From A Homestead to Heaven: My Story
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: NASB
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the NASB version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
This is a true story! A story about a boy that grew up on the Montana prairie in the 1940s as a grandson of early-day pioneer homesteaders. This boy lived with his family in a small homestead house with no running water, no indoor toilet, and no electricity. His nearest neighbor was a mile away! That young boy was me many years ago.
I was raised in a good home, but as a child I was not taught about God and the Bible. In later years I discovered my parents became Christians when they were younger. But they never talked about their salvation experience. When I was about twelve, however, I learned about Jesus and I accepted Him as my Savior. But because my Bible knowledge was very limited, there was not much for me to build on in my new spiritual life.
I was soon into my teenage years, and by then I had developed a false belief about what it meant to be a Christian. I thought the “filthy five” were rules I had to keep in order to continue to be “saved.” What are the filthy five you ask? They are: Thou shalt not drink. Thou shalt not smoke. Thou shalt not play cards. Thou shalt not dance. Thou shalt not go to the movies. As I found myself moving into high school age I was guilty of not keeping these rules. I said to myself, “I can’t do this” and I drifted away from the church I had begun to attend. This wandering lasted for nineteen miserable years!
By the time I reached the age of twenty I had already been married, abandoned by a pregnant wife, been sued for a divorce, and been ordered by the court to pay child support. It was then I began drinking too much, causing me to lose my driver’s license due to drunk driving citations. I had to move to another state to get a new license. Eventually, with nowhere to go, I enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Two years later I remarried. After a few years I became the father of three boys, but the first boy died at birth. I was very bitter by this time of my life and I became very difficult to live with. My second wife was about to leave me after ten years of marriage. Life was miserable and I did not know what to do about it!
Then one day a kind neighbor lady stopped by our home and asked me, “Would your boys be allowed to come to our Vacation Bible School?” I told her that they could. That visit brought back a lot of memories of my younger days! My sons attended that Vacation Bible School. During this time I was still miserable, and I was beginning to have feelings of guilt. It was then that I said to my wife, “I’m going to go to church this Easter Sunday!”
We went to church and the first person I saw was an old school friend who I thought I would never see inside of a church. He seemed to be happy! I wanted his happiness, but after church I discovered I was even more miserable! However, I had picked up a gospel tract that day at church and I started reading it. What I didn’t realize at the time was that God was causing me to feel convicted and convinced that the message in that tract was what I needed.
That was when I went into another room alone and I got down on my knees and I prayed this prayer: “Lord, I need you more than just as my Savior, I need You to be the Lord of my life. Make me into the person, father, and husband you want me to be.” After that prayer, I felt a flood of peace as I had never felt before! My wife began to notice the changes that were taking place in my life. About a month later she too received Christ as her Savior and so did my sons! That struggling marriage was rescued, and it continued on for over fifty years until my wife passed away. Life was good!
If you are reading this and you feel a nudge in your heart, that could very well be God talking to you! Listen to this Bible verse! It is found in the book of John, chapter 3 and verse 16. “For God so loved the world [that is you and me] that He gave his only begotten Son [that is Jesus] that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Salvation is a gift! You cannot earn it by keeping the “filthy five” or any other rules. Salvation was provided by Jesus Christ, who gave His life on the cross as a substitute for every sin you and I have ever committed or ever will!
The first step is to realize you have a need. The Bible says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Jesus was the sinless Son of God and He choose to die in our place. After He died, He was buried in a tomb. Then three days later He rose again from the grave! He is alive! You can accept Him as your personal Savior right now no matter where you are! He is always listening!
If you believed and trusted Christ as your Savior, it is very important to find a Bible and begin reading it! I recommend beginning with the book of John from the New Testament. Ask God to send someone who will help you get grounded in what His Word says and means. Be careful of churches that have a false message! There are groups that do not believe in a Triune God as the Bible teaches. Some churches have their own bible translation and some churches have more than one holy book. Stay away from those people and places! Do not listen to any group or person that does not believe that Jesus Christ was God in human flesh.
When a person is newly saved, it is like being a newborn baby. Babies need to have proper food to grow up correctly! The spiritual food of a Christian is the Holy Bible, which is the Word of God. Attending a good church can provide spiritual food and fellowship that we all need!
Life has still been difficult at times, but our Heavenly Father has always been there for me. He has kept His promise: “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). And He enjoys His children. I was privileged to recently visit that old homestead house where I grew up the same day the cover picture was taken. My visit just “happened” to be the day before the house was to be destroyed. What a gift that was! But our Heavenly Father is like that! So, my friend, I thank you for reading this and I hope to see you in Heaven some day!