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Dusty Road: A Journey into Faith

Dusty Road: A Journey into Faith

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Dusty Road: A Journey into Faith

146 Seiten
2 Stunden
Jul 15, 2013


Dusty Road shares the testimony of the Speer family as they face the trials and triumphs of God's provision and protection as they find themselves in a dark valley. Dealing with Alzheimer's, the loss of their home and an end to a 40 year ministry, the Speers press on down a dusty road finding God's Promise during the challenges that stand in their way.
Jul 15, 2013

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Dusty Road - BJ Speer


Chapter 1

A History Lesson

For those of you reading who are not familiar with who I am or my background, let me give you a little history lesson.

I was born March 9, 1980 in Leesburg, Virginia to Billy and Paula Speer.

My dad, at the time, was on staff at Faith Bible Church in Sterling, Virginia while continuing to travel part time as a soloist. My mom was a stay at home mom that took care of me. Both of my parents brought me up into a wonderful God loving home. That’s all you get on me for right now, but let me take you back to where it all started....with my wonderful parents. I am so blessed that God chose them to be mine.

My mom and dad met back in 1970 at the Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, New York. They were engaged for three years before being married in 1974. At that time, my dad traveled with the Life Action Singers and began his career in music under the wings of Jack Wyrtzen. My dad never knew he wanted to be a singer for an occupation, but during a Valentine’s Banquet skit, he was approached by Founder/Director, Jack Wyrtzen, and I like to say the rest is history as far as music goes...

Dad came to Word of Life Bible Institute from Groveland, Florida and my mom came all the way from Campobello Island, New Brunswick. Talk about two different parts of the country colliding! The north and the south met mid eastern seaboard in the great Adirondack mountains.

My dad grew up in a conservative family with two sisters and a brother. His mom and dad both served in the military and had a very strong belief system. They were raised Methodist, but later attended the Baptist Church in his high school years.

During my dad’s senior year in high school, his dad pleaded with him to go to a Bible study...Dad was busy participating in every type of sport there was, but after weeks of making excuses, Dad finally decided to go along to this Bible study to see what all this hype was about. That night, my dad not only gave his life to Christ, but surrendered his life to the Lord under the ministry of Don Kelso. From there he would give up his social activities and head to New York for Bible School, at that point not knowing the ministry God had in store for him.

My mom grew up on a little island in New Brunswick, Canada called Campobello Island. You go to the most eastern point in Maine and cross a bridge over to the little island. Mom was raised in a Christian home along with an older brother and two loving parents who created a warm Christian and happy environment for them. Her parents were in church whenever there was a service to attend. They were the people that housed the missionaries when home on furlough or support visiting, faithful Sunday School teacher, Awana teacher, you get the point. They were hands on and involved in church! My grandmother was a soul winner and spent her life invested in the souls of the young and old. Mom heard about Word of Life through a cousin of hers and the two came to New York to see what new adventures would await them.

Both mom and dad had not really considered ministry as a way of living. They were just in school to learn more about God and to see what He had for them. My dad would say that my mom chased the legs right off him, but he wasn’t the fastest runner either.... The two were married on February 1,1974 after being engaged for three years. During the time leading up to their marriage, Dad continued to travel with the Life Action Singers. He later became a soloist signing with Zondavan records and making appearances on radio and T.V., performing in youth rallies, tent revivals and open air meetings. My dad’s voice was often compared to that of Doug Oldham who coincidentally was my dad’s mentor. Performing many times at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA with Dr Jerry Falwell. My dad became close friends with Doug and his wife and he became very influential in my dad’s ministry throughout the years.

Dad had the opportunity to sing for huge groups of people. My favorite story of all is hearing about when he sang for President Ronald Reagan and President Gerald Ford. God opened up the door for my dad to share his ministry all over the world; however, Dad never saw himself as a singer, an entertainer or performer. He saw himself as Billy Speer, small town boy from Groveland, FL with a desire to serve the Lord. He never pushed for the big time events or the huge crowds, but was thankful when the calls came to him...when people wanted him to come sing and share his music and testimony. Dad even had the privilege to go to Los Angeles and film on the Universal Studios lot where he shot a pilot for a kid’s Christian television show called, The Adventure of Cowboy Billy. In that pilot, he fought a dragon, rode an extremely fake toy horse and rode around with the famous Mr. T. Obviously, it never took off and he never became a Hollywood television star, but he had fun trying new things and following the doors that God opened. Mom and I still like to make fun and tease him for the Cowboy Billy show. There was music, bad acting and comedy, but Christian principles for everyday living. For those of you who have seen it, its hilarious isn’t it?? For those of you who haven’t, be thankful you didn’t! haha! There was even a sequel shot many years later at Nasa Space Center in Cape Canaveral FL. that was called The Adventures of Billy & Bert Butterball. I am actually having a silly spell now because I remember being there on location and how embarrassed I was on see my dad in a space costume, running into a fake shuttle with pizza...funny now, not so funny at 11.

The thing I admired about my dad was that he could always make fun of himself. It was the thing he used to disarm himself with people. He walked into a room and everyone was drawn to his magnetic personality. He could have you laughing in no time without even trying. He would make fun of himself just to make you laugh and instantly a bond was created. It was something that so many people have shared with me over the years. They just loved being around him because he could make them happy by just smiling at them. Dad never showed defeat or discontentment until his later years, which I believe was the beginning of Alzheimer’s. He was always happy, always sharing love and happiness to those around him. In fact, to be honest, it’s quite annoying when you wake up with people who are happy all the time. I am not a morning person at all, and even with a few cups of coffee I don’t come alive until noon. Dad would get up and sing, laugh and make jokes....good for him...but don’t be bringing your happiness around here in my presence at 7:00 am...Thank you.

That’s just the type of person Billy Speer was though. Not much ever bothered him. He was a happy go lucky type of person. Dad never even saw himself for the great musician he was either. Believe it or not, he was very insecure. He was heavy as a young boy growing up and all through his adult years and being heavy was something he was teased about his whole life. He became the butt of every joke, the target for every diet plan. Through the smiles and laughs, he hurt, and we as his family saw that while no one else was aware. Everyone else thought it was funny and thought he was a rather confident person, but Dad was never confident or sure of himself and used those insecurities to hide behind. People who loved his voice and enjoyed hearing him sing would compliment him and he would graciously accept, but all the time doubting the talent he had and how great he really was. He never thought he was good enough. You would think after singing for two presidents, he would have more self worth. When I watched my dad sing, you would never know that he was nervous. He exuberated confidence with his powerhouse voice. He always said to me that he got nervous every time he got up to sing and was told that if you lost that feeling, you have lost the ability to count on the Lord to see you through and minister through you for each performance.

In 1979, my dad settled down into a ministry at Faith Bible Church in Sterling, VA where he worked on staff as a youth leader and music man all while maintaining his personal music ministry during vacations and select weekends each year. After receiving many calls to go out and share his music, his time at the church became limited, thus closing another chapter in their lives.

Mom and Dad made the move to Bangor, Maine in 1982 and things began to change. My dad loved ministry and wanted to travel more full time, but finances held a strong power over that ability. My dad has never been one to charge to go sing and therefore, he relied on love offerings and personal support. There were many times the love offerings were not enough to survive on, so he began selling insurance on the side. He continued to travel on weekends and worked heavily in the office during the week to provide for his family. That insurance business began to take over more of his time and ministry became a part time event.

I attended Bangor Christian School and my mom worked in the office for my dad. I remember many days going without seeing my dad as he worked long hours in the office. Mom would pick me up from school, take me home, have dinner and then off to bed before I would start another early morning with school. My dad however would come home after I was asleep and I would leave before he woke, so we didn’t see much of each other. Many days after school I would sit in the office while Mom finished her work and Dad would be leading several sales meetings in the other room. I think I got to know the clients better than I did my own dad. The insurance company took off for Dad and he became the leading gross sales associate and was later awarded National Sales Director with A.L. Williams.

It seemed like the insurance business began taking over the ministry aspect of life more and more and that took a toll on our family. Dad was very happy because for the first time in his life, he felt successful, truly happy knowing he could provide for his family. He was driven...He could still be at work with people, share Christ in the workplace, be financially stable and keep his family happy. I must admit Christmas and birthdays were awesome!! Mom and Dad were winning trips to Hawaii, Austria, cruises to top destinations with all expenses paid. Life was good.

However, the story is different if it is told through my mom’s eyes or even mine. I had a dad who was never home and she had a husband that spent all of his time working with other people. The weekend ministry turned into a monthly outing or summer excursions. My mom admits that for years she prayed my dad out of the business. Her heart was 100% in ministry and she wanted to be back on the road. The luxuries provided

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