The Straightest Way to the Truth

Note: Names in this sharing have been changed to maintain confidentiality.

I grew up practicing martial arts from the age of seven. Because of this I had much exposure to Eastern religions and witnessed many unexplainable acts. By the age of eleven I understood that there was more to life than just the five senses. Later on I began to teach what I had learned and even did some unexplainable acts myself, not really understanding the spiritual truths involved. The study of other religions led me to drugs and experimentation in the spiritual field. I never saw anything work consistently, and I never found the truth I was looking for.

Skip forward about ten years to when I was in my first factory job. I met a man named Jack. He started to tell me about this Christian group he and his wife were a part of and a class they were taking. I liked Jack, and I considered myself pretty experienced with a lot of religions that turned out to be shams, so I decided to help him realize that this was just a scam to get his money. Every day I would talk to him and see if I could figure out the angle they were using to con him.

Also at this point in my life, I thought I finally found the love of my life. Something good was finally happening. But her family didn’t get along with me at all. I was still using drugs from time to time and I had friends that were criminals, so their attitude was not surprising. This was a big problem for my girlfriend, and we eventually broke up. This was a final straw for me. Some of my friends had taken their own lives and this began to be an option I was thinking about. I had been exposed to a lot of teaching on reincarnation in my youth, so I decided to end this life and try again in another.

I had a high performance car that I was building, and I figured I would use it to kill myself. I knew the right spot to do it. It was a railroad track with a steep ramp on both sides. I figured at over 100 miles an hour, it was a sure thing. As I accelerated to the tracks, a car came over the opposite side with their bright lights on. I flashed my lights several times to get them to go to their low beams. Just then a gasket blew on my engine and since there was no hood on the car, it sprayed oil all over the windshield. All I could think of was, “Great, I’ll probably live through this and kill someone else in the process.” So I stopped and limped my broken car home. I went to work the next day really depressed that I couldn’t even kill myself right.

That day I was working in a sheet metal shop. I was grinding some welds on a panel and I was alone. I had stopped working and just stood there considering all the things I had learned and done in my life and how empty it all really was. I had a home, nice things, money, but something was missing. I thought, “There must be a God, because after all, where did everything come from?” I had seen things that could not be explained. All the Eastern religions I had been exposed to had wisdom but no solid answers. So I said to myself, “OK God, if you are real, you know what I am thinking. I want the truth, but there are so many of these Christian religions. They say you have a son, and I guess I can believe that. Just show me the straightest way to the truth.” Then I waited. The lights didn’t flash; there was no shaking of the ground—nothing. So I said, “Ok God, I’ve been looking for ten years; if I have to wait for another ten years, I will.” And I went back to work. About two minutes later, Jack came up to me and out of the blue said, “Hey, want to come to one of our fellowships?” I said, “Sure, what the hell, why not?” I don’t know who was more surprised, me for saying yes, or him getting an answer like that from me, the one who was telling him every day that he was getting conned by these people.

It took two weeks to get me to go. I expected they would look at me and say, “You’re from the pit of hell!” because in my mind I thought it was probably true. The first fellowship I went to, which they called Twig, was in Jack’s apartment. I saw something in that fellowship I had never experienced before, and I knew I would give anything and do anything to get it. A few weeks later, they were talking about a Christian rock festival in Ohio, but no one owned a reliable car to drive there. So I borrowed a van from my mom and loaded up the Twig, and we went. We were camping in the middle of a race track at a fairground!

I went to the first night with a King James Version Bible I had just bought. A man started teaching, and I started getting irritated at not being able to find the scriptures he was talking about. A man near me asked if I knew the books of the Bible, and when I said no, he was kind enough to find them in my Bible and then in his. By the end of the first night, my face was hurting; I had never smiled that much in my life. Later I learned the man teaching was Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille. I didn’t know who he was until I took the Power for Abundant Living class a couple months later. No one had ever taught me God’s Word so clearly and simply that I could understand it and see that it is truth.

I have had the privilege and honor to sit at the feet of many teachers, but none like Dr. Wierwille. God led me to The Way International and answered my prayer beyond anything I could ever dream of. It was, and is, the shortest way to the truth!

God Has Never Failed Me

For the first nineteen years of my life I was raised as a Christian, but I was never taught how to truly live the Word of God. In the fall of 1985, when I turned twenty years old, I took our ministry’s Foundational Class for the very first time. In that class, I learned that The Way Ministry is a how-to ministry, meaning that we don’t just tell people they ought to live the Word of God, but we teach people how to live the Word of God. Learning how to live God’s Word and seeing the powerful benefits was and still is an exciting learning adventure for me.

One of the great and many practical truths that I learned in my first few months in the ministry was how to keep God first. Matthew 6:33 tells us about keeping God first and the benefits of doing so. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” As we keep God first, He promises to meet our every need. As I applied this truth in my personal life and with the believers in my local area, I began to see God’s prosperity in so many ways. This inspired me to make greater commitments to God because I had the utmost confidence that He would take care of my every need.

In the summer of 1986, I signed up to participate in our ministry’s outreach program at that time. I remember the wonderful excitement I had to reach others with the truth that I knew and the believing anticipation I had to see how God was going to meet all of my needs. Four of us were assigned to a midwestern state of the United States. The morning after we arrived to our city, we were eating breakfast at the home of our local leadership. We were talking about where we would go shopping for furniture and other items that we needed for our home.

As we were planning our day, we noticed that the next-door neighbor was having a yard sale. Since we were staying right next door, we had the opportunity to shop before any other customers arrived. Our plan was to pick up a few items then continue elsewhere with our shopping. As we looked at the items available in the yard sale, we began to realize that the neighbor had everything we needed to fully furnish our new home, including kitchen supplies. The only thing we still needed, and I mean the only thing, was our beds, which we had before we moved into our new place.

Seeing God meet our need so beautifully gave us great joy. For the rest of the year, we were never fearful, but had complete confidence that God would meet our every need, no matter how big or small, as we continued to keep Him first. Since that time, I have graduated into The Way Corps, gotten married, raised two wonderful children, and successfully served in many different ways as a Way Corps minister. Throughout the past thirty-plus years, in various seasons of life and in all kinds of circumstances and situations, God has never failed me once as I have kept Him first. He has abundantly met my every need.

Rescued from a Disastrous Life

One day when I was eighteen years old, I was driving around my hometown for hours with a friend of mine. We were anxious and becoming more and more frantic as we would go from location to location checking with friends and acquaintances. What were we desperately trying to find? Someone who would sell us some marijuana because we had just run out.

Did I think I had a problem at the time? Besides the fact that it was illegal for me to buy what I wanted, and I REALLY wanted it and couldn’t find it, at times I would get honest with myself. I realized that I was dependent on smoking something to be satisfied or happy and it was wrong for that thing to have a hold on me. In addition when I came down from being high, it wasn’t good at all. At times I was lethargic, and my short-term memory was failing.

The American Addiction Center states that it is a myth that psychological addiction is not as serious as physical addiction and that they are not mutually exclusive. After smoking marijuana for a year, I began taking hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD and mescaline and had bad experiences, but kept on taking them.

Now marijuana is legal in some states. That does not make it right and does not take away the dangers.

When I got introduced to The Way International and began believing God’s Word, I got delivered. I consider myself as being truly rescued from a disastrous life. I saw that Jesus Christ gave his life for me and God raised him from the dead so I could be delivered from temptations. I was complete in Christ, nothing lacking. I developed a wonderful confidence and trust in God, whereas before I knew in my heart of hearts that I was not living as God intended. Continual fellowship with fellow believers was the best environment for my new freedom. My memory problems subsided, and I was actually able to memorize a great deal of scripture which increased my believing!

I Peter 5:8:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

I am truly thankful that someone had enough love to invite me to a fellowship and undershepherd me into the Foundational Class. I am thankful that God loved me right where I was at.

The Power of Speaking in Tongues

While at my husband’s company holiday party, the entertainment for the evening was a hypnotist. He brought five people on stage to try to get them to do things by putting them in a trance. My husband and I were sitting with another believer couple he worked with. We all looked at each other and agreed that we would quietly speak in tongues to stop this man from hypnotizing people. We spoke in tongues while the man labored over forty-five minutes to get the people on stage to do what he wanted them to do. There were only a few things he could do at first. He began really sweating and working hard to try to operate this spiritual power but was not having good success. After being unable to hypnotize anyone further, he apologized to the crowd in the room and said, “Folks, I’m sorry. I don’t understand this. I just can’t seem to get this going.” We knew exactly why. It was the power of speaking by the spirit of God in a united front of four believers that backed down this man’s devilish power from operating. Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille, our Founding President, once said, “If we knew how powerful speaking in tongues is, we would do it all the time.”

I Have Freedom from the Worst of All Fears

Among the many things God has done specifically for me because of the Word I have learned, the very first thing He did was to erase all the fear of the future I carried around since I was a teenager. I came to the ministry in 1987 at the age of twenty-five. Prior to that time, the best I knew about my future was that it appeared to be very finite in scope, meaning, and duration. My father was both a scientist and business executive. When I was a teenager, he showed me what he thought was the meaning of my life by breaking down my entire future into numbers. According to him, I was expected to have about forty productive years in the workforce at just over 2,000 working hours per year, and thus I would need so-and-so much money to live comfortably in retirement. That meant I had to have a certain-sized salary in order to save enough money to live out my time. He broke down my life into a series of financial calculations. No more.

From that time on, I found my life consumed with the struggle to accept that forecast. How depressing the outcome of my life seemed to be. I routinely asked myself, “Is that all there is?” “Is that all my life means?” As far as I could know, I was simply marking time. Then, one Friday afternoon, somebody asked if I wanted to go to fellowship that Sunday morning. I can’t recall what was taught during that first time sitting in a ministry fellowship. What I will never forget is the recognition that I had just heard in twenty minutes more truth directly from the Bible than I had heard in the sum of my twenty-five years previously. So, it was easy to say, “Yes!” to the ministry’s Foundational Class. It was there that I was taught John 10:10:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

That was revolutionary to me. All I had ever had up to that point was the less than abundant life. Right away, all my fears about having no real future were beginning to melt away. Then, I was taught about Romans 10:9 and 10 and the eternal life that was not vague and mysterious. It was presented clearly and plainly, right from the pages of God’s Word. And, I could see that it was so simple to obtain as well. From that time, I never looked back. Where once I thought my dead-end existence would eventually just end in death, I now had life, and eternal life at that. Eventually, the ministry taught me from the pages of God’s Word about the purpose for my life in service to my heavenly Father. Instead of an idle existence, lasting for only a few bleak years, I now have an important and meaningful life with the hope of eternal life that will be just as meaningful. Thanks to this ministry, I have freedom from the worst of all fears. And, I am thankful.

The Promises of God Became Living and Real to Me

When I first became involved in Way Ministry fellowships, I was in a shell composed of fear and a lack of self-confidence. One of the sources of both my fear and lack of self-confidence was my lack of a normal father-son relationship growing up. When I heard in the Foundational Class about the tender relationship that a father should have with a son described in the Word as “Abba, Father,” I began to realize what was missing from my life up to that point. I didn’t let this stop my spiritual growth, however. The promises of God became living and real to me by my taking the entire class series within eighteen months. These classes, as well as fellowshipping with like-minded believers, enabled me to overcome many of my previously held fears in areas such as finances and other relationships. I was able to gain confidence in both of those areas, but still, something seemed missing.

The opportunity to defeat these self-imposed shortcomings became available when our fellowship was challenged to share one-on-one with our fellowship coordinator, a Way Corps minister, what our goals for that year were. I called him and told him that my goal was to feel that I was a complete man. I told him that I had been taught that we are “completely, completely complete in him,” but that didn’t change my deep-down feelings of incompleteness and inadequacy. We set a time to discuss that. At the appointed time, I laid out my concerns to him. He came back with so many positive observations about me, that I was almost overwhelmed. The gist of the conversation was that I should focus on what I do have and can do, and not worry so much about what I don’t have or felt that I couldn’t do. He gave real-life examples of people who masqueraded as masters of their craft in various areas of life, but hid their real selves behind the masquerade due to deep-down fears of showing their true selves. I was able to apply his advice in my life immediately and stopped worrying and having doubts about myself. In situations where I was previously unable to stand up for myself, I was able to draw on my new self-confidence and take a stand where I was previously unable to do so. I was able to claim righteousness and know that when I was right, I was right, and all I had to do was stand my ground. I stopped comparing myself to others who seemingly had it all, but when you looked beneath the surface, many shortcomings became evident.

Now, when phrases such as “a father’s love” and “Abba, Father” are mentioned, my thoughts no longer turn to the shortcomings and lack of relationships in my past, but to the Word and the examples of God’s love for us. I am truly blessed that these previously held thought patterns have faded into the past. God worked in my fellowship coordinator, who then taught me the above principles from God’s Word in less than an hour, and that started me on the path to victory in this area of my life. What really blesses me is that I was able to raise two stepsons as if they were my own, and I have a great relationship with both of them to this day. They have no idea that I had had those feelings of inadequacy in the past.

Our heavenly Father has made us complete in Christ, and He loves us so that we can love ourselves and others.

I Went from Being Tossed To and Fro to Standing Strong

I had been raised with just a little bit of teaching about the Creator of the heavens and earth, and at the center of the teaching God was kind, benevolent, and forgiving—but then also angry, harsh, and judgmental. He could bless and He could punish.

In my college years, I went on a search for meaning in life and read the works of many noted philosophers, from the ancient Greeks to modern and contemporary thinkers, but this led to a greater sense of confusion.

By the time I was in my early twenties, I had few, if any, answers in life; I was driven to and fro by worldly ideas; and when it came to understanding good and evil, I simply had no understanding of source and causation.

One evening, over the telephone, a longtime friend who lived on the other side of the country asked if I had a Bible in the house. I did. She had me open it and read it, showing me verses that declared the goodness of God in very simple and direct terms. One of the verses we looked at was John 10:10, where it records that Jesus Christ came to make a life more than abundant available, and that there is also a competing element of evil in this life called the thief, Satan, the Devil. I learned that these were truths my friend had learned at a Christian fellowship she recently started attending. As we reviewed these verses, I was still quite skeptical. I just could not shake the old teaching that there was one God Who could and would both bless and punish. At the close of the conversation, we agreed to disagree and would perhaps talk about it some more another time.

The very next morning, I got up as usual to go to work. I had some tea and a quick breakfast and got myself to the bus stop, which was just a half of a block from my front door. It was a cool morning and the sun was out. I got myself a window seat on the right side of the bus, and within one block of the ride had a life-changing realization. The bus slowly pulled up to a stop right beside a fast-food restaurant that was popular among people who typically poured out of the neighborhood bars and clubs late at night. It was early in the morning, and there was trash lining the sidewalk all along the side of the restaurant. And not just trash, but also squashed packets of ketchup that had hardened to the cement, a couple of half-eaten burgers, some french fries strewn about, plus bags and drink containers—it was disgusting.

As we pulled away, it occurred to me in no uncertain terms: “What I am seeing cannot be of God.” It was at that moment that the simple teaching from the night before about John 10:10 clicked, and in an instant I understood the sources of good and evil in this life. Suddenly, I had some tools to understand not only the broader affairs of the world, but also how I could parse out various influences in my own life. As I started attending a Way Ministry fellowship in my own town, I started to learn how to apply God’s Word in day-to-day living and how to lay claim on the more abundant life Jesus Christ came to make available. I went from being tossed to and fro to standing strong, and over the subsequent twenty-five-plus years, this ministry has continued to deliver God’s Word in such a way that the more than abundant life continues and flourishes. I am thankful every single day.

God Promises Protection

The greatness of God’s Word that I have learned has taught me that when I abundantly share of my time, talents, and finances, I can claim God’s promise that He will rebuke the devourer for my sake.

Our family was excited to be going to New York City for our vacation. We had our schedule to visit some of the special sights like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Coney Island, NBC Studios, Central Park, and the American Museum of Natural History.

It was our first day in the city, and we started our time there by walking in Central Park and then spent the rest of the day in the Museum of Natural History. We were all tired from walking all day, so we decided to head home. We arrived at the train station, which was packed with commuters, bought our train tickets, and boarded our cool and comfortable train.

For this vacation, I was given the responsibility of carrying our trip necessities—the schedule, tickets, cash, credit cards, cell phone, and GPS. I had them in a bag I carried. When we boarded the train, my youngest son sat next to me and, being very tired, placed his head on my lap to rest before our departure. In the meantime, I placed the bag next to him on the seat so it would not be in his way.

After sitting there for a few minutes, my husband realized that we were on the wrong train and needed to get off immediately. We grabbed our tickets, the children, and our belongings and rushed off the train and up to the main concourse to check the monitors to find the right train. While looking at the monitor, my mouth dropped open and I said, “Oh no!” I realized that I did not have my bag. I had left it on the seat of the nonstop train heading for Trenton, New Jersey.

My husband and I left the children with my mother-in-law and ran as fast as we could down to the train platform that we had just left. I arrived at the train door just as it slowly closed right in front of me. I looked through the glass window on the door, and standing there was a man holding my bag, mouthing the words, “Is this yours?” I said, “Yes!” as the train started to leave the station. I started to cry, realizing I had just lost our entire vacation plan and finances.

A conductor from a previous train saw me and asked my husband and me what had happened. After we told him the details, he took us directly to the train station service office. My husband and I told the staff what had happened, and they immediately started to go to work to get my bag back. They told us they were working on it and to come back in an hour.

We stepped out of that office and found a quiet place to pray. We thanked God for covering the mistake and for us to regain our belongings without even one nickel missing from our things. I had to make sure I was not condemning myself for leaving the bag, and we both spoke the positives of God’s Word to one another. We reminded each other that we are faithful to abundantly share and because we do, God promises protection for our lives and belongings.

We went back to the train station service office and while there, the man who had my bag used my cell phone to call the first number listed in my phone, which was for our roommate. She immediately called us on my husband’s phone telling us that the man who had my bag wants to arrange how he can return it. At that point the train station service staff talked to him and told him to give it to the train conductor. He did so, but we were told that the current train conductor was not coming back to the city, so he was going to give the bag to the new train conductor. That conductor was asked to bring it back with him when he returned to the city from New Jersey, which was later that same evening.

The bag ended up being passed off to at least four people, total strangers, from Penn Station in New York City to Trenton, New Jersey, and back. Needless to say, the bag and all of its contents were returned to us without even a nickel missing. We thanked the man profusely that found it and told him we knew God would bless him abundantly for helping us. All along the way, from the man who found the bag and our roommate to the train station service staff and the train conductors, we saw God’s mighty hand working in this situation to bless us and protect our vacation and belongings! We’re so thankful for the power of the Word we can claim in every situation.

God Is So Wonderful and Powerful

I am very thankful to our heavenly Father for the wonderful transformation that He has made in my life and how this great ministry of Biblical research has helped me to understand and apply the greatness of the rightly divided Word of God.

Several years ago began a new stage that marked my life. My life at university began. I did not know anyone and had a well-defined personality. I was a very shy, insecure teenager, full of fears, dressed in black, and pretty much serious. (It was my defense mechanism.)

I remember that the first month of classes, I had to do a presentation. It was a catastrophic experience, since I was not able to speak in public. By the way, I was studying to be a teacher. That year was very complicated until I started attending a home fellowship. There, I received all the tenderness and support I needed. Then, two years later, I sat in the foundational class on The Way of Abundance and Power, and one of the things that most impacted my heart was to understand that fear did not come from God, that He loved me so much that I could free myself from all those mental prisons.

Then I was exhorted to prepare teachings and share them to strengthen myself in that area. Every time I had to do public speaking, I said to myself again and again, you can do all things through Christ which strengthens thee…so go and do it!

As I dared to look people in the eyes and smile, my grades improved. I changed my wardrobe. My mother was so shocked with that change, she told me, “Child, you are someone else, and I would like to attend the home fellowship since I have seen how God has changed your life.”

As I grew in my understanding of God’s heart, my desire to serve grew too. On one occasion my home fellowship coordinator asked me if I would like to coordinate a home fellowship, and I felt great joy, but I had a large debt of university credit.

Then I took the Intermediate Class and had the privilege of sharing with believers who helped me to make an action plan to get free from that debt. In addition, I started envisioning myself taking the Advanced Class. Every day I got up, I looked at some pictures I have of The Way International Headquarters, and I thanked God for getting me there. The moment I made up my mind and started to act, God began to open the floodgates of heaven to bless my life. My salary increased and the university debt was completely paid in eight months. Four months later, God called me to serve as a home fellowship coordinator, and after that I went to the Advanced Class.

God is so wonderful and powerful to do all things exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

When Believers Pray Together, Great Power Is Exerted

Before coming to this ministry, I had no power to overcome any of the many challenges I faced. That all changed when I took the Foundational Class. For the first time in my life, I saw the amazing power that is manifested when believers pray together.

When I took the Foundational Class, I was stationed aboard a U.S. Coast Guard ship. The work schedules for myself and another sailor taking the class gave us just enough time to complete the class before our ship went out for another deployment. I had just finished my shift in the kitchen and was preparing to go to the fifth session of the class when an announcement was made over the ship’s speaker system. The ship’s wheel had been stolen, and all sailors were confined to the ship until it was returned. The ship’s wheel was located on the bridge of the ship and was used for steering the vessel. This particular ship’s wheel was beautifully crafted of walnut, with brass fittings to give it added strength, and apparently, someone had claimed it as a trophy!

My heart sank! I began to think that my opportunity to complete the Foundational Class before I set sail again was gone. Then I remembered the many local believers who were supporting us during the running of the class. With a bit of anxiety, I called one of the believers in the fellowship I was attending and told him the situation. After we prayed together, he spoke God’s Word to me. He reminded me that God wanted me to take this class, that the adversary was trying to hinder me from finishing it, and that when believers pray together, great power is exerted to overcome the attacks of the adversary. Then he reminded me of James 5:16, which was a verse he had shared with me several times before.

James 5:16:
…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

The local believer told me he would have all the believers praying for our situation, and that we (the other sailor and I) should pray about it too. We agreed that the two of us aboard the ship should keep getting ready for class as though this obstacle was not there. I was greatly encouraged and told the other sailor we should stick to our normal routine, clean up and change our clothes, as though we were going straight to the class.

I had just finished cleaning up and getting changed when the announcement came across the ship’s speaker system: liberty was granted for everyone who was not working. We were free to go! I was amazed! When I asked what had happened, I learned that while I was getting cleaned up, a car had pulled into the parking lot, the back door was thrown open, and someone inside the car had hurled the ship’s wheel into a snow bank. The door closed, and the car sped away. The officer on duty retrieved the ship’s wheel, and the restriction was immediately lifted.

The other sailor and I quickly made our way across town to the class location. As we approached the door of the house, we could hear the believers inside singing songs from the Sing Along The Way songbook. We smiled and opened the door. A great cheer went up from all the believers as they welcomed us to class. We all rejoiced at how God had answered our prayers. The lesson has been firmly rooted in my mind from that day unto this present day: when believers pray together, great power is exerted to overcome the attacks of the adversary.