Way back in 1975 I was having dinner with my pastor and his wife. As I was preparing to leave and actually headed for the front door, Brother Owens jumped in front of me, blocking the door, and placed his hands on my shoulders. He said to me with a trembling voice; “Jack, I believe God has something for you to do. You need to find out what it is and do it.”
I don’t mind telling you, because it’s the absolute truth; he scared the living daylights out of me. I don’t remember how I replied or, if I even did. I just remember jumping in my car and getting as far away from John Owens as I could. I kept telling myself, “I’m a cop and I’ll always be a cop; what could God want with me? And I never saw John Owens again.
I retired from law enforcement in 1981 and in March, 1988, I was living in Flagstaff, AZ. and I was trying to start a business in importing gift merchandise and wholesaling it to retail outlets. I was at a business meeting with a group of Indians on a reservation near Peach Springs, AZ. It was our second meeting within two weeks and I was trying to set them up with a fund raising program using several of my products.
The odd thing about the whole situation was the tall black man who had been present for both meetings. During the first meeting I had noticed how intently he was watching me and then at the second meeting, he was doing it again. So, immediately, after my little presentation, I headed straight for him and before I could say a word, this man grabbed my hand and asked; “Are you a Christian?”
Well, I mean to tell you, for the next few minutes – or however long it took – this man shook me to my very core. When I meekly nodded my head to his question, he continued to hold my hand with the strongest grip I have ever encountered and said these words, which I will never forget. He said:
“My name is Bill McBain. I’m an evangelist from California and I’m here working with this youth group. While you were speaking last week, I felt a premonition from God so I have been praying about you all week. And now, I have to tell you; I believe that God has told me to tell you that He wants you in the ministry.”
And again I ran. Only this time I ran to my pastor. I had stopped on my way back to Flagstaff and called him and told him what happened so, even though it was after ten pm, Steve told me to come straight to his office.
I spent the next two years at the Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. I thought for sure the Lord had called me to preach because Steve, my pastor had said that he thought I was a good communicator; and the Administrator at the seminary said he believed that I had been called to preach. And I did preach at several churches in the Dallas, Ft. Worth area during those two years.
And, also, during those two years, I began to write; fiction and non-fiction. And it was getting my first article published that led me to believe this was my ministry; as a Christian author. But it hasn’t come easy. It took me twelve years to finish my first novel and another two years of rejection before I finally turned to self-publishing. That novel sold about 400 copies.
I am now working on two more novels and writing this blog. I still believe this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m 75 years old now but I still feel a lot younger. I’ve had a stroke and I’ve had cancer, and I’ve lost two wives but I will write until I can’t press the keys anymore. And I hope and pray that these words of mine will lead someone to turn to God.
Four hundred books doesn’t sound very impressive but even if only one of those books has had a positive influence on someone, I believe the Lord will tell me “well done, good and faithful servant.”
That’s what I’m about.