Personal Testimonies

Bill Clement
1Thes 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word 
only, but also in power, and in the
Holy Ghost, and in much assurance... 

                This Is My Story...
I guess it all mainly began when my little grandma 
died, in 1970 (Wow! has it been that long now?). I 
remember being very angry over her death (mostly 
because I didn't visit her more often and felt 
guilty), and after storming into her bedroom and 
shaking my fist at the crucifix she had on the 
wall, and then telling God, that she, of all 
people had better be in heaven, and if not I 
proceeded to use every vile word in the book to 
tell Him what He could do with His heaven in no 
uncertain terms. I hated "death" and felt helpless 
over its devastations it left behind. I remember 
afterwards knowing somehow I shouldn't really have 
blamed God for her

Then around 1972, and still carrying two chips on 
my shoulders; mad at the world, poor, hurting and 
sick of life, when one day the priest of my church 
called me in to tell me that I wasn't attending 
and paying enough and threatening me to attend and 
pay lots more, or else (whisper- 
'excommunication'). Well when I got done with him, 
telling him in very clear terms what he could do 
with himself, his church and his God, and slamming 
the door behind me as hard as I could, I walked 
out, excommunicating myself. I wouldn't know until 
1976 that what I had slammed the door on was a 
"dead" religious system based on works instead of 
a "Living" Personal Saviour" and His grace!

That brings us to events in 1976. I had hated my 
father with a passion! He was so obstinate and we 
always argued. Everything I said was white (and 
mostly it was) but everything he said was black 
(just the opposite). I was starved for his love 
and hungered for his approval. Then one day while 
I was sitting in another room he began telling a 
story of his account of the depression to a friend 
of his in the kitchen. I was so sick of him I 
didn't even want to hear his voice...nevertheless, 
I was listening (probably to find something I 
could use against him later on), when he began to 
tell his friend how poor his family of 10 kids 
were. "We were so poor", he said, "that I had to 
wear the hand-me-down socks of my older brothers, 
and these had holes in both ends." He called them 
his "holey baseball

As he continued, he told his friend that while in 
school one day, the teacher told all the kids to 
take off their shoes and socks because a nurse 
came in to inspect their feet to see if they were 
healthy. My father protested. At first he refused 
to take off his shoes, but then the teacher made 
him, against his will. When he took them off, that 
was when the other kids (who had better clothes) 
saw his "holey socks" and made fun of him. My 
father ran out of school totally embarrased, and 
soon he never went back! (I would have stayed
and fought them all!) 

As he was telling this story, I looked up from the 
book I pretended to read and saw how he was 
getting all teary and choked up, and how, even to 
this day, it deeply affected him. Hey, it wasn't 
his fault! Then it hit me, as I realized my heart 
was actually going out to the man: "WAIT A 
MINUTE", my thoughts were shouting."WHOA BOY! OHH 

"And yet", said a wee small voice, "you see how 
that incident had deeply scarred him for the rest 
of his life!? You see how this man, who, as a 
small boy, was completely innocent, yet was so 
embarrased that when this happened it was on the 
same day that he put up a huge wall between 
himself and the outside world, never again 
allowing himself to be in situations that would 
embarrass him in any way. With such a wall as 
that, no one could get through to him, and it's 
amazing he ever married or had me. He rarely 
showed love or affection, at least not in any 
normal way, because he was stunted and was afraid 
to open up and give

More and more I began to admit that maybe he was 
right all along and I was the one who was wrong. 
Maybe I had him wrong all along! (This kind of 
admission was new and frightening to me, yet I 
could not shake it off.) Finally I was brought to 
where I could finally admit that I was wrong. Not 
only wrong, but Always Wrong to have nailed my dad 
to a cross and judged him so harshly. This was the 
first time I can remember that I had deep feelings 
towards my dad. I wanted to reach out and comfort 
him, and put my arms around him and hold him close 
and tell him I'm sorry, and just love him. 
Although I never did (at that time) but his story 
of the "Holey Socks" had completely, in one swoop, 
completely changed my attitude and understanding 
about him. I was stunned by the sudden turn of

It was shortly after this time, still feeling 
quite sensative, when I was led one evening to 
pick up the Bible and read it. I don't know where 
I began but I ended up in the Gospel of Matthew, 
and when I reached where Jesus was in the Garden 
of Gethsemane, crying out to the Father, (Mathew 
26:36-45) I stopped. I knew something was there 
but I didn't know what. I kept reading it over and 
over again. I knew it was important for me to see 
it and to understand it. Then, suddenly, it all 
began to unfold, like a butterfly spreading out 
it's wings. I SAW it! MY God I SEE it! I know WHY 
Jesus is in an agony of his soul in the garden. 
FOR ME!?" 

Now I see! Now I understand! My God, I am sitting 
in an amphitheater, and only feet away from me the 
scene in the book of Matthew 26 is being played 
out in magnificent splendor right before my very 
eyes. I cannot take it! I cannot take such love 
for me as I see here! Oh my God! The tears pouring 
out of my eyes and onto the pages of the Gospel of 
Matthew in no way blurr the view of Him who loves 
me with a love I cannot even comprehend, and who 
gave Himself to the cross for the likes of Me of all people. Dear reader, I will 
unashamedly tell you here and now that I could not 
put down that Bible, and that I cried so much and 
so long, that all I could do was thank Him over 
and over and over and over again. The pages of 
Matthew 26, and several layers deep were sop and wet,
may I joyously say. 

It was very shortly after that that the Lord 
revealed Himself to me by making His presence 
known. It was as if the skies parted and He spoke 
clearly and directly to me, saying. "I am the Lord 
God the Almighty!" I was trembling in fear yet 
overjoyed to tears at the same time because He had 
rolled back the clouds of darkness that had always 
separated us and made Himself known to me. "There 
is a God"! I said. "You are real! Oh my Lord and 
my God!" "Oh Lord, I told Him, "I love you now and 
want to do what you want me to do." And the Lord 
spoke and said, "If you love Me, then be 
reconciled to your father." "Gulp". I swallowed, 
"Oh Lord, anything but that (Eph.6:2)! I'll crawl 
to you on broken glass. Anything! It would be 
easier to be hit by a semi than to ask my father's 
forgiveness for having hurt him all my life. 
Shouldn't he be the one asking me for my 
forgiveness???" Then the clouds began to roll back 
in, and before they closed, the Lord's parting 
words to me were, "If you love Me you'll do it!" 

For two days I trembled. Even my mom saw me 
shaking, and though I tried to explain the 'war' 
going on inside I knew she didn't understand. (She 
has since died in August of 1998 of a terrible 
stroke and is deeply missed. She always set a fine 
example, and was such a wonderful mother and 
gracious person that everyone loved her and they 
felt special just to be around her. In every way 
to me she was the complete opposite of my dad. As 
fine a loving mother and lady as there ever was.) 

"IF" you love Me! That "IF" was a killer! Of 
course I loved Him!? Certainly I loved Him!? He 
first loved me, with a love beyond comprehention. 
"IF!" Yes I loved Him, but did I REALLY love Him 
by going and apologizing to my father and be 
reconciled to him as He wanted? 'Finally', I stood 
up knowing what I had to do. I know I loved Him 
enough to do what He said. I went over and put my 
arm around him, looked him square in the eye and 
said: "Dad, I'm sorry for hurting you. 'I'll NEVER 
hurt you again'. Please forgive me!" This was a 
complete surprise. His jaw dropped, he began to 
choke up, and his eyes became wet like mine. I 
kissed him and walked into my bedroom, and as I 
had turned to go, he said, in a tiny choked up 
voice, "It's about time you woke up, boy!" 

In the bedroom the tears poured out of my eyes, my 
head and hands were lifted to the heavens, and all 
I could do was affirm what my father had said, by 
replying, "Oh dad, how right you are!" The heavens 
rejoiced, and the angels sang, giving glory to God 
that, I, the chief of all hardheads and sinners 
who ever lived, had 'finally' repented
of his sins (Lk 15:7, 10). 

(Boy what a good place to end this!) 

However, in order to understand what is about to 
shortly take place between me and my dad, we need 
to understand the "Power" of sin that is present 
in and rules over the
"OLD" Adamic creature... 

Rom 7:17-24 
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin
   that dwelleth in me. 
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,)
   dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present
   with me; but how to perform that which is good
   I find not. 
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the 
   evil which I would not, that I do. 
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I
   that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good,
   evil is present with me. 
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward
23 But I see another law in my members, warring 
   against the law of my mind, and bringing me into
   captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me
   from the body of this death? 
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then
   with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but 
   with the flesh the law of sin. 

Paul understood this! I did not! I had vowed to 
NEVER hurt my dad again. I didn't realize that the 
Power to Keep that vow was Not "In me" but "In 
Christ"! Within several months, believe it or not, 
I was back to hating my father again. I was 
hurting him all over again, and I promised him I 
never would, and really meant it when I said it. 
All of this bothered me more than anything in my 
life, and I even wanted to kill myself over it, 
because I couldn't seem to stop sinning and didn't 
know why. I hated myself! I wasn't doing the good 
I loved but the evil I loathed. I was powerless to 
stop and was most wretched and miserable. I saw a 
way to escape, to get away from my dad and God for 
a while. So I gathered up a few thousand dollars 
and left for Florida to bet on the horses. I was a 
pretty good handicapper and I was intent on making 
a nice living and retiring off them. 

However, I began to lose in mysterious ways. My 
bets would go lame in the lead just before the 
finish line, or get beat out by a 100-1 shot by a 
nose. Like clockwork my horses would find 
mysterious ways to lose. I kept scratching my 
head. The more I lost the more I was 'consumed' by 
my work, spending upwards of 16 hours a day 
handicapping 9 or 10 races, which normally take no 
more 15 minutes each. My head was constantly 
buried in the racing form. I kept losing and 
losing. I was stunned. I couldn't believe my 
streak of bad luck. Then I realized what I kept 
myself from realizing: "The Lord was taking a 
personal hand in this!" It was the only 
explanation that made sense. For I was never that 
bad, and managed to at least break even, even in 
the worst of times. 

All I had left was maybe $50 (plus the money I 
needed to get home on). I had been in Florida just 
over two months and I was broke. I couldn't 
believe it. I still went to the track, trying to 
handicap and play only a few, of what I considered 
as the premier picks of the day. I still lost! It 
was becoming embarrasingly obvious that the Lord 
had other plans. I had turned my back on Him. He 
knew it and I knew it too. Finally, down to my 
last $5 or $10 dollars, I went into a store to buy 
me some cheap food, and a little black kid, in 
dirty and torn clothes, came up to me and said, 
"Hey mister! Can you give me 50 cents so I can buy 
some cookies? I'm hungry"! 

The shortage of cash in my pocket and my only 
thinking of myself and my needs, almost caused me 
to brush him off, but as part of me thought, "Hey, 
I need all the money I have", another part 
thought, "Gee, he sure looks like he could use a 
bite to eat", so I went with the last part. 
Looking at the kid I said, "sure kid". I had also 
been "Holding Back" the Lord all of those months 
in Florida, keeping Him at a distance, keeping Him 
from telling me what I knew He wanted to tell me 
and what I knew I didn't want to hear. I stepped 
outside after giving the kid the paltry 50 cents 
because the tears started up again. And as I 
headed to my apartment the Lord began to show me 
something. (I did want to hear what the Lord 
wanted to tell me, BUT not until AFTER I made a 
killing off the horses and enough to retire on 
easy street for the rest of my
life...THEN I would follow Him.) 

It was time for me to face and hear the Truth. I 
did! That's when the Light of God finally broke 
through, and I saw and even smelled this sinfully 
hopeless, wretched, evil, ugly, vile beast. The 
most foul creature I ever saw! I was stunned that 
God would allow such a creature to even be allowed 
to exist for one second without incurring His full 
wrath! The moment I saw it I cried out to the 
Lord: "Lord! Kill it! Destroy it! How dare such a 
foul and putrid thing be allowed to live before 
the holy and great Lord God the Almighty. This 
evil creature has no business being here. It reeks 
to high heaven! Destroy it and throw it into hell, 
Lord, where it belongs and 100% deserves to be. 
How dare this vile..."thing", live before You, the 
Great and Holy

"I" had spoken (and my words were based on the 
Truth I saw and heard, so I knew they carried 
weight)! The Lord saw, tasted and smelled what I 
had, for He was in the same Exposing Light I saw 
by! The depraved creature I testified against was 
so filthy and hopelessly rotten to the core that I 
knew the Lord would deal with this 'thing' as I 
asked Him to, and destroy it. For He is holy and 
cannot look upon such wickedness as this! I knew 
this absolutely! 

Then, suddenly and without warning, this evil, and 
polluted creature slowly turned and faced me. 
SHOCK OF SHOCKS!!! I could not believe what I was 
seeing! Yet, in His All-Knowing Light, I had no 
choice but to believe. This vile and disgusting 
'thing' had my name on it. My name! How did it 
come to have 'MY' name? Somehow the Lord had 
tricked me, much the same as Nathan the prophet 
got David to confessing what he'd do before he was 
told that, "You" are the man: 2 Samuel 12:5-7. (I 
could only stare in shock at this foul creature in 
awe and utter amazement as I realized that this 
rotten to the core 'thing' I had utterly loathed, 
hated and detested above all me! "ME!!!" 
"Oh what a self righteous hypocrit I am! Oh, Woe 
is me, most wretched man I am and totally without 
strength. In me is no good thing!" The
reality of it all struck me harder than any
sledgehammer ever could.) 

Realizing what I had said and Who it was I said it 
to, I fell on my knees and begged for mercy. I was 
in a state of "Full Realization" with total fear 
and trembling before Him, as I asked Him to please 
reconsider what I just said. "Oh Lord, please 
forgive me! Have mercy on me, Lord!" He was the 
one who had shown me my 'self' for what I was 
(Jn.16:8), and brought me low to this place: to 
the end of myself. Then He spoke. His words were 
cold and matter-of-fact: "You cannot serve both 
God and mammon! You'll love the one and despise 
the other." 

(I knew Exactly what He meant, for I had one foot 
in the kingdom and one foot in the world, and I 
was trying to live and walk according to both. I 
also knew He was about to get up and close the 
door and chop off my kingdom foot forever. I 
learned right then and there that you cannot play 
God for a fool.) "Chose today whom you will serve! 
Either Come To Me with both feet and turn your 
back on all else, OR walk away from Me now and 
forever...with no regrets and no remorse. Chose you
now!" And that pretty much was it. 

I was stunned! I expected chastizement or 
punishment, but this? He wasn't kidding around! I 
knew He absolutely meant business! I was about to 
be "spewed out"! Well I sure didn't have too far 
to look. I was bruised and injured and sat facing 
the Truth. In this world my cupboards were bare, 
and in the next I reeked to high heaven. "What a 
mess!" After gathering all my thoughts, I 
considered all the angles, searched desperately 
for an easier, wider way into the Kingdom thus 
preserving my own life in the bargain (and found 
none), weighed all the costs, and examined myself 
to see if I still retained some spark of love in 
there towards Him who first loved me with a love 
that blew me away, I think I found a teeny ember 
barely aglow for him in some dark corner of my 
heart. I knew that I loved Him. He knew that I 
loved least I thought He did. Here was my 
dilemna: If I decided to Come to Him it would 
spell death to the Old man (the Old me, the old 
way I was). But, HEY I'm the only me I know! I saw 
no other me than a dead me...forever! Yet, if I 
turn away from Him it's death too, only it's death 
to my New man, or the man I really never knew but 
was hoping one day like Lazarus' Martha, to receive
in the resurrection. 

So there it was! "DEATH!" Death either way! Death 
was what was facing me! I said to myself: "Some 
choice! Either way I die if I don't and I die if I 
do!" That's when He said to me, "I am the 
resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in 
me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And 
whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never 
die. Believest thou this? John 11:25-26 "His 
personal word gave me the faith
I needed!" 

I remembered in the Song of Songs that Love is 
stronger than strong, in fact, that no 
flood can quench it...a flame reaching to heaven 
itself. And all the while I'm reflecting on that I 
know that I really haven't any choice ...but one. 
I knew in my heart that I did love Him, and that I 
still did, and that to me He was worthy of all! 
Last of all was my mother (I had no wife back 
then) whom I loved and gave her to the Lord, 
setting her aside, because I loved Him more. And I 
began to lift my head and open up my heart that 
the Lord would know - ohh I prayed He would know 
that surely I do love Him and wanted to obey Him 
with all my heart and Come to Him. And in my 
spirit, or heart, or whatever, I began that long 
turn away from my old life and towards Him. All I 
saw and expected was death! I knew that even death 
didn't matter anymore! All that mattered was 
Him!!! His will was also mine! All that was in me 
united to follow through completely on only one 
choice, and that was to Come to Him, lock, stock 
and barrel, laying it all down at His feet forever 
with no regrets, no remorse, and no strings or 
baggage attached. 

I took that step of no return in coming to Him 
with my heart wide open intent on proving to Him 
that I did love Him and would rather die now under 
His feet than live without Him for the rest of my 
life. And as I took that step towards Him that 
tiny spark of love hidden in my heart for Him 
suddenly became a flame, and the flame suddenly 
burst forth into a blazing inferno of love...for 
'me' (John 14:23)! All things became new (2 
Cor.5:17)! And after 20+ years of reflection I 
know what happened to me: The Old me DIED, and the 
New me went to heaven! The 'Old Man' died...yet 
'lived' - yet it wasn't "I" any longer 
("Gal.2:20")! No one can come to the Father except 
they go through Christ and Him crucified first! 
And to come to God through Christ is to come to 
the foot of the cross and die with and for him 
there. The cross spells 'Death' to the entire Old 
Creation! And so, from out of the ashes of that 
old me glowed a little spark of love towards his 
God, put there when I first believed, and then 
came God's power and caused that spark to blaze up 
into a flaming fire reaching heaven

It was in this inferno: this melting down firey 
love of God in being raised to new life in Christ -
with Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory - that a 
NEW MAN was created, one raised in the same 
fashion and manner as the Crucified Christ in the 
furnace of God's Resurrecting Power and Melting 
Love, one filled with New Life in the power of 
regeneration in the love of God, until he is 
bursting at the seams and can't take any more. For 
such is the passion, purity and the power 
contained in His life and His love! His power of 
love is "perfect" and His purity of
love is so clean it is "absolute"! God is Love! 

What we have here in my testimony, is no 
different, really, than the "Prodigal Son" 
returning home to his rightful birthright, or 
squandering it all away forever! It wasn't until 
he was brought down to eating slop with the pigs 
that brought him to his senses. And upon coming to 
his senses, he realized the utter fool he had 
become, and what he had squandered away: His 
Inheritance! Then, remembering that his father, 
the King, was a man who was quick to forgive fools 
like himself who come to their senses and repent, 
he turned around and went back home; willing to 
become the lowest servant if his father would let 
him. But before he came halfway home his father 
was there to greet him and love him and take him 
on into his kingdom and shower him
with his riches and love. 

"This was my story, now hear my song. "Those who 
Come to Christ out of love for Him and His words, 
will be born again, never to die or fall away. 
Those who have yet come to Christ, including those 
who say they are saved through faith, are in 
danger of falling away by becoming ensnared in the 
cares of this life and the deceit of riches (as I 
was). You have read my story and seen my 
testimony. God is serious! Please, above all know 
that! He cannot be untrue to Himself. He will do 
everything He says He will. He is to be greatly 
feared or respected in that respect! "Today is the 
day of Salvation! Tomorrow is the day of death! 
The proof in our saying we love Him is shown by 
our 'doing' what He says! He says, "Come To Me, 
and I will give you Eternal Life, and no power 
(neither sin nor death) will ever snatch you out 
of My hand!" Talk on our part is cheap! The 
Kingdom of God is not in words only but primarily 
in POWER - the Power of a New Life in 
Christ...namely it comes in Resurrection Life in 
the Power of His Love! Surely He is worth laying it
all down for! 

"COME TO ME" is the high calling of God in Christ 
to you and to me, and if you are serious, and have 
sold all, and have kept that spark of love for Him 
alive in your heart, then you are the one who will 
answer - who must answer that call intent on 
loving Him ALL the way with your whole 
heart...until you arrive at your destination: At 
the foot of the cross...(to lay down your old man 
with His), and then beyond and on into the 
Father's arms...(to receive your
new one by Him...through Him) 

May God deeply bless "you" in Christ as He has so 
wonderously and graciously blessed me, 

Biff C. 

          1999 A Tribute to...our Father!

Our Father was greatly blessed with a very loving, 
special, thoughtful and endearing wife, Anne, for 
63 years before she passed away in 1998. He was 
constantly working with figures on paper, always 
trying to find a way to beat the odds or build a 
better mouse trap; sort of like a poor mans 
inventor, and this quality - call it 'ingenuity' - 
he passed down to us. 

Much of his research and development time was 
spent on games that stunned the imagination, 
inventing The Whispering Queen and The Phone Book 
Trick, and I know he found a system written in his 
own hieroglyphics that can beat the horses. He had 
some beliefs which he felt strongly about and had 
more than once readily expressed them. You could
rightfully say that he was - 'set' in his ways. 

Our Dad was also like a little kid at heart at 
times (another quality he passed down to us), and 
also liked to be sneaky and keep many things 
hidden to himself. Some called him 'The Old Fox', 
because he was a tricky guy who
really enjoyed fooling people with his card tricks
and shell games. 

He would argue politics with the best of them, and 
those who knew him knew he could see what many 
didn't and he was usually right! He was a man of 
convictions who strongly believed in, always 
talked about and firmly stood for the things 'he' 
deemed important. Although at times he expressed 
his love in funny ways and kept to himself a lot, 
he was a man of high moral standards and a good 
provider who loved his wife, children and 
grandchildren and was very generous to all of us.
Thanks Dad. 

It is with this in mind that we now would like to 
take this short tribute to our Father and turn it 
to you... My earthly Father gave his two sons an 
inheritance on this earth, along with his genes, 
his flesh and blood and the title deed to all he 
owned in this life. He gave us all that any Father 
could give us - in life, as well as in death - and 
it's ours as long as it lasts. And so, for the 
short time we have remaining to us on earth we are 
greatful to him and my Mom, especially for 
instilling in us some good quality things, and we 
will always remember them both as being very 
distinct from each other yet as being very special 
to us in their
own way. 

God our Father in heaven gave my brother and I an 
inheritance also, through receiving a new life via 
a 'spiritual' birth! We speak here of an 
inheritance that will last forever and will never 
pass away to all who believe...He gave us His own 
beloved Son, and in Him and Him alone there is 
this 'life' we must have and speak of. We are 
speaking here of an inheritance so fabulous, so 
vast, so astounding, and so totally undeserved 
that no man alive can ever hope to comprehend the 
generosity and love that the heavenly Father has 
for those who love Him by hearing and
coming to His Son for life. "He who has the Son has
the life!" 

It is written: "Unless a man is born again he 
cannot inherit the kingdom of God!" "Flesh and 
blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God!" (We all 
must become 'spiritually' born again...of 
above...having God Himself as our 'new' Father, 
acquiring His life; through faith in Jesus Christ,
as He promised!) 

It is written: "Whoever believes in him will not 
perish, but will have eternal life. For God so 
loved the world, that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, 
but will have everlasting life." (We all must come 
to believe in Him thus reach out to Him 
wholeheartedly in order to receive the eternal 
life He is offering!) 

It is written: "For by the grace of God are you 
saved through faith in Christ; and none of this is 
of your own making: it is the 'gift' of God: Not 
of our works, so that no man can boast." (We all 
must come to receive His free and unearned gift of

"My peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, 
do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, 
neither let it be afraid." "Come to me, all you 
that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give 
you rest." (The peace He gives is that of the 
giving of Himself, and all who come to God by Him 
will find eternal rest for their souls!) 

[With all my heart I wanted for my dad to come to 
the Lord and share in the riches of His endless 
love and grace...and I really thought he would 
come to believe after hearing my story several 
times...but 'alas', he remained
an atheist to the end! 2 Tim.2:19] 


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 Web Author:Michael Stevenson Updated: 12/16/2004 6:41PM