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Sunday, July 14, 2024

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From the Publisher 4.12.2006

By Rick Racela

To Christians at Easter,
From Art Hall, Publisher
A dear friend of mine, Tom Crouthamel, has been coming to the Wednesday, 7 a.m. men’s prayer meeting at the Herald for a number of years. Recently, when he was praying he was so grateful for a neighbor lady who reached out to him as a child that he was moved to tears.
I thought to myself, Easter is coming and some people will want to hear from him, in his own words, how this lady changed his life. What he wrote follows.
  A Simple Visit
As I look back on my life, there was a very important lady that was influential in helping me make the most important decision in my life.  When I was about 5-6 years old, this neighbor lady came to my house and asked my Mom if I could attend a weekly Bible class for kids.
At that time I imagine my Mom could see that I needed it. I went (more for the cookies and milk) but never caught on completely. One thing I did learn was that God loved me. After attending this class for some time and going to Sunday school and other meetings, one night at about age 13, I went to a youth meeting and heard the youth guy say, “If you were to die tonight, do you know whether you would go to heaven or hell?”  I could not answer that question.
That night at home in my bed I thought about what he said and understood in a small way what I had heard through the years. . . .that Christ died for me, a sinner, and God’s love became more real to me than ever.  I asked Christ to forgive me of my sin and come into my life. Then I could answer, “Yes.”
There is a lot more to the story, but what I really want you to know is that one lady reached out to a little boy in her neighborhood and from that initial contact my life was redirected. That decision made in my bedroom many years ago has held to this day, not without bumps and bruises, but it has held, or should I say the God of that decision has held me.
Fifty-five years later much spiritual fruit has been reaped from that simple visit to my back door. A marriage of 43 years kept strong by our faith in God; six children that have chosen to raise their families in that same faith; and 23 grandchildren enjoying the heritage of being raised in Christian homes.
That lady I talked to you about in the beginning was Mrs. Violet Cassel.  Thank you, dear lady, for loving your neighbor. Oh yeah, that other lady, my Mom. She came to know Jesus about 60 years later. I’m going to see them both again in heaven, according to the Bible.
Are you loving God and loving your neighbor?  I hope so.
Tom Crouthamel

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