Dave Hardeman

DaveHardemanI STRUGGLED WITH THE THOUGHT OF HEAVEN

   My name is Dave Hardeman. I'm retired from Delta Airlines, where I spent thirty-five years as a Lead Mechanic. Then after that, I worked as a contractor for eight years. My story goes back forty to fifty years.

   I was always raised to know God and Jesus. But the Holy Spirit was not a part of my life. I believed in God, and believed that He had a son, Jesus. That wasn't a problem for me. During my high school days, I didn't know I had the power to inform and that's what I found out later on. I was at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting one day at Georgia Tech.

     I have met a star athlete named Linelle Snow, who was going to come down and share his testimony. I wanted to go there and hear him. When he came down, he gave me a question but I've never really known that I believe in God with His cross. I never put that all together as far as salvation when he gave me John 3:16; but my name was also inserted. I realized then, I can know that during the period of time as a teenager. I even asked my father how can I know if I’m going to heaven. My Dad said, “If you do good to other people and live the best life that you can, that God looks down upon you and takes you to His heaven.” That was about all that my Dad could say.

   The problem with that, I knew that I wasn't a very good boy. Dad gave me plenty of whippings to prove that part. So I began thinking in my mind that I could not be good. I began to experiment with a lot of ideas like most teenagers do; but in a different era in time, in the 1960’s and 1970’s. There was a time when I was in the senior high school; I had a meeting with Lindell Snow, and what he told me made sense. I will see the crowds and really serve with all that I do. I was in church and trying to tell other people about this wonderful, marvelous gift that God has given us with Christ. It didn't last long, and I went to trade school and just as I experimented with life, along with some buddies; doing whatever came naturally to me and in front of others, just one thing after another is to really know the life that I have as far as commit goes.

   One day I found that the love of my life, the future Cheryl Hardeman, was Cheryl Housing. We only knew each other about three months. Cheryl professed to be a Christian, but she was as lost as I was. She believed in God and believed in Jesus Christ. We didn’t have the Holy Ghost and had problems. I wondered if our marriage would end up in a divorce. But, it was just this year in May that we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary. I give credit to our relationship with Jesus Christ.

   Christ began to work in my life as a mechanic at Delta Airlines. Things seem to be rocking along with us. We had our firstborn, and we were going to a country music concert. That evening I had some issues and began to do a lot of cursing. Our baby began to repeat the things that I was saying. The light went off and I said that our kids learn from their teachers and parents. So Cheryl and I talked and decided that we needed to get into the church; but we didn't know where to go. We had two friends who answered some of our problems. So we met there and Linda’s mom said they were going to church.

   I was learning to fly an airplane, so we decided to go to church in the morning, I had flown in the afternoon, went home, and went to work the next day.

   The problem with that first morning service, they were speaking in tongues and had tons of interpretations. I had no idea what was going on. Cheryl had never been to a meeting like this and had some friends who attended that church. John and Linda's girlfriends also attended the church. So we're going to seek some answers.

   I went to Joe and said, "Joe I need to talk with you. Can I talk to you about spiritual things?"

   He said "Sure. Fine." Joe stopped me and said, “Tell you what; I want you to take my yellow pocket Bible. Take it back to where you're working and read the entire Bible and promise to bring it back.”

   I tried reading the Scriptures and it made no sense. I went back to Joe and said, “I appreciate what you did, but I don't understand what it said.”

   Joe said, “Meet me after work at my car.” Joe replied and asked if it would be okay if we prayed. He asked me if I would like to open with a prayer and I said for him to go ahead. As he started to pray, he prayed in tongues. That was the same thing I heard the night before. Joe gave me a scripture found in 1 Corinthians 14:22. Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers, but unbelievers.

   I said to Joe, "That's exactly what I heard."

   He said, "Well, do you want to add anything?"  

   When I first got the knowledge of Christ, I didn't do anything with it. It was late when I got home from work; I shared that with my wife. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. From that day forward, the Lord began to use us. I thought I was going to be an evangelist for Christ, and was going to leave my job and become a pastor. It's a good idea that you talk with believers for advice. The Lord led me through all of that.

   It was during a mission trip to Argentina, that I found my calling. Cheryl and I didn’t know that the country was taken over and civil war ruined our fishing. Local missionaries took us around the country and we were able to share the worth of dirt floor churches in small villages. It was an amazing experience. But, I decided that I was not going to be a pastor, or an evangelist.

   I was still working for Delta and met a man that was in the Full Gospel Fellowship. These men would share their testimony, and shared the love of God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I began to grow in my faith. Jimmy Rogers mentored me, and I began to grow in the Lord. We organized a Full Gospel Chapter and invited the local businessman. They were getting involved, and we decided to get into jail ministry. This ministry continues after forty years. Our Chapter is currently closed, but we hope to reopen it soon.

   I was at Jackson Prison for seven days and lives were being changed. Every day, we preached about Jesus. Once Inmates were released, they would carry out their faith in the marketplace.

I found and operated in the power of the Holy Spirit. As people would lineup for prayer, Cheryl and I would minister together. She's also teaching a ladies Bible study.

 

Dave's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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