Neil W Gamble These Signs shall Follow
This short, valuable book is subtitled ‘The Miraculous Memoirs of a Foot Dragging Disciple’, which aptly reflects the sometimes difficult but always great efforts of Neil, my friend, to follow Jesus; efforts which have taken him around the world and to see, he says, every miracle in the book of Acts and a lot more besides. The book is mainly autobiographical but with frequent pithy and challenging comments.
Neil comes from a farming/cowboy background in the north-western US; Jesus first became real to him in a crisis when he was 11; healed him of broken neck and probable paralysis when he was 17; but did not become Lord to him until he was 30, which is when he first started to read the Bible. Until that time he had close communication with God as a friend, yet he, Neil, was running his own life; he didn’t, for example, agree with God telling him not to sell drugs until God gave him an ultimatum, obey me or I stop speaking to you. At this point Neil became serious and here started misadventures in churches, which tried to tell him that he was wrong about everything and caused him to nearly lose faith. Eventually he realized that the churches were wrong (I like this kind of man) and that God was right.
Meanwhile he and Dana and family were moving around various jobs, all the time learning and getting educated in many areas. The book contains a lot of interesting stories, but they only scratch the surface of remarkable events; but the stories in the book are very illuminating, including, for example, prison ministry and a ‘revival’. Neil received a prophecy that one day he would get a telephone call that would see the start of international ministry; for 17 years he hung on every phone call, but nothing. He would consistently work an 8 hour day and then several hours in prayer, the Bible or ministry; 17 years of questioning and often anger, until he gave up; at which point the phone call came and with it the opportunity to go to India. The rest ‘is history’. There are many great ministry stories, but a constant theme is Neil’s faltering but correct steps of faith when God would come on the scene; what a great encouragement, though it should be noted that this did not happen in a vacuum but in a constant discipline and atmosphere of prayer. Neil told me how at one time he worked in a factory which meant constantly passing between rooms; he began to say, as a discipline, as he went through each door, “I go through this door in the Name of Jesus”; at first it was a discipline, but became a reality, an experience.The passion of the book is to make disciples and foster intimacy with God.