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My LWF Story

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Other LWF Stories

Meet Cathy Allen

The phone rang. My doctor was calling after a routine appointment, asking me to come back. Her news shook my world. Deep down, I knew God was getting my attention.

I was born in Missouri, and the state motto, “Show Me,” shaped my spiritual journey. My family was in church whenever the doors opened, but as a teenager, I began looking elsewhere. Jesus’ death for sinners was confusing. How did I fit into that picture? I wasn’t a “sinner.” I was certainly as good as those around me!

As an adult, I began thinking the “ism” must be the secret. I even spent 12 years practicing Judaism, and taking Hebrew classes. Throughout my journey, I saw a consistent message: “Be good. Do good.” I could do that – or so I thought.

Years later, I heard the Gospel for what seemed like the first time: “All have sinned and fallen short….” The dots connected! I saw where I fit. I had been weighing my goodness by my standards, not God’s? No way God would accept that. Sin separated me from God.

Remember that girl from Missouri? “Show me” showed up. I needed Jesus but didn’t want to lose control of my life.

About this time the doctor said, “It’s stage 4 cancer,” which took me down a rocky path. Sitting with my husband, Joe, in a small church, I broke out crying. He asked, “Um…are you okay?” “No, I’m not okay. I’m not in control!” God was in control, not me.

Finally, on Palm Sunday, 1994, I was under such conviction I almost ran when the invitation was given. I understood Jesus died for mea sinner. By faith I accepted Him as Lord and Savior.

The counselor gave me great advice that day: pray daily, thank God for salvation, read the Bible, and get involved in a Gospel-preaching church. But not just in a “Be good. Do good” manner.

God was working and I was excited. Every day I read my Bible, memorizing Scripture. One day, on my 40-minute drive to work, I tried to change radio stations and “accidentally” discovered a man talking about Jesus. I never knew Christian stations existed! It was Adrian Rogers sharing fresh water for my thirsty soul.

The Holy Spirit opened Scripture like a beautiful flower. I began growing and didn’t want this program to ever stop. That’s when we began supporting LWF.

We went to a Love Worth Finding banquet in 1996, meeting staff and learning what the ministry was accomplishing. My perception was blown out of the water. This wasn’t just a regional ministry—it was International. I was so excited to be a part, helping share the Gospel.

Afterward, Bill Skelton, LWF’s Executive VP, asked us to have Sunday lunch with him and his wife. He spoke of positions available at LWF. It was so exciting, the next words out of my mouth were: “Keep me in mind!” As Joe and I left, I said, “Where did that come from?”

Later, Bill invited me to “take a tour of the ministry and just talk.” I recall entering the building and was amazed at how many it takes to air the Gospel. Bill showed me world and US maps with pins where LWF is broadcast. It took my breath away. By supporting LWF, I was an ambassador for Christ.

Years later, I saw Dr. Rogers stand before those maps with tears in his eyes saying, “I never imagined.” Even he was moved by what God was accomplishing.

Now, 22 years into my journey, our marching orders from Adrian Rogers, before he went to Glory, are still valid: “This ministry is not about Adrian Rogers; it’s about Jesus Christ. Though the messenger is gone, the message must continue till Jesus comes.”

You can be an ambassador for Christ too. You see, the Gospel is free but broadcasting isn’t. Your support sends the Gospel to many platforms worldwide. Join us and be amazed at what God is doing.

I’m Cathy Allen. That’s my LWF story. I want to hear your story. How has God worked through LWF in your life? Send it to me at mylwfstory@lwf.org. I’d love to hear from you.

Meet Bobby Lewis

Life in church began for me even before I was born. My mom was Bellevue’s pianist. My dad even helped start Bellevue’s television ministry in 1958, the year I was born. From before birth I was surrounded by music, church—and media. In college, I studied IT and, at one point, God graciously allowed me to use this background to serve in several areas at Bellevue.

My name is Bobby Lewis, and I am now the VP, Operations at Love Worth Finding. This is my LWF story.

In 1972, when Dr. Rogers came to Bellevue, I’d never heard God's Word presented in such a plain-spoken way. I knew how I lived at school wasn’t consistent with who I pretended to be on Sundays.

After two years, in 1974, something happened. All the truth I’d been hearing while sitting under Adrian Rogers’ preaching suddenly connected. In that moment, I realized I had a problem with sin, God, and my eternal destiny. I responded praying, “Jesus, come into my heart and save me." He did. And while I have failed Him, He never once has failed me.

A few years ago, we started a small business in Nashville, and thought we might end up staying in that area. Due to family circumstances, we ended up spending more time in Memphis than in Nashville. My mom and my wife’s mom both were ill, and we had other items that needing our attention. After about a year and a half, we moved back to the Memphis area and I was wondering what we would do next.

Then I ran into Cary Vaughn at a restaurant. Later, he called. "Pray with me about this: LWF wants to broaden its impact through technology. Your experience might be a great help.”

God had a plan. God always has a plan. A little over a year ago, I started my first day here at LWF.

I have often thought, “What would Dr. Rogers do if he knew that he had access to social media, smart phones, and the ability to put a message out on a web site where it instantly would be available all over the world?”

Here at LWF, we have come to believe this is a significant opportunity. It is the same thinking that birthed LWF into an international broadcast ministry. Adrian Rogers' practice of using every means available to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the model.

As a result, we've launched a new website where over 800 of Dr. Rogers' sermons are searchable. Our goal is to keep growing that number. Published resources answer people’s spiritual questions every day. And as millions log onto social media and use mobile technologies, it’s a passion for us to use technology to introduce people to Jesus and strengthen believers through Adrian Rogers’ messages, to compel them to read, listen and watch, to captivate them with his teaching, and to experience the same life transformation many worldwide already have.

I was deeply impacted when we received the following:

“Last night I did not sleep; I was listening to many of your messages on your online archive and God changed my life…after attempting last night to take my own life! Glory to God!” – Facebook user

Technology now reaches people anytime, anywhere…and at their point of searching!

As I look back on a Sunday in 1972, another Sunday in 1974, and reflect on all God has done since, I am amazed at His providence and grateful for His mercy and grace.

But it’s not over, and it’s not about me.

We have a huge responsibility and an incredible opportunity in front of us. Dr. Rogers challenged us,

“Today there are still millions of people who do not know our dear Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and who are in desperate need of His redeeming grace.”

Adrian Rogers had significant impact on the lives of millions of people through his preaching of God’s Word. His ability to communicate profound truth in easy-to-understand ways is unmatched. LWF’s desire is to expand that impact through technology and present God’s truth and love to millions more…until Christ returns!

Love Worth Finding with Adrian Rogers. Profound Truth. Simply Stated.

Meet Dr. Mark Castellaw

My days are spent going from room to room, seeing patients. Like most doctors, my office is busy. Handing my nurse a chart, I turned to enter the next room, took the chart from the door holder and glanced at the name. “ROGERS.” Didn't think much about it, but as I opened the door, I certainly wasn’t expecting to see Adrian Rogers. It caught me by surprise. “Oh my goodness, what's Adrian Rogers doing seeing me?”

I’d grown up in Memphis. After med school, my wife, Pam, and I were looking for a church. We’d watched Dr. Rogers on TV and one Sunday we decided to visit. After the first service, we sat through the second, just to hear it twice. We couldn't get enough.

We were already saved when we joined, but just baby Christians. We needed solid food. My office was near the church then. Dr. Rogers wanted me to be his doctor. That was the start of a relationship like I had never had before. We just hit it off and became good friends. He went with me and others on hunting trips. We had the same sense of humor and loved to laugh.

The backbone of what I learned about the Bible, I learned under Adrian. I started teaching and the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.

Adrian was a role model in teaching men how to be good fathers and husbands. I tried to emulate that and pass it down to our three boys. They grew up hearing his sermons. My little boys understood him as well as I did. They’re the men they are today because of what they learned. Even today they quote Adrian.

People might wonder, “Could this guy really be what he seems?” I knew the man literally inside and out. I was with him from the early 1980s until I stood at his bedside the moment he passed away. We developed a strong friendship, more than doctor-patient. He was my spiritual father. And I'll tell you right now, Adrian Rogers was 110% genuine. How he preached is how he lived. I saw it in so many different venues.

In later years when Dr. Rogers developed some health issues, we walked dark paths together. At one point he was about to undergo a surgical procedure in which he would be put to sleep. We were talking, and I said, "Everything's going to be fine. "He said, "Mark, you know, it's a win-win either way. I come out of this and continue to preach the gospel or I meet Jesus.” He went into surgery smiling.

Later, he developed another illness. He could have asked, "God, why are You doing this to me?" But he never did. He was true to his belief that God is going to do what's best for you. Even in the darkest hour, he trusted, knowing God would take care of the situation.

I remember the night he passed away. My memory went back to when he’d hold the Pastor Training Institute and wanted me to speak; he’d always introduce me as “the man who’ll be holding onto my feet when I’m trying to go to glory.” That night as he was passing, I went down to the foot of his bed, grabbed hold of his feet and held them. I know the moment he passed away.

I know Heaven opened wide the gates and throngs of people welcomed Adrian—people he led to the Lord and influenced over the years.

Even in the latter days of his life, we talked a lot about his legacy through LWF. It was so important to him for LWF to continue. And because of LWF, I can still listen to and watch his sermons. LWF is such an important arm of Adrian's ministry. People are still getting saved. I see patients every day who say, “I watch every week or I listen every day on Christian radio.”

The sermons I watch or hear on LWF now—I was usually there when he preached them. What he said then is still as relevant in 2018 as the day they were preached! It’s like he just spoke them today. Nothing is dated. Everything about him and his sermons are eternal.

I’m Dr. Mark Castellaw, and that is my LWF story.

Meet Vanessa

A New Road

From the cab of our 18-wheeler, the Rockies sped past. December on Colorado highways filled every window with beauty. But something more beautiful was taking place in my heart.

My name is Vanessa Shepherd, and this is my story.

My husband Rick and I were truck drivers—we drove as a team. But before we left this time, Rick’s mother did something she’d never done. She gave me a book to read: What Every Christian Ought to Know by Adrian Rogers. She’s a Christian and thought I was too.

But I wasn’t living it. I didn’t go to church. Weekends when we were home, I didn’t spend quality time with my kids. I did whatever anyone wanted, including drinking and even some drugs. But I was tired of the life I was living—so tired. I was even tired of truck-driving in spite of the income and the beauty we saw.

When it was finally my turn to sleep that winter day, I picked up Dr. Rogers’ book. Every chapter spoke to me. Then I came to the chapter about salvation. I always thought I was saved. But then I realized I’d never asked the Lord to come into my heart or be Lord of my life. Lying there, I told the Lord I was a sinner, asked Him to forgive and change me. At once peace came over me like I’d never felt—right in that truck as we went through those Colorado mountains.

After I stopped crying, I kept reading. I learned about spiritual gifts—that you need to be in a church to find your spiritual gift because that’s what it’s for—serving others. The Lord plainly spoke in my spirit: “Get off this truck. I don’t want you here. I want you able to go to church.” It started me thinking: When can I do this?

Leaving Colorado, we headed into Northern California. There I got a very severe infection—so painful I needed to call an ambulance. Doctors said it would keep happening if I didn’t come off the road for good. “When we get home,” I told Rick, “I’m not going back out.” We arrived home on a Christmas Eve.

I wish I could say everything was suddenly rosy. But it wasn’t. Because I couldn’t drive, our income dropped. We couldn’t pay our rent. Soon we had to move. We had nothing. But I knew the One who told me to get off the truck was going to provide.

At one point we stayed in a barn. Outside we had a little table. I bought a new Bible. Every morning I sat there reading it. I was in church every Sunday morning, night, and Wednesday nights, so close to the Lord, just trusting Him.

I got a job and found a small apartment. My little church helped us get the utilities turned on. My walk with the Lord grew—He even took away my desire to smoke.

But Rick and I still struggled. When he came in off the road, he wanted to drink, not go to church. Unfortunately, sometimes I jumped ahead of God. I tried talking Rick out of drinking, nagging him about church, trying to take care of things myself. The more I tried to change him, the worse it got. God closed the door on all of it. I asked the Lord what to do. He said, “Get out of My way. Let me do this for Rick.” It was so hard just to step back, let Him do it, and love Rick when he was being so unlovable.

I just loved him and prayed for him. At night when he fell asleep, I put my hand on his arm and prayed for God to change his heart.

Before long he quit driving and became an instructor. His drinking began tapering off. One Sunday as I got dressed for church, he did too. Now he goes with me. If you’re praying for someone, don’t stop. Keep praying until something happens in God’s time and God’s way. He changed Rick.

And He also changed me. My walk with the Lord has grown. I love Him more now than I ever have. He has done so much for me, all because of that book by Adrian Rogers.

Everyone should read it, even if you’ve been a Christian 25 years. It will speak to you. Read it with an open heart. Ask God to lead you through it. It’s an awesome book.

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Stories Worth Telling is a series of feature articles sharing the personal impact Love Worth Finding is having in lives all over the world through the preaching/teaching of Adrian Rogers. Perhaps you have a story you would like to share. Email us at mystory@lwf.org, share your story online at lwf.org/my-story, or write us at Love Worth Finding Ministries, PO Box 38300, Memphis, TN 38183. God bless you.