Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Joanie McCulloch
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR000109B
00:14 Welcome back. You know when I'm talking about, before the break,
00:19 as far as this guy that had to deal with this kind of deep
00:22 seated fear that kind of drove him in his life. Again I have to
00:27 say it was so amazing to see that point of surrender, that
00:32 point of really understanding God and recovery and healing
00:37 and for that time just to be full of joy and happiness and
00:40 you know I don't have to carry this, and the burden's off and
00:43 all that kind of stuff. So I want to introduce to my friend
00:46 Joanie. Joanie for one I wanted to say I can't believe you're up
00:50 here. Me either. I've been here for
00:52 five seasons now and sitting down there I would think, well
00:56 this is enough. I don't need, I don't need to be up there and
01:00 and tell my story. Thank you for encouraging me to come and be up
01:04 here. When we first met, not the first
01:08 time we talked, but the first time we met I remember thinking
01:12 that I knew that there was something up. You know, I knew
01:16 that. I didn't know what it was. Like I was trying to figure out
01:21 I know that she has some social stuff or there's something going
01:25 on. There's maybe... I was even thinking autism or something
01:29 like, like an edge and I didn't know what to think. But I was
01:33 listening to you and I'm thinking out of everybody that
01:36 was in the room I knew that you really had to work at your life
01:42 more than most. And yet you did. And I fell in love with you
01:46 instantly. I just fell in love with you. I thought emotionally
01:50 that's how I felt some time and then I'm seeing that you had to
01:54 do a number of things in your life just to live, just to get a
01:57 house, get a job, all that kind of stuff and so I want you to
02:01 take us back throughout your life and talk about that; your
02:04 journey. And definitely we're going to get to the point where
02:07 God just released you of all that and what's happening in
02:11 your life now. Because it is amazing.
02:14 Okay. I was raised in the 50s. My parents were older, my father
02:18 was 43 and my mother was 37 when I was born and whenever
02:21 they went to school for a program or something, they
02:24 always thought they were my grandparents. I didn't know they
02:27 looked old till I started going to school. But we weren't raised
02:31 in a Christian home but it was a peaceful and nice home. I loved
02:35 my mother. I felt safe there. My father, I didn't like him and I
02:39 never really understood why. He was only the disciplinary person
02:43 and he was the breadwinner and that was just about all he did.
02:46 But there was no emotional attachment. I found out later
02:50 from a cousin it was because he wanted a boy. And you weren't.
02:54 Yeah, it was my sister and I and I was the youngest. I was a
02:59 pretty easy-going child, easy to raise, I think, and I just loved
03:04 my mom. I felt safe everywhere I went.
03:07 You know you told me one time that your mom had a hearing
03:11 problem. Yeah, yes, she became deaf when
03:13 she was 30. So she knew how to talk and she had a hearing
03:17 aid that made it so she could hear. But she'd be able to hear
03:20 if we were sitting here but if I was to turn my head she
03:24 wouldn't be able to hear and I needed to speak with just a calm
03:29 voice, nothing loud or too soft. But she couldn't hear a thing
03:33 without it. So I learned to talk very short and not long
03:38 sentences and I think I've carried that over into adult
03:44 life where I say bottom line and I'm not too wordy.
03:49 Then you told me one time you said, you know, I kind of talk
03:52 like a deaf person. My mother was my role model.
03:57 and in a social setting she hated to go to them because she
04:00 couldn't really hear when there was so much noise. She couldn't
04:03 hear what anybody was saying. It wasn't a pleasant time for
04:08 her. I think I act like that in a social setting. I'm really
04:11 quiet because that's what she did and she was definitely my
04:15 role model. She had a good sense of humor. I've never seen anyone
04:17 that has her sense of humor and I think I got a little bit
04:20 of that and I'm glad.
04:22 This is too fun. I know it sounds like every time you've
04:24 talked about your mom that you guys were so close. In school,
04:28 what was it like and talk a little bit about that.
04:33 When it was time to go to school I think about the second grade
04:39 I noticed that things were a little bit different. There were
04:43 groups. When you walk into the classroom on the left were the
04:48 smart kids and then in the middle were the medium kids and
04:52 over here were the dumb kids and I always seemed to be over here.
04:54 And after a while you get to notice the plus kids call you
04:57 dumb and then you become submissive.
04:59 But I love the fact that you really recognized that. Until
05:03 the second grade you really didn't pay attention to that.
05:06 You didn't notice that and all of a sudden that social
05:09 awareness happens. I didn't know I didn't know type
05:12 of thing. Every year first day of school I was over on the
05:18 smart side and I felt good. I had my folder already because
05:22 you have to get your paper and your folders and your tabs for
05:25 English, reading, spelling, all these little tabs and everything
05:29 was perfect and beautiful and, I'm going to be smart this year.
05:33 I would sit over on the smart side. Then by the end of the
05:38 week I was back over here on the dumb side. I think some kids
05:42 even said, You don't belong over here. Yes I do, because I knew I
05:46 was going to be smart this year.
05:47 Because you had all this stuff?
05:49 Yeah, everything was organized and this year was going to be
05:51 the year. You know I even saw that you
05:54 teared up with that. That pain is still a part of you at times;
05:58 that I've always tried to fight that my whole life. I don't want
06:02 to be on that side and I don't know how to get out of it.
06:05 And I knew that if I got a job out of high school that I would
06:09 have to have a diploma. So I even cheated my way through.
06:12 The teacher was sick for a week one time and I got all the
06:16 copies of the tests and I made sure that I didn't get A and B
06:19 because no way would I get that. So I would get enough so I would
06:22 pass. It was a history class that you absolutely had to pass.
06:26 So I really never deserved to get a diploma but I wanted to
06:28 get a job because I knew I could work in a cannery or something
06:31 like that. So you finished high school?
06:36 Yeah. Emotionally did you shut down in
06:41 high school. The high school I went to was
06:45 pretty mature. It was a continuation school but at the
06:49 same time it was a vocational school where they had
06:52 cosmetology and typewriter repair and secretarial work
06:56 and I signed up to do that but when I got there I didn't do it,
06:58 I just took regular classes. You could step outside on the steps
07:01 and smoke and the teachers were smoking too. It wasn't that
07:05 strict like other high schools. It was very unusual. I liked
07:10 that. I had started smoking and drinking when I was 13 and those
07:13 were the type of kids I hung around with. I didn't do drugs.
07:16 I think God just kept me from that because I have addictive
07:19 personality. I know that in your younger
07:24 years you were really good in sports so you survived with
07:27 sports. Yes and I was always one of the
07:31 top three picked for teams for kickball or baseball and
07:35 sometimes even was the captain and I knew who to pick, what
07:38 position for them to play and all that, yeah. So I did have an
07:41 advantage. I did have a time in school that it felt good. P. E.
07:45 was the best subject. Yeah because you were the kid;
07:47 if you were on their team we're going to win. So they picked you
07:52 for that. Now when you started drinking and smoking did you get
07:57 to relax about some of that stuff?
07:59 Yeah, I was shy, I was very shy. I'm not sure I mentioned to you
08:02 the other day I was wondering if maybe I didn't have the
08:05 academic issues would I be shy? You know, I'll never know that.
08:08 But I was shy. What was the question?
08:12 Just that when you started to drink and that kind of thing did
08:16 you... ... feel good. It brought me out
08:17 It made me the life of the party and people like me because I was
08:22 funny and I was relaxed. But then I would get to the point
08:25 where I would keep drinking and drinking and then I would become
08:29 obnoxious. I can't even imagine you
08:32 obnoxious. Now you talk about this shy thing. Because I think
08:37 that what you did with that shyness was genius to me and so
08:43 talk about that because you were not only shy but you were almost
08:47 crippling shy. Yeah. I wouldn't even write
08:50 checks anywhere. When I was married I hid behind my husband.
08:53 And he did all the talking. Wherever we went whatever we had
08:56 to do he had to do it all because I couldn't. And you know
08:59 when I was little and the phone would ring my mother couldn't
09:02 take the calls if she didn't know who they were and
09:04 I would never get it right.
09:05 My sister would always take the calls and she
09:08 was very good. She had a very good vocabulary, she was very
09:11 smart academically. I could never get the calls. I remember
09:15 when I was little I couldn't wait to be big and I could read
09:19 the paper and eat hot boiling food off the stove because
09:22 everybody would eat these hot foods, but I never could, I
09:24 still can't and I still don't read the paper.
09:28 So with the shy thing: You found out you're shy. You graduated
09:33 from high school and you decide to do something. You and a
09:37 girlfriend about being shy. Yeah, Pat Love and I, we
09:39 decided that we weren't going to be shy anymore. I already had
09:44 my children then. Because I found out in the Bible that fear
09:49 is a sin and shyness is a fear and so I didn't want to...
09:54 Before we go there can we find out how did God come in?
09:59 Oh yeah! Well my aunt and uncle that lived in Fresno they were
10:05 Adventist and my grandmother. My mother was raised an
10:08 Adventist in a very negative home. Parents split up.
10:10 Stepparents didn't want her so she didn't want anything to do
10:13 with God. But I think she may have even taught me the Lord's
10:16 Prayer. I'm not sure what my father's background was with
10:19 religion. They did send us to Sunday school. They had some
10:22 one pick us up and bring us home. They never went. So I had
10:24 a little background there. But when I went to Fresno to stay
10:27 with my aunt and uncle in the summertime for a month they were
10:30 Seventh-day Adventist and they went to their church there.
10:34 Stephen Bohr I think now is the pastor at that church. So I had
10:39 a lot of knowledge about the Bible and Sabbath keeping from
10:43 them. And I think probably because of their praying for me.
10:46 I don't know if my mother and father ever prayed for me but
10:49 my aunt and uncle and grandmother I know did and
10:51 that's probably why I found the Lord. But they got a hold of my
10:54 sister and took her to a camp meeting in Soquel,
10:58 California and she came back and she was on fire for the Lord.
11:01 So that kind of brought it into the family. Right. So when you
11:05 fell in love and... Not till later though. I was a
11:10 horrible sister to her. I wasn't going to let her be good.
11:14 But later after I had my children she started going back
11:17 to church. Then she encouraged me to go back to church. So I
11:21 started going. That was before I had children though.
11:24 Okay. So you started turning over to God. So now you and your
11:27 friend decide that... We're not going to be shy
11:30 anymore. We're going to have Tupperware parties, we're going
11:32 to have home interior parties, we're going to have people over
11:34 and do different things. So we did.
11:37 Do you know that was one thing that I thought when the first
11:40 time you told me that story is that I realize that I'm shy.
11:45 It's crippling. I know that I can't stay here and that I'm
11:49 going to systematically start doing things that shy
11:53 don't do. Exactly. And that's what I did.
11:55 I had this list of things: Don't go to college, don't take a
11:59 speech class, don't stand in front of people and speak, don't
12:03 write a check. You don't come to Celebrate Live in Recovery.
12:07 and get up in front of everybody because that just
12:10 doesn't happen. This is a miracle that I'm here I know.
12:13 I know that because I can't believe how calm I am right now.
12:17 So you did end up going back to school. Yeah. Did you have
12:21 to... because I know that the processing stuff is just you
12:24 taking information differently, all of that kind of stuff.
12:28 So did you have to get some...
12:30 I went to the counselor, okay, and I was telling him all this
12:33 issue with trouble in school and they said, Well maybe you
12:36 have a learning disability. So they sent me over there to the
12:39 learning disabled lab and Mary and Melissa were awesome.
12:41 They were just so positive and they taught me so many ways to
12:44 be positive and speak positive and they were like role models
12:47 to me and I watched how they spoke to the students. If you
12:50 turned in a paper they would show you what you got right
12:53 but they did come up to one time and she said, Now do you want us
12:58 to call on you in class? And I said, No, but do it.
13:03 Yeah because I'm trying to work on being shy.
13:05 One of the things they asked me, What is your goal in this class?
13:10 I said, Well when I go to church and after the sermon's over
13:14 I want to be able to talk about what it was or tell somebody
13:19 what it was about. I still can't now but that was the goal.
13:24 But I think I was there just to learn to be positive. I knew God
13:30 loved me and I loved the fact that he loved me. I couldn't
13:32 believe... Because I only felt my mom and my aunt and my
13:34 grandmother really loved me.
13:36 Because the school situation was painful, always trying to
13:40 fit in but you had those three people and God.
13:46 Yes. So I did go to college and some classes you can't take
13:50 because you have to be a certain grade level. In the test, I
13:54 turned out to be like an eighth grade level but there were still
13:57 classes that you could take. So I did take some classes, a
13:59 speech class and some English classes.
14:01 Did you ever get up and do a speech?
14:04 Yeah, I got an A in it. That was...
14:05 Do you remember what it was about?
14:07 One of them I talked about bed-wetting because my sons
14:11 wet the bed. Another one was about, and I thought it was very
14:14 good, the topic was about whether you should lower the
14:20 drinking to 18 and I had to write why they should, not
14:24 believing that you should even drink alcohol. I was very
14:29 convincing. So that's kind of amazing.
14:33 So you get through that and you ended up having to now even
14:38 pick your career; what am I going to do, what kind of
14:41 business, all of that kind of stuff.
14:42 As a shy person I knew I was never going to work with the
14:45 public, run a register or do any of that stuff. It would be a job
14:48 where I'd work behind the scenes and I did do that. But after
14:51 that, after I got divorced and I was going to school I wanted to
14:54 be a teacher so my goal always was to be home with my kids
14:58 because my role model was my mother. She was a stay-at-home
15:03 mom and that's what I knew how to do. But I didn't finish
15:07 school and I would end up working three jobs and trying to
15:11 make ends meet. You know you talked to me one
15:15 time, was it we were talking, and I know that you have your
15:19 own business now and I also know that you went over to an Asian
15:23 country to get some training, went to China.
15:26 I never would do that as a shy person.
15:28 This is not what somebody with a learning disability or a shy
15:31 person or somebody that has struggled like you necessarily
15:34 does. And I thought, Joanie, shut up, that is amazing.
15:38 So talk a little bit about that because I don't even know if you
15:42 realize how amazing that was.
15:44 I never thought that I would have my own business for one
15:46 thing. You know I was working in a health food store for years
15:48 where I learned so much and I was out front talking to
15:51 customers all the time. Forced yourself?
15:53 Yeah... to where I'm comfortable in that terrain. If it gets
15:57 outside of that I might not be so comfortable. But yeah, we
16:01 went to China; it was for 18 days.
16:05 For myofascial release? It was actually acupressure.
16:10 And so we learned some acupressure. Myofascial release
16:14 was a different teacher. Yeah, I really don't know what to say.
16:22 You bought a house, bought a rental. I mean you know what
16:26 I mean. There's all of this stuff that you have literally
16:32 accomplished in your life. I was amazed at the pain that you
16:38 came out of and the fact that you really allowed God to
16:43 systematically say okay now do this, do this and do this and
16:47 you just... I didn't see the steps till you
16:49 get to where you are. Then you can look back and see the steps.
16:53 Okay. Yeah. One thing I remember, I was going through
16:56 some pictures, because the kids were horrible to me, and I know
16:59 I did my part too with you're no good, you can't be on my
17:02 team or whatever. But it's pretty painful and it carries
17:05 over into your adult life. But I was going through pictures and
17:09 I saw these kids that I just hated so much because they were
17:12 so mean to me and the Holy Spirit just said
17:14 to forgive them.
17:16 And I did and that was huge to me, just to...
17:20 Looking at their faces saying I forgive you for every single
17:25 time you looked at me that way. That rage, that anger is pretty
17:29 intense. I was always afraid and still am
17:33 insecure about being around someone that is going to
17:36 belittle me. I don't like that and I'll avoid that I can.
17:41 I can almost see it coming.
17:43 Yeah. I know that when we first met you were afraid of that.
17:46 But you know, I pray that I never do that to you.
17:52 I don't think you ever have. I want to kiss you on the face.
17:58 Okay, but let's stay focused all right?
18:01 I want to go back when I met you. My cousin, Vicky, in Fresno
18:04 said she wanted to treat me to a women's retreat so we went
18:09 to Yosemite. Because I knew your name. I saw your name and I
18:14 your little blurbs, nothing long. I'm going, no I want to
18:17 see more and I even wrote your name down. I never do that.
18:21 Because I'm sitting in my comfortable spot and I don't
18:24 want to get up and find a pen and write. I went, Who is this
18:28 person. You know. And I wrote your name down. And Vicky
18:30 said Sheri Peters is the speaker I said, I'm coming. And you were
18:34 telling your story. I had never heard it all together, just
18:38 little bits and pieces. There were pretty graphic things that
18:42 you were saying. But then you said, I couldn't read, and you
18:46 were 23 years old. So then I started listening to you because
18:49 even though all the other stuff you were saying happened to you,
18:53 getting beat up, motorcycle gang the reading thing just really
18:56 caught my interest. Here you are 23 years old and you can't read.
18:59 Then you learn to read and you become a nurse. So now I'm back
19:02 to this folder; I'm going to be smart again because look what
19:05 she was able to be. But like you said the other day, I may be
19:08 like this till Jesus comes, but that's okay, that's all right.
19:11 But I knew that when we did meet is that I knew that
19:17 emotionally the things that I have struggled with you
19:22 struggled with the learning stuff. So it looked different
19:26 you know it was different in a lot of ways but it felt like me;
19:30 it was still the same battle, the struggle. You've struggled
19:34 your whole life just to be able to stand. You told me the other
19:38 day that sometimes even coming into a room the smart people are
19:41 over here talking 100 miles an hour and...
19:44 And you're academically smart. I knew that right away.
19:48 Can I write that down? Yeah. I'll get a pen.
19:52 You're a genius, I know that you're a genius. Oh stop!
19:54 Because I said to you, you are very smart and you get it from
19:57 your mom or dad and you knew you were smart. You said you got it
20:00 from your mom. My mom's really smart.
20:03 I've watched you, I've watched you listen to people talk and
20:07 you jump in. I wouldn't know how to jump in.
20:09 We became friends and it was really interesting because I
20:13 you really did, you won my heart You've been to my house, my
20:18 family loves you, I mean, we became friends. What I think was
20:23 really interesting during that time is I was studying for one
20:26 of the seasons and we were studying the baptism of the Holy
20:30 Spirit and all that and I thought, you know, Joanie you
20:33 got to, I think I said something stupid like you gotta study
20:37 this with me and you're like Ohhh.
20:39 I said, I probably won't read this book and I was handing it
20:41 back to you and I looked at and I said, Well I'll just read the
20:44 underlined stuff. And I looked at it and the whole thing was
20:47 like underlined. I underline a lot.
20:48 So I did read the whole thing. I even underlined some stuff
20:53 that I thought you should have underlined.
20:55 You were going to call me on that. It's like, she left this
20:58 out. But what I thought was amazing about that is that even
21:02 at the point that you took the book there was something that
21:07 you said one time to me was that you took a chance of telling me,
21:12 I don't get it. You can tell me that 100 times and I don't get
21:17 it. And you almost held your breath waiting for me to respond
21:22 Do you remember that?
21:24 I was angry. Input and imputed I forgot what the other ones
21:29 were. But you know what I hear the
21:32 fact that you were angry but you know what I saw which I
21:34 thought was incredible is that you took a risk of sharing that
21:38 with me. And I think for any of us in our recovery we really
21:42 have to take a risk of being able to tell somebody, You know
21:46 what, this is what I deal with and this is who I am and do you
21:50 still care about me?
21:52 I've been able to fake it because even at the health food
21:54 when I was talking to customers I could talk to them for 15
21:57 minutes and my body knows how to do the motions.
22:00 Even if you don't understand them? You're not even hearing
22:05 them. And I still even do it.
22:06 You do. I have to grab you by the throat when you do that.
22:09 Sometimes I grab you by the shirt and I want you... Okay
22:12 where are you at?
22:14 You're getting to see the shades go down. You said the word
22:18 presumptuous the other day. I was so all excited. I don't even
22:21 remember what you were saying but you said the word in a way
22:23 that caused me to understand it. Because I've tried to figure it
22:26 out and people would say to me, You can't be presumptuous. And I
22:29 go, I don't want to be, but I don't know what it means
22:32 Even telling me and telling me and telling me and looking it up
22:35 in the dictionary doesn't sink in. And I don't know why it
22:40 doesn't sink in. But I saw it in your face that
22:43 you got it. And even the joy that I got that.
22:45 I wasn't even listening to what you said after that. You were
22:48 still talking and I'm thinking, I think I got that.
22:52 Okay, so you remember what I'm talking about when we started
22:55 going to the things and you decided, I think that you were
22:59 going to through the books and the first one that you just got
23:03 through, I got through this.
23:05 Yeah, The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. And I got my own and I
23:08 underlined everything you had underlined in the same color
23:12 because sometimes you used a red pen, sometimes a
23:15 highlighter. And at times you called. At times we talked about
23:19 it. We talked about it every day on
23:20 the computer. From the time I e- mailed you after the retreat
23:23 I sent you something and you sent something back right away.
23:28 I'm going this can't be her, but it was and we sent something
23:33 every day until I met you.
23:34 What was amazing to me is, I'm going to ask you to explain.
23:40 Is that there was a point when we were going through the books
23:46 that God started to wake you up to some plans that he had for
23:50 your life and that I thought was the coolest thing because I
23:54 think that we think that if I'm not exactly like the next person
23:58 if society says that everybody's going to walk on this road
24:02 and if I can't walk on that road then my whole life is just going
24:07 be a struggle and God was waking you up to I have a plan for you
24:12 and not for everyone else, but for you and I love you and so
24:17 do you remember... Are you talking about when I was
24:21 trying to study all day in a book?
24:22 Yeah the start of that was...
24:26 I'm really ADD and sometimes I just can't stay focused, but
24:29 this Sunday morning I was bound and determined to get a certain
24:32 amount of reading done. But I kept getting distracted and
24:36 doing stuff and so, this is embarrassing to say but like
24:40 by 5:30 in the afternoon I was still trying to get this stuff
24:44 done. So finally I'm sitting there and reading and the Holy
24:47 Spirit said to me have an all night prayer meeting and fast
24:51 10 days prior. And I'm going what?
24:54 And we were studying about prayer.
24:56 Yeah, Yes. I don't read books cover to cover usually I'll read
25:01 the back chapter, skim through it and something will catch my
25:04 eye and I think God really puts my eye where it should be.
25:07 But that's a huge message: Have an all-night prayer meeting...
25:11 I never heard of it... and do a 10-day fast. Right.
25:14 So I got all excited. I call Dee and told her and she goes wow!
25:17 And then she didn't know what to say about it and so then I
25:19 called Charlotte and she goes Oh yeah, I've been to one.
25:21 I know all about it. Get a committee and we'll talk about
25:24 it and so I did. Within three weeks we had an all night
25:27 prayer meeting at my house and it was the most awesome bonding
25:30 time with the Lord and with my church family ever.
25:35 To me what was amazing about that, and I thought it was so
25:40 incredible is all of a sudden that your gifting, your
25:45 uniqueness God was waking up and it happened pretty fast.
25:49 Well maybe not because you spent all that time kind of building
25:53 up to this moment. But God just says thank you, now let's...
25:58 Because I always whenever I read something about prayer I don't
26:02 see anything in our church that we're doing this. I mean prayer
26:05 meeting I thought you know you go and you pray but you study a
26:10 book and then we pray for five minutes and that's okay. I'm not
26:14 saying that that's a bad thing. But I just have read that we
26:17 need to pray more. We don't pray enough and we still don't
26:21 pray enough even what we're doing.
26:22 This was three years ago.
26:24 So you had the all night prayer meeting. What was the committee
26:29 like and I want to know how you felt all of a sudden to be in a
26:34 committee? I know. Charlotte's really good
26:39 cause she kind of bosses me around a little bit and I
26:41 respect her and I love her. I don't mean to maybe use the word
26:45 boss; encourages me strongly.
26:48 She's type A, she moves like this, she works with her
26:53 husband who's a doctor, runs a business, stays the same,
26:57 she's type A and you've got these strong women that are
27:00 looking at you like okay, you want to do that let's do it.
27:03 Yeah and we did and we got people from church, all
27:06 different ages there, 85 to 18.
27:12 How did you guys decide to run the prayer meeting?
27:15 Charlotte said what we had to do was find people and they would
27:18 pick a topic and every hour someone had a topic and they
27:22 would pray about it. Some gave testimonies. So that's how it
27:26 went all night and then somebody made notes of who did what.
27:30 What did it feel like during that night?
27:31 I was up and down; I was excited It was incredible. Yeah.
27:36 Because you've been to one of the prayer meetings.
27:38 I want to ask you, how did it feel when you realized that God
27:42 is going to use you, that there was a plan for your life?
27:47 Well a year ago we were going to have a prayer meeting and
27:51 I was feeling a little insecure about it, I don't know why.
27:56 So I called the pastoral prayer department here at 3ABN and I
28:02 just prayed that whoever answered was who I was supposed
28:05 to have and I believe that whoever it was the God wanted me
28:07 to have that person. It happened to be Joe O'Brien. I told him a
28:11 little bit about my academic stuff and that I wasn't very
28:15 bright and now our church is doing these prayer meetings, so
28:18 I told him a little bit about them, but they're not all night
28:21 anymore. They're maybe till 10 o'clock at night and we decided
28:25 to do it during the awake hours. But I was just really feeling
28:31 insecure myself. There were all these smart people in our church
28:37 and you know... me? I've already run a few of them and people are
28:41 wanting them and when are we going to do it again? So I don't
28:45 know what my problem was that day. So I talked for a while and
28:49 he gave me some scriptures to encourage me. He said, You know
28:54 there's that person that has an education and a beautiful wife
28:58 who can cook everything perfect and all the kids look nice and
29:03 their educated and everything's good with them. But God's not
29:07 looking for them. He said, He's looking for you. I'd never heard
29:12 that before. What?!
29:14 I use the simple things of the world to confound the wise.
29:18 You know what I mean? That's powerful. He is looking for you.
29:22 I was so excited with that and I'd never heard of that before
29:26 and I was pretty emotional about it. I even think I got in front
29:29 of the church for the very first time. I've been in front of like
29:32 Sabbath school but never the church part of the church.
29:36 And I said that and then he also said that your church is not the
29:40 only one doing these prayer things; that he hears about it
29:43 all the time, and I'd never heard of it before. So God gave
29:45 me something. The Holy Spirit literally talked
29:48 to you and you knew it at that moment. You know what, I want
29:52 to ask you to explain a little bit to us about how the church
29:56 started to change with these prayer meetings.
29:59 We started getting programs. We have a couple that have a
30:04 burden for feeding the homeless. So I think it started out that
30:08 every other Sabbath that they would feed the homeless. But
30:11 other churches do it so they come once a month. And then
30:14 there was a Bible study on a Monday night and there was
30:17 another one on a Thursday night and there was another one.
30:20 People were getting closer together.
30:22 People were getting close together.
30:25 You guys were calling each other and praying for each other over
30:28 the phone during the week.
30:29 We had, yeah, we had during the 10 days of fast we had prayer
30:32 partners so we encouraged people to have prayer partners and they
30:35 still have prayer partners now because they liked it so much.
30:38 I have a number of them.
30:39 You know as I was watching God unfold all of that in your life
30:45 I was so proud of God. I was so proud of you. You know it is
30:50 almost like that we are held in bondage to the stuff that has
30:54 happened in our life until we finally say God can you use me?
30:59 Do you love me? I've asked him. You know I asked
31:01 him to use me somehow and I don't know what my gifts are.
31:04 You know I could ride a unicycle. You know, where's that
31:08 getting me. I was the fastest runner in the class one time.
31:12 Where's that going to get me and what kind of job will that get.
31:16 Yeah, he's using me and I love it and I want to be used more.
31:20 So now our church has made me prayer coordinator. We didn't
31:24 have one. Okay. I want you to say that
31:26 again, because that cracked me up. When you called me and said
31:31 Guess what? and you knew I was just going to scream. How fun is
31:35 that. So I want to hear every thing. How did they approach
31:39 you, what did you think?
31:41 What's that committee called when there's a group of people
31:45 call and they have to call to ask you what jobs...
31:47 Nominating committee. Nominating committee. Yeah they
31:49 called and asked me if I would be prayer coordinator and if
31:53 Dee would be my assistant.
31:57 She's usually the one in charge and they're saying I want you to
32:01 do that and... She does better at being in
32:04 charge. One of the all night prayer
32:09 vigils that you had at your place, I remember you guys were
32:13 fasting, having the prayer thing I live... How far is it from my
32:17 house? Six hundred miles. From my door
32:19 to your door it was 600 miles.
32:21 So I decide that I'm going to drive out and just join you guys
32:29 So Dannielle from Australia decides to Skype in. So you have
32:36 somebody from Australia, you have me coming in from Idaho and
32:42 then you have somebody scheduled every hour on the hour like you
32:48 said and we pray. Through the night one of the things, I
32:52 looked around and I was so proud of you that you allowed
32:56 God to stand you up in that way. But the Holy Spirit was so
33:00 present. That's what people say when
33:02 they've come to them. When I'd say are you going to come to the
33:05 prayer meeting... Ah, I can't pray that long. I don't want to
33:09 do that. And I get so crushed because I want them to feel
33:14 that. And someone came to the last one we had and they were
33:19 blessed by it, in tears by it. We did Steps to Christ, so it
33:23 was a weekend of prayer. So we did all 13 chapters of Steps to
33:27 Christ and each somebody had a chapter.
33:29 Is that when your grandson asked for special prayer?
33:34 No that was a different thing.
33:36 So did each chapter of Steps to Christ, and then would pray
33:41 over whatever that step was. So how many have you guys done?
33:46 Do you know. You know maybe 10.
33:48 So now what we're doing is every month we're having a miniature
33:52 prayer time so we're praying for the same thing at the same time.
33:57 Because there is power in numbers praying for the same
33:59 thing at the same time. That's the last one that my grandson
34:04 went to. Can you talk about that a little
34:07 bit? Maybe not the issue if you don't want to share the issue
34:13 but just the fact that he was there and kind of...
34:16 Yeah my grandson was there. It was going to be my last weekend
34:20 in my house and so I was going to spend time with my grandsons
34:24 and so I just had to have them with me. So I took them over
34:28 there and so my grandson, he's 11, and he saw what we were
34:32 doing and Dee said, You can fill out a prayer request and write
34:35 something on this card and put it in that basked. So after we
34:39 were all done he was in there watching a little bit and he was
34:42 actually supposed to be taking care of his little brother, my
34:46 other grandson that's four. So he came in and after it was over
34:50 he said can you help me fill this out. And I said, Okay.
34:53 So we filled it out and I said just put it in the basket over
34:57 there and it'll be prayed for. And he says, I want you guys to
35:02 pray like you were. We were doing conversational prayer
35:05 where it's not like this person prays and the next person.
35:08 It's just if a thought comes to someone, fine, they just say a
35:12 phrase or they agree with what someone had just said. And so I
35:15 called everybody in. We turned off the stove because we were
35:18 actually going to have a meal and they were all glad to do it.
35:22 So nine of us around us prayed for his request...
35:26 for about 15 to 20 minutes. Yeah. Just that topic.
35:31 Right. So it's incredible to watch how God is unfolding your
35:37 life. I want to go to an area that... and if you don't want to
35:42 go here just let me know, it's totally find. But I know that
35:47 you're living in a town where almost the entire town is going
35:52 bankrupt and you were going through the process of trying to
35:56 save your home and I remember you saying to me at one point
36:01 that people at the bank are asking me different things and
36:05 you're doing that kind of nodding your head and having no
36:09 idea what they're talking about and all that kind of stuff.
36:13 I saw you crash and kind of withdraw a little bit. I think
36:17 you even jumped into some bad behavior. You remember what I'm
36:20 talking about? Then it was a really tough time and I remember
36:25 one time just praying about it and God just said, Tell her to
36:29 tell them the truth. I don't understand what you're saying.
36:33 I have some good friends that helped me with all that paper
36:38 work. These were friends I prayed for. I prayed for a
36:42 friend on the same page with me and so I'm over at their house
36:46 one day and the Lord said, I not only gave you one friend, I gave
36:49 you three. And they have been amazing to me. But yeah, they've
36:53 been helping me with all the paper work, because I just space
36:57 out. So you had to start saying out
36:59 loud to someone, I don't get it. What did that feel like at first
37:03 Were you afraid? Did you feel like you were going to get
37:06 rejected? I wasn't. But yeah, I wasn't.
37:10 But talk about what it felt like. Because that's stopped
37:13 you for years.
37:17 There were some things probably I could have done that I didn't
37:20 because I don't understand. Vocabulary, I think, is an issue
37:22 So are long sentences.
37:26 Right. So to me the fact you started to say, You know what,
37:30 I don't understand that. Can you say it in a different way, can
37:35 you say that again, or can you help me?
37:36 When you said, Can you help me I thought that
37:39 I don't even know if that was easily formed in your mouth
37:43 Can you help me, to ask someone to help you with paperwork or
37:48 with the house or with moving.
37:52 Are you talking about Policia or the other girl? Okay.
37:56 Or even the person at the bank. When you said you know I need
37:58 help with this. I told them and they understood.
38:01 Then they had to get permission to talk to Policia on the phone
38:04 and all that stuff. So how did that feel?
38:08 That could be expensive if you really don't know how to do all
38:12 that stuff and to pay someone. People just won't do anything
38:16 to do what I've been able to do. Because they don't understand
38:20 paperwork even though it's explained to them. Because if
38:23 you don't get it after they explained it, people that don't
38:26 understand it get impatient and so you don't want to go there.
38:29 You don't even want to even start because you know what's
38:31 going to happen. So you withdraw and shut down?
38:33 Or you don't do it.
38:36 What would you like to say about that. If you could say to
38:41 anybody, how could they be more real and help you out with that?
38:46 I don't know that they can. The only thing I could do is pray
38:51 and I know the devil sets me up everywhere I go. What I've
38:55 been learning to say is that God died for them too and he
38:58 loves them and like Jesus said on the cross, Forgive them
39:02 father for they don't know what they do. Because they don't.
39:05 I don't know what their day is like. I don't know what their
39:09 life is like. So I've come to that point now that that's
39:13 probably what happens.
39:15 So you don't expect someone to slow down. No. But you know in
39:19 our friendship you do stop me and say...
39:21 No because I'm not afraid to. I don't think I ever was afraid to
39:25 because you got it even though you didn't have that academic
39:29 issue you understand pain and you don't put yourself above
39:34 anybody no matter who they are. You're just amazing to me.
39:40 I'm thinking I just want to cry.
39:45 To have an academic person that's high academics even want
39:48 to be a friend with me...
39:50 But I want to take that back Joanie because one of the things
39:53 that I think is amazing is what I have seen over the years
39:57 of our friendship is that you don't let me get away with
40:01 anything. And to me I think that's just such a gift that God
40:04 has given you now is that you'll just say you know I don't get
40:07 that or you'll even laugh at times and say did you just see
40:10 me phase out. I'm mean you'll say that where are first you
40:13 didn't say that. So I think that since these prayer meetings,
40:16 since God has stood you up in this area I see you look at
40:19 people and saying that more often, even with Policia, even
40:23 with Dee, even with Bara, even like with different friends.
40:27 They are very smart academically smart and they love me.
40:32 And you love them. Yes. So if somebody was watching that had
40:37 the same fear you did, the same shyness, the same background
40:42 how would you encourage them to not let that keep getting in
40:47 your way? The devil is a liar and he's
40:50 lied to me all these years and I believed it. Still sometimes I
40:55 do and I just have to ask God to just take him away, rebuke
41:00 him from me. I've just gone blank.
41:04 That's all right. So when that thought comes in your head, when
41:08 you know it's those lies, when you start to bring out the
41:11 little gun to shoot somebody, you just have to say I rebuke
41:14 the devil and I'm not going there anymore. I am definitely
41:17 not going there anymore. That's incredible.
41:20 I don't think I get hurt as much as I used to. So I'm glad you
41:24 pointed that out because I didn't even realize that till
41:27 you said that. It's a huge difference. But I
41:29 watch you more and more even with me and definitely because
41:33 I know the friends that God has brought in your life with prayer
41:36 and stuff and even with them I see you being really, really
41:40 comfortable with saying this is who I am.
41:46 All these years in church though I remember trying to read even
41:50 Ellen White's stuff and it was too hard and I felt lost, like I
41:53 wasn't going to be saved because why would God bring this
41:56 beautiful person to our church with all this insight and
41:58 everything that she predicted come true and I can't even
42:02 understand her book, Steps to Christ for one. I've tried to
42:06 it I don't know how many times and I wanted to know why this
42:09 book was so beautiful. And one day on my shelf I just pulled
42:12 off a book and it looked like one of those little paper back
42:16 ones where Jesus is like in the city and so I started reading
42:20 it and I was understanding it and I looked at it again and it
42:24 called Steps to Jesus and it's Steps to Christ made easy.
42:28 And I was able to read that book and I was so excited I probably
42:32 even called you. I said, Why? I didn't know this. I was an
42:37 Adventist since 1976 and I just learned three years ago what
42:42 the Steps to Christ was all about and about forgiveness
42:46 and that we can't do anything without Jesus. We don't have
42:50 the victory unless we ask him for it. We don't have
42:52 forgiveness if we don't ask him for it. He changes us and I did
42:58 everything in my own strength...
43:00 To change. Taking the right class, getting up in speech
43:03 I can't even love God unless I ask him to put the love in me.
43:07 I can't do anything. So when I understood that finally...
43:12 Even the smartest person can't do anything unless God gives
43:17 them... Yeah. So it's not about any of that. You know that it's
43:22 really interesting. It's not about that. You even said your
43:26 weekly... Yeah, the Sabbath school lesson.
43:29 Someone heard me talking about my academic issues and she got
43:34 me an Easy Reader Sabbath school lesson, made easy. I was going
43:38 to bring it and I forgot it and the Steps to Christ too. But if
43:42 people don't know that you can get an easy to understand
43:45 Sabbath School lesson; it's available.
43:48 So you've come out of hiding. Especially today!
43:55 I could talk one to one to somebody and tell them. But not
43:58 in a group of people. And I really do feel intimidated
44:03 around people that are high academics. That's probably a
44:07 good project for me to work on next. Because I don't feel like
44:10 me. Yeah. I like you.
44:12 Thank you. So you think that's another lie
44:17 that the devil tells us?
44:18 I asked my doctor, Charlotte's husband, Dr. Holmes. I said,
44:24 this is what I think. Do you have friends that are not
44:30 academic. And he goes, yeah, I guess that's just what you see.
44:36 So he did. He was the first person I even asked so now I'm
44:41 on another project. Of asking folks, just to check
44:45 it out. If the Holy Spirit leads me to
44:48 ask them. When you talk about that kind
44:52 of stuff, even opening up today with us here in the cafe, do you
44:59 feel okay? Yeah, I do. I'm surprised,
45:03 totally surprised. Like I told you I was sitting in the cafe
45:06 the first season that I came and I was fine there; I would never
45:11 be here. And I can't believe how relaxed I am. So this is a huge
45:16 thing for a shy person to do.
45:18 I want to say for one. You know I am thrilled that you're on the
45:23 program. I'm thrilled that you came to share with us. I am even
45:27 happier that you're my friend. I think it's an amazing thing
45:32 that you decided to trust our friendship and open up because
45:36 what I saw God do is just release you from a lot of things
45:42 and so thanks. Thanks for being brave enough to fight all of
45:47 those real issues that you have. Thank you.
45:50 Okay now we're going to take a break and we'll be right back
45:54 but you know it's like when I look at some of the things that
45:58 we deal with we think we know each other, we think we know
46:01 kind of what's going on in our hearts and all those kind of
46:04 things. Absolutely not. We don't. Don't even try to guess.
46:08 And we'll be right back. Stay with us.