June 21, 2012
ccm Cross #0033
GPS/DMS 40°23’33.59″ N 93°35’5.39″ W
Additional Pictures Following Testimony
3067 cdd One in a Zillion
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 13 Number 156
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11
“I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future” NCV
It was 1963 and the passenger train came from behind steep banks in Iowa Falls, Iowa — the rural rail road crossing had been traversed hundreds of times with no problem — but tonight would be different. At 95 miles per hour the train struck the car and there was literally nothing left of car or driver.
Ruth Ann was in her early 20’s when her mother passed away. It was a traumatic experience that even today — nearly fifty years later — brings emotion to her voice as she talks.
Ruth Ann was married with two children and a marriage going sour. The last thing she needed was the death of her closest friend and mother. During the years that followed Ruth Ann held tight to Jesus. She didn’t understand why God would take her mother but she believed it was His will. Ruth Ann and her two children were on their own — although her marriage had turned out to be a nightmare she still hung on to Jesus.
Then in 1965 the Lord brought Doug Knutson into her life. He became the help mate that she had been seeking. Two additional children filled their lives with joy. Jesus had put her life back on track — now He spoke to Ruth Ann’s heart to start a bible study and pray for people.
Ruth Ann had not been looking for a ministry as her family kept her busy enough. She even had doubts that such a call would bear any fruit. So as Gideon in the Bible put a fleece before the Lord (Judges 6) to be sure he would be doing the Lord’s work — Ruth Ann placed a fleece at the feet of the cross. She said, “Jesus if this Bible study and prayer is really from you then I’ll not ask anyone to join me for a Bible Study — you bring them in and I’ll do it.”
Over the next two weeks the Lord brought three women to Ruth Ann who each asked her — without prompting — if she would lead a Bible Study. Ruth Ann said “yes” to them but more importantly she said “yes” to Jesus.
The Bible study was her launching pad into ministry which brought her to prayer. She asked the Lord, “Who am I to pray for?” The answer was impressed upon her heart — the entire Knutson family.” No additional fleece was necessary — Ruth Ann said “yes” to the Lord.
Twenty seven years later it was now 1990 and it was a snowy day in Iowa Falls, Iowa. Ruth Ann was on her way home from Bible study to prepare dinner. Ruth Ann was driving a road she had passed over many times — just ahead of her was a railroad crossing. Thinking of what to prepare for dinner she passed into the crossing. There were trees and banks of snow limiting the view — just as the front of her Mercury Marquis bumper crossed the first track — a freight train unseen and on heard — No Whistle — No Warning — BANG!
With no seat belt in use the impact of the right front of the car with the train spun the car around and threw Ruth Ann into the back seat. The freight train had been traveling at a reasonable speed — only the front half of the car was demolished.
When Ruth Ann saw the train bearing down on her with no escape she yelled: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”. In her mind echoed, “I’m on my way to see Jesus”. Then instantaneously she thought, “how ironic my mother and I both killed by trains.”
When the rescuers arrived Ruth Ann was still alive and once again hanging on to Jesus — as they removed her from the car everything worked but she had a sharp pain in her neck and numbness down her right arm. X-rays determined that she would recover. Over the next few months her pain increased and she became increasingly crippled.
A specialist was called in and an MRI taken — when the specialist looked at the film his words cut like a knife, “Looking at this film I cannot believe you are walking. Your neck was broken in several places by the train accident.” A neck surgery followed. The original injury had begun to fuse her neck together in a bad way. Her neck needed to be re-broken in several spots and attached together with nuts, bolts and plates.
The odds of being hit by a train in the USA as outlined in the CIA fact book — approximately 1 in 2 million.
The odds of winning the Power Ball Lottery as reported by Wikipedia — approximately 1 in 174 million.
The odds of mother and daughter being hit by a train while driving a car 27 years apart in Iowa Falls, Iowa — easily 1 in a zillion.
The Lord works in mysterious ways but it is clear the Lord had need of Ruth Ann to introduce Jesus to the entire Knutson clan bringing them the saving grace of the King of Kings. How sweet it is!
Ruth Ann’s favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” NKJV
Ruth Ann sees that her life in Christ is all about the cross. Without the cross no salvation is available and there is no victory over death. It is our hope in good times, bad times and tragic times — it is our only hope.
Ruth Ann as we were ending this interview rifled off one by one the members of the Knutson family who did not know the Lord at the time of her fleece — her list encompassed all of them — and since the beginning of her prayers nearly all the Knutson family have come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. This culminated last summer when at a Knutson family reunion in Fulda, Minnesota the family held a baptism, in a local lake. Together they celebrated their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ruth Ann received this cross to Give God Glory for all He has done in her life. She wants her community in Princeton, Missouri to see and understand the power of the cross through her life. She understands that as a Christian in America it is time to stand up for Jesus. And we are sure some will say “Who does she think she is making such a statement for Jesus?” The answer is life changing — Her relationship with her creator is one in a zillion!
Prayer: Father thank you for picking and protecting Ruth Ann for your good purposes. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Doug Knutson in plaid along with neighbor
Ron Orndorff look on as Pastor Bill
chisels out the cross sections
Joining the cross beams
Ron steadies the cross
Ron maneuvers his tractor as the cross rises
“Fire in the Hole”
Pastor Bill and Doug secure the plaque
Ruth Ann and Doug inspect progress
Plaque “Giving God Glory” for the
Knutson Family commitment to Christ