A moment — and a miracle — that cemented TBN’s destiny!
by Matt Crouch
It happened back in the summer of 1974. I was twelve years old, and it may have been the first time I’d ever seen my mother cry off her mascara and fake eye lashes! Over the years my dad never grew tired of sharing this incredible, true story about the miracle that God performed on behalf of TBN, all because one man heard God’s voiced and obeyed Him — at literally the very last moment.
I’ll never forget the last time I heard my dad relate this powerful testimony. It was in Caesarea on the shores of the Sea of Galilee during his final trip to the Holy Land, and on the evening he transferred the mantle of anointing for leading TBN to Laurie and me. It was a very poignant moment for us as my father looked back over the many years of God’s faithfulness.
Telling the story that night to our tour group of some 1,700 friends and partners, he recalled how, on that summer day nearly forty years earlier, he and my mom were set to close on the purchase of TBN’s very first broadcast television station in Los Angeles. But in order to complete the transaction they had to have a total of $100,000 in the bank before 3:00 p.m. on the deadline day.
Well, at 2:30 p.m. that Friday, just thirty minutes before the looming deadline, they were still $35,000 short (it could just as well have been $1 million, my dad said), and my parents were face down on the floor in TBN’s little office chapel, crying out to God for what appeared to be the impossible.
As they prayed in absolute agony, with TBN’s future on the line, my dad’s secretary stepped into the room and whispered: “Paul, there’s a strange little man out here to see you.” My dad’s immediate response was, “Send him in right away!”
That man, a Lutheran by the name of Scotty Scotvold, was escorted in and began to explain how he was on his way to purchase a yacht at that very hour, when God spoke clearly and told him instead to give the money to TBN, which he had been watching on TV over the past months. My dad would later confess with a smile on his face that he was thinking to himself: “Can a Lutheran really hear from God?”
After what my father said seemed like an eternity of explanation, Scotty finally reached into his jacket, and with shaking hand pulled out a check which he handed over to my dad — for $35,000 to the penny!
As my father liked to tell the story, he quickly grabbed the check from Scotty’s hand, and without even stopping to thank him (although he nearly kissed his feet in appreciation later on) he raced to the bank, arriving at 2:55 p.m — just five short minutes ahead of that all-important deadline.
Stepping up to the next available teller’s window, my dad slammed the check for $35,000 down on the counter and declared: “This has to be in escrow today!” Thank God, the teller made it happen, and the rest is, as they say, history.
I’ve often thought that had Scotty stopped for a few minutes to weigh the option of buying a boat or helping TBN, he just might have been a minute too late. The truth, however, is that he was there at the right moment, and all because he listened and obeyed God’s prompting. (Yes, Lutherans can hear from God!)
The scene of my father telling this beloved and poignant story one last time is still etched in my memory. With the sun setting on the Sea of Galilee there in Caesarea, looking back over the decades of God’s incredible faithfulness “on mountains high and in valleys low,” my dad finished up with words I’ll never forget: “In the fullness of time, God is never early, and He is never late. He is always right on time!”
As followers of Jesus, each of us has experienced a life-defining moment when, in the “fulness of time,” we felt the prompting of God’s Holy Spirit and made the decision to invite Christ into our hearts. In that one minute, shame and despair were washed away as God’s mercy and forgiveness rushed in to the void of our hearts.
Each day I live reminds me of how swiftly time passes, and how every minute matters in God’s economy. That’s why Jesus’ Great Commission mandate to us — to take His message of salvation to the whole world — is so important right now. It’s because to the God who loved and gave His only Son, every LIFE, every NATION, and every GENERATION matters!
It’s also why our TBN “Every Minute Matters” outreach is so exciting to Laurie and me. Through this simple strategy partners and friends like you have the unique opportunity to sponsor a precious minute of TBN broadcast time — a minute that will literally touch individuals throughout the world with the incomparable message of hope and grace through Jesus.
It only takes a moment for a lost and dying person to turn to Jesus and be transformed for eternity. And just like Scotty Scotvold, each of us plays an important role in making that happen — through our prayers, through our personal witness, and through giving to outreaches that take God’s love to those in need. Every minute matters!
Thanks for taking just a few of those minutes to watch the inspiring story below of Diamond Friedel, whose life was forever changed through TBN — and then joining us on our special Every Minute Matters website HERE to prayerfully consider how you can pour into the lives of millions across the earth by making an eternal investment in a minute or more of TBN broadcast time.
May God bless you and yours.