Subject: Various subjects
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 02:47:53 -0400
From: Chris Hirtler <>

 I was saved May 28, 1975 in the Hartford, CT fellowship under Bobby
Wipple. Bobby led me to Jesus. Rich Laverdure was there and I think
Joyce Bassette, and a couple of others. I moved into the fellowship
three days later. It was a happy fellowship and we witnessed like mad
and it was a wonderful time, before it got crazy. Bobby would get into
the bible every night and I looked forward to it eagerly. Everything was
so right then.
  I was a music student at the nearby music college and had a very large
wart on my left ring finger, which never would go away. I had it for
about two years. I repeatedly tried Compound W, gnawing at it, cutting
it with a razor (ouch!), - nothing worked. Came back bigger til it
looked like a tiny cauliflower a half inch across, an eighth of an inch
  I had always believed that Jesus did miracles, as a matter of fact, I
had an argument with my father about a year before about that. He said
that God would never go against His own rules that He set up or some
lame nonsense like that. I said that to me it would be the only way for
God to show that He was the only true god. He just got mad at me. But
anyway I believed in miracles. And it was over the issue of miracles
that I got convicted and saved in the first place:
  In March 75 I was eating dinner with a friend at the local restaurant
in Hartford and saw Bob Tarsky witnessing with some FF-ers across his
table to some people. So I called him over to my table. I was real
arrogant, telling him how he should keep his religion to himself, it was
presumptuous, it looked so..BAD!. He listened patiently and then he told
me about a kid from North Carolina who could see out of an empty eye
socket, no eye, no optic nerve. Hit a nerve there. I got real quiet. Bob
then asked me if I wanted to come over to the fellowship and meet some
of the people there. (We called each other people then, not brothers and
sisters). I asked my friend who had said nothing the whole time if he
wanted to go over, looking for "help in the gate". Boy, was I relieved
when he shook his head no. Whew! That was close! Bob handed me one of
those little tri-fold tracts we used to print in Worcester with the his
name and the fellowship's address on it and he invited me to come over
anytime. That, I thought, was that.
  But God made sure that my life became ever so much more miserable
despite being a successful professional musician. I was a violist with
both the New Britain Symphony and the Hartford Symphony orchestras and
was set to graduate the next year from Hartt College of Music to go on
to become a member eventually of one of the major symphony orchestras of
the world.
  I had it all. A sports car, motorcycle, money, respect, good grades,
sponsors, schooling and housing paid for 100% by scholarships and
grants,...women,...everything! But I had this hole inside that was
getting more and more painful and unbearable. It was driving me crazy
and I wondered how it wasn't affecting my outward behavior and musical
performance. No one seemed to notice how unhappy or tense I was, which
made me even more scared. And I knew that I could never tell anyone
about it, they would think I was nuts. I began to treat people in my
world with contempt and no one said anything! Like everyone held me in
such esteem that they just cowed. I started to loathe myself because of
what I was turning into. It was like it was all OK. It didn't matter. It
was expected of me. As a matter of fact, everybody wanted me to act that
way - as if I deserved that kind of license. I felt so cut off from
everything with this problem and no one could understand much less help
me with it. I asked myself what, with everything being handed to me, was
making me so unhappy? No answers. No help. I was climbing the walls!
  So I went looking for the fellowship house on foot on the 21st May, a
Friday late in the evening. I still had the tract and walked to the
address but no one lived there anymore! They had moved! Bummer! Bummer!
No one could or would tell me where they lived either. So I went home.
  The weight got even heavier. I thought I would never, ever be happy
again. So the following Friday, the 28th, I went looking again. This
time in my BMW 1602. It was about nine or ten at night. I remembered
that one of the FF-ers worked at the restaurant I met Bob Tarsky at and
screeched my tires and drove like a madman in general to get there.
There was Joey Waterman wearing his GET SMART GET SAVED button while at
work behind the counter. I walked up to the counter and asked him for
the new address and he wrote it down for me on the tract and gave me
directions to the new Hillside Ave house. I said thanks and took off,
found the place, got saved, found the answer, got peace, quit music
school, quit music, and moved in. It was a good value, a good trade.
  So I had this wart. I was a zealous lamb. As I got more and more into
witnessing I couldn't understand how people could not see that Jesus was
real. (I forgot how I had just been the same way). It was so clear, so
obvious, how could there be any question? What were they? Stupid? Blind?
Brothers told me about how the unsaved really are blinded by Satan so
that they can't see the truth and how the flesh uses anything as an
excuse not to be put up on the cross. So in late June, I looked at this
big wart on my finger and decided to pray to Jesus to take it away so
that I would have concrete proof for anyone who cared to have as proof
too. Simple request. Didn't tell everbody, didn't even think to. Just
between me and Jesus. Well what do you you know? Five days later... wart. Not a trace...NO..WART...!! It just got smaller every day
til it was gone.
  To this day it stayed with me how Jesus healed me. He knew all that
was to come to pass in the ensuing years and that it was this one event
that kept me believing and grateful to him during some trying times
because I knew that if He was real that his love for me was just as
real. It happened five days after I prayed for it.
  I never called it a miracle. But it was a healing from God. He honored
my prayer because He knew I meant it and wanted it for right reasons.
There were rumors of other events like mine but I thought they should
come from the mouths of those to whom they happened to. In late 1996, I
called the Brooklyn fellowship house to see how things were and spoke to
Bob Dunn. I asked him if miracles were still occurring. His reply was,
"We don't need miracles to help us to believe in Jesus". That is a true
statement. There is no argument from me over that. But he didn't answer
the question. I asked if miracles occurred. But if miracles or healings
STOP in a fellowship, I think that's significant.
  And if they have stopped, it may signify a sad state of affairs. Or it
really could be God's will that none occur. It could be that all the
events I heard about back when were exaggerations or wishful thinking.
It is not a readily answered question.
  Regardless, I suggested this idea because if there are bonified
miracles or healings that have occurred among us, they should be shared
out in the open for all to know about. Next to the Resurrection,
miracles are the most significant things that Jesus did while in the
flesh and should not be shunned or mistrusted. It is a lie from Satan to
think that we should be able to believe without them, as if it were to
betray some weakness to do so. But that's a given. We admit we are weak.
And Jesus knows this and so performed them to address this weakness so
that those who already believe could do so with absolute confidence and
                                                       Chris Hirtler