Additional Photos after Testimony
4602 cdd Perfect Peace
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 19 Number 111
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Isaiah 26:3
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” NKJV
Hello, my name is William Forrest Hill, with “The Music Festival Way Back in the Woods” in Conyers, GA. (MFWBITW) Everyone has called me Forrest since the 2nd grade. (The original Forrest). We live about one-hour East of Atlanta. I grew up not far from here in Decatur, Georgia. I was the youngest of four boys. My dad owned a Hardware-Paint store and was a Painting contractor. My mom was a perfect fit for dad as she worked as an interior decorator and color consultant for Sherwin-Williams Paint.
We grew up a church family and dad and mom were Sunday school teachers. They were active in church leadership. Because we were a church family I went through the motions of going to church.
Then I met the Lord, and everything changed. At 16, I was driving alone one night, possibly on my way to the world-renowned Varsity Hot Dog stand in Atlanta. I somehow got side tracked and ended up at a Civic Center youth rally. I did not know about this event, or even how to get there. The Lord guided me there. Youth for Christ had packed the place and it was my first experience with sincere, enthusiastic, happy teen age Christians. The Holy Spirit grabbed hold of me and when the altar call was given, I stood up and accepted Jesus Christ to sit on the throne of my life as my Lord and Savior, and to rule my life and soul.
I joined our church choir, began witnessing with all the training I had welled up inside me. I shared with everyone. I learned to play a guitar. I met Susan. My life was set in motion.
Two years later we were married. I was in college and we were active for the Lord. Then we had a baby. School was set aside as I went off to work to provide for my family. That’s when the Lord gave me a special gift. I had always tinkered with small engines when I was younger but now I became a master of small engines.
I was working for Sears and they recognized it immediately. During the summer they kept me busy with the most challenging of repairs. And during the winter Sears sent me to weeks of schooling. Eventually if it burned fuel I was the Sears expert. I worked for them in several capacities for 45 years.
Susan and I eventually had 3 boys. Our walk with the Lord was up and down, in and out but we always knew He was most important. Along the way I became OK at playing a guitar, writing music and singing. But as life goes and gets busy some things get set aside. For me that was music. One day my equipment was stolen and that ended that.
Then when I was 62 years old the Lord spoke to me. Not an audible speech but a burning in my heart. “Get back in music.” He didn’t define how, why, when or where but it was clear I was to resume music. I bought a guitar and jammed with some friends. It was like riding a bicycle — it all came back to me and with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, even more.
The Lord was leading me as I re-developed my skills. Then my next step was to gather old friends from our old neighborhoods. A group of friends that had not seen much of each other for 30 years. We started playing music together. Then came the next part of what was revealed to me. “Get a flatbed trailer and use it as a stage. Put it in your front yard and play music and sing for people. But don’t charge a thing!”
So, we did just that. It was incredible. In a short time, all the money came in for the event and everyone wanted to play and participate. Then the next step. Four years ago, we started The Music Festival Way Back in the Woods (MFWBITW). We outgrew the trailers, and people from the old neighborhoods donated the funds to build a permanent stage and invited people by social media and word of mouth to attend. No charge. Come and play, sing, listen and bring a dish to pass for others. In 2014 – 150 attended. This year 500 attended.
While our children were still young my wife Susan worked at Emory University in Atlanta in the Dermatology Department. One day I picked her up from work and immediately noticed that the whites of her eyes were an awful color of yellow. We went to the specialists and Susan received a battery of tests. The diagnosis was that she was dying of two kinds of extremely rare liver diseases at the same time. She was terminally ill, and they would do everything they could for her.
I immediately contacted church after church seeking out their prayer teams. 2,000 church prayer warriors were assembled. We found a specialist at the University of Alabama in Birmingham who would perform transplant surgery. It was a long shot, but we had peace that the Lord was with us.
All the time in surgery I had perfect peace. It was the kind of peace the Bible speaks about: The Perfect Peace that passes all understanding. When the lengthy surgery was complete the surgeon walked into my waiting room. I looked at him and he was drained. My first words were, “You look beat tired, thank you for coming out for emergency surgery on a Sunday morning.” He said the surgery went well and she would be fine. The Lord answered our prayers. And to this date no more yellow eyes or complications. To God be all the Glory.
The Music Festival is not an Evangelistic Event, it is a Music Festival. Our goals are to dedicate this event to God and pray for Him to bless the event. Our prayer is that those who have not made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ will see all the people that are happy as Christians and fellowship together and want to experience this type of existence while on this earth. As an aside, one Christian wanted dearly to attend, but was hesitant, because his vision of a Music Festival was people drinking, getting drunk, fighting, cussing, and all the troubles/issues that brings. The first thing he heard was someone talking about Jesus. He then knew he was in the right place.
My favorite Bible verse is John 3:16. Pastor Bill had signs made up that separated this verse into sections, and we placed them all along the driveway into the Festival and will continue to do so. My second favorite verse comes from the Book of Job, where God asked Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you know so much.” TLB
We all wonder why things happen in life. Job suffered greatly, but his human understanding was weak when compared to God’s plans. I can totally relate to that.
The Cross still cries out, Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. Jesus Christ is STILL the hope of the World! His resurrection proves it!
This Cross planted today is notice to all the attendees that Jesus Christ is alive in our hearts. It stands next to our Music Festival stage. We have all the blessings to live in America and know not what those in other lands suffer to follow Christ. Throughout the Music Festival we are singing songs intertwined with the gospel message. Encouraging all who attend to follow Christ. And the older we get the more urgency for receiving Him. Thanks to Christian Cross Ministries, hundreds of people will be reminded of our Savior as we praise God in song and Music every time we hold MFWBITW.
Prayer: Father thank you for the unique ways You inspire us to show Your love and care for Your people. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!