David Reagan - 41 Years of Memories
Have you ever tried living by faith? I learned the hard way that it is one thing to talk about faith, teach faith, preach faith, but brother it is a whole different ball game to start living by faith. It is downright scary. But I discovered that as I learned how to trust God, living by faith can also be an exhilarating experience. Stay tuned.
David Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our Blessed Hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. I’m Dave Reagan, the founder of this ministry. I established it 41 years ago in 1980. I’m scheduled to step aside and turn the leadership of the ministry over to my successor on June the 1st, at which time I will move my office to my home and focus on writing books, and articles for the ministry’s magazine. I also plan to spend a lot of time praying for the ministry’s future.
Counting today’s program, I have only three programs left in which I will be serving as host. So, I thought I would devote today’s program to what I learned about living by faith over the past 41 years, with the hope that I might be able to give you some insights about how to trust God for all the needs of your life. The first book I wrote after establishing this ministry was this one titled, Trusting God. The subtitle, Learning to Walk by Faith.
It is now in its 3rd edition; it’s still going strong. The most common comment I receive about is, “You had me laughing on one page, and crying on the next.” Our announcer will tell you at the end of the program how you can get a copy of this book that tells the history of the develop of this ministry. Now, I’m going to talk to you for a moment about how we got this ministry started. The story began in 1959 when I graduated from the University of Texas in Austin, with a major in government and history. I was worn out when I graduated. I had gone night, day, weekends, summertime, and I was just burned out. So, I couldn’t make up my mind whether I wanted to go to graduate school or law school, and I decided to just lay out for a year and rest, work for my dad who had a construction company and decide what I wanted to do about my future.
Well, through a bizarre series of circumstances that I describe in this book, I ended up within about three weeks after graduation being the pastor of a small country church in Groesbeck, Texas of all places. And boy was that a baptism of fire. I had two huge families who were members of this church, and they didn’t like each other. They sat on separate sides of the church. And I had to always try to manage that situation. I would go over on Saturday and work with the young people, and then on Sunday morning I had to do everything, because nobody in the church would do anything. So, I had to lead the prayers. I had to do the communion service. I had to lead the singing. Yes, me. And then I would do the preaching. So, it was really quite an experience.
And I knew in my heart that God had called me into the ministry. But unlike Isaiah who said, “Here I am Lord, send me.” I said, “Here am I Lord, send anybody but me.” Because I had my own mind made up that I was going to be either a diplomat or I was going to be a politician. And I had decided I’d probably go to law school. Well, while I was dealing with all that, about the middle of that year, I got a letter saying that I had been nominated for a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. I didn’t even know what that was. I was called to Austin, Texas. I was interviewed by five professors. The next thing I knew I had the scholarship. And it was an amazing scholarship. It paid for all of my college, all my expenses, I could go anywhere I wanted because not only did they pay my expenses, but they gave the college $10,000 a year just for accepting me, each year. Which was worth about $50,000 today.
So, I selected Harvard University and I went to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and earned three degrees. Two master’s degrees and a PhD in International Politics. And then I began a career in academics teaching International Law and Politics, and also serving in administrative capacities.
Now, it was while I was doing that I was very successful at it, but I was miserable, absolutely miserable. And do you know why? Because I was outside the will of God. As long I was outside His will it didn’t matter what I accomplished I found no fulfillment in it, and I was miserable. And so, I even won a Fulbright Fellowship that enabled me to go to the Philippines and teach at the University of the Philippines in 1966 and ’67. But I was not happy.
And when I got back God put me through a very difficult situation that I describe in the book. I mean He hit me over the head with a 2×4 to get my attention. And He got my attention. And when He got my attention I really went to my knees in prayer. I had just accepted a position as vice president of a university in Oklahoma. I had not moved my family up there yet; I was living in an apartment. God engineered that because He wanted to get me alone to get my undivided attention. And each morning I would have a devotional before I went to work. And one morning I was having that devotional and all of a sudden the Lord spoke to my heart as clearly as if He had spoken out loud. Right in the middle of my prayer He said, “Step out in faith. Give up your career. Start preaching the soon coming of Jesus. Preach flee from the wrath that is to come by fleeing into the loving arms of Jesus.” And I thought, “Where in the world did that come from?”
The next morning I’m praying, and the same thing, the same message, “Step out in faith, give up your career, start preaching the soon coming of Jesus.” I was just awestruck. I didn’t know what to do. And so, I kept wrestling with that, and wrestling with it.
I got my mail early in the mornings at that place. And one morning I went out while I was wrestling with that and there was a package from a friend in Houston, Texas. And in it was a cassette tape, I found out later it was one of seven put out by Pat Robertson about decision making. And this friend had a note in there said, “I heard this tape and God said, ‘Send it to you.'” So, I went right back in and listened to it. And the fundamental point of that tape was whenever you are trying to make a major decision, seek the confirmation of two or more witnesses, a principle of the Old Testament. So, I sat down and made a list of people that I might contact.
And the first one I contacted was the godliest man I knew in Dallas. I called him. I told him what I thought the Lord was calling me to do. I told him I was scared to death. I didn’t know how I could pay my bills if I just gave up my career and stepped out in faith. I asked him to pray about it and call me back in two days and tell me. In two days, he called back and said, “Brother, you better sit down.” I said, “Why?” He said, “The morning you called me I went to a prayer breakfast. I told the people about the message God had laid on your heart.” And he said, “David, before they left that morning, I didn’t even ask them for anything, they just voluntarily put pieces of paper in front of me and they had monthly pledges that add up to $800 a month in pledges if you will step out in faith and start this ministry.” Scared me to death.
I sat down, I thought, okay, well, I got to get a second witness. And I went through it all and I thought, well, I’ll call this one lady in Dallas who has been a thorn in my side, a burr under my saddle. She was a lady who every time I preached anywhere she would get a copy of it. She would analyze it. She would send me three or four typed written pages telling me, I should have said this, I should have said that I should have quoted this scripture, I shouldn’t have quoted that scripture. She was just a thorn. I’m telling you. I thought, well, if anybody will tell me the truth, she will. Looking back on it now, I think what I was doing was trying to find somebody who would say, “No.”
So, I called her. And she was a very abrupt lady. I call her and she would always answer the phone by saying, “What do you want?” She wouldn’t say, “Hello.” She’d say, “What do you want?” I said, “Well, this is Dave, and I’m calling.” And I told her what I was all about. And she would never say, “Goodbye.” She’d just hang up. So, I told her, “I want you to call me back in a couple of days and let me know what you think. Pray about it.” She said, “Okay.” And hung up, that was it. I thought, “Well, that is the end of that.” Then next day she called. And she said, “David, I have been in prayer.” She was so calm, and so quiet, and it scared me. She said, “I’ve been in prayer, and David the Lord has really confirmed this in my heart. In fact,” she said, “right after I talked to you I went to the mailbox and I opened up an envelope and I had an inheritance of $3,000, and the Lord spoke to my heart and said, ‘Give a $1,000 to David.’ And I’m giving you a $1,000 of mine.” And this was a lady who lived in poverty. But she said, “I’m going to give you a $1,000.”
And then she said, “And then I got another gift.” And she started laughing. I didn’t even know she could laugh. And I said, “What’s going on?” She said, “Well, I know that you have an old broken down car, don’t you?” And I said, “Yeah, I do.” And she said, “Well, I know you need one.” And she said, “I’ve got one I’d like to…” Oh, she said, “I know you’ve got a university car.” And I said, “That’s right.” She said, “Well, I want to give you a car, because I know you need one.” And she just kept laughing. I said, “What are you laughing about?” She said, “Well, it has been on the side of the road more than it has been on the road. It is a holy car. It’s been prayed over many times.”
Well, it was a holy car. But she said, “I am going to give you a $1,000 and your car.” And folks, that got my attention. So, I stepped out in faith. I resigned my position there. I started this ministry. And when I went to the president of the university and I told him that I was going to do this, he said, “Well, what church are you going to preach at?” I said, “No church, no church has called me.” He said, “You don’t have a church calling you?” I said, “No, I’m just going to step out in faith. And he said, “What are you going to preach?” I said, “Jesus is coming soon.” And I remember he looked at his desk, and he looked back up at me and he said, “When are you going to do this?” I said, “I’ll give you two weeks’ notice. On April the 1st I’m resigning.” And he looked down at his desk again, and he looked back up at me and he said, “All I can say to you, is that you have selected a very appropriate date, April Fool’s Day.”
Well, I stepped out in faith, and people said I was crazy. All my friend said I was crazy. My wife wondered if I was crazy. But we struggled through that first year. And one year later. One year later, on the exact date that we founded the ministry, on April the 1st I arrived back into this nation from my first trip to Israel with a group. I’ve been to Israel before, but this is the first group I took. And my wife met me at the airport and handed me a package all wrapped up with a bow on it. I said, “Well, honey, this is not our anniversary. It’s not my birthday. What is this?” She said, “Open it.” I opened it and here was this wonderful certificate that she had arranged for me. It had our logo at the top, and it said, “Presented to my husband on the 1st Anniversary of Lamb & Lion Ministries.” And then at the bottom she had the verse from 1 Corinthians 4:10, a verse that says, “We are fools for Christ’s sake.” It is one of my precious possessions, and it hangs in my office to this day.
Well, I want to tell you something, folks, it was hard to start a ministry in 1980, very hard. That was before the internet. We didn’t have access to the internet until 1995. Today you can start a ministry and be very successful, very quickly if you have something worthwhile to say. But back in those days there was no internet. There was no way to get exposure. I think I preached for four or five years at just little country churches that hardly had 40, 50 members. But the Lord was using that to develop me, and to develop my message. And so, finally I got a breakthrough, and I began to preach at larger churches. But the first seven years of the ministry were extremely difficult. We prayed like mad every day to be able to meet the requirements of the ministry, the financial requirements. The first seven years I lived on a salary of $1,000 a month because we just put everything we could back into the ministry in equipment and staff members. And I lived on my wife’s salary as a first grade teacher.
But finally in 1987 the turn around came. And in 1987 the trustees asked me to take a sabbatical for a year and not to do any preaching. Up to that time I was holding 40 meetings a year. They said, “No meetings.” I said, “How are we going to finance the ministry?” They said, “We don’t know but God will supply.” And God supplied. One of our supporters came up with the prophecy partner concept, and we introduced that, and people signed up and began to send $25 a month all over this nation. And we made it through that year with no financial difficultly whatsoever.
And during that year I wrote two books, Trusting God and I wrote this book called, Christ in Prophecy Study Guide. And these two books have been two of the most popular books of this ministry has ever published. They are both in their third editions now, they are both still going strong. And so, as a result of that I decided to cut my number of meetings in half, from 40 to 20, in 1988, and start focusing upon doing writing.
And then as the ministry moved along we finally got on the internet. We were able to develop a website and I was able to begin thinking about greater outreach. Finally in 2002 we made a major decision to leave our radio program, which had been going on for almost 21 years, a daily 15-minute radio program which had blessed so many people and had blessed me. And we instead went to television that was a major decision. And many people got very upset about the fact that we cancelled our radio program, but we couldn’t do both. So, we began to broadcast, and we’ve been broadcasting ever since then. In fact, I think is our 997th program that we are broadcasting. So, we have been really blessed over the years through television and the viewers who have lined up as prophecy partners and helped us.
Now, we are going to take a break, and after the break, we are going to take a break for a brief announcement, and when we return I’m going to begin to tell you about how living by faith is so exhilarating. And how God performed miracle, after miracle, after miracle, both in the lives of people and also in the finances of this ministry. He was so faithful to us, and He worked through our prophecy partners and others to see to it that all our needs were met.
David Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. I’m Dave Reagan, the founder of this ministry, and I’ve been reminiscing about 41 years of ministry. As I began to learn how to trust God and lean on Him for all the needs of this ministry, I began to experience miracles that surprised me, and blessed me and resulted in greater and greater faith.
I had grown up in a church that taught what theologians call cessationism. Basically, this is a belief that when the last Apostle died, the Gifts of the Spirit, together with miracles ceased. So, we basically put God in a box and said there were things He could no longer do.
When I started living by faith, I quickly discovered that this theology was simply not true. And I discovered three scriptures that proved it was not true: The first was Malachi 3:6, and it reads, “I the Lord do not change.” And that word, Lord, there is Yahweh, speaking of our Creator God. He does not change. That means He can do all the things today that we read about in the Bible, including the performance of miracles.
The second scripture is in 1 Corinthians 1:7 and that particular scripture reads as follows, it says, “You are not lacking any gift awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That means that all the spiritual gifts will continue until the Lord returns.
And the third scripture is in Hebrews 13:8, and it’s really my favorite, and it simply says that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes, even forever.” Jesus does not change.
So, the miracles and the gifts that we read about in the Bible are still relevant for today. And I learned that as I began to move forward in this ministry. I began seeing miracles of God. And I realized that we had pretty well defined miracles out of existence. Most people say, well, a miracle is something that violates the law of nature. Well, that is true. But it can also be a miracle of timing. And I saw miracles of timing, one after another, after another, as well as miracles that seemed to violate laws of nature. I’ll explain to you.
For example, one of the first miracles that I experienced was early in the ministry, about 1983, I was holding a meeting here in the Dallas area. And the song leader was a man who was very spiritual in nature, and he had one child, a little girl who was about 12 years old, she had never been able to walk, never been able to talk. They would put her on a pallet at the back of the church and she would just lie there on the pallet. And there were certain songs that she really liked, and if they sang those songs she would get very agitated. And the doctors had told his wife she could never have another child because of the trauma that she experienced in delivering this girl.
Well, when I offered the invitation that evening he put down the songbook, motioned to somebody else, they came up and they started leading the worship and he and his wife came up and they said, “You preached this evening on Hannah, and how through her faith she was able to conceive.” I said, “That’s right.” They said, “Well, we believe in faith that my wife can conceive, because we believe in miracles regardless of what the doctors have told us.” So, we just held hands and I prayed a very simple prayer that God would bless her womb. And about three months later he called me on the phone. You could have heard him talking all the way across Dallas without a phone he was so excited. He said, “My wife is pregnant. The doctors don’t believe it, but she is pregnant.” Then he called about two months later and said, “You are not going to believe this we are going to have twins.” And shortly after that their girl died. And so, God replaced that little girl with two boys, twins. And that was the first womb I prayed for, and God gave me a special gift to do that. And I prayed for womb, after womb, after womb since then. And I have a whole drawer full of photographs of children that were born to women who were told they could never have a child.
Well, another miracle I experienced that really violates the laws of nature, as far as I am concerned was in the singer that began to sing on our program, a man by the name of Jack Hollingsworth. A man so enthusiastic about the Lord that he couldn’t stand still, we called him Jumping Jack. And he’s gone on to be with the Lord now. Many of you saw him on our program for many years.
But Jack lived on the streets for 20 years as an alcoholic. Just lived in an alcoholic daze, tried to kill himself two times, did not succeed because God had a purpose for his life. And one day he met a little lady in Lexington, Kentucky who was running a detox center there. And he started trying to con her and she looked at him, and she was a real tough little lady, her nickname was shotgun because she was only 4 foot 10. And she looked at him and she said, “Let me tell you something buddy you can’t con me.” And she put her finger in his face and said, “Let me tell you something else, I say to you in the name of Jesus you will never be able to get drunk again.” And he laughed and he said, “Lady, you are talking to a professional drunk.” A week later he came back, and he said, “You know I’ve been drinking non-stop ever since you said that to me, non-stop, and I can’t get drunk. I just can’t get a high. Tell me more about that Jesus.” She did. He accepted Jesus. They later got married. Formed a ministry called, Acts 29, went all over this country ministering. You talk about a miracle, brother that’s a miracle, and God performs those miracle everyday in the lives of people all over the world.
And then there were the financial miracles that we encountered in this ministry, one after another, after another. The very first one I remember, and you won’t think this is a miracle but to me it is a miracle. And that was about the third year of the ministry I went to our board of trustees and I said, “The car I’m driving it breaks down, it spends more time on the side of the road then it does on the road. I’ve got to have a new vehicle so I can drive to all the meetings I’m preaching at.” And they said, “Fine.” And voted unanimously, “Go buy a new vehicle.”
We moved onto the next item on the agenda and suddenly one of the trustees said, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Let’s talk about this for a moment.” He said, “How are you going to get that car?” I said, “Well, I’ll do it the way I’ve always done it. I’ll go down, I’ll find a new economically car, and I’ll sign a contract, we’ll start paying so much a month.” He said, “I don’t think you should do that.” He said, “David, this is a faith ministry. You’ve said that from the beginning. And you’ve got to learn to live by faith.” He said, “If you have a need God knows it’s a need, if it’s a legitimate need God will supply it. Don’t do it that way. Just simply let’s join hands around this table and pray that God will supply that vehicle. And then let’s wait for God to supply it. I said, “Okay.” So, we joined hands, we prayed.
In the next little newsletter, which was just a one page newsletter at that time I put a little paragraph in there and said, “We need a van for the ministry that we can use to carry our materials in when we go to a meeting.” We sent that out and about three days later a lady from Oklahoma City, who I met only one time, I had preached at her church, she called me, and she said, “I saw you need a van. How much does a van cost?” I said, “Well it cost about, oh, I’d say $15,000.” This was back in the 1980’s. And she said, “Well, how much does the tax, title, and license cost?” I said, “I don’t know.” She said, “Well, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll make the check out for $17,000 and I’ll send it to you by overnight mail.” Bang, just like that we had the money. Sure, was a lot better than borrowing it from a bank.
And I just saw that happen over, and over, and my faith begin to build. I remember when we began broadcasting on TV. We were on one national network, the Daystar Network. And we broadcast on that for about a year, a year-and-a-half, and one day a man from Houston called and said, “I’d like to see you get this program on another national network.” I said, “Well, I agree. We’ve been praying about that for a long time.” He said, “Well, what would it cost?” I said, “I don’t know, but probably about $150,000 a year.” He said, “Well, great.” He said, “I am going to send you a check for that amount right now, and you get on that second network.” And I was just blown away.
But let me tell you something else about that. After he did that it suddenly occurred to me, well, does that network have a space for us? So, I called the network and I asked to speak to the vice president of programming. And he gets on the phone and I said, “My name is Dave Reagan I’m with Lamb & Lion Ministries, we have this television program.” He said, “I know all about that.” He said, “Are you calling in response to my letter?” And I said, “Well, no.” This was before, he actually sent me a letter, this is before we were relying on the internet that much. And so, I said, “No, I haven’t gotten your letter.” He said, “Well, I sent you a letter the other day. My wife has been using your materials to teach her class for five years, and she has been bugging me to death to get your program on our network ever since you started broadcasting about a year-and-a-half-ago.” And he said, “We’ve got an opening and I sent you letter and told you so.” I said, “Well, that is a confirmation from God.” And the next thing I knew we were broadcasting on that station.
Folks, I have seen this happen over, and over, and over. I remember one time, we never ended a month without having all our bills paid, never in the history of this ministry, all out bills paid every month, never gone into debt. And so, one month the financial director came to me and said, “David, I hate to tell you this, but I think we are going to have our first month where don’t have all our bills paid. So, we went to prayer, and we began to pray day, after day, after day, that the Lord would get us to the end of the month with all our bills paid. And the end of the month came, and the next day he came in he said, “Well, David we made it! We’ve got $7.50 left in the bank.” And I praised the Lord for that.
And then a few days later, when somebody came to my office and said there is a dentist who has moved here from Florida, he has been watching our program. He ordered all of our TV programs. He wants to talk to you. I went in, I talked to him for about 30 minutes. He looked at his wife, and said, “We’ve got to go.” He said, “Before we got let’s give him a check.” He said, “Do you think 25 would be fine?” And she said, “Yes.” And he wrote the check, handed it to me, walked out to his car. I went over and handed it to my secretary and went to my office. The secretary said, “David, did you look at this check?” I said, “No, I didn’t look at it. It’s for $25.” She said, “No, this check is for $25,000.” Folks, we just had things like that happen over, and over, and over. God was so faithful; He always met all our needs.
And again, I could just tell you story after story, after story of how God was faithful to us. How He met every need that we had in this ministry and how we always finished every month with our bills paid.
Also, one of the rules of the ministry was never to go into debt. So, when we got ready to build a building we would raise enough for the foundation, we’d pour it, I’d take a photograph of it, put it in our magazine and say, “Now, we’re ready for walls.” And tell them how much more we needed. When we got that we built the walls. Then we’d say, okay we are ready to put a roof on it and do the inside. Tell them how much, we’d get that we would do it. By the time we got through with every building, every building was paid for in full.
And so, today our ministry stands completely debt free. We don’t owe money on building, we don’t owe money on equipment, and this is because we had a group of trustees who truly were men of faith, who taught me a lot of lessons about how to live by faith. And I challenge you to reach out to God when you have a need because God is a personal God. He loves you, and He will respond to your need. You just test Him, and you will see.
God bless you.
David Reagan: I hope you will be back with us next week when my colleagues, Nathan Jones and Tim Moore, will be with me to discuss why we believe we are living in biblical times.
You know, the idea for next week’s program came to me when I was having lunch with a friend, and as we were discussing the First Coming of Jesus, he suddenly said, “David, wouldn’t it have been thrilling to have lived in biblical times?” And I responded by saying, “Brother, we are living in biblical times.” Next week we will explain what I meant by that statement.
Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near!”