Allen Gifford

AllenGifford   Good evening. My name is Allen Gifford. I live in Paris, Texas; where I have a business called Gifford's Hardware and Surplus Incorporated. We have expanded into hydraulics and cylinder repair, hydraulic hoses, and things of this nature, providing a service to the community. I appreciate the opportunity to be here tonight. Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship is a tremendous organization that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of for several years now, and it’s just an honor and privilege to be able to share my testimony. In that service, we get the opportunity to share our testimony wherever we go and whatever opportunity arises to share them; because we are supposed to be witnesses for the Kingdom of God. I enjoy what I do, but really enjoy working for the Lord. It’s always so much more favorable and such an honor to serve His Kingdom.

   I was raised in Paris, Texas, in a Christian home. My parents didn’t go to church regularly at first, but they raised us in a Christian atmosphere. My mother was a Baptist and my dad was a Methodist. We always said that my mother was a stronger Baptist, because we went to the Baptist church. Later along in life, I went to a non-denominational Pentecostal church. My best friend in high school, Jimmy Simple’s dad, was a pastor at First Baptist Church in Paris, and my parents didn’t go. Dr. Simple, our pastor, would come by and pick me and my brother up and go to church with him. We had such a good, solid foundation to learn from. Dr. Simple took us with him for several years, and that’s the way I spent most of my childhood. I had an experience with the Lord when I was twelve years old in Dr. Simple's church.

   I got married when I was seventeen, and moved out of my parents’ home. I went into the military when I was nineteen. While in the military, my life went in a whole different direction. I got into drinking, smoking cigarettes, doing a lot of things that I wasn’t taught to as a youngster. But anyway, my life went downhill. Then I got out of the military, and went into business for myself. It was a small business in a small town.

   God had His hand on me and was trying to get my attention, but I ignored Him. People came and knocked on my door, trying to share Jesus with me. They were trying to tell me about the Kingdom of God, and I totally ignored everything they had to say about Jesus or the Kingdom of God. All of a sudden, I was going broke. My marriage was going to hell in a hand basket and everything was falling apart. My business wound up totally busted and broke. My marriage also wound up in divorce and I was on rock bottom.

   After all the smoke cleared, I met a young lady after all of this had gone down and she's just the light of my life. She introduced some hope into my life and found out she was starting to go into a non-denominational church. She went to that church and was saved. I was getting my high truck ready to hill hike in the summer, had a can of beer on the floor, a pack of cigarettes on the dash panel and I had a can of tobacco on the flip hand side of the doors.

   She came in from church walked over to my high truck. I am telling you that her face was lit up. Her face was lit up and she glowing. I could see something had happened and didn't have the knowledge to know what it was. She asked, "What do you mean what happened?"

   I said, "Something happened because you're shining. There's something different about you."

   She said, "Well, I just went to church. I'm going to go and fix lunch." In a few minutes, come in and I'll ask your lunch group."

   I said, "Okay."

   I went into the house and had a lunch group. We are still talking a little bit and I’m telling you, something happened to her. I couldn’t figure out what had changed.

   The next day at lunch time, I went in and had lunch with my wife at her work. This lady came across the room and said, "Handsome, handsome." She said, "Well, we're having a revival and I just want you to come."

   I said, "Okay. We'll be there."

   She was shocked that I was excited and would go to church. We went to church, and the same thing that happened to my wife, happened to me. The preacher was preaching and as he spoke, there was something inside of me that kept drawing me, kept drawing me in. I couldn’t wait until he got through; because I wanted to run down to that altar. I wanted to go down there and tell him that I needed whatever it was that he was preaching.

   I got up as soon as he was through preaching about Jesus. I went down there and said, "I need this Jesus that you're talking about." This man laid his hands on me and prayed for me. I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at that little church. We have come a long way and then I went back and dented my high truck. This young man had a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ for several years and he was in my high truck and said as soon as I opened the door to get in, “Oh, Jesus, something has happened to my brother.”

   So we get in and start talking and I told him, "Tell me something, and teach me how to pray.” He said, "Man, I can't teach you nothing.”

   I said, "No, I want to know how to pray. I want to know how to pray the effective prayer of a righteous man."

   He said, "I can't teach you nothing buddy, you just have to go talk to some women in your church." I said, "Why women?" He said, "Because I think those women know how to pray."

   The next Sunday, I went back to my church and these ladies would come in. I noticed they always went to this room over to the side and prayed before the service. I asked one of them, "What do you all do back there?"

    She said, "We’re going here and we pray for the service before the pastor comes. We will let you pray."

  I said, "I don't know how to pray. I just wanted to listen."

  I go in there and began to listen to these ladies pray. I never heard anybody pray that way. As they prayed, some of the women began to speak in a different a language. I thought, "Wow, what is that?" A lot of people would say that if somebody speaks in a tongue, it scares them; but it didn't scare me. It made me hungry to understand what they were saying. Then I had to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues.

    While I was going to work one morning, I was praying and pulled up to a red light. All of a sudden, I was praying in English and another language started rolling out of me. I thought, "Wow, what was that?" I thought I had to be dreaming, and asked, "Lord, is that my prayer language?" That changed me, and I just started praising Him. I started praying in English again and thought, "Wow, thank you, Lord, I really appreciate it.”

I didn’t know what to do with it at that time, so I had to get with some people in church to explain some things to me. As I began to explain what was happening or taking place, they said, "You need to pray in the Spirit, because when you do not know how to pray, pray in the Spirit."

I thought, "Wow, okay." So I started doing that and I began to pray every day in the Holy Spirit. As I began to do that, I had an amazing time with the Lord. I would go to work and we talked about the Word, and about Jesus, and what he had done. Everyone saw a difference in me, just like I had seen in my wife when something happened to her after she accepted Him as her savior. The same thing that happened to her, the countenance change, the glow about her, everything changed and people noticed and were asking questions, "What happened to you?" I had the opportunity to dive in and begin to share Jesus, and what He has done in my life and what He can do for them.

   One day, my dad went to the doctor. When I came into the store, it was at five o'clock, and time to close. While I locking the door, I saw him pull up and so I let him in and locked the door. I looked at my dad and couldn't tell anything was wrong. But when I saw my mother's face, I knew something was wrong, something seriously was wrong.

   I said, "Okay guys, what is it?" My dad looked kind of broken, and crying a little bit, and he said, "Allen I've been to the doctor, they've diagnosed me with esophageal cancer and they have given me three days to get my business in order before I go in the hospital."

   I told him, "Dad, let me tell you something." I know you don't believe in what I do, but I'm going to lay hands on you and I'm going to pray a prayer, and God is going to raise you up."

   As I said that, he lifted his hands to Heaven and said, "I believe. I believe. I believe."

I laid my hands on his chest and on his back, and when I began to pray, it felt like a coal of fire in my hands, burning on his chest, burning on his back and I could sense the power in the presence of Almighty God coming down on me, going through my hands and into him. It was amazing what transpired and what took place in those few minutes. While I was praying for him, the tears were flooding down his face and he said, "Thank you son."

   I said, "Dad” God has come into you."

   He said, "I believe it."

   He went home that night, still living the experience with God. He came back the next day and told me what had happened to him that night.

   I said, "What do you think God was telling you in this experience that you had?" He said, "Believe when your soul is to be touched."

I went to our church that night to fix a door, and there were some ladies praying and singing praises to God. My wife had told them what happened with my dad and they said, "Would you like to come in and pray with us?" I said, "Not right now." I said "I don't." The longer I worked on that door, the more I wanted to go in there and pray with those ladies. As I walked into that room, in that sanctuary, I sat down on the platform and as I sat on that platform, these ladies had their hands raised and they had been singing praises to God. They were praying in English, singing in the Spirit, they were speaking in the Spirit, and then speaking in English. I started to laugh in the Holy Spirit. I laughed so hard, I couldn’t control myself, and my sides were hurting. I finally said, "Okay, Lord, that's enough." When I quit laughing, these words came through me, "Oh grave, where's thy victory? Oh death, where's thy sting?" I knew right then that the grave has no victory over a Christian. There is no sting for somebody who has a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Death is nothing to a Christian. It is an amazing thing when you have that kind of peace about you.

   I felt there was a calling in my life to preach and I was fixing to exit my responsibilities at the store. I was fixing to leave and just go, but didn’t know if I was going to the seminary. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but knew had a calling in my life. I was fixing to walk out, when the Holy Spirit said, "No." I said, "No what?" He said, "No, that's not what I want you to do."

 

   I said, "What do you want me to do?" We had a conversation, and the Holy Spirit said, "I don't want you to go. I want you to stay right here with your dad."

   I said, "Okay, but what do you want me to do?"

   He said, "I want you to pour yourself into this business a 100%. I said, "I thought I was giving a 100%?" He said, "No, you're giving 50 to 60%, and I want you to know that the wind blew down my sails. And that just brought me down, because I actually thought that I was giving my dad 100% of my ability, of my time, and everything, but when the Lord let me know that I was only giving 50 to 60%. I said, "Lord, can I ask you one question?" Why are you doing this? Why do you want me to stay here and not to be able to go full time into the ministry for you?"

   He said, "Because I want you to help your dad. I want you to invest yourself 100% on this business; because when you go to work for me, I expect a 100%. I don't expect 10%, I don't expect 30%, I don't expect 60%, I expect 100% from you son." And I said, "Okay, Lord, you got it."

   I just started pouring myself into the business, and we started to expand. We started getting bigger and bigger and expanding into more things, but I always got that call. I couldn’t understand why I was exposed to the whole time of the ministry because I was willing and the Bible says, “Many are called, but few are chosen. Matthew 20:14” I was willing to go, but that was not what he wanted me to do. So I just kept praying, kept going to church, and kept reading the Word of God. I just started to get myself in tune with the Word of God. When I began to do that, I started to get creative ideas and when I had a problem at work, and if I couldn’t fix something; I would go home and at night and pray until two or three o'clock in the morning.

   I would be awakened in the middle of the night and then all of a sudden the answer would be there. I would go to work the next day, apply the things that God had shown me that night, and it worked perfectly. It is amazing to see how much God loves us, and how much he wants to help us. We are to use our faith in everything we do. The Bible says we must, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."

 

Allen's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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