I enjoy bragging about how great our Jesus is. I was a liar and a thief with the dirtiest mouth until I was 49 years old, an ex-sailor WW2 a bosn s mate in submarine service, a tree trimmer, iron worker, used car salesman, and roof contractor.
My sister-in-law bunked in at Cornell in Mt. Vernon, Iowa with a black girl, and we were coerced into going to the AME Church several times. One morning I fell asleep in Church, and a young black girl punched me in the ribs. I woke to find my wife had answered an altar call for salvation and ran to catch up with her, and we both got saved. That was the summer of 1972.
Jumping ahead to 1994. My 39-year-old son worked at Ralston Foods in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I heard on the 5 o'clock news that 2 men were shot and killed at Ralston, and I immediately called his wife. And we waited, and we watched the news on TV. I recall that as I walked down the hall to my wife's room, that I prayed out loud that I forgive the murderer still not knowing who had been killed. Greg's wife called telling me it was my son and her husband that had been shot and killed instantly. I assured her I would be there immediately and got so busy with her and my 4 grandchildren that I didn't shed a tear for Greg (He was saved).
I made sure that the 4 grandchildren were saved (led them in a sinner's prayer again). His graduation service attracted about 500 people, and there was a salvation message preached by several pastors. I recall that a man that has always something to say against the Church asked if ONE of my Pastors was there at the service, and I hung my head and said, "NO. There were SIX of them."
A few days later, I wrote a letter to Jerry Reiflin, the murderer, and shared the Gospel with him and told him I forgive him and how he could get saved. And he called me later on the phone from jail, and I cried with him when we talked about Jesus. Some time later, I visited him in jail, and still later a couple of jail ministers assured me he was saved.
My strange email address is ikthus spelled backwards (the Christian fish we see on back of cars).
I am Jess W. Martin.