My First Blessing from the Casino AKA What Happened After I Quit My Job to Follow Christ - Part 3
On the nighttime drive home from the baptism service I reflected on everything that had happened that day. I was baptized as a new believer in Christ at one church and saw nearly a hundred get baptized later that evening at another church. I was so thankful for my first full day in ministry. I was ready to wake up tomorrow and do it again.
God, however, still had more for me.
While still in the car, I received a phone call from my best friend Kevin Eskew. At God’s prompting, Kevin called me weeks earlier to tell me that I could stay with him rent free while I launched my ministry. Today, he called to share another blessing.
Before I tell you what he said, I want to share a couple pieces of information.
1) In 2012, shortly after being born again, I had a dream that parts of which including dialogue came true weeks later. While I won’t share that story in detail here (you can read that testimony in God Has a Sentence for Your Life), I will say that I learned through personal experience that God was talking to me, in part, through my dreams.
2) In some of those dreams, I had a vision of specific names of people I would encounter and of people who would be involved in my ministry, Testimony House.
While driving on the same road where I saw the FAITH truck I wrote about last week, Kevin said that he had incredible news that I was not going to believe.
He was at the casino where I used to work, while he was there he ran into a former boss of mine, Anton, and told him about how I had found Jesus and transformed my life.
Kevin told me on the phone that upon the news of my salvation Anton said to him, “I can’t believe it. My wife was right.” I asked Kevin, “Believe what?” Kevin replied by saying, “Anton told me that a while back his wife, who had never met me, had a dream about a guy named John Simmons finding Jesus and starting a ministry. When she shared her dream with Anton, he thought the idea of you, an extreme problem gambler becoming saved and doing that seemed unlikely.”
Years prior, even though I had worked with Anton a lot, we weren’t very close. He was much older than me. I didn’t think we had anything in common and we mostly ignored one another. That was about to change.
Kevin stopped and said hold on. “Hello,” said a boisterous voice on the other end of the line, I could tell it was Anton even though I hadn’t talked to him in quite some time. It is also worth noting that the entire time I worked with him, I had no idea he was a Christian. “John” he said, “It’s Anton but my friends call me Tony.”
This revelation was unexpected. Tony was the name on the first person on my list of people I dreamed I would meet and become part of the ministry. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I immediately got goosebumps and banged my steering wheel. I knew God had brought us together. I would have never believed Anton was the Tony on my list. I couldn’t have made up a story that good. Tony has been involved with Testimony House ever since and now serves on our board of directors.
On my first day in full time ministry I was baptized and listened to what I still consider to be the greatest testimony I’ve ever heard. But God wasn’t finished. I capped off my time on the paycheck less clock with a supernatural encounter and testimony of God moving in my life and ministry even while I was across town.
He had been waiting for me to quit my jobs for months. I fought to not step out in faith. I would have missed out on all of this and more had I stayed where I wanted to be instead of going where God did. I was so thankful for the love of God. I knew in that moment that I was on God’s plan for my life. The plan that I had been asking and believing to find for a long time. Even though I had finally started writing God’s sentence for my life, I didn’t have an idea what the day to day of it would look like, but I remember thinking, “If that was the first day, what will the next day hold.”
Click here to read What Happened After I Quit My Job to Follow Christ - Part 1 or here to read What Happened After I Quit My Job to Follow Christ - Part 2.
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