A Dormant Seed Bears Much Fruit

I don’t care what Pastor Doug says,” Mike angrily interrupted, irritation seething across his tightened face. “How can 400 million people be wrong?”

This particular argument began like many others: Tammie sharing truth she had learned from the Bible, while her husband Mike rebuffed it with supposed scholastic rationale.

Mike and Tammie had little religious background and lacked a solid foundation for their faith. To complicate matters, the religious people they consulted could not satisfactorily answer their most vexing questions about evolution and what happens when you die. Mike could not reconcile dinosaurs or the Big Bang with the Bible. As for Tammie, her father had committed suicide. Along with the aching hole in her heart was the nagging question, “What’s happening to Dad?” She could not understand how a loving God could burn someone in hell forever.

Then without much discussion, the two decided to quit listening to secular music. A few days later, in keeping with their agreement, Mike tuned to a local Christian radio station on his way to work. The first program he heard covered the biblical account of creation. Intrigued, Mike jotted down the program’s web address so he and Tammie could check it out later. The website so effectively answered their questions that they started searching the Bible to know more about God.

This Stuff Makes Sense
A few months later they discovered the Sabbath. This was not completely new to Tammie. Years before, she was introduced to the seventh-day Sabbath by a teenage friend. However, Mike could not understand how millions of people who go to church on Sunday could be wrong. Undaunted, Tammie continued to study. An internet search providentially directed her to some Sabbath-keeping websites. It also provided links to Amazing Facts articles and materials. Tammie studiously poured over the material, but Mike stubbornly ignored her exclamations of “that makes sense.” Later he would pick up the material and, while “harumphing” his way through it, would think “this stuff makes sense!”

About this time, Mike felt God’s call to ministry and enrolled in a seminary. “This began what I can only describe as ‘the Dark Ages’ of our marriage,” he says. “She read Sabbath-keeping material. I read textbooks. She shouts ‘that makes sense,’ I mumble ‘this doesn’t make sense.’ We argued and argued. Outwardly I tried to overwhelm her with my newfound seminary knowledge, all the while she silently prayed for God to reveal the truth to me. What she didn’t realize was that I had already seen the truth, but pride wouldn’t let me admit it.”

Although they had stopped watching television, Mike and Tammie eventually purchased a satellite dish so they could watch Christian programming. “We began to search the channels with one goal: Find someone who taught the Bible from the Bible.” Finally they came across Central Study Hour. Amazed, they asked each other, “Can you believe it? He’s actually teaching from the Bible!”

“It wasn’t just one verse, but verse after verse, thread after thread,” says Mike. “It was a depth of teaching we had never enjoyed before. We read everything we could get our hands on from Amazing Facts and listened to Doug Batchelor at every opportunity. We began to grow by leaps and bounds. It was as if God was telling us this is the place I led you to — now listen, learn, and apply. Well, I listened and learned, but fell short of the application.”

Mike remained in the seminary, struggling to understand the confusing doctrines; the family also continued to attend a local Sunday church. Eventually, differences in biblical understanding prompted the family to stop attending. For the next two years they worshipped at home via television with Sacramento Central Church.

This often led to more heated arguments. “Tammie kept reminding me of what Doug Batchelor had said in a sermon. And I would exclaim, ‘He doesn’t know everything!’ You see, I still couldn’t understand how so many people could be wrong about the Sabbath.”

But one day, God finally got Mike’s attention. As the professor lectured about the book of Hebrews, he became extremely irate and critical of Sabbath keepers. “The teacher actually used the same arguments I used against the Sabbath,” Mike says. “But for the first time, I realized how ridiculous they sounded. I found myself getting angry with him as he made a mockery of the Sabbath.”

Mike and Tammie immediately began searching for a local Sabbath-keeping church. They soon found a small church nearby in Moultrie, Georgia, and they and their three children were baptized on April 26, 2003.

A Call to Ministry
Mike still felt called to the ministry, though he seriously doubted whether his seminary training would prove useful. Then at a large convocation in Tennessee, Mike and his family met Doug Batchelor, who encouraged Mike’s desire to become a pastor.

And God began to open doors. Mike was soon asked to take his place on several lay-ministry speaking appointments. Then a pastor in a neighboring town invited him to speak. Word spread quickly. Soon Mike was preaching somewhere almost every Sabbath. Today, Mike is the pastor of two Sabbath-keeping churches and has recently planted another church in the area.

“You never know when the seed you plant today will sprout,” he says. “For my wife, the seed about the Sabbath took well over 10 years to sprout. But she was the catalyst for our family’s progress into the Sabbath and other doctrines.”

“I wanted truth,” Tammie adds. “That’s what was so great when I began to study and learn from Amazing Facts. This message makes sense. And when it makes sense, it’s easy to retain. We’re a whole family that’s been saved. And we’ve become mouthpieces to go on and share with our friends and neighbors the things we’ve learned.”

By the grace of God, lives are being transformed. Seeds of truth that were planted in obscurity are blossoming into a bountiful harvest of precious souls. Thanks for your faithful prayers and support of the Amazing Facts ministry.
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