George Patterson

George PattersonOUR BUSINESS IS CALLED: THE OLD PEN MAN

   My name is George Patterson. I was born 1951 in Remer, Minnesota, attended the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Remer.

   I gave my life to the Lord and was water baptized when I was about ten years old and started having visions. One of these visions was a chicken coop without any chickens. After graduating from high school, I attended Bethany College of Missions in Bloomington, Minnesota. That is where I found the chicken coop without any chickens. It was being used as a storage building. Bethany was where the real understanding of the Bible came home. Academically I was average at best. However, being surrounded by so many men and women of God impacted my life forever. At Bethany I encountered spirit filled preaching and teaching.

   During my junior year, one of the founders invited me to the elder’s prayer meeting on Wednesday night. This was a frightening experience for a backwards farm boy. During the meeting, the lights were dimmed, and we got down on our knees. The senior pastor prayed and then another prayed and so on. Sometime during the praying someone started singing words I have never heard before. Then another person and another until the whole room was filled with singing and praise and other languages. I was frozen in place! After that encounter, my life changed. I was still average, but spent more time reading all the deeper books by A.W. Tozer, Andrew Murray, John Bunyan, Charles Finney, John Wesley and more. Discussing the deeper things of God became my new normal. I wanted to know everything there was to know.

   While at Bethany I married Pat Carlson. After Bethany we moved to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, while considering our next step in life. I was working in a printing office where a solvent called methylene chloride put me in the hospital. When I got out of the hospital large chunks of my memory were missing and I had trouble with reading and comprehension. Most of my past had to be relearned. Family and friends came together to tell me stories. After learning to read again, I went back to college and received another degree in engineering. I wandered through life from job to job and experience to experience. These experiences were not always positive. While living in Colorado, Pat and my four children went one path and I went on another.

   A few years after the divorce I met and married Nancy. She appeared to be the answer to my prayers. However, she had a well-hidden dark side called gambling. At that time, I had an exceptionally good job in the computer industry as the senior project manager. This allowed me to travel all over the northern hemisphere. When I went to work, Nancy went to the casino.

   My expense account and little personal accountability eventually helped me backslide to a point where alone, in a hotel room, God redeemed me! After closing the bar again, I was so drunk I had to sit up to stop the bed from spinning. I turned on the TV and was flipping channels, a televangelist named Jessie Duplantis was preaching. I cannot remember a thing he said, but I do remember the Holy Spirit telling me if I stayed on this path I was going to HELL! This was God’s grace and mercy at work giving me a second chance.

   I came home and told Nancy what happened. We started attending church again and I received my ministers’ license through the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. I started working with Chris Childress at a church called The Gathering in Sulphur Springs, Texas. My life seemed to have turned around. Then another vision cropped up. I was on the platform of the Gathering talking to a mostly empty dark room. This one came true one Wednesday night when only a few people came to the service. Shortly thereafter after the Gathering disbanded, my company was purchased. My job went to India and I went to the unemployment line. My severance package was good, but my expenses were higher. Nancy and I had to downsize very quickly. We joined different churches while I was still trying to find my way. I lost my house. A few weeks ago it resold for $339,000. My kidneys also failed. God pointed me to a specialist who wanted to keep me off Dialysis and performed an experiment to stabilize my kidneys. Since 2005, I have been locked in at stage 3 kidney failure.

   We picked up a job driving truck cross country. While driving through Pennsylvania on I-80, a storm popped up and I lost control of the truck. While praying with my last earthly breath the hand of God reached down and put the truck back on the road. Nancy and I lived in the truck while trying to get a home. My best friend let me park a mobile home on a swampy corner of his land. While my health stabilized, and things seemed to be returning to normal. My best friend Ken was diagnosed with cancer. God gave me another vision. I had to deliver a message to my friend. I asked God for a confirmation and He gave me Philippians 1:2. Ken needed a message of peace and comfort. When I delivered it, the vision stopped, and my friend went peacefully to be with the Lord. During his illness, the stepson took over all the property. After years of work the low-quality piece of land I was living on was looking nice and he coveted it to the point he filed and eviction notice and drug me into the legal system. It turns out that I had a binding life lease granted by Ken. God took Ken home and gave me his remaining years to fulfill whatever plans He has for me. The stepson lost the court battle when the judge upheld the life lease. The step son became so angry that he hired a bulldozer to push down all the trees right up to the judgment diving line. The property has changed hands several times and I am still here. God is still sovereign in the affairs of men. Life on the road was rough and Nancy left me. It seems the clause “for better or worse” part of the marriage contract did not seem apply to long term illness and under employment. When Nancy left she took everything she could carry and made frequent pillaging runs when I was at work. The mobile home was upside down in value and she did not want it.

   Health wise things were not looking good again. My doctor could not get the diabetes under control. I was having trouble when I tried to sleep. My hands were locking up at night due to pain. Massive depression kept settling in. I was having trouble walking. More health issues forced me into retirement and a lot of debt. My prayer life was dry, and I knew the end was near.

   I was tired of being alone in a corner of mobile home. I knew God was not keeping me alive for torture had a specific plan for me. I met Angie through an online dating site. After passing her life partner test we discovered our goals were the same. We dated for a while and were married by Judge Newsom at the courthouse in Sulphur Springs. The hardest thing we had to do was to settle into a church. I needed solid Bible base preaching (Romans 10) and bible based theological conversations. Angie needed music. For a time, we were attending an early morning service at her church and another service at my church. This was not working well and one morning the beating of the drums got to me and walked outside so I could hear the Lord speak. Over the next few weeks God gave us an answer. He led me to Bread of Life Church of the Nazarene in Commerce Texas. Worship from the heart and preaching of the word. A few weeks later Angie was getting ready to go to her church when God spoke to her. She came out of the shower dripping wet and holding the towel to tell she had to go with me. When God speaks immediate action is required. We now have a solid church home and Angie is part of the worship team.

   Step by step God brought resolution to my health issues. First part of the sleep issue was a heart problem. I would go to sleep and my heart would stop. This was discovered by accident when Angie took me to the ER for a high fever. The ER sent me to the main hospital for overnight observation. During the night, my heart stopped! I woke up to a nurse telling someone I did not have a pulse. They put me in an intensive care unit (ICU) and captured my heart stopping for 8 seconds. With lights and sirens blaring, we were on our way to Baylor in Dallas where a pacemaker was installed. The doctor told Angie, if this had not been discovered she could have awakened next to a corpse.

   Second sleep issue confirmed by two sleep studies. My brain was sending signals for my lungs to inflate and nothing happens. This called for a Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP).

   Later in the year I took my Granddaughter to Tyler, Texas, to see a specialist and picked up a diabetes flyer in the waiting room. I called and scheduled myself for the FREE class. The start of the class everyone took a psyche evaluation. My mental health was awfully bad. After class I asked the instructor if I could meet to discuss what was happening with me. She happened to have an opening that morning. During the meeting she called in the head of the program and we talked over an hour about everything in my health history. He explained that my primary care doctor could only deal with all the issues up to a certain point and it was time for more advanced care.

   I see where God’s hand was in this all the way. He brought me to a specific place to pick up a piece of literature which held the key to dealing with issues beyond my understanding.

   My health has improved. My joy has returned. Prayer has become a pleasure again. Talking about life with the joy of the Lord is amazing again.

   Now Angie and I serve the Lord wherever he leads us. We are active members of Christian Motorcyclists Association. The Bread of Life Church of the Nazarene in Commerce, Texas, has a food pantry I worked with until COVID-19 cautioned me to step back. I belong to the Greenville/Commerce Texas Chapter of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America (FGBMAmerica). Angie works at the emergency room (ER) in Commerce and shares her faith and prays with patients whenever possible.

   We have a small business called Old Pen Man where my son and I make custom pens and assorted small wood items out of my shop in Sulphur Springs. We sell these handmade products at a flea market booth in Canton, Texas. My wife and I witness, hand out Bibles and tracts, we keep the Jesus Film running and minister to people who stop by. When I set up my booth and started talking about the Lord other Christian vendors started stopping by. Now we try to start each market with prayer. Our goal is to meet rent and expenses to be able to keep sharing the Good News of the living God and the risen Savior by demonstrating his love toward mankind.

George's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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