Published April 25, 2017

Paul's Epistle
"Not A Coincidence"

On the broadcast last weekend you heard excerpts from my phone call to Darlene DeWitt, notifying her that she was the Grand Prize winner in our 2017 Great Annual Giveaway.

Each year, all qualifying entries are entered into our computer system which then picks the winner based on a random-number-generating system. So we personally have nothing to do with which entrant is drawn as the winner.

For this reason, Shelia and I have marveled over the years at how often there seem to be special circumstances involved resulting in the winner's selection. We've had missionaries who needed such refreshing. We've had individuals who recently lost a spouse and needed an uplifting experience. Such circumstances can't simply be "coincidences."

This year was no exception. I received an email from this year's winner about the unusual circumstances that led to her even entering the giveaway. In fact, she calls it a "miracle." Here are excerpts from her story:

Since 2012 I have been going to Florida to help take care of my elderly mother and give my brothers a break. I also have been dealing with some [other] stressful [family health] issues... This required me to be away from my husband, home, church family and my elementary Sunday School class for months at a time. Caring for my mom has been physically exhausting and emotionally draining...

I was traveling on I-75 north, heading back home from Florida, shortly before The Gospel Greats program was to come on the air. I was so tired and exited off to find a motel. To my surprise, no motel rooms were available at that exit, which never had been a problem before when traveling. I told the Lord, "Okay, I don't understand what's going on, but I trust you to provide a nice room further up the road." However, if I had gotten a room there, I might have missed The Gospel Greats program because of getting settled in the room and going to dinner.

So I got back on I-75 and turned up The Gospel Greats to keep me energized! ...At any rate, while listening to the Gospel Greats program, brother Paul announced about The Gospel Greats 2017 Great Annual Giveaway for a Gospel Singing Cruise called Singing at Sea. I thought, "How amazing is that?"

Paul said to enter to win this cruise for two, plus $1,000, the person would need to provide name, address, contact phone number, e-mail address, the radio station on which you hear Gospel Greats, AND the Gospel Greats key phrase, which he repeated for the week (the last week of the Giveaway opportunity!). Well, I was traveling at 75 mph on I-75 so I could not write the phrase down, and I was not sure my tired brain could remember it, so I kept repeating it over and over to myself. Once I reached Georgia, I was able to find a very nice motel room for the night and made it a point to write down the info and phrase. However, once I arrived home, I could not find my note! I asked the Lord to help me remember the key phrase, and He did! He also allowed me to win! Thank you Jesus!

What a blessing! My husband and I are thrilled that we will be able to do this trip, which we have dreamed about for years. We're really looking forward to this time together with no family interruptions (Lord willing) and being able to enjoy all that wonderful Gospel music and the funny shows too...

Thank you, again, for this wonderful giveaway. May God bless you in return for it.

Of course, I love to hear this kind of testimony. And I'm looking forward to meeting Darlene and her husband, Lew, on the cruise next February, Lord willing.

I'm so glad the Lord takes care of choosing just the right people to win, even if He chooses to work through our computer system to do it.

By the way, as I finish writing this, Shelia just handed me a printed business card from Lew & Darlene. Prominently displayed on the card is Matthew 19:28, which seems quite appropriate: "With God all things are possible."

- Paul

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