You will love the stories of how God finally got his attention as he went through encounters with wild animals, was struck by lightning, went through killer tornadoes, had many encounters with snakes in the wild, etc. He eventually was used by God in many ways which he shares with us as he and his wife ministered to other people's children through Scouting, foster parenting, adopting abused children, and in church ministry.
He eventually was led to peace and because of his path to it he could use his experiences during his earlier life to minister to others that were hurting as he had been. In the later years as God proved time and again of His love for Larry, God was able to utilize all of these stories through the different ministries to inmates in jails, hitch-hikers along the hi-ways, answering phones with the Billy Graham Telephone Ministry, and as he worked to slow down the cultural deterioration of our Nation.
If you or someone that you know has had a similar background of growing up under abuse, rejection, and anger, then as you read of Larry's stories, you can see how God was able to change him, and if you apply those things he was shown, you too can find peace. You will laugh and cry as you see the struggles that he went through. This book is worth the price just for the humor, but it is priceless for the life lessons that he shares with us. May you also find peace.
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HOW I FOUND PEACE
By LAWRENCE R. (Larry) BEATY
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 LAWRENCE R. (Larry) BEATY
All rights reserved.
LARRY'S EARLY YEARS
The Lord has led me on a long pathway from where he started me in life. As a little boy, I was raised in a home where the words used were mostly of four letters, and love was not one of them. Being raised under anger, bitterness brutality, poverty, and oppression, I grew to know and understand pain, rejection, fear, and lack of self-worth. I only knew what I was taught, and that was, that I had no inherent value to anyone, God was not real, I was a product of evolution, and I was one of the lesser beings. I was not athletically inclined or gifted, was a runt in size, could not defend myself, and grew to have a loner attitude of life. My personality took on that of a rattlesnake; bite before they bite you, all the time putting on a face of superiority, while fearing total rejection and failure.
As I became a family man, I found immense satisfaction from my children, being able to actually find love, unconditional and unreserved, for who I was. My children became my reason for existing, my desire for them to be all that I had never been able to be, beautiful, intelligent, loving and loved, was a driving force, and I learned that as a provider and father I was seen as a success. But that was on the outside. On the inside I was a cauldron of anger, bitterness, and inner pain, always just one small incident from explosion. It was as if I were Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde, one moment a joy to be with, the next I was a total maniac, and it did not seem that I could control the difference, regardless what I did.
It was during my childhood, that I first was introduced to the Lord. My parents, who were not going to church, found it a good thing to send us; it gave them a time of peace and quiet while we were gone. We were allowed to walk the 3 miles to church for a while, I can't remember how long, but would guess one summer. It was a time we could also be away from home, and I remember walking along, just enjoying life as a carefree little boy. For another short period, my dad dropped us off at a little Methodist church. There was a beautiful little girl there, and I don't think I got more out of that church than her beauty; of course she totally ignored me, for I had no value. My brother and sisters teased me about her, for I am sure that I was not inconspicuous in my admiration.
The next church that I was taken to was a little Christian church, barely hanging onto existence. An old man and his wife, who may have been in their 70's, drove probably 30 miles one way to go to it, and I'm sure we were not in the direct pathway. Mr. and Mrs. Beasley were always joyful in their old car, and I always wondered why she sang—it was so off key. But, it was in that little church that I first listened to what was preached. It seemed the words were meant just for me, but more about that in chapter 4.
It was during this time that I was receiving at least one whipping a day for a period of 2 years, because I actually kept track on a calendar. Some days were much worse than others, and I had constant blue and green spots on my body, the shame making me with-draw from almost all contact, and I found out that if I was not there, they were not angry with me. So to get away from it, I would go down to the barn, crawl up into the hay which was stacked tight against the rafters, slither down between the rafters to the side wall, and then wiggle between the angle of the rafters and the bales until I got to a knot hole where I would lay and listen to my heart beat, watch life from the hole, and hide from the world for hours on end. Had a fire broken out, I would have been like a fried rat, and some days that is what I prayed for. If they called for me, after a while they would stop calling, and I knew I was safe for a little while longer. I knew that when they found me, I would be either put to chopping weeds with the corn knife, cleaning the chicken house, sawing firewood with the big two-man cross-cut saw, or pumping water for the cows and with the blisters on my hands several blisters deep, it didn't matter which, it would be painful.
The summer that I was nine, was probably the worst. The blisters were so deep that I would try to figure out how many layers of skin they went through. The days were long, hot, and the summer dragged on almost forever, as most of them did. That year we had a terrible drought, the ponds dried up, the garden needed water, and the cows were always thirsty. Dad had about 35-40 head of cattle that needed water and I was the source. He had a pitcher pump set on top of a 50 gallon barrel over the well. That meant that the handle of the pump, at the bottom of the stroke was slightly higher than my head, but to get a full stroke, I had to jump just a little, and the barrel was round enough, that to reach it, I had to extend my arms to full length. The water ran out the pump through a tube, to about a 1000 gallon tank. The sun was hot, the water tasted like soap, and not only were the cows thirsty, I was too. As I would drink the water, it would leave me thirstier. It would take about 2-3 hours of pumping to get the tank full, but just as I got the tank about an inch or two from the top, the cows seemed to know it was time to get another drink. They could empty it in about ten minutes, and then it was time to start over. If that were not bad enough, the old bull knew I was afraid of him, and he would chase me in and around the cows until he had enough sport, then go on his way again, so I could get more water for him. It was during this time that I met an old couple named Beasley, but I will tell you more of that story when we get to chapter 4. They were a major source of encouragement for me during this extremely difficult period of my life.
My parents, though being brutal in punishment, making me to understand that I was nothing, and showing no love to me, did instill a fear of authority. I found I could not rely upon any one. I became afraid to do anything wrong, so I tried hard to be perfect in all that I did, which led to expecting the same of others, yet never meeting my own expectations myself. My anger and resentment festered, and the response from my parents grew more negative. I was given no freedoms that my older brother had been given during high school years. I still wet the bed from lack of self-esteem and when I graduated from high school, I saw me as others saw me, garbage.
During the Christmas vacation from school my senior year, one morning my dad suddenly came to me and started beating me. I had not taken the slop bucket out to the pigs, and it was full, though I had not known it. When he was through, after taking out the slop, I went to my room, packed a few things, came out to my parents and told them I was leaving. I had come to the conclusion, was he to touch me again, I would not be able to restrain my rage, and I would kill him, so I must go.
Realizing that I was not to be persuaded to change my mind, my dad needing to go to town anyway, said he would give me a lift, and I decided I would go to the high school principal's house, having high respect for him and knowing he had the same for me. He called upon the lady Methodist preacher, and she took me in and promptly put me to work. That night my parents must have had a rough night, for the next day my dad called me and said we needed to talk, so I met with him. He felt it was wrong for me to waste my money finishing high school for lodging, knowing I would need what little I had been able to save for college, and also feeling a little bit guilty as he met the public, some of whom knew I was suddenly not living with him anymore and of the cause for it. As for me, I had one concern, that if he ever hit me again, the consequences would not be worth the money, and I expressed in sincerity my feelings of possible tragedy were that to occur. He made a promise that he would never touch me again, and I having never seen him break his word, returned home with him that evening. It was not a fun time, but it was tolerable, and I made plans to attend college that fall. Graduation week, I bought my first car, making it possible to get away from home and actually feel like I had obtained some freedom. God was not on my mind.
That fall I was accepted by scholarship to Iola Junior College, tested, and placed in all advanced classes. Having been in a small tightly controlled environment, this was a major change. I found myself shortly working full time at a drive in restaurant, taking a heavy load of college work, and actually able to have friends, the bed wetting had disappeared when I left home, and Larry was suddenly a fun guy to be with. I actually started dating girls, closely supervised by my friends. I totaled my car, not playing games, but from inexperience. Now back afoot, I relied upon friends for transportation, the social life was too much with the college load and the full time job, and grades began to plummet. The end of the year the scholarship was gone. God did not see fit to help me find a job for I had long since forgotten him. I hunted diligently for decent work, but came to the conclusion that if I were to get an education, it would have to be in the military, so in June I sold my second car, bought that spring, and joined the Air Force.
THE BIG PICTURE
Going into the A.F., I was joining with every intention of saving the world and that would be my career. I would get my college degree and become an officer—yes I would surely save the world. The first 6 weeks in boot camp were not difficult from the perspective of learning to obey, calisthenics, or the food. The food was the best I had ever had. The drill instructor was of ugly disposition, but not nearly as bad as dad. The marching was terrible on my ankles, they swelled up nearly twice as large as normal, but the work was easy compared to what I was used to. The heat was oppressive though. During the time I was there, our drill instructor killed 17 guys on the parade field through heat stroke related deaths. When the red flag went up due to heat being 105 degrees or above and the humidity 95% or above, which happened every day for the six weeks I spent in Texas that year, we were supposed to be given shelter, but the response was to take us off the grass parade field and march us up and down the blacktop streets. Then at night they would come and get a group of us to go to the hospital. We would line up in one of the eight or ten lines, and when you got to the head of the line, you would rub down a naked man lying in a stock tank full of alcohol and ice with your hands. He would have a fever of 107-109 degrees; he was lying there for hours and we were trying to save his life, him totally unconscious. Every 5 minutes a new group of ten men would start rubbing, so we wouldn't frost bite our fingers and we would go to the back of the line for several hours of walking the line. The next day would be the same. From the time I got to Texas until I left, I made every church service they had for us, very moving services for what we were going through, but I don't remember Texas with fondness.
From there I was shipped to Denver, Colorado, for 10 months of training in basic electronics and bomb navigational equipment. Too much playing and too little time concentrating on homework didn't help my grades, but I enjoyed this assignment. I attended the base chapel services every Sunday, but don't remember applying what I learned. They were generic, I don't remember toes being stepped on—feel good sessions. I played the field with the girls at the USO, my main religion was dancing, and I enjoyed life. We captured the "best barracks" of the squadron plaque and kept it, which eliminated all the other details, and systematically figured out how each resident could get the most enjoyment from our lives. It was all gravy. We met girls, girls, girls, and that was what we lived for. Somehow, God protected me from the ones that were the bad ones, and I was not allowed to get next to those that would break God's commandments in deed, though we will not talk about thought. During the time there I met this cute little thing that threw out a hook and caught me. It was stated when we arrived in Denver for orientation, that the guys stationed there, had odds against them leaving single. I was a statistic. Pat was a member of the Presbyterian Church. I wanted to accept Jesus, and she was the first one to provide me a means to do so without making me afraid of repercussions. I was sprinkled—I was a Christian and I was saved.
I was shipped to Kansas and we made plans for a September 1, 1963 wedding. As soon as we were married, we started attending church together. We moved from Kansas, to Idaho, to Arkansas, to Mississippi, and to Arizona, before July of 1970, acquiring 3 beautiful daughters along the way and always finding a new church as one of our first priorities. I was getting indoctrinated into the Presbyterian ways real good. You go to church, you limit the size of your family, you drive fast, you buy all you can, and God loves you. He will help you when you call out to him, always in stand-by mode, though sometimes things don't always end the way you want them to; He must be asleep some of the time, and He obviously doesn't like me very much, because everyone else gets more than I do. I enjoyed all of the countryside as we traveled, filled with the wonders of the ages, the millions of years it took to make the Grand Canyon, the different caves we saw, and the endless time of space. What beautiful children I had created, and I had gotten myself debt free after 8 years in the Air Force, in spite of God not treating me fair. I could not believe in the way we were fighting the war in Viet Nam. Everyone could see that it was a game to the politicians; the Air Force was not fulfilling their promises to me and it seemed that every step of my career someone was pulling the plug on me before I got there. The circumstances were literally unreal—even in retrospect today. The door was closing on that as a career. I got out without a job.
Six weeks later, I was employed at GE Medical Systems in San Francisco. I started looking at the professionals that I was working with, and had to wonder how I got there with them. We were shortly moved to Sacramento, where we lived for nearly 3 years. We were happy there, finally things would surely be stable, but God was still not treating us fairly, others were being given more than we were [and once again, looking backward, the circumstances were amazing].
We loved the church in Sacramento and became leaders in the couples club, which grew in size under us. I was asked if I would teach the 6th grade Sunday school class the last year we were there. They said I was the "bottom of the barrel", that if I didn't teach they would have no class. What a motivator, having never attended Sunday School myself, I played the Moses trick, but it was not enough. They said they would help me get started. We started with 2 of us teaching, the Sunday school superintendent and me. The first week we had 6, then 5, then 3, then 1. I told him at that point, that I didn't feel I could do much worse by myself, so then I started teaching alone. Finding the material too deep and boring, I decided to throw away the teacher's study guide, started using the student workbook as my guide, and the kids read from the bible during class. I don't know how much the kids learned, but I learned a lot that year, especially the last 2/3 of the year when I also threw out the student manual and we studied Jesus' early history for Christmas and His final days for Easter. The class loved me and I them, and we ended up with a class of about 15 kids.
As I became of more value to GE and their business needs changed, they decided that I needed to transfer to a new area, and I was transferred to Reno. Financially the transfer was a train wreck for us, but once again we sought out a new church, finding it extremely hard to leave the last one, but that door had been closed by the company. We ended up in a church that had been feuding for some time, but I was oblivious to the cause at that time. We were once again a match, and quickly made friends there. About 6 months into our stay there, one Sunday on the way home I told my wife, "The church is going to call me and ask me to be an elder, and God said to take it". We discussed the concept, and knowing I was totally unqualified, decided that if it happened as I said, I didn't have a choice if God said to do it. Shortly after arriving home, the pastor was on the phone, asking the question, and to his surprise when he said to pray about it, I gave my positive answer and the reason no further prayer was needed. I was elected and ordained as an elder. Then came the surprise; my assignment was to be the Christian Ed director. I was totally confused. My only experience was that one year of teaching the 6th grade. At that point, I finally just said to myself that surely God has a better plan, but I will do as told, so as teachers came to me with ideas, most of which were good and sound ideas, I normally asked the question, "What would it cost, and what would be the benefit"? The cost was normally nominal; the benefit was there, so I would give permission. The church started busting at the seams, the teachers were always so excited that their ideas had worked, so they would think up something new, and it would go again. One of the fun times I specifically remember enjoying, was an annual meeting. It came time for the Christian Ed. Report, and I asked, "Do you want the good news or the bad news first?" The bad news was that I had blown my budget of $600 dollars and spent twice that much. The good news was that we had tripled the Sunday school attendance, which was also reflected in the worship service and that offering.
Excerpted from HOW I FOUND PEACE by LAWRENCE R. (Larry) BEATY. Copyright © 2013 LAWRENCE R. (Larry) BEATY. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
Foreword by Robert Simonds.................... xi
Chapter 1 Larry's Early Years.................... 1
Chapter 2 The Big Picture.................... 5
Chapter 3 Vinettes Of Nature As God Relates To Us.................... 20
Chapter 4 Christianity—The Good Life.................... 39
Chapter 5 God Wanted More Time With Me.................... 46
Chapter 6 I Reach The Top.................... 54
Chapter 7 "My Sheep Hear My Voice" John 10:.................... 67
Chapter 8 God Starts Changing Larry.................... 83
Chapter 9 The Hitch-Hiker Ministry.................... 104
Chapter 10 The Evolution Myth.................... 120
Chapter 11 Biblical Creation—A New Understanding.................... 136
Chapter 12 The Jail Ministry.................... 151
Chapter 13 E-8, The Hard Timers.................... 170
Chapter 14 Ministry To Immigrants In Jail.................... 182
Chapter 15 Why Does God Allow Sin?.................... 197
Chapter 16 Schools, Politics, And Our Nation.................... 202
Chapter 17 The Battle, One Person At A Time.................... 214
Chapter 18 Adventures In Driving—God Protects.................... 226
Chapter 19 I Win The Lottery Retirement.................... 251
Chapter 20 Does God Let You Stop Growing?.................... 262
Things That He Wants To Share With You.................... 273
About the Author.................... 315