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Woody Mattingly.....Hornbrook, CA

(My life fell apart but God put it back together pronto)

The Rubics Cube of my life came together

Woody excitedly remembering again God's goodness with a rainbow in the background!
Woody excitedly remembering again God's
goodness with a rainbow in the background!

I've always believed in God but I rarely went to church as an adult. I was 63 years old when my mother died. This was traumatic as she was my everything. (My Mom and my wife were really close so it's ok to say this.) They called me about 3 am in March of 2010 informing me she had passed. I just hung out at my house until it was time to fulfill my responsibilities as the Chairman of the Board of the Klamath Fire Protection District. I went to the fire chief's residence to work on his vehicle as it was my responsibility to keep the fire trucks running. When I got there, it was ironic. He was standing in front of his vehicle. It was small job I had to do and when I was leaving he was standing in the same place, now asking me, "Woody, what's wrong?"

"Jeff, I lost my Mom this morning and I've got to keep moving because if I ever stop, I'll never get started again." At this point he stepped up and put his arm around my shoulder. He said, "Woody, let's pray." I had never had anyone in my life hold me so tight and pray for me so I couldn't get away. He said he was here for me, just call.

When I left his house it was a bumpy road down a farm road to highway 101. I stopped at the intersection of Jeff's road and 101. While I was sitting there something in my life had changed. I could't identify it. The pain of losing my Mom eased somewhat and I realized she was in a better place. I recalled an elderly gentleman telling me when I was a kid to welcome death as a kind messenger and not a grim tyrant. Death transforms us from this imperfect life to that all perfect eternal life in the heavens. It gave me the relief knowing that my Mom didn't hurt anymore and she was reunited with all of her friends and family. Her death was easier for me to accept. She was in the House of the Lord.

At that time my world even without the loss of my Mom was turned upsidedown. I was in personal torment. I was drowning in self pity. I felt that nothing mattered anymore, no one cared anymore. I didn't want to feel worthless but I was powerless. I knew my only salvation was to reach my hands up and ask the Lord for help. I was at rock bottom. I was in really bad shape.

About a week or two later after my Mom's death one evening Jeff called me and wanted me to go to the casino in Crescent City with him. I just didn't feel like going or doing anything for that matter. After I told Jeff no, I knew I needed to get out and do something so I went to the casino by myself and we met there. After a short time I left. On my way back to Klamath (where the Klamath River dumps into the Pacific Ocean) I was praying my heart out. I asked the Lord Jesus Christ to to forgive me of all the things I said I would do and didn't, and to reach down and raise me up from this low of life I was in. I was praying harder than I ever had in my life. I wanted help. I needed his help. It was about this time going over this mountain road that...

Woody telling about the red, white and blue balls of light!
Woody telling about the red, white and blue balls of light!

Suddenly red, white, and blue balls (round lights in all color combinations) were bouncing all over inside my pickup truck. I was thinking, "What is happening?" All of a sudden I can feel the whole world had been lifted off my life and I was just floating in the pickup. I wasn't driving the truck; I know I wasn't. I felt like someone had reached around from behind me and grabbed me and hugged me so tight I couldn't get away. It was the most awesome feeling I ever had in my life. I was so confused but I never felt so at peace or so at ease in my life as then. It was a wow! time! Praise the Lord! Man, it was awesome! (This is when Woody gets excited all over again and you can see and feel it.) The balls disappeared and I felt the embrace start to relax. My mind was running. What was going on?

All of a sudden the width of my windshield of my Chevrolet truck was covered with the silhouette of a golden eagle bird with every feather perfectly clear. His eyes were looking directly into my pickup truck and he suddenly looked straight at me. He winked with his right eye at me and then disappeared. I felt myself settle back down in the seat. I was totally in awe. I didn't know what to think. I took the steering wheel and drove. I never got an answer as to what happened but I never felt so good.

Precious Lord Jesus!
Precious Lord Jesus!

I said, "Precious Lord Jesus, if that was a signal that you forgave me, thank you!" I was probably babbling because I was so excited. I couldn't sleep that night going over and over what happened.

That afternoon I went to Jeff's house and he was standing in front of his pickup the same place he was standing when he put his arm around me to pray for me the day my Mom died. I said to him, "Jeff, I've got something to tell you." The look in my face made him ask, "What's wrong?" I remember saying, "Jeff, please believe me." His reply to me was, "Woody, I can tell by the look on your face that something wonderful has happened. What was it?" As I told him he was smiling and suddenly thanked Jesus for coming into my life. He said, "Woody, that was the Lord Jesus Christ sending you the Holy Spirit to let know you are OK with him. He has forgiven you. He loves you." I kept asking, "Jeff, why me?" "Because he loves you," was Jeff's answer. I accepted that but in my mind I still couldn't understand out of all the people in the world, why me? He dove so deep down because I was so down, must be the answer. ("Where sin abounds, grace does more abound." Romans 5:20)

That was fine but I needed a second opinion. I needed to talk with someone else. I pulled into Klamath by the post office. A true believer Gordy was looking through his mail. "I have to talk with you." I explained the story and Gordy grabbed both my hands and said, "Praise the Lord for coming into Woody's life." But I hadn't finished my story yet. But we prayed. He said the same thing as Jeff, "The Lord Jesus sent a message through the Holy Spirit that I was OK with him." My second opinion was an exact duplicate of the first Jeff had given. So I accepted it.

I met a gentleman at a fire meeting by the name of Bob Rogers. I reached to shake his hand and something told me there is something special about this guy. Just the way he looked at you told you he was special. I found out he came to Klamath to start a church and he was a pastor. His wife's family were long time Klamath residents. In the following weeks I talked with Bob and he was just so supportive. I attended the first service he led in Klamath, the first church service I had attended in 30 years. When I walked through the door, I met people I had never met before and the way they welcomed you, you just knew you were in the right place. And when Pastor Bob stepped up to the podium to start the service, I felt a presence in that room I'd never felt before. As I listened to him I just knew I had to know more. It's made me hungry to go back every Sunday and be there (Pacific Light Church) and feel God's presence in my life.

I saw my bird on the church screen and tried to punch Jeff to quick see it. Jeff didn't. In my own mind I saw it and it was my bird. I believe the rest of the congregation saw it but it didn't mean the same thing to them. Now it seems that on a regular basis when things aren't going well in my life, I see a bird, a big bird flying in the sky, and I remember God loves me. Proverbs 3:5-6 is where I'm at today. If I put my faith in him, he will direct my path. I read it every night and your heart to the Lord. It grasps me and overwhelms me. I'm grateful. I don't feel he came into my life by accident. I prayed to him when I was so low, I convinced him I needed his love. I was sincere. It wasn't a joke with me. I needed his love, understanding and blessing. He gave it to me.

It's the easiest thing in the world to ask Jesus into your life!
It's the easiest thing in the world to ask Jesus into your life!

I don't care if people believe me. It's the easiest thing in the world to ask him to come into your life. He already loves you. The reward is so great to know God loves me. I wouldn't take the $5,000,000 Powerball for his love. His love is so great. I'm so grateful to be able to share my story with others. If just one person raises their hand and just thinks about asking the Lord Jesus Christ into their life, I'm grateful.

Woody speaks (audio of the video on location)
Woody speaks (audio of the video on location)

Click for audio if you can see this.

Last Updated: 01/23/2015