her met me as I opened the door. "Can we use your phone?" Sweat was pouring down their faces as she quickly explained that their car had broken down with a flat tire, and they were stranded on the highway.

Relieved they weren't religious proselytizers, I said, "Sure," and invited them in. Leading them to the telephone I tried not to be obvious in staring at them. The woman began cursing and berating the person on the other end of the line. The teenage girl was noticeably embarrassed by her mother's outburst. If there had been a trap door handy, she no doubt would have disappeared out of sight.

After a few more expletives, the lady told me help would soon be on the way. As she started to leave, I immediately sensed this was a woman who needed a friend. "Wouldn't you like to wait here in the house until your help comes?" I asked. "I bet a glass of iced tea would taste good right now."

Trying to make her feel relaxed I went to the refrigerator and got out the tea and began making small talk about how hot it was and how we women were sure at a disadvantage when it came to changing tires.

While they were waiting for help to arrive, I learned the woman's name was Jeanette. Laura was one of her six children. From Jeanette's point of view, life was pretty rotten. It wasn't long before I found out she hated everything and everybody. Needless to say, being broken down on Highway 26 on a hot, humid Georgia day sure didn't help her outlook. As they left my house, I invited them to come back and see me sometime.

Jeanette did!

In fact, she came back nearly every day for a month! She was at our house first thing in the morning before Charlie left for work. She came back again in the afternoons, many times staying until evening. It began to wear thin on Charlie. "Honey, that woman is wasting your time," he said as kindly as he could. By the end of the month, he knew Jeanette was on my mind and heart constantly.

"No she's not!" I had argued defensively. "She's going to get saved and so is her whole family!" I was adamant. This was one fish I was determined to catch. She needed Jesus in the worst way. I could look past her cussing and addictions... beyond her rotten attitude toward life...toward people. I just knew God loved her, and He had put His love in my heart for this bitter woman.

Then one day it happened. Just like I knew it would! She had come over early (again). It had rained heavily the night before. Our dining room ceiling had been leaking for years, and Charlie and I were emptying pots and pans so we could replace them under the dripping ceiling. Jeanette, by this time, was like a family member, and she began to help.

Getting that job done, we all sat down on the floor and, amid the pots and pans, enjoyed a cup of coffee. No pretense at the Tuck house...that's for sure. In thinking back, I'm not sure just how the conversation came up, but I knew this was the time and the place. (Some fishing hole!)

"Jeanette," I asked, "wouldn't you like to have Jesus in your life?" Jeanette nodded her head in silent affirmation; we then prayed with her and a new life began for Jeanette.

The change was incredible. Gone was her addiction to valium. After five years of popping pills, she was free! Gone was the griping and complaining. Everyone could see the difference in Jeanette.

Her plunge into the Word of God was as intense as her bitterness toward life had been. She began to grasp truths that many theologians have missed. Her love for people was real and genuine. Her concern for others was preeminent in her life. She couldn't do enough, give enough, or pray enough.

One night after six months she thought, "This just can't be true. I must be making this whole thing up. God just couldn't love me the way I think He does." Going into her bathroom, despondent over her disturbing thoughts, she reached for the bottle of valium that had been shoved to the back of the medicine cabinet. As she began to open it, she suddenly stopped and said, "No! Lord, I'm going back to bed and if you are real, you'll just have to give me a sign."

All her life Jeanette had felt unloved. Her mother had died in childbirth, and so she had never experienced what many of us take for granted...a mother's touch. There was no one to kiss away the hurts. No one to take her in their arms and smooth her hair and tell her she was precious; only an alcoholic father who sent her to live with one relative after another.

At night she would gaze out her window and beg God to send someone to love her. But no one came.

Now she was putting God to the test. He had never answered her pleas before, but she had to know. The bottle of valium tucked back into the cabinet, she climbed into bed. "Are you real God?"

As she drifted off to sleep, the Lord tenderly came to her in a dream. As Jeanette tells it, she saw Jesus coming toward her with His arms outstretched. He was wearing the most beautiful robe she had ever seen.

"The robe was green and blue and purple," she recounts. "It was made of an iridescent fabric and it flowed as He walked toward me." With tears in her eyes she said, "I'll never forget it. He was singing to me. To me! He was singing, 'Jeanette, you are so beautiful.' He sang it over and over and each time He sang my name."

She never doubted again. Not even when her son David was struck with leukemia. The doctors said they had done all they could. But they couldn't shake her faith in a God that loved her; a God who sang to her.

Ten year old David was swollen from drugs, bald from chemotherapy treatments and pitifully weak from the disease that was sapping his life. But Jeanette remembered the song.

When David walked out of the hospital, totally healed, the doctor said in amazement, "I didn't believe you, Jeanette. I didn't believe David could be healed, but I was wrong. He's 100% cured. The only problem is that he will never be able to have children...but he will live!"

Fifteen years later David and his wife Laurie are the proud parents of a healthy baby girl! Jeanette and David have been on television in Savannah to tell their marvelous story. Helping others find hope against all odds, Jeanette has worked tirelessly for the Leukemia Foundation. Jesus is still singing to Jeanette.

Her ten year old grandson Brenton, is learning the song, too. After watching him suffer with horrible, disfiguring warts on his hands for two years, Jeanette looked at him and said, "Brenton, I'm sick and tired of your warts. Let's get rid of them once and for all." The doctors had tried everything. Brenton was embarrassed by this condition and had cooperated in every way possible with various treatments. Nothing worked.

On their knees they turned the problem over to the Lord. Tucking Brenton in bed that night, Jeanette reassured him the Lord would take care of the problem. The next morning as Brenton awoke he was almost afraid to look. But Grandma said they would be gone. Pulling his hands from beneath the covers he let out a scream. "They're gone! They're gone!" Running down the hallway he met his grandmother. They laughed and hugged, and Brenton told me later, "We never could find any of those warts." Two years have passed and his hands are still smooth and scar free. Today Brenton's hands look beautiful.

You know, I believe I've heard the song, too!

Prayer for Today

Dear Lord,

I have so much going on today, but help me to entertain strangers if they come my way. Cause me to see past the frailties of fellow human beings and realize that each and every one of them is special to you. There is so much potential in everyone, Lord…talents and abilities just waiting to spring forth. Help me to see what you see in people, Lord.

In Jesus name,

Friday, January 7, 2011


Nothing Shall Separate Us

"For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor
things present, nor things to come, nor height,
nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to
separate us from the love of God, which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

She propped him up on her shoulders. He was a skinny lad, only about ten years of age. "Can you see anything?" she questioned in a whisper. The boy rubbed the window with his shirt sleeve.

"Coast is clear Mom," he replied, equally as quiet.

Gently, so gently, the wiry youth pushed on the window until it opened. Then, receiving a boost from his mother, he shimmied inside. He was cautious as he walked stealthily across the bedroom floor, down the hallway and through the kitchen to the back door. Waiting outside were his mother and younger sister. As they entered the darkened house, they went quickly. They stole what they could, and then, rushing to their car, they sped off into the night.

The scene was repeated many times before the mother was eventually caught. It was not her first offense. As she sat in a cell in the Hawkinsville jail, just eleven miles from my home, I had no idea that God was working, planning for our paths to cross.

"Jerri, I need you to go to the jail with me," said my friend Hilda over the phone.
"There's a woman there who has been using her children to help her rob homes.
The Lord has given me a burden for her, and I'd just like you to go with me to visit her."

Inwardly, I chuckled. Hilda definitely did not seem the type to be going to the county jails in our area. Her husband, a respected businessman, might frown on such noble endeavors, but I was game. If Hilda had a burden to visit such a woman, I knew it must be of God. She was one of the finest Christian women I knew in Cochran. She had a love for people and a love for the Lord that could not be equaled.

What was God doing? I couldn't wait to find out.

Knocking on the thick steel door, I yelled, "Edith, are you in there?"
A hesitant female voice answered, "Yes, I'm here."

Hilda grinned at me as I began talking with a woman that neither she nor I had ever seen. "Edith, the Lord has sent us here. My friend and I came by just to tell you that God loves you." Silence. "Edith, are you listening?"

Edith was listening and, as I talked about the love of God, Hilda lifted her heart to heaven in prayer. Soon we were all kneeling down...Hilda and I on the cold, damp concrete floor on one side of the door and Edith on the other. A soul had been born into the kingdom of God, and Jerri Tuck was on another fishing trip!

Hilda had done her job, and from that point on I took the ball and ran with it. Soon I was visiting Edith on a regular basis. I led her cellmate Vivian to the Lord, and we all started studying the Bible together and it became such a joy to see them both growing in the Lord.

While visiting with Edith in the jail, I met "Aunt Pat". She was Edith's older sister. A sweet, soft spoken woman, she had been caring for Edith's two children while she was in jail. Although Pat had children and grandchildren living with her in a single-wide trailer, she still had room in her heart for two more. Space was limited, but they were family. They would make it somehow.

(Edith's two children pictured above)

When the judge pronounced sentence on Edith, she was in a panic. Knowing Pat couldn't keep her children indefinitely, she begged me to adopt them. There was no way. We still had five children at home and were barely making it financially. I was heartbroken that I couldn't help her in this way. Imploring the Lord, I cried, " Father, please show us what to do for these children. Help us find them a home."

They transferred Edith from Hawkinsville to the Hardwick Prison for Women in Milledgeville. Charlie and I then went to work finding a place for her kids. It seemed no one had room for two pre-teen children.

After a diligent search, we were able to get them accepted into the Methodist Children's Home in Macon. It wasn't ideal but we, along with Pat, were allowed to get them on weekends for visits. Somehow that helped. The children knew they had family and friends that loved them.

As our friendship with Edith grew, so did our association with Pat. It wasn't long before we started a Bible study in her home. Out of the Bible study grew an awareness of the needs of this precious family. Soon we were seeing God move by providing a nice brick home for them. Once again God was using my real estate business to be a blessing. How I praised Him for the knowledge He had given me in this area.

The Bible study grew. Pat's sons, Ray and Donald, entered the kingdom of God while standing by their grandfather's grave in a beautiful cemetery in Statesboro, Georgia. Standing there, I talked with them about the eternal state of their souls. In the quietness of that moment they prayed to receive Christ into their hearts, and life came out of death.

With God working so mightily in this family, it came as no surprise when Connie, Pat's only daughter, rededicated her life to the Lord. Now, Connie's children, Daniel and Sarah, were also starting to learn about Jesus.

The chain reaction continued, as Miss Adel, Pat and Edith's mother, started coming to the Bible study. Weeks grew into months and then into years. Altogether we met in Pat's home for four years. Many times we would alternate, meeting at Adel's home and also in Ray's apartment.

What started as a close friendship with Edith had now expanded to Pat's family. Ray, her oldest son, had been hooked on pot before getting saved. Meeting for Bible study one night at his apartment, we had planned an Ephesus bonfire! He had gathered all of his drug paraphernalia, rock records, and anything that smacked of Satan's kingdom. Ray wanted to make a complete break with his past. He had read that the Ephesians burned their works of witchcraft, and idolatry and he told us that was his desire, also. It was to be quite a night.

As Charlie and I drove up into his back yard, we were thrilled at the pile of junk he had gathered. Sitting on his back porch, in complete amazement, was Tom, his drug supplier. Tom had tried to sell him drugs earlier that week, but Ray told him he had another "connection".

That connection was Jesus! Ray had then invited Tom to stay with him since he was without a place to live. There would be only one condition. Attend the Monday night Bible study!

As the flames soared into the night air, the Lord started stirring Tom's heart. By the end of the evening, he too became a child of God. God was on the move, and we continued to rejoice in what He was doing. During the weeks and months that followed, we saw others come to Christ, including Tom's wife. There is no way to explain the joy Charlie and I were experiencing as we watched the hand of God in all of this.

Finally, Edith was released from prison. She was able to reunite with her children and eventually married a very kind man who loved her and her children. They all moved to the mountains and established a new life. I knew God had performed a great miracle in Edith. She belonged to the Lord now, and He would be with her wherever she might go.

Twelve years had now passed since first meeting Edith and her family. It was 1993. A year the family would never forget. Adel, a diabetic, had been stricken with Alzheimer's disease. Visiting her in the nursing home, Pat and Edith grieved as they saw their precious mother wasting away. Many times she didn't even recognize them. Now, when all of them were Christians, they were denied the most precious thing of all....fellowship in Him.

Then one day the shocking news came from the mountains. Edith had mysteriously passed away in her sleep. We were all in shock. Her husband Frank, was grief stricken. Pat was devastated.

A few months later, while Pat was taking Connie to work, a deer darted near the road. Pat swerved, but it was too late. The car rolled over and over. Pat was thrown from the car. Although Connie sustained multiple injuries, she survived. It was not to be for Pat.

As Connie received treatment in the emergency room, Pat, fighting for her life, slipped away. Not giving up, the medical team continued to work on her. Finally, when it seemed all hope was gone, they were able to resuscitate her. They transferred her to Macon, and the vigil began. Nine days later, after telling all her family and friends how much she loved them, she slipped into a coma and went to be with Jesus.

My daughter Sandy, a nurse who worked at the Hawkinsville hospital, comforted me. "Mom, she must have told Jesus she had some unfinished business, and He let her come back just so she could tell everyone that she loved them." It helped.
Adel, still in a nursing home, had no idea that her two daughters had gone on ahead. A short while later in the same year, she went to join them. I know it must have been a sweet reunion for the three of them. No prison, no distance, no debilitating sickness to ever separate them again. They're together.....with Jesus.

I'm so glad I took time to go fishing in the jail! As I look forward to my own home going, I know that I will see these three precious women there. Today I believe that they are peeking over the edge of heaven saying, "Keep on, Hilda. Keep on, Jerri. Don't give up working with people. It will be worth it all when you get here. Believe will be worth it all!"

Prayer for Today

Dear Lord,

You must have a special place in your heart for families. It only takes the moving of your Spirit in one family member’s heart to affect all the others. Lord, when I look at the “one,” help me remember that there may be a child, a mother, or a sister that will be affected by this one’s response to the gospel.

In Jesus name,

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Chapter Six
Divine Appointments

"And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street
........... for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name
before the Gentiles......" Acts 9:11-15

Sitting in a strip joint in Middle Georgia, Roger managed to squelch the voice of the Holy Spirit. As a fifteen year old youth he had made a commitment to Christ and had voraciously studied his Bible. In later years he would browse through his notes and realize that God had been drawing him into a teaching ministry, but at this time in his life, stationed in Warner Robins, Satan was slowly, but surely, pulling him down into the painful darkness of sin.

Lonely and homesick, Roger had gone into a topless bar. Ordering a beer, he then sat down at a crowded table where, stripped to the waist, girls were gyrating and smiling enticingly at the cheering audience, while performing the latest dance steps on the table tops. Loud, pulsating music pounded out the beat that seemed to match his heart, as the black lights gave the performing girls an ethereal appearance. A petite, pretty brunette flashed an inviting smile at Roger. Their eyes locked.
Away from home, and vulnerable, Roger willingly yielded to her seductive advances. Later, he was to discover that Ann, a single mother, had a young daughter. According to her story, she was doing the best she could to support them both. "Sometimes we have to do distasteful things to make it in this world," he reasoned to himself, justifying her vocation.

Having a natural love for children, Roger soon took Ann and her daughter on as his new little family. He knew they could make it work. They needed each other, and the little girl needed both a mommy and a daddy. It was decided. They would get married and have a real home together.

When Roger finished his tour of duty in the Air Force, he bought a house in Cochran. It was a large house, big enough for friends, Ron and Julie, to move in with them. It was going to be a fresh start for both couples. No more strip bars! Small town life was what they all needed.

After completing active duty, Roger and his friend Ron went off to trucker’s school while Ron's wife Julie babysat her child and Ann's little girl. Ann got a job washing dishes in a small local restaurant. It wasn't long after Ann started her new job that one of the waitresses invited her to church. The waitress was our daughter Dotty!

Ann was very interested in God and knew there was something lacking in her life. She told her friend Julie about the conversations she was having with Dotty. At the same time Dotty was telling me about these newcomers who had moved to Cochran. My burden for them began to grow.

Dotty told me where Ann, and her friend Julie were living, so one day I decided to drive by. As I neared their house, I saw two ladies standing on the porch. Since I knew Ann was at work, I realized the woman standing in the doorway must be Julie. I stopped and yelled, "Ma'am could I talk to you a minute?" All three of the women turned and looked at me. The two visitors thought I was talking to them. Pointing to Julie, I said ,"No...I mean her."

Quite shocked, Julie came over to the car. Looking her straight in the eye and warning her in a low, somber voice, I said, "You don't know me, but God sent me here. Those people are from a cult. Don't buy anything from them. I'll be back later."

Just as seriously she responded back, her eyes showing her astonishment at what was happening. "Okay." I knew she was wondering who I was and who could have sent me with such an urgent and strange message. Flashing an approving smile, I drove off.
Now I firmly believe in divine appointments. Don't you? This was definitely one of them. This little gal was shook to her toes and told her visitors she couldn't talk to them and promptly went back into the house.

Later, I dropped by and met both couples. They all seemed pretty nervous about meeting me and when I introduced myself to Roger, he blurted out, "Have you ever read The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey?" When I told him I had, he later confessed, "That was the trigger. I knew God was after me."

Oh, friend, let me tell you. God knows where we are. He will go to any lengths to bring us back.

It wasn't long before everyone in the household was going to church. Attendance was spasmodic, but nonetheless our family was rejoicing to see God working in the lives of both couples.

Although Ann was going to church, she still hadn't given her heart to Christ. So much was head knowledge with her. She knew receiving Christ was the right thing to do, but the pull of the past was too great. She soon stopped attending altogether. It seemed like all the progress we had made with both families was being sabotaged by Satan.

Several months went by. Ann had quit her job at the restaurant. Knocks at their door went unanswered. I was discouraged. But God wasn't!

One day, while driving by their house, I saw Roger on the front porch. I waved cheerfully and proceeded to the stop sign. I'd like to say I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Put the car in reverse," or something equally dramatic or spiritual. However, I didn't. I just got up to the corner, hesitated, then put the car in reverse and backed up to Roger's front yard.

Jumping out of the car, I said, "How are you doing brother?"

I was to find out several years later he wasn't doing well at all. In fact, he and God were in a deep conversation, and I was interrupting it big time. It seems that Ann had left Roger and gone back to work at her old vocation. Deeply depressed, he had gathered about fifty pills and was telling God, as he sipped on his beer, why he had to kill himself.

That was when he saw me coming down the street. "Oh no," he thought. "She's going to ruin everything." As I drove by, he quickly hid his drink and waved back, breathing a sigh of relief. I wasn't going to mess it up after all. He could still kill himself. That is, just as soon as he could make God understand his whole reason for doing so. Then he saw my reverse tail lights light up. "Oh no! Here she comes."

As I stepped out of the car, Roger hid the beer. Coming toward me, he responded, "I'm not doing too well. Ann has left me."

Telling him how very sorry I was about his situation, I invited him to a church supper. "Don't worry about bringing anything." I told him with all the kindness I could put in my voice, "We'll have plenty to eat." My heart went out to this young man.

That encounter was the beginning of new things for Roger. At the church that night he turned his life over to the Lord Jesus Christ. No, Ann didn't come back and get saved. They didn't live happily ever after. As far as Roger knows, she's still dancing in strip bars. We prayed earnestly that she would change. But she didn't. It was tough for Roger. But Roger started growing in the things of the Lord. He was in church and Bible studies at every opportunity!

Months later Roger moved from Cochran. Then, while on duty with the Air National Guard in Denmark, he slipped a few times. Satan doesn't let go easily. We kept him in our prayers. After his return to the states, Roger was determined to get on with his life and with Jesus. He would call now and then and let us know that he was going forward. We rejoiced with him.

Before long there was a wedding announcement. We praised the Lord with him when he told us the Lord had given him a precious Christian woman to share his life with. Melinda also had a love for children and ministry. They became children's ministers, and today work with puppets in their church, telling boys and girls about Jesus. They are quite a team for Jesus!

The day that seemed so hopeless to Roger actually became his turning point. God had a wonderful plan for Roger. Today he's walking in that plan and sharing with everyone what Christ has done for him.

A little over a year ago Roger was on his way home to Atlanta from Savannah with his guard unit. He was sharing his story, as he has so many times, with a fellow soldier, just the way I've shared it with you. As they were heading north on I-16, they were nearing a truck stop called Me Maw’s. Roger told the young man confidently, "I'm going to pray that Jerri Tuck will be at the truck stop so you can meet her!"

This truck stop is 20 miles from our house and in the middle of nowhere. We rarely went there, because of the inconvenience of the location. Yet for some strange reason, while Charlie and I were sitting in our den, reading the paper, I looked at him and said, "Let's do something different. Want to go to Me Maw's and have some lunch?"

"Sure," Charlie responded gamely.

We had not seen or talked to Roger in months. Imagine our surprise when Roger, and a crowd of soldiers, popped in for some quick refreshments. He introduced us to a young Guardsman, all the while beaming from ear to ear. Then, after some small conversation Roger and his fellow soldiers, were back on the interstate, headed for Atlanta.

It was over a year later that Roger told us about his near suicide attempt and his miraculous answer to prayer in meeting Jerri Tuck on I-16, at a truck stop called Me Maws!

Without a doubt ...another divine appointment.

Today, no longer walking in the darkness of sin, Roger is keeping a lot of these life changing appointments. As he and his beautiful wife, Melinda, tell children about Jesus, they are also sharing with them the profound truth that life in Christ is more exciting than anything the world offers. They ought to know!

Prayer for Today

Dear Lord,

Today is a new day. A day filled with divine appointments. Oh Lord, help me to be on time – not too early and not too late. I don’t want to miss that lost soul who will be at the next checkout counter, at the doctor’s office, or even at the ballgame. Let me listen to your voice, Lord, and heed your instructions. Perhaps our special meeting will affect his whole eternity.

In Jesus name,