Pastor's Blog

A Changed Life Posted 12.13.2013

NOTE:  This testimony was discovered by Dick Summerfelt’s sons as they sifted through Dick's belongings after he passed away.  They read it at his memorial service.  I share it here one more time.


“I don’t recall any radical change in my life when I received Christ as my personal Savior and friend when I was 12 years old.  I have always attended Sunday school and church. My parents were committed to their Christian belief and to the importance of being active in a local church fellowship.


Therefore, I was enrolled in Sunday School at a very young age, attended regularly and ultimately recognized what Christ had done for me through His death on the cross. That recognition, His promise of eternal life and the comfort brought by another promise to always be available to me, has caused me to desire to serve him to the best of my ability.


After a tour of duty in the Navy (1944-1946) I earned my B.S. degree in geology at USC, met and married Joe Ann Kendall (Eileen Summerfelt’s cousin) at the First Baptist Church of Inglewood, was blessed with 2 sons and together we continued our commitment to the church, to our daily walk with Christ and to the study of God’s Word - the Bible.


It has been brought home to me that a Christian life is not necessarily an easy one. Christian friends and loved ones have been subjected to the same illnesses, depression, grief and death as non-Christians. The difference has been that I know Christ cares and that I don’t fully understand why His plan for our lives is different than mine. I do however have the assurance through His Word and my experiences that He cares and provides.


My wife Joe Ann, fought a 15 month battle with cancer, before she died in 1985. It was a difficult, painful experience for her, but her faith in the Lord never wavered. People who visited her in the hospital shortly before her death testified how she had ministered to them in a way no one else could have. The same has been true of other Christian friends. I have also learned, but still do not quite understand why the Lord works special miracles in our lives.


In 1977 I became seriously ill requiring four lengthy stays in the hospital: surgery on two occasions and the prospect of a third surgery to determine why I was still having severe problems. On the day before the scheduled third surgery the pain stopped and all tests were normal. I recovered rapidly with no subsequent problems. There is no question in my mind that this was an example of the Lord’s miraculous healing power.


In 1986 the Lord brought Eileen and me together. This was a union of two people who had known each other since early years in school and church, whose children had grown up together and still have a close bond, who had encountered and weathered the storms of difficult times with the loss of spouses and who subsequently fell in love. I believe this is another example of the Lord’s miracles and of His caring nature.


Wonderful memories of loved ones, who are with the Lord in Heaven, can in no way be diminished. My faith in the Lord and His Word give me the assurance that they are in a far better place. I am also eternally grateful that He has provided for my every need --- and more.”



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