THE HALF-INCH SPANNER
(Encounters with God)
Jesus Did It!
By: Lennie Fisher
In the late 1990's I was living in South Florida USA. My 10-year marriage was falling apart and I was spending a lot of time alone. It seems to be that in times of loneliness or isolation that an extra voice seems to direct us. Is it the voice of God or the voice of coincidence?
My life was a little disorganized and my boat had broken down about 25 miles south of my home. I was planning to go next morning to fix it and bring it home and then find someone to take me back for my car later. I told myself I must remember to take my 'Half-inch Spanner.' I even put a note beside my toaster to remind myself.
That evening a friend, Robin, from New York called me. He had gone through a difficult time in his life and his son Sean, about 13 yrs old at the time, was in a hospital in Florida. Robin asked if I would go visit Sean, and I was happy to agree.
It was perfect, the hospital, because I was near my boat so everything fitted perfectly. Next morning I was on my way. I was about 10 miles toward my destination when I realized that I had forgotten my half-inch Spanner. Oh well ... forget the boat - do the visit . . . I thought to myself.
Then I had a lunch appointment with a big hitter - one of my really wealthy American friends. Perhaps I could learn something from him that could improve my life. As I continued toward the hospital to see Sean I noticed an elderly homeless man walking in the same direction. It is rare to see a walker in the middle of nowhere in the hot Florida sun. I guess I felt a little guilty passing him but I was on a good deed already so I felt okay.
I arrived later at the hospital and had a nice visit for an hour or so with Sean. I started driving back toward my hometown, as I had no spanner to fix my boat.
I was just driving along, enjoying the sunshine. After about 10 minutes I saw the old man still walking. He had covered about eight miles. He looked hot and was walking very slow. Then the voice said, 'Turn around and give him a lift.' Then I answered inside myself: "Huh .. I wish I could but I have an important lunch meeting."
The voice was persistent: "You have time. Give the old guy a ride to the next town. What's it going to cost you? Almost nothing. Turn around." By that time I was a mile past him. I am not turning around, I'm told myself.
The voice however, persisted. "Are you really a Christian or just interested in yourself.' Wow - that hurt. Okay - okay, I will offer him a lift and if he accepts I will race to the next town and dump him.
I went back and pulled up close to the man, driving slowly beside him. I asked, "Are you okay? Do you need a ride?" He seemed to get a new energy, and in a flash he was in my car looking like he was molded to the seat.
"Where are you going? I asked. "Fort Lauderdale," he replied. I began thinking ... that's 85 miles south. "Okay," I said, "I can drop you off in Jupiter." I had decided it was about nine miles south so I could dump him there - buy him a bottle of water, and I would be off the hook. God - or this mystery voice - would be happy and I could get back to town to do my important mission, like lunch with the rich guy.
I was feeling really happy with myself and did not talk much with the man. In a short time we where on the outskirts of the town Jupiter. We stopped at a traffic light and I was planning where to drop him when the voice came back. Directly across the light was a Denny's Restaurant. The man was glaring at it. The voice said, 'Lennie - take him for Lunch."
Now wait here one minute! This cannot be God! This is a distraction. I have a lunch meeting. I am out of here. This guy is going when I cross the light. I am not taking this guy for lunch!
The voice persisted. "Why?"
I am thinking ... what do you mean, 'Why?" I have a lunch meeting. The voice asked, "Are you meeting the other guy because he is very rich, or will you buy this guy lunch because I am asking you to do this?"
This is crazy! Why am I sitting at this light fighting with myself!? "Okay God - here is the deal. I will ask if he is hungry - that's all." In my heart I was planning a bag of chips, a bottle of water from a gas station, and goodbye buddy.
Then I said the magic words. "Are you hungry?"
"Yes - sure am," he answered. "There is Denny's right there. You can pull in just over here."
I was nailed. Someone else was in control of my day. Now I am committed to lunch in Denny's with a smelly homeless bum. I had to call my friend and cancel. Of course I did the "Christian thing" and made a great excuse. Can you imagine if I told him the truth?!
Lunch was interesting. A lot of eating and very little conversation. The man who had then introduced himself as Peter appeared alert and intelligent. As he finished his fourth mug of coffee, it became more and more clear that he was not a fool. Behind the mask of a homeless man I could see a deeper substance.
As I looked at his heavy bearded face I could see deep lines of character, almost hidden in his beard. I looked across the table and engaged his eyes. I said, "Okay Peter, what's your story?"
"What do you mean?" he replied.
Leaning toward him, I spoke softly and said, "Peter - I have been watching you and I see you are an intelligent man. What is your story?!"
There was silence ... then Peter began to speak from his heart. "Well, Lennie - I had a normal life. I lived in Michigan with my wife and two kids. I worked a lot, as I needed more and more money. I would work all the hours God would send. I was a supervisor in a factory. My pride and joy was a new Ford pickup truck. Man I loved my truck. One night when I arrived home my wife had dinner ready as normal. I had a great meal and was just relaxing down when the phone rang. It was the factory to ask if I could come back and work nightshift, as another Supervisor was off sick. "Sure," I said, "No problem." I was real happy to have overtime to pay off my truck payments. My wife got busy making some food for me to eat on my break at work and got everything ready for me. I walked out the door and discovered that it was raining. There was road work on the road leading to the factory and a lot of mud on the road, and I did not want to get my truck dirty. I asked my wife if she could drop me in her car. It was just a little old runabout. 'No problem,' she said. The kids where fast asleep so we carried them to the car while they slept. We laid them on the back seat and drove to the factory. I watched as they drove into the rain and darkness."
"On their way home, a large semi-truck skidded on the mud on the road and came straight across and hit them." Peter looked at me with eyes that were unforgettable. He continued, "They all died. Everybody died! Lennie - you know - I got through the funeral okay. We buried my family and then some folks wanted to come home with me. I asked them to drop me at the gate; I was alone as I went to the door. I looked at my nice clean shinny truck in the driveway. I opened the door of my home. I cannot explain . . . but my feet would not go inside. I could not step into the house, I stood at the open door and could not enter. Hey man -- I turned around and just left the door open and walked away and started walking. I've been walking ever since."
Peter's eyes were speaking volumes to me. I could see pain and grief, hurt and experience, combined with an incredible love. There was not a trace of bitterness in his eyes. There was a presence at our table that is hard to describe as time stood still.
I broke the silence with a very soft question. In a low voice, I touched Peter across the table and asked, ' Peter, how long have you been walking?"
As I looked at his long hair and tangled beard, he was looking through me and beyond into a distant world. "Thirty two years. Thirty two years. Yeah - I have been walking for thirty-two years. As I walk, I talk to God. We have a relationship. He walks with me and comforts me. Ya' know man, I know every gang in America. I know the street bums and the druggies all across this incredible land. I live under bridges with these folks and I share the love of God with them. This is my life."
We left the restaurant and I took him to the bus station. I said, "Peter, I want to get you a ticket to Lauderdale and bless you with a few bucks."
"Fine," he said, "I'll take it on one condition." "What's that?" I asked, smiling.
"Well," he continued, "You know ... as I walk along the road, I find things and I have a gift for you, Lennie. He reached into the pocket of his shabby coat and he handed me, with a smile, a half-inch Spanner. (Nothing had been said to him about my need for a spanner!)
With eyes that were now alive with passion and victory, Peter swung on board a Greyhound bus and gave me a parting glance. I have never seen him again.
I had not helped a street bum; a much superior being than myself had visited me. I have learned many lessons from this encounter. I hope you will find yours.
I was born in Belfast, Ireland in the 1950's and was fortunate to be part of a Christian Family. My parents were Plymouth Brethren and I was taken to their gospel meetings since I had been a child. I also attended Sunday school in a nearby Baptist Church.
Even as a boy it was crystal clear to me that a relationship with God was about choice, and it was also something very real. I had been told both personally by my family and from the Church platform that we are all sinners, and the only way to be cleansed from sin was through the acceptance of Jesus who had died to set us free.
When I was 11 years old at our Brethren meeting one Sunday evening the preacher explained the need for Salvation in a way that I understood. It was also clear that I was not just a child now and could make this choice for myself. After the meeting I sat with the preacher and he took me through a prayer that basically acknowledged the fact that I was just like everybody else -- a sinner -- and I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart and take away my sins. As we sat together the Preacher prayed and I repeated the words. We had our heads bowed down, but I was worried so I had my eyes open a little to see if anything would happen. I can clearly remember the preacher's black sturdy shoes and the wooden floorboards in the Church, and there was a knot in the wood floorboard beside his shoe. I did not feel a terrific burden of sin go from me as I was just 11 years old. There was not much sin in my life. But what I was sure of was the fact that I was given something. I left the Church with the knowledge that Jesus and I were now together. I was not alone.
Every relationship changed for me after that. It was not I and another person in a relationship anymore. It became Lennie/Jesus and the other person. Jesus and I are part of each other.
Since then my life has not always been easy. As a member of the security forces in Northern Ireland, I was involved in many dangerous missions. These are the subjects of some of my other writings.
The Pastor of the Baptist Church that I attended as a child was shot dead by terrorists in the very room where we had class. He had dared to condemn terrorism to the press. They also shot dead the elderly gardener as they left, as he rebuked their actions and warned them of the wrath of God.
Over the years I have been angry with God about many things but we work it out. Who are we you may ask? Jesus and me; we are inseparable; he holds my hand often and teaches me about our Father and his ways.
For years I felt I was a lousy Christian because I was always trying to fight my own flesh. I would think: God I will never ever be any use to you as a warrior if I cannot even defeat my own flesh.
God told me, "Lennie - the only fight you will ever have is your own flesh. I will help you overcome your flesh, but I can only do so with your willing heart. As your flesh is overcome more and more, I can use you to fulfill my purposes in others as a witness for Me, and a willing vessel to be used by Me."
I realized that just because something went wrong last week and I handled it badly, God would not throw me out on my ear --my name is not rubbed out of the book of life -- Jesus has not abandoned me . . . no I am still secure in His love and significant in his plan. Nothing can separate us from the love of God; not even our sinful, selfish flesh.
It is because Jesus is in me and I am in Him and He is in the Father that my flesh will become uncomfortable, to say the least, if I try to dwell in a life of sin. It is because of the relationship that I push sin from my life -- not the other way round. So if you believe that if you overcome sin first, then you will have this relationship with Jesus ... you have it backwards. We come to Jesus just as we are -- sin, character flaws and all.
It is the relationship with Jesus that overcomes the sin -- not the overcoming of sin that allows the relationship.
God's power -- our surrender.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not even ourselves!
In 1993 I was a married man living in south Florida, USA. My little boy Joshua was just a baby. He was almost one year old and I enjoyed my time with him. One morning as normal, he awoke very early to be fed, so I gave him his milk and changed him. Then he seemed to drop off to sleep again sitting on my lap. It was only 5 a.m. and now I was awake so I just sat relaxing with the baby, reading my Bible. I noticed in the book of Revelation a story about Michael the Ark Angel. It was fascinating as it was something I had not really researched before. I also looked up a reference book that I had to learn more. I was really happy to read the comments that said basically to put Michael in modern day terms; he could be described as head of security for believers. That was very interesting for me so I spent about two hours reading all about Michael.
Then around 7 a.m. my little boy was awake again ready to conquer the world. I put him in his little pram (or stroller as they call it in America. I'm an Irishman, remember?) and we went out for a walk in the early morning sunshine. Near our home was a beautiful country road with no buildings and no traffic so we enjoyed walking there. As we strolled along, Joshua was happy with his little teddy bear and I was just thinking about what I had learned.
I want you to realize that I am not some sort of spiritual giant; just an ordinary man who believes in God. It is however true that often God talks to me very clearly and tells me exactly what to do. I was told to pray about Michael and to ask for wisdom about him. So I did just that and then I felt a little silly because I said, "God, it would be wonderful if you would prove to me that angels are real and that Michael the Ark Angel watches over us."
I felt I was doubting God in some way so I started to say, "Sorry Lord - I trust you. I don't need a sign."
But it was too late. In an instant the baby started to go crazy and was really restless, trying to open his straps and get out of the stroller. To make him quiet I pushed his stroller fast and let go to give him a little whiz to make him happy. The stroller zoomed along the road for a short distance and ran off the road onto the grass. This was no problem. However as I walked forward a voice said to me, 'There is a note for you."
The voice was so clear that I answered out loud and I spoke to the baby, and said, "Uh - Joshua -- there is a note for us."
As I walked forward, there was a little piece of paper on the ground just the size of two postage stamps. It was beside the wheel of the stroller. As I reached down to lift the note, I could see that it was stuck to a blade of grass with a piece of clear tape. I had to break the grass to lift the note and to this day the dead grass is still attached. I looked at the note and it said:
'To the family, from Michael'
This story is the absolute truth and I hope it is a blessing to you. The note is not to me. It is to the family, and if you are part of God's family, it is for YOU.
I had moved to Florida from the UK at the very start of 1993 with my wife and our little boy Joshua born on 07/07/1992.
The scene is set for this short story by a dream that I had about three months before.
In my dream I was walking through a rain forest in south Central America. In a clearing in the trees I found an elderly man of slight stature. He was an artist and was painting. With his work mounted on a makeshift easel, he was busy with his brush in his right hand and was holding his artist's pallet in his deformed left arm. He had the left arm of a four-year-old child. He was undisturbed by my presence and chatted as he painted. He informed me that he was 77 years old and had got there as the result of an accident. He had been raised by natives and now had been alone for 62 years. As I admired his wonderful art, I asked him where he had learned the art of painting. He told me his friends showed him. It was clear to me that he was all alone in this place, so I asked who his friends were, and he named several of the old masters. I reminded him that they were dead. He gave me a look of chastisement and said, "I know that."
It was a strange feeling, but I really felt in tune with this man in some way, and even though I was dreaming ... my mind was working. I was guessing that perhaps he was a survivor of a plane crash when he was a child and his arm never grew. I guess we all have dreams but this was somehow an almost life-like experience, so the next day I wrote down all the details.
I was living on the east coast of Florida on the Atlantic, close to Palm Beach, and a few months after my dream I had been invited to meet some folks to discuss a business venture on the west coast of Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. I knew the area around Sarasota so I set off early morning to drive about three hours across the State. After a good meeting, my host insisted I should meet another local businessman and an appointment was set for late that afternoon. That left me alone with about two hours to kill so I went to a little place nearby where I had some happy memories: Longboat Quay.
I was just browsing the shops when I walked into a shop that had long rows of display shelving with all types of novelty goods. As I entered the shop I noticed two older gentlemen walking toward the shop. This was a little unusual as everyone in Florida drives, so I took mental note of the men walking. I walked to the very back of the shop and the two men came straight into the shop and walked straight to me. They where weathered and tanned South American - Latin appearance. One man took the lead and approached me with a broad smile and with his hand outstretched, shook hands with me warmly and said with an accent "Olla, I am Miguel from Kubba (meaning Cuba). I bring to you my friend Peter," and as he stepped to the side, Peter and I shook hands. Miguel - then with a grin of satisfaction on his face - said, "Okay - I go now," and left without any hesitation.
I was a little taken aback, and felt strange as I did not know either of these people. I felt a little awkward but Peter had a warm and calm attitude and as I started to say something to him, he interrupted me and asked:
'Who do you think Jesus Christ was?" I said, "You mean -'IS?' He said, "No - 'WAS'.
I then said, 'Peter - Jesus is alive today. He died for our sins and arose again. He is alive. I know Him. Peter then gave me the same look of chastisement that had been given me in the dream, and although the man standing with me in this shop was the same man with the left arm of a four year old child ... I was blinded to the memory of my dream at this time.
"Look," said Peter (as if to draw a line of division in our short relationship), "I am 77 years old and I am a lone yachtsman. I have been sailing alone around the world for 62 years looking for the answer to a question."
As his tone was now strong and to the point, I answered by asking, 'OK - What's the question?"
He was a little perturbed and replied, 'What makes you think you have the answer to my question." I answered, "Peter ... you came to me. I did not come to you. If you want to ask the question, I will answer.'
Said Peter, 'The answer I seek is one word.'
Okay I said, 'Peter - what is the question?"
Peter then asked, 'What is the problem with mankind today?'
In the blinking of an eye one word came out of my mouth: 'Unbelief!"
My mind had nothing to do with the answer; it came blurting out of my mouth.
Peter exclaimed, "Unbelief? What do you mean, unbelief?"
Again my answer came from within -- not from my mind. I said, "Peter, Jesus died for you, if you believe it. If you do not believe it then he did not die for you." I continued, "The Bible is true if you believe it; if you do not believe it, then it is not true for you.
Peter was angry and left.
As I headed back across the State of Florida in the peace of early evening, I churned this matter over and over in my mind. Driving along near a lake that looked like gold in the setting sun, I was the only car on the road. A chill came over me and the heat of the sun was quenched as a cold wind covered me from behind. In that cold burst, my mind was suddenly flooded with THE DREAM! The arm! 77 years old! Alone for 62 years! The man from my dream!
This was clearly a powerful encounter. I pulled off the road and stopped. Then gripping the steering wheel tightly, I said, "God - I am so stupid! I blew the whole thing." As the cold chill faded and the heat of the sun gently returned to me, I was told, "No - you did nothing wrong, but if you had remembered your dream you would have messed it up."
This story is an accurate account of what was said by the people involved. At this point - you the reader and I the author - are the same. We have knowledged of the facts. I was used in this encounter. My words were not mine. I was a vessel willing to be used.
Take these facts as a story for you, and allow the Lord to witness to your heart and interpret for you.
Interpretation for me.
The next day I called my friend and Pastor, John Glenn, an author and highly respected Ministry Teacher. John - an actual working cowboy complete with hat and the entire garb - was probably on horseback as he heard my story by cell phone. He put it on speaker mode so the horse could remember the bits he forgets.
I asked John why the Lord had used me to give this man a message after a search of 62 years. Three days later John called me back. That was a big surprise, as he is famed for taking calls but not famed for returning them. John - in his cowboy drawl, said, "Hey Lennie -- that Guy over on the west coast -- I hate to burst your bubble but I prayed about that and I reckon the message was for you, old buddy, not him.
This had not even entered my mind, but I believe this is correct.
I have discovered that unbelief is a gross sin and it is a state of mind that we will gravitate to for many reasons. I have made it my business to explore and feel that a Sermon on the subject delivered by Rev. C H Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, London on January 14 1855, is as applicable today as it was then. Feel free to ask for a copy by mail or e-mail me at:
As a postscript: I had often wondered the significance of the other aspects of this event. For example -- 77 years old; lost for 62 years; and the arm of a four year old child.
Then four years later, one day as I opened the door of a rental car to drive to Miami Airport - in a flash - I was told the meaning of the deformed arm. It is personal to me and my family and not for general publication.
I am however 100% sure that God talks to us if we will hear. I hope this true story will somehow bring you comfort and draw you closer to Him.
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
"And this gospel of the
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
Consider how many children in "all the nations" have never heard YET what Jesus accomplished for THEM at the cross? PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS TO THE LITTLE CHILDREN!
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JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT!
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Let God Use Your Salvation Testimony!
Staff Note: All sin is forgivable with one exception: unbelief that Jesus paid the penalty for all your sins by taking your punishment on the Cross.
Here are some other experiences Lennie has had with God:
911 New York City
The Burger King Man
Holding The Baby
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Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
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