DOWNEY, Calif. (BP) — Harold Neal, 83, a retired airplane builder and bivocational pastor, in addition to the caregiver for his spouse of 66 years, has discovered “what the Lord wants me to do” in main a Bible examine in his storage for 15 years.
Harold Neal, 83, a retired airplane builder and bivocational pastor, in addition to the caregiver for his spouse of 66 years, has discovered “what the Lord wants me to do” in main a Bible examine in his storage for 15 years.
Says Neal, matter-of-factly, “What else could I do that could please the Lord? Teaching is God’s calling. I can’t do anything else. If I can’t teach or preach the Word of God, I think I might as well go on to be with the Lord.”
Through the years, the category, attended by eight to 12 individuals every week, has studied a lot of the Bible verse by verse. Neal produces all of the instructing supplies himself, from detailed outlines of every passage to giant charts, maps and timelines. Some college students within the class have amassed actually years’ value of Bible outlines at their fingertips.
“This class remains because a group of Christians wants to search God’s Word,” Neal mentioned in his booming voice — an asset, he mentioned, when senior residents with listening to points comprise a lot of the attendees.
“Some folks have a limited knowledge of Scripture, but some are dedicated Bible students. If they keep the detailed outlines, they can go back any time they need to and have basically a commentary on that passage.”
Not all who attend are believers, nonetheless. Neal tells of a neighbor in his Downey, Calif., neighborhood who began attending as a result of “he thought one of the ladies in the class was his girlfriend.” He got here for about six months and heard the clear plan of salvation many occasions.
“I talked to him, but he said he didn’t like my God,” Neal mentioned. “I mentioned, ‘Well, someday you may be standing on the gate and can face Him.’
“[He] did not like that and he stopped coming, however then, a few months later, when my spouse had one other stroke, he referred to as out to me from throughout the road and mentioned, ‘I am praying for Martha!’
“I’m not sure where he was spiritually, but about three weeks ago he died. I just pray that he had come to know the Lord Jesus as his Savior first.”
Another participant was a cautious customer at First Southern Baptist Church in Downey, the place the Neals have been members on the time.
“This man — who was from a Catholic background — had sworn not to go back to church ever again,” Neal recounted, “but after a couple of weeks his wife talked him into coming to our home study. I encouraged him to ask the church about becoming a member, and he did, and he made a profession of faith, and he got baptized.”
About two years after starting the examine in 2003, having relocated from their front room to an tailored house of their storage, Neal and his spouse moved their membership and involvement to First Baptist Church in Santa Fe Springs and determined to discontinue the category. But inside a week, Neal mentioned, they’d gotten calls from each individual within the class who mentioned they did not care the place he and Martha went to church. So the Bible examine continued and now consists of individuals from 4 space church buildings.
“The most exciting part of the week is Thursday morning — getting up, making coffee, cleaning the floor, getting the room ready for our class,” Neal mentioned. “We start with a few minutes of prayer requests, have coffee, sing a song or two, and then I offer a 45-minute lecture that I’ve typed up word-for-word. Of course they can ask questions, but mostly I lecture because that’s what they want.”
Neal mentioned that regardless of a diploma from Liberty University and “Bible courses from one end to the other under my belt,” he could not discover curriculum or materials that basically suited him. So he started drafting his personal verse-by-verse outlines. Those, and the choice of subjects and Scriptures to review, are born primarily out of his private every day time with God.
“I take care of Martha, of course, since she’s bedridden after eight strokes,” Neal mentioned. “So when she goes to mattress every evening about 6, I’m going along with her, get to sleep about 7, care for her through the evening each couple or three hours, after which virtually each morning the Lord wakes me up round four, and I spend a good stable three hours alone with the Lord. It’s simply great, that point.
“When I used to be a bivocational pastor I could not examine with the Lord like that, however now I can. And the Lord at all times makes it clear what we’re to do subsequent.
“I’ll just keep teaching as long as I can,” Neal mentioned. “Some individuals wish to stay to be 100, however I say, what are you able to do at 101 that you simply could not do at 99? I’ve discovered what the Lord needs me to do, and I do not wish to do the rest.
“I want everyone might do the identical.”