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Penni Vaughn Chattanooga, Tennessee I know that God knew me and died for me before the foundation of the world. But, I never read the Bible, at least not until I was 28 yrs old. My Dad was a Southern Baptist Minister. He was abandoned by his dad and only met him once or twice....maybe three times.( According to my dad, his dad was Jewish...but....I don't really have any proof...albeit I did go to Hebrew School on the seventh day) So I was the proverbial preacher's daughter with a flare! My mom was a strict disciplinarian, her dad was a mason and from "old money" as they say....but when with my dad, we had fun. We loved to fish...still do. As I grew into childhood, I was diagnosed at the age of three or four with Leukemia. I was then pampered to a large degree. After the diagnosis, I continued to have repeated blood tests that I still can recall. My dad told me later on in years that he offered himself for me instead. (Sounds sort of like what God did for us!) At any point, then the doctor said I had Hodgkins disease. And then "Cat scratch fever or Toxoplasmosis" Then...nothing appeared. So, I was healed. When I arrived at the age of about 9 or 10 years old, I was teased a great deal. Apparently, I had inherited all the fat our family had. But then....by the time I was 12 yrs old for some reason, I grew into a thin teen. I was voted most popular, cheerleader, Student council, most wanted to have as a girlfriend, prettiest etc.....you can get the picture. So, being the "preacher's kid" I was in the spotlight, and I loved it and provoked it. There was much hypocracy when at home, and I heard and saw a lot of it. I could play any musical instrument in front of me...except the violin....and I sang, as did my dad who recorded 3 or 4 albums....and my older brother also. By the time I was at the age of 12 I decided to "experiment" with everything....I was 14 when I did indeed try everything...even tried to plan on killing another girl....I just couldn't figure out how I could get away with it. At the age of 17 I was in the Miss Chattanooga Pageant....Also, I received an offer to go to Middle Tennessee University...because of my voice. Now.....you have heard some good things and some bad things. I never really considered myself "pretty"...but it seemed as though everyone else did. Back into the teen years...I began to practice seances. Somehow, I knew how to do it well...and things did happen.( I later found out from my mother, who made a 'special place for me to do so in slumber parties that her family ALWAYS did it ..just for fun') It frightened everyone present...but I considered it great. I had learned hypnotizing by watching my dad do so for entertainment since the age of 6. I spoke many languages, and still do. We traveled a great deal and my parents then bought me some I CHING sticks to tell futures with.... So...I was the "life of everyone's party". Then, my mom gave me money to pay the "granny lady"...that is to say, have my cards read, and to pay the palm reader also. Oh, did I mention...she also bought me my horoscopes and astrology STUFF ! ( I didn't know then about sins being passed down through generations.) I wanted to be loved more than anything....the crazy thing was, that I could have had anyone and made sure no one else did, even to the point of giving up the ones I really cared about. I regret that now. I was married at the age of 18 and had a lovely daughter Tabitha DesMoines Turner,(I called her Dodie ) and my husband loved someone else....sooo...we divorced, but not before I was already expecting again.( Not by him) So at the age of 19, I had my second daughter, Drue. I was a "flower child" so they say.....( I say now that I was a sinner!) I divorced the second husband, and then my first daughter went to be with Messiah. I was not among us for a while if one can understand. My doctor had given me sleeping pills to "help" and they felt great! TOO GREAT!.....I was in such a terrible state over the death of my daughter that I could no longer stay in my house, so....for that reason, the second husband offered to buy a completely new house if I would marry him again.....and I did. BUT, the night before I remarried him, I ran into a person whom I went to High School with. He gave a testimony that night at the old school's auditorium. A Christian band group was playing. I didnt recognize him...and he told me his name.....and I just acted as though I did know him. I went out with my first date with him two days after I remarried my second husband. Now, if that sounds confusing...it is a good thing that there is no time or space to tell all. Well, there I was in my new house. I wasn't taking any pills anymore and what did I do? I left there with my second daughter and re-divorced my second husband. I suppose by now one would wonder why. In order to marry the third one (or really the fourth marriage)....that I ran into at that Christian band meeting. I loved him so much. That doesnt excuse anything though. We had two lovely boys. They look just like him. This husband was named John. Now, we must go back a bit to the age of 15 yrs. old. I had a dream...in the dream, I saw a place that grew lucious in foliage. It looked sort of tropical. There was a man, if one could say a man, holding a fish bowl with seven stars in it. (There was much more to the dream...i.e. a bear, a lion etc.) While in biology class when I was 15 I wrote a note to my girlfriend, Faye and told her what I had dreamt.....she replied...."You have dreamt the book of Revelation".....(I never read the Bible, much less Revelation because my mom said we aren't suppose to understand it. I have since learned better) Now, we go back to my husband whom I loved so much, John. I was working in a bank in Chattanooga ( Commerce Union Bank) when an ordinary looking man came to my teller window. On the heading of the check was the name of a local assembly. I had heard that this particular denomination did not believe in "eternal security or once saved always saved"...so, I decided to argue. Looking back, I think myself just plain contrary! The truth was that I wanted to know if I was "OK" eternally. He just said, "Well, if you want to change your mind on something, or if there is something you would like to know just come there, I am a minister there." This was in 1977...( I remember, because it was when ELVIS died) It bothered me sometimes, but....I just either hated or loved me to much to matter,for by that time I was even having an affair and I really loved my husband. I was really mixed up. A couple of years passed, but one day I was folding clothes and the TV was on. One (I don't like this word but......)Pope had died and another was in.....then soon after that one died and then the one now....John Paul 2nd (Carol Wytolya to me) was in. I saw people kissing his ring, kissing his feet and something in me said " This is not to be! For some reason, seeing this man being worshipped frightened me....and I knew I wasn't okay for sure! For four days and nights I read one book in the Bible.....the book of First John...there was a list there.....one lists children of the devil...the other lists children of God....I happened to be in the devil's list. I really didn't know what to read, I just opened the Bible and read....it happened to be First John. I read and waited......and waited... until the coming first day of the week so that I could go to that assembly that was on the heading of that check. I finally got to go! ( Two years had passed since the 'man' came to the teller window) I didn't know what to do...but I walked up to the first person I came to and he shook my hand as I shook his and said "Hi, my name is Penni and all I know is I am not OK"....He answered " Well, you have come to the right place, I am the pastor!" BUT WAIT.....This was not the man that said he was a minister there...so , I told him about the check. He said " I have been the pastor here for 17 yrs. and we don't have an account there.".....Then he smiled and said...." I am the pastor, he may well have been a "minister" here for it is written that the angels are ministering spirits! On December 2nd 1979, I was saved. My Bible was as though it grew arms and legs....I could smell the hay, the camels, the noises.....I just couldnt get enough! THEN.....some Jehovah's Witnesses came calling about 2 or 3 months later.....OH! The confusion! I didn't know if I should pray in Jesus name, in the Father's name, or WHO? I cried and prayed and told my God " If you will give me the answers, I will tell all who ask!" Almost one year later to the day of that prayer, I was carrying a box of cassette tapes at a Calvary Chapel meeting and some of the tapes fell out. I literally almost stepped on one.....GUESS WHAT! The title on the cassette was "Answers for Jehovah's Witnesses"..... I asked the pastor at Calvary Chapel if I could borrow it....and in one or two days I had it memorized. I contacted the persons on the tape, ( Walter Martin and Bill Cetnar...) and that very night they had someone meet me near where I lived at the time. So, I grew hungrier and hungrier....... I was with Watchman Fellowship for about 10 years.....and now I still hold true......if someone asks, God has given me answers. Of course not all, but...if I don't know the answer, I will look for someone who does. There was one more thing troubling me......(shall we say a million things) In 1981 my husband John also died. The succession went like this, 1. my daughter passed on in 1973 on my birthday, as did my grandfather on my 15th birthday. 2. seven days after my daughter went to be with Messiah, my brother-in-law committed suicide. 3.As I said, in 1981 John my husband died. 4. My wonderful friend Keith Green who taught me that to love and obey is better than sacrifice went home too.This was in 1982. 5.I remarried AGAIN.....to a believer and we played in a Christian group...his brother, my brother-in-law committed suicide in 1985 6.I became engaged in 1990....he too committed suicide. 7. I was raped and the person who did it videotaped it....it just so happened that he was selling copies of the tape....and one of the persons he tried to sell it to happened to be my friend....sooooo.....he gave it to me. I had no knowledge of it as the man who raped me mixed something together for me to drink for my stomach ache...as he called it "A Brazilian cure his mother made"....He drugged me. 8.I took the tape to the police...and guess what? It made front page headlines...so, I was no longer comfortable around many. 9.One year before my husband , John died, he made a will leaving me sole beneficiary....and....a judge here decided to give it to John's parents...(don't ask me how this was legally done...but I will add that the same judge was in the process of writing his own Bible.....he is no longer with us) 10.I went to college 9 years and specialized....(R.N. specialist in E.R and cardiovascular)...I was licensed in three states and on call at all times. I took all I had that I had not given to ministries or to help others out and bought a house from some in-laws...also was renting one in North Carolina. 11. Got a letter....seems that the in-laws who sold me the house had a second mortgage that I didn't know about. AND.....it was repossesed. I lost everything. I had no place to live...or to put a roof over my childrens head. BUT GOD Each of my boys got death benefits from their dad's passing. That kept them under a roof. UNTIL they were 18. If one reads my poetry site, they will see, I married AGAIN.....THIS ONE TRIED TO KILL ME. He put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger...problem was..he was too drunk to get the bullet in the right place.......so GOD DOES INDEED COME THROUGH IT ALL! I do not ache or hurt over these things....for He made a covenant with me....and He is my joy. I find it a strange thing that it should be written that it was the "JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM" that held him to that cross! Then, my dad went to be with Messiah in October of 1996.. Why do I tell all this ? Very Simple So simple one must become as a child to understand. Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of GOD and HIS righteousness (not ours, for there is none righteous..NO not one!) AND The Facts are Just as Messiah said Before he was called Jesus or Yeshua, He was the WORD, He created ALL THINGS, He was with God and He is God, He is the I AM, He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last.....He was tortured, crucified and just as the prophets said.....HE ROSE AGAIN on the 3rd day! It is true that the gospel is so simple that it will confound the wise! He is my all, my everything. And...you know what? I trust Him with whatever He wills for me and for the world that He created. For there is no temptation given unto man that GOD ( Yeshua, Messiah , Jesus, the Word) has not made a way out of it, In 1997....I learned a little more. Praise His Name. He taught me just what agape is.....and He has put it in me. IMAGINE THAT! He who has much to forgive....has much to love. May He bless you too! In That Beautiful Name above all names.... Jesus the Christ/Yeshua the Messiah/the RISEN LORD Penni at Jesus People South