A. A. Allen's Life Story.............THE EARLY YEARS
(Song) - He's the Healer of broken hearts. He will mend your shattered dreams. He will pick up the threads of your broken life and He'll weave them together again. To your soul He brings peace and rest.
(Spoken) – “How many believe He knows how to bind up a broken heart? Tonight, bind it up Jesus. Yes!”
(Song) - A friend indeed He'll always be.
(Spoken) - Do you want Him to bind up your heart?
(Song) - For He's the Healer of broken hearts.
“God, bind up this broken heart tonight, bind it up Jesus. Yes God, right now in Jesus name! Yes God, bind it up, Amen. Yes God. Yes God. Put your hands up and praise Him. He'll do it right now.”
(Song) - And He'll weave them together again. To your soul He brings peace and rest.
(Spoken) - "God, You're going to bind up this broken heart. Yes God. Stand up son. I'm going to believe God with you."
(Song) - For He's the Healer of broken hearts.
“He came to bind up the broken hearted.”
God right now in the name of Jesus, bind up this broken heart, bind it up, in Jesus name, bind it up, Amen.
He's happier than he's ever been in all of his life. Yes Lord, yes Lord!
Now tonight I feel more like weeping than I do preaching. I'll probably do both. I can preach better when I cry. It isn't good pulpit etiquette, but it's good for your soul and I have chosen one of the most humble texts that I can find in the Bible to preach from tonight. It's found in the first chapter of Proverbs the 32nd verse. “For the turning away of the simple, (that's me), shall slay them and the prosperity of fools, (that's me) shall destroy them.” I'm just a simple fool. All I ever expect to be.
But God has promised to bless me because I'm simple, and a fool. Even Paul said he was a fool and if he can be a fool for Christ's sake, I think it's about time all the rest of us come down on the same level.
But another verse or two, cause it takes me back many, many, many, many years, listen to this – “The Lord maketh poor, the Lord maketh rich. He bringeth low and he lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust and he lifteth up the beggar from the dung hill, to set them among among princes to make them inherit the throne of his glory. For the Pillars of the earth are the Lord's. And he has set the world upon them.” Listen!
“Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that serveth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments, His seed, and I've got a lot of seed out there tonight, that doesn't just mean my four children. I’ve got seed around the world.
"His Seed shall be mighty upon the earth. The generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house and his righteousness endureth for ever. Every good and every perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning, and a good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just."
This is the portion of a wicked man with God – “The heritage of the oppressors which he shall receive of the Almighty.”
“If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword, and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread, (talking about the wicked) His offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. Those that remain of him shall be buried in death and his widows shall not weep. Though he heap up silver as the dust, and though he, the wicked prepare raiment as the clay, he, the wicked may earn it, may bank it, may prepare it, but the JUST are going to put it on and the innocent shall divide the silver or shall divide his money.”
Have I read enough?
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein then shalt thou make thy way prosperous.”
I'm not referring altogether to financial prosperity. I'm speaking of spiritual prosperity as well. “Then shalt thou make thy way prosperous and then shalt thou have good success.”
Good success then and then only shalt thou have good success. Then God, keeping His commandments and walking in the light of His word is the secret of being successful and having prosperity, whether it's for the pocket book or for the soul.
One more verse Ecclesiastes 5:19 – “Every man also to whom God hath given, to whom God hath given riches and wealth and hath given him power to eat thereof and to take his portion and to rejoice in his labour, this is the gift of God.”
For what I am wearing tonight, God put it on me. The food on my table, God put that food on my table today.
I didn't see God walk in my house, but I saw His angels come in there. Angels, white angles, red angels, brown angels, yellow angels, pink angels, as far as skin is concerned, but they're all God's children, God's messengers, and God is using them today.
May I read you just one more verse of scripture and then I'm going to cry. “Thou, the Lord, thou openest thy hand and it is filled with good things with good. And it shall be when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he swear to thy fathers to give thee great and goodly cities which thou buildest not and houses full of all good things which thou fillest not.” You didn't even have to fill them. Ready filled houses. You know what I'm talking about?
“Goodly cities which thou buildest not wells digged which thou diggest not, vineyards and olive trees which thou plantest not but when thou hast eaten and be full then beware lest thou forget the Lord which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage and should say with my might and with my power I have gotten me these things, but thou shalt remember that it is the Lord thy God that giveth thee houses, automobiles, trucks, new bucks, tents, organs, pianos, churches, even shoes.
“It is the Lord thy God that giveth thee power to get wealth.”
And every one of us tonight whether you're willing to admit it or not are rich. We're rich in God, we're rich in Christ and nothing else could make you more rich, or richer than the promises of God who said He would open his hand to his children and when he opens His hand, it's filled with good things, meaning that God can bypass all natural means, social security, old age pensions, unemployment compensations, salaries budgets, allowance, you don't even have to have a husband to have an income.
If you're a widow you ought to shout twice as loud as the woman that's got a man. You've got a greater opportunity of getting through to God and receiving your miracle ‘cause you don't have to bypass that husband to get to God. Raise your hands and let’s praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus!
It isn't necessary at all to have an education. God can bless you if you're a fool, and He's got a greater possibility to bless you if you haven’t got too much up here. It was Paul himself who was told, "Much learning hath made thee mad."
Some people limit God to their education. If they don't have a high school education or a college education they say "I'll never make it." Well, you probably won’t without God.
But God didn’t say He would just open His hand to you that have spent four years in college. He said, “The prosperity of fools supplies the multitudes” and I'm going to do such mighty things for the simple, you that don't have too much up here.
But God has already said that “the wealth of the sinner is already stored up” and meant for you and God's not going to give it to you according to the amount of brains in your head, but according to the amount of believing in your heart.
Your head has nothing to do with what God does for you. It's your heart. “With the heart men believeth unto righteousness,” and generally the more you know up here, the less you know down here.
Now it isn't that God places any prize on ignorance, but I was a drop out. I never tell very many people this. I was a drop out of the eighth grade, never went one year to high school.
The reason I was a drop out, I was so ashamed of the clothes I had to wear to school. My sister, sitting over here, and her twin sister were drop outs. They dropped out before I did cause they were great big girls and they were ashamed to go to school barefooted. So big, everybody laughed at them cause they didn't have no shoes to wear to school and my twin sisters both quit school long before I did, cause everybody made fun of us.
We were from the wrong side of the tracks. I had a step-daddy that hated all of us. He would have murdered all of us if he could have. But when he married my mother he had no idea he was marrying a woman that was going to bring six more children a little later on when she got things maneuvered her way. For when she left my daddy in Arkansas when I was only about four, she promised the man she was going to marry, a great big handsome half Negro, that she was just going to bring the baby, Asa, but she knew she was going to slip Lea and Zan up there, my twin sisters.
A bit later on she knew she was going to bring my brother Bill. A little later on she knew she was going to bring Eunice, who's sitting out here tonight and she was going to get Ruby up there. And when she did, she had trouble. Big old milado didn't marry a bunch of nut heads. He called us knuckle-heads. He married my mother.
And she was extremely jealous of him because he was about fifteen years younger than she was. She lived in constant fear because of her age, and that he was going to get out and trifle on her. Whether he did or didn’t, I don't know but I don't believe he ever did.
But because she was a quarter Indian, she felt it was her duty and she did it. She'd never leave the house unless she had an ice pick in her purse, a thirty-eight around her waist and a hunting knife sticking inside her underskirt.
She was looking for somebody to kill and she could fight like a man and she did. She was a crack shot, she could whirl on her heel and shoot a thimble off of a gate post at fifty yards every time.
She felt because she was a quarter Indian, she was called to fight every neighbor in the neighborhood and she did.
But since my step daddy hated all of us children, I really do believe he loved her, my mother. But he didn't like any of us. For that reason he wouldn’t provide for us, the only thing he'd provide for us was food and every time the grocery bill came in twice a week, there was a fight over that.
My mother never had a dollar to buy clothes for any of her six children, she had seven but my oldest brother died when I was just a kid. But she managed to get hold of a few dollars by going to the grocery store, a good man that was sympathetic, his name was Corbin, I remember, and she'd say “If you'd just give me ten dollars, if you'd just write, lard, sugar, flour, beans to that amount and put it on the grocery bill and give me the cash, my children have got to have shoes.” No wonder the grocery bill was so high. It was the only way us kids could get clothes to wear.
But she never bought anything new. She'd go to the church rummage sales and buy clothes with good material in them. She had an old fashioned singer sewing machine and she was a good seamstress and she'd cut the good materials out of those clothes she'd bought at the old church rummage sales for fifteen cents or a quarter and dress my twin sisters up, and Eunice and Ruby.
She would buy men’s shirts and cut them down and make me a shirt. I never knew what it was to have a new shirt. My sisters never knew what it was to have a new dress. I got one pair of shoes a year and my daddy always sent that to me at Christmas time.
I had one happy season, that was Christmas, cause every Christmas a box came from way down in Arkansas, and I knew in that box I was going to have a new pair of shoes and my twin sisters. “Stand up Lea.” “Where you at Eunice?” “Stand up honey.” “She's my oldest.” “Sit down.”
We knew we were all going to get new shoes and a new pair of stockings cause then I wore stockings clear up here.
There would be a few things in there, probably a sweater, maybe a shirt but that was the only pair of shoes I got a year. And when those shoes began to wear thin and get scuffed, you know how ruff a kid is in the grades, playing ball, on the school grounds we had in those days and those shoes began to wear out, my mother was one of the women they call “Do it yourself.” There wasn't anything she couldn’t do. She had an old fashioned shoe tool, they call them Lasts, different sizes, fit any kind of a shoe.
She was so poor she couldn’t even go to town and buy new half soles to tack on my shoes. But we would go to the junk yard, the city dump, and rum through the shoes that others had thrown away trying to find shoes that had good leather on the bottom and my poor old mother would take a knife and she'd cut the leather off of the bottom of those old shoes she found in the city dump to bring home to nail on my only pair of shoes. They were so clumsy. Sometime she couldn’t even afford shineolla to shine them with. But she'd get lard and grease them so they wouldn’t look so rough and scuffed up.
I was so ashamed of my clothes I said, “I'm not going to go to school no more. I'm going to quit. I'm going to get me a job.”
But “He lifteth the poor out of the dust and He raiseth up the beggar from the dung hill to set him among Princes,” if he'll follow the commandments of God and keep the word of God.
If my mother hadn’t been a good manager because we lived sort of on the outskirts of town, she always raised chickens. We always had a cow or two, and always had a big garden.
From early spring to late fall we worked hard in that garden. We raised everything we ate. And in the summertime, we'd can everything we could produce because if we didn't can it in the spring and summer, there'd be nothing for us to eat in the wintertime.
About three miles from where I lived, a little town of Carthage, was an old orchard they called Wamplers’ Orchard, I remember it all just like as yesterday, when the pears and the apples would begin to get ripe. We'd go out to the old Wampler Orchard and say, “Mr. Wampler, we're poor folks.” My poor mother would take us out there. We'd all carry sacks and we'd carry it home with us. Once in a while my step daddy had an old Ford and we'd drive out there and haul them home.
“Would you let us pick the pears up that’s fell off of the trees on the ground?” And we'd pick up the pears that would fall on the ground and sack them up and bring them home and my poor old mother and my sisters would peel those pears. You know the ones that fall off that aren’t so good. But the pears on the trees looked so nice. I couldn't help but steal some of the good ones. I'm not trying to be funny. I'm not saying this to be funny. And my sisters stole pears off of the trees too.
In the summertime when the blackberries began to get ripe, we'd spend day in and day out, day in and day out, picking blackberries and dewberries to can so we'd have something to eat in the wintertime till we were so scratched up and full of them little red jiggers, we couldn’t sleep at night.
Wintertime come and our step-daddy wouldn’t buy no coal. Very seldom would he ever buy coal. We had no gas or electricity. Not then, just a big old coal range in the kitchen. And every morning at daylight, my dear old mother, as old as she was, would get an old toll sack, so would I and sometimes Eunice and sometimes Ruby. But they stayed longer in Arkansas than we did. We only lived a couple of blocks from the tracks. The railroad tracks where they had that huge bin of coal. Where they shoveled coal onto the engines at night so when they stoked the engines, so they'd have a fresh supply of coal and from that huge bin of coal where they'd shovel the coal and fill up the engines, coal for steam. They'd always drop some between the big bin of coal and the engine. We'd scrap coal every morning. They'd give us all we'd find on the ground, and say, "Here comes that poor Allen bunch."
My poor old mother with an old sack on her back and me, just a big old toe headed kid, my twin sisters with a sack looking for coal, cause if we didn’t find no coal, there wouldn’t be no fire and there'd be nothing to keep us warm.
Oft times my poor old mother would look up at them men up there shoveling that coal from that big bin into the engines and they'd feel so sorry for us, cause they could see that we weren’t getting much coal on the ground and they'd say, “We’re going to throw you off some.”
They’d throw us off enough coal, good chunks to fill our sacks and we'd fill them as quick as we could before the main man that run that track would catch us, cause if they'd catch us stealing that coal they'd take us all in. I know what it is, I've been there. I've been there.
Bring her something nice, he'd bring her something good. She's been gone so long, but somehow I wonder tonight if she isn't looking down and if she hasn’t heard every word that's been read from these trophies.
“My son don't have to steal coal no more. “He don't have to go to the orchard and steal anymore pears so he'll have something to eat in the wintertime.”
And some of us complain, we murmur and we find fault and we think we've got so little. We're all rich! We're all rich, my God we're rich in God, we're rich in God.
He opens His hand and it's filled with good things, houses, orchards, vineyards, cities, wells. I feel like every one of us ought to get on our knees and say “God forgive us. You've been better to us than we deserve. We've grumbled and we've complained and we've criticized and we've said we've had so little when you've given us so much.” All the promises of God are 'Yea and Amen' to them that believe.
But I used to hear so much fussing and quarrelling in my own home, even when I was growing up in a little three roomed house. Three beds in one little room, and one room provided the kitchen, and we did most of the living in there.
Talk about being poor, we lived down on Limestone Street. My sister finally married the city bootlegger. She really got fixed up, that's Eunice. Stand up Eunice. Her husband's dead now, he died an alcoholic. She was the only one that had any money, cause he hauled it in from Kansas by the keg. He was the bootlegger in our city. She had money, cause her bootlegger gambling husband was making as much money as anybody in town and if it hadn’t been for her some of us would have starved to death.
Then the twins ran off cause they couldn’t stay at home any longer, too much fussing and quarrelling and contending. My mother was so jealous of that man of hers, her husband, my step-daddy, afraid that he was trifling on her.
Every morning when he left to go to work she had a pair of high powered field glasses and she'd watch him till he got to the plant, cause there were women that worked at that plant too. They polished marble, the women did while he did the sawing and cutting, and at four-thirty, when it was time for him to quit, she got to that window with the high powered field glasses and watched him every step of the way home. And when he got home she knew if he had had one word to say with any of those women that was walking home that two mile strip.
Whether he did or didn’t, they fought all night long about it. We finally moved out of the three roomed house cause we enlarged it to a six room bungalow by buying old used lumber and my momma and I and my step daddy built it ourselves with our own hands' until it was a pretty nice house, one of the nicest on the street, even if it was made out of used lumber.
And my reward was a bedroom all by myself upstairs, right over momma and John's room. There wasn’t a night that went by but at midnight they'd wake all of us up. All of us kids would run and huddle together in the room and say John’s killing momma, John's killing momma, John's killing momma. We'd scream and cry and holler for the neighbors but John wasn't killing momma. We'd hear that old thirty-eight of hers go off and we'd think, I hope she's killed him this time. I hope she's killed him, cause we hated him.
I'm not trying to be funny, friend. I'm just pouring my soul out tonight. This is appreciation night, and I feel that God wants every one of us to realize how rich we are and how far He's brought us.
But then my mother was a crack shot. She had her own thirty-eight and carried it everywhere she went. He'd stand up against the wall and say I dare you to shoot me. I dare you to shoot me, and she'd shoot all around him and never hit him, and all of us kids would huddle in the corner and get mad at momma cause she wouldn’t shoot him.
The next day, friend I'm serious, this is in my heart, we'd say, “Momma, why didn’t you kill him? Why didn’t you kill him?” She said, “If I do and they take me to court, will you all swear that he started the fight?” We said, “Momma, we'll stick with you, we'll all swear that you killed him in self defense.” She said, “I'll kill him next time.” But she wouldn’t. While he was gone to work the next day she'd take new plaster and plaster up all the bullet holes and put new paper over it. If you could have seen that old house, it was full of holes.
When I was about twelve I said, “I'm going to leave home.” I might have been a little older. I said, “I can't stand this any longer I'm going to find my daddy.”
I was so young and dumb I didn’t know hardly what direction to go to find him. Didn’t have a dime in my pocket but I said, “I'd heard so much of this and I'm so tired of this. I can't live here no longer.”
Just a kid, I started out. I didn’t know how to get there so I started walking. And I walked seventeen miles and I got to Joplin at dark, pinned a little note on my pillow that said, “Dear Momma, you won't see me no more, I'm leaving, I'm gonna find my daddy. Don't look for me to come back, I'll never come back.”
But when I got as far as Joplin, no money in my pocket, hungry and no place to go and cold, I got in a ditch where there was a lot of leaves, wrapped up in the leaves while it rained on me all night, and I was glad when daylight come and I started walking back home. It was sort of a blow to my pride cause I was only about fourteen. Momma saw me coming in, and she said, “I knew you was coming back home.” She said, “Son one of these days we're going to move away from here and we're going to leave John. We'll just let him have what's here and we'll move in the country.”
She maneuvered things around and got hold of four hundred dollars to make a down payment on a forty acre hillbilly farm near Springfield, Missouri. Flint rock and white oak sprouts. And while John was away at work every day we rented a truck and started moving everything we had out.
But since the house had been divided so long he didn’t know we was moving out cause he never had been in some of those rooms for years anyway. There were only three rooms he ever went into, that was his own bedroom, the dining room and the kitchen room. He never was upstairs or back in our bedrooms. We didn’t want him in there. He didn’t want to come. So while he was away at work, we moved everything out of all the other rooms and upstairs, and waited till the next day to clean out the kitchen, the dining room and the living room. Then when he comes home all he had was a bed and a dresser in his bedroom and we had a country home.
The whole thing cost twelve hundred dollars. It's still there. Last summer I drove by, drove up in the old yard, grown up with white oak sprouts. Went down in the woods where I used to pray everyday. That's where I got saved, out in Missouri out in that old ranch. Looked for an old white oak stump where I used to go every morning and noon and night and pray, but the stump was gone, been rotted away for years. But the old white oak trees were still in the front yard.
I could hardly recognize the place; it's been many years ago. I drove on down two miles further on down the old Flint Rock road and there stood a little white church down in the valley. Methodist Onward Church, still calling it onward. Haven't changed the Sunday school board in thirty years. Same old piano sitting on the platform with the same old ivories off. Few church members still coming to the old Methodist Church, and I walked in that little old church.
A mighty long way, get your hands up, and I want every one of you right now to tell God how far He's brought you. Praise Him for the pit from whence He has digged your feet. We're millionaires. We're rich. None of us should ever have a criticism to offer. God's been better to us than we deserve. If I praised Him from now until doomsday, I could never praise Him enough, for what He's done for me.
My older brother died when I was still little, I can hardly remember him, but I can remember when he quit screaming and crying in pain and everything got quiet and the doctor said he won't hurt no more. This was back in the days when doctors didn’t know anything about surgery or appendicitis.
My daddy's gone. I didn’t even attend his funeral. I didn’t know he was dead till a month after he was buried. A choir leader in a big church in Miller, Arkansas, but I'm not sure if he was ever saved. He could have been, but he suffered so much before he died. I don't know if I'll ever meet him.
My mother passed on. I didn’t attend her funeral. I was too poor to go. It was too far and I didn’t have the money. In fact, I got the telegram too late.
Next year, you never know, you may not be sitting out here honey. Lea and Zan may not be here. I may not be here. But we're going to be somewhere. We're going to be somewhere. We're going to be in a better place, but I expect to be here next year.
But tonight, do you know what God wants us to do? Thank Him and praise Him because He's brought us such a mighty long way.
But the thing that God is making so real to me tonight. “He lifteth the beggar from the dunghill. He raiseth the needy out of the dust.”
Since last summer when I visited in that little farm home, same old house, blacksmith’s house where Leo was in a wheelchair. I said, “Leo, give me your name and address. I want to send you my magazine.” He said, “I can't write, but my wife will write for me.”
Their lives were so poor. They were just happy to get a prayer, and I thought “Lord, but for the grace of God. But for the grace of God, I would still be in that little old farm house back in the flint rock hills of Missouri.”
But God hasn’t opened His hand to me, neither to you, because we deserve it, because we had it coming, but because He loves us. Because He loves us and He wants to help us and He wants to reach down and raise you up, and set you among the princes of His people.
Tonight, Oh Jesus, look at David over there at the organ. He's been doing this since he was fourteen.
I remember the first time he ever came to a meeting of mine, a tent meeting in Houston, just a young boy. Didn’t look anything hardly like he looks today, David you've changed, ten more years will make another change.
David, stand up here. Look how this boy's changed in two years. Ten years there'll be another change. But I'd rather have his job and his reward than be the greatest rock and roll drummer that the world every heard beat a drum.
Sometimes we don't notice the change. When my sister pulled out a bunch of old pictures from some old suitcase somewhere while I was gone at Christmas time. And when I came home this time, they were on my desk. There I was playing an accordion. Just a big kid when I was about thirty-five. And so I'd look older so people would have more confidence in my ministry cause I looked so young, I would shave my hair off high so it looked like I was getting bald, it made me look 10 years older. I got me a pair of glasses, horned rimmed glasses to wear, cause it made me look older. People might have more confidence in my ministry if I looked older.
I've changed the last 10 years, physically. But deep down in my soul I feel God's done something for me in these last ten years. He didn’t do it all the other twenty years put together and I'm determined by the grace of God that this year, God's going to do something so new and so different and so great for me, that the world is going to know.
And when a man can still cry, he can still get to God.
Here's Richard now, just a kid. He got out of high school, started traveling with us, now he's married, great big handsome son, lovely wife.
Things are changing. We're hanging up new calendars. We're throwing away the old. But tonight I feel like I want to do something special for the kingdom of God and for the house of God and for the work of God, cause I know how far God has brought me and Don, I know how far you've come. I know how far Gene's come. I know how far David's come. We've prayed together. We've cried together, haven’t we? Come up here Rolf. We've bawled together and squalled together, Rolf has changed.
Some of you may not have very many more years ahead of you to do the thing that God's called you to do, cause youth gives you no assurance of tomorrow. Caskets are made all sizes and all lengths. But tonight I feel God wants everybody in this auditorium just in deep sincere appreciation for the long way He's brought us.
And all the rest of you that want the anointing of God, want to be anointed for service, anointed with God's power, come down here and stand around. I'm going to ask God to anoint you, bless you, endue you, give you new power, new anointing to go forth from this camp meeting with the blessing of God in your life.
You may never again be in His presence exactly what you are today. Make the most of it. Get in the Spirit and let God do something for you.
Raise your hands everyone. Tell the Lord you love Him. You need Him and if you've failed Him, say, “Lord, forgive me, take me back and try me one more time.”
(Song) - How long has it been since you talked with the Lord and told him your heart hidden secret? How long since you prayed? How long since you stayed on your knees till the light shone through? How long has it been since your life felt at ease? How long since your heart knew no burden? And you called Him your friend. How long has it been, since you knew that He cared for you?
(Spoken) - How many have a definite need that only God can meet? Put your hand up right now. Raise your hand. We’re going to pray that God will meet your need, this very day. Just whisper up to heaven and tell Him your need. You can't all tell me your need but you can tell Him. And I'm going to ask God to meet your needs today. Some of you who listen to me have a feeling that life isn't worth living.
(Song) - How long has it been since you knelt by your bed, and you prayed to the Lord up in heaven? How long since you knew that He would answer you, and would hear you the long night through? How long has it been since you woke with the dawn and you felt that your days were worth living?
(Spoken) - Raise your hand up. “Now Lord, in Jesus name. Meet the needs of every person with their hand raised to heaven, right God for Your glory I ask You to do it and I believe You for it. Meet the needs of these people this very day, in Jesus name. Amen.”
(Song) - I am going to a city, where the streets with gold are layer.
Where the tree of life is blooming, where the roses never fade.
Here they bloom but for a season, soon their beauty is decayed.
I am going to a city, where the roses never fade.
In this life we have our troubles. (Do you ever have troubles?)
Making snares we must evade.
But we'll be free from all temptation. (When we get up yonder)
Where the roses never fade. (Going with me?)
Here they bloom but for a season (Oh yes)
Soon their beauty is decayed.
I am going to a city. (I'm going where)
Where the roses never fade.
(Spoken) - Yes Lord. Just a little while, we're going to be there friend. Just a few more days; few more trials; few more tests; maybe a few more pains; maybe a few more disappointments and heartaches; few more tears. But one of these days, Jesus is going to step down from the throne and He's going to wipe every tear from your eyes. Won't it be wonderful, when we get there? Yes Lord.
(Song) - Here they bloom but for a season.
Soon their beauty is decayed.
I am going to a city. (Friend I'm going)
Where the roses never fade.
Loved ones gone to be with Jesus.
In their robes of white arrayed.
Now they are waiting, waiting for our coming. (I can see them up there, they're waiting.
Where the roses never fade.
Here they bloom but for a season. (Sometime the season is short)
Soon their beauty is decayed.
I am going to as city, I'm going
Where the roses never fade.
(Spoken) - Man there was a time when I didn’t have this. One of the biggest sinners the world ever knew. But I went to an old fashioned Methodist church. Knelt at an old fashioned altar, from some old fashioned holiness preaching and there I prayed through until God saved my lost soul and gave me a knowledge that my sins were gone.
When I got up from that old fashioned altar, everything was changed. I had a song in my heart, knew my name was written down in heaven, every sin was blotted out.
Never been to church but one time in my life before that I could ever remember, but when I left that church my name was down in heaven, had a song in my heart and a spring in my step, knew everything was alright every sin was blotted out.
Up until that time life wasn’t worth living. I've still got scars on my body where I tried to commit suicide when I was only a young teenager, because life wasn’t worth living. I didn’t want to live. I felt I was born to lose, I'd never win.
But when Jesus came in! When Jesus came in! When Jesus came in, ‘Halleluiah!’
You mean to tell me we haven’t got a right to shout? You mean to tell me this isn’t real? When I left that church that night a new born babe in Christ, got my little old roadster, (back in those days it was quite popular if you had a roadster, with the top folded down) I never had any of these convertibles. I got a packet of camels in my pocket. Sat down in that roadster and started to turn on the key. And I'd just light one up before I turned the motor on. Pulled one out and started to light it and I heard a voice from heaven. That voice said, “Son, you're a child of God now.”
I was amazed to think that God could talk to me. He said, “You're a Christian now. You won't smoke no more. You won't drink no more. You won't do any of the things you've been doing. You've had a change of heart. You've passed from death into life.”
And I thought that's funny. I've never been to church, never heard a sermon preached, no one had ever told me anything like that but I was so glad that God had a way of telling me things that I'd never had the privilege of reading in the Bible, in the Word of God. And I took that little pack and said, “You devil you. I'm Christian now and I won't smoke no more.”
I tell you folks, this recipe is better than something you adored from across the Mexican border for a dollar ninety-eight that's supposed to make you quit smoking. Halleluiah! This will get the job done. This will give you joy. This is peace. This is victory. This is God's blessing and a knowledge our sins are gone.
Well listen, don't tell me that we haven’t got a right to shout and rejoice. If you've never been to a church that's real, come to this one. This is the biggest church in the world. We can put twenty thousand people in this church and there’s something different about the people that come to this church. They're happy. They're saved. They're born again. They're filled with the Holy Ghost.
I was twenty-three years old before anyone ever told me Jesus died for my sins. Raised up in the worse kind of circumstances, in a poor home, but hear me. One day in 1934, God performed a miracle and directed me to an old-fashioned country Methodist Church. Twenty-two years ago, I knelt at an old-fashioned altar.
After the altar call was made and when the even brought me up to the altar, they asked the question, “Everybody who would like to be loosed from their sins and set free from their sins to stand and come down here.”
I went and two other people went. The other two turned around and went back and left me alone. There happened to be a leading evangelist in that Methodist church and finally after thirty minutes of interviewing and speaking with me, because they knew who I was and knew my reputation. They thought I had come to break up the old-fashioned revival meeting in the Methodist church.
Finally they said, “You really mean business with God?”
“Well,” I said, “Yes lady, why would I come? Didn’t you say that if I meant business, come?”
“Well,” she said, “Would you kneel?”
I said, “Lady, I didn’t know I was supposed to kneel. I've never seen anybody pray. I've never seen anybody get their sins forgiven.”
She said, “Would you kneel?”
I said, “Yes, I would have knelt a long time ago, only I didn’t know, I've never heard anyone pray.”
I knelt, and at an old- fashioned altar, twenty-two year ago, cause what God's done for me. He's done for me in twenty-two years. Jesus spoke peace to my heart took away the burden loosed me and liberated me and set me free and saved my soul.
Got into a little old Ford roadster, a little old model T with the top let down. They called it a one man top. Remember back in those days? Drove home the happiest man in the world. Walked in to where my mother was. My mother said, “What in the world happened to you?”
Cause I was singing, “THERE'S POWER IN THE BLOOD.” I said, “I just got saved!”
She said, “You're as crazy as a loon. I never heard you say anything like that. Power in the Blood, Power in the Blood."
And all next day I was singing “POWER IN THE BLOOD,” and “STANDING ON THE PROMISES,” cause I had found something in God's Word. All my twenty-two years I had starved to death for this.
My mother called me aside and said, "Son, you're losing your mind. You'll be as crazy as a loon. We'll have to send you off to a psychopathic ward. They'll have to take you up to Nevada." (That happened to be the city in our state that boasted the mental institution.)
She said, “You're reading your Bible too much.” She said, “Every time I look at you, you're reading the Bible and when you're not reading the Bible, you're telling somebody what you've been reading.”
She said, “You're spending all your time up here in a Pentecostal church and when you're not in church you're over there talking to the preacher, and they tell me now that you're at an old-fashioned altar night after night with your hands up asking God to fill you with the Holy Ghost.”
She said, “Oh my God, son, don't go any further than you've gone. Don't get that, cause they tell me that if you ever get that, it'll do something for you that salvation won't do.”
And she said, “You've got too much religion already.”
She said, “There's no need of you praying all the time, and now you're paying your tithes. Night after night you're in church. You even live at the preacher's house or live at the church and now you're giving your tithes to the Lord and I hear you're asking God to fill you with the Holy Ghost.”
She said, “Won't you leave that Holy Ghost business alone?” Cause she said, “I've enquired and they tell me that if you ever get filled with what you call that Holy Ghost, it'll do something for you that salvation won't do.”
And she said, “You've got too much salvation now.”
And she said, “Honestly, I'm afraid for you that if you get any more religion, what's going to happen?”
But just one month later, God baptized this Methodist with the Holy Ghost and fire according to the second chapter of Acts.
In the meantime I had been starving for twenty-three years for God, and this is a big book, you know. You can't read all this in a day. You can't read all of it in a month. But I was so hungry, just like a man who had starved to death physically for months and months and been set down to a table loaded with all good things. And I'd open my Bible. I'd starved for years for this, and I'd say, “Oh Lord, today as I read the Bible, let me somehow Lord, lead me to read the verses and the places where I can grow in grace the fastest and have strength and power to resist the devil and live for God.”
I'd like to buy it (Onward Methodist Church). It wouldn’t be hard to buy and move out here (Miracle Valley) and set it up as a memorial. A place where I found God.
When we got out in the country we got away from John and it looked like, John was my step daddy, it looked like we were away from him forever and we were going to be happy once in our life.
But my mother loved him too much. He was too big and too handsome to let some other woman have. So he started coming out to the farm every weekend. Stayed Saturday and Sunday and it all started over again.
The next time I left home I found my daddy. I was sixteen, and I found a job doing a man's work. That was back in those days when a man didn’t make much money.
You listening? Then you think you've had it rough. You think you've had it rough. But I'm telling you all this and I have to tell you that to me God has opened His hand, and if God hadn’t opened His hand to me and poured out upon me salvation for my soul something spiritual in health and strength for my body, stood by me in my consecration in ministry and blessed us spiritually.
My God, where would I be if I'd stayed in that hillbilly country community in that little house out by Miller, Missouri?
Cause last summer I stopped, went up to the old house and knocked, and a girl came to the door.
I say a girl, I mean a woman, and she said, “I know you. You're preacher Allen.”
She said, “I get your magazine every month.”
She said, “I listen to you over WXCG every night.”
And I thought, this is the same old house. There's the old fireplace me and my momma built. There's the old white oak trees where we used to go out in the summertime and sleep when it was so hot inside, we couldn’t sleep inside. No air conditioning you know.
But here's somebody that knows me and she said you and I went to school together.
I said, “What's your name?” She told me, just a couple of kids together.
Drove on down the road and looked at an old mail box and on the side of the mail box was a name I recognized because I remembered there was the blacksmith that used to shoe old Dolly, the one I ploughed the corn with and old Midge when we could get money to have him put shoes on.
But I noticed now that instead of the father's name on the mail box was one of the boy’s names, Leo. I thought I guess Leo lives here now instead of his dad, and I knocked on the door and a woman about forty answered.
I said, “Is Leo here?”
She said, “Yes, but he can't walk, he's in a wheelchair.”
I said, “What happened to him?”
She said, “He's had a stroke.”
I thought, he's the boy I used to hunt squirrels with out there in the woods on that old Missouri farm. I went in the living room and there sat an old man, white headed, bent and gray, ten years younger than I am, but helpless.
I said, “Leo, you remember me?”
He said, “Aren’t you that preacher?”
He said, “We used to club rabbits together when the snow was deep enough to catch them so they couldn’t jump and run. We used to hunt squirrels together.”
I said, “What happened to you, Leo?”
And I said, “Leo, I'm that preacher.”
And I looked at that man sitting there in that wheelchair helpless and crippled, a sinner, and I thought Lord, “Where would I be if I had stayed here in this area with these country hillbilly people?”
“What would have happened to me if God had not saved my soul?”
“If God hadn’t filled me with the Holy Ghost and brought me out of that area and had His way in my life?”
I could be in a wheelchair, white haired, crippled, living off of welfare, social security, hopelessly unsaved and a sinner. “Lea, do you remember?”
Marched past the old corner where we had all those dances. That big corner house where so many people got cut to pieces on Saturday night cause that was the only way we had of making any money before I got saved.
We were making our own liquor, having our own dances and selling our own liquor at the dances. But the house on the corner is gone, burned down. And I stopped my car at the corner looked up to heaven, said, “Lord, You've brought me a mighty long way.” “Lord, You've brought me a mighty long way.”
I said, Leo, “I'm going to mail you my magazine.”
He's getting it today – Route #1, Miller, Missouri.
Don't take his name off that list if you never get a letter from him. That poor boy needs God.
Pulled out on sixty-six highway. We're going into St. Louis where we were headed for our next meeting and I was driving alone to this meeting. Stopped at a filling station to get gas, leaving back there in that hill country.
The man that came out said, “I know you.”
He said, “I get your magazine every month.”
Said, “Allen, we used to dance together till midnight, till one, till two, till three o clock at these old hoedown square dances and get drunk together when we were young teenagers."
"Lea, that man was Martin, now running the filling station."
He said, “God bless you I read your magazine every month. Keep up the good work. Go on with God.”
He said, “I got saved reading your magazine.”
Oh, Lord. I don't know why I'm talking to you like this, but I wasn’t born a preacher, and I wasn’t born of rich parents. My mother was so poor that she couldn't even afford a pair of shoes for me.
One of my earliest recollections was my first pair of shoes .......of Sculpture Rock, Arkansas where we lived. Because there was a little white mule that pulled up a little street car from Batesville to Sculpture Rock twice a day and the man who run that mule car was named John Holliston, remember Sis?
And he felt sorry for me. Every morning when that little mule car would come by my mother would take me out on the back porch and stand me up on a table, and I would wave at the man, driving the little white mule, pulling that one little street car to Batesville.
One day that mule stopped right down below my house and the man who ran the mule car came up the back path. I couldn’t have been over two. But in his hand he had a box, and he said these are for you. I was just a little old towheaded kid, never had a pair of shoes.
My daddy spent most of his money for whiskey. There was always a jug behind the front door and he wasn’t the only one to drink it. My momma was as bad as he was. My great grandmother was a full blooded Indian and I grew up in a home where my daddy was a drunkard.
I don't know whether he ever got saved or not, he was dead and buried a year before I ever knew he was dead.
But though he was a drunkard, he was a great musician and a great singer and he lead the choir at the Baptist church. The big Baptist church in that city.
My God, somebody is going to give an account of my daddy. To let him lead a choir and a leader in a church and the worst alcoholic in town. I believe with all my heart my poor old daddy went to hell.
Every one of us from the youngest to the oldest was so proud. We had nothing, but bound by pride. Proud that we had nothing but the devil, so proud, we were the meanest, orneriest in the whole community.
My mother used to brag of her own meanness and her own orneriness and I say this in all due respect to a mother whom I believe now has been saved and went on to Glory.
But I learned how to smoke my first cigarettes when I was knee high to a duck, rolling Bull Durham cigarettes for my mother.
She taught me how to steal, when I was a kid without getting caught. Now isn't that something to say?