Testimony of Claude Joyner
MY LIFE AND ATTITUDES BEFORE FOLLOWING CHRIST.
I grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, but spent the majority of my
adult life living across the country, from one ocean to the other. I
did pretty much whatever I wanted to do, with little regard for anyone
else, and without giving Christ any credit. God had blessed me with an
abundance of physical and mental ability. I was an extremely arrogant
young man with interests that were centered around sports and sensual
HOW I REALIZED GOD WAS SPEAKING TO ME.
In 1961 I was baptized, but did not at that time make a commitment
to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Growing up in a praying Christian
family I heard the Gospel many times, but it never got hold of me. I
proceeded to live any way I wanted, figuring that being baptized meant
I was a Christian, and assured of going to heaven. I reaLized God was
speaking to me, and he really got my attention when I was diagnosed
with Hodgkins Disease on 9-9-69.
The diagnosis was Hodgkins Disease stage 4A in the summer of that
year. More times than not stage 4A is fatal. I entered Yale New Haven
Hospital which was using an experimental three stage treatment program
for Hodgkins disease. It consisted of a stage of pills, starting with
15 a day for awhile, then 12, then 9, then 6. The second stage involved
regular cobalt radiation treatment. The last stage was chemotherapy and
needles, sometimes administered in the hospital overnight. This
schedule was to be repeated three times, or for three cycles.
Just as I knew I was ill before the diagnosis, I knew I was healed
before the treatment was completed. Against the advice and direction of
doctors and parents I ended the treatment after the second cycle. I was
told that if I lived 5 years, they were reasonably assured that the
disease was in remission. I was never told that I was cured until 1985.
HOW I BECAME A CHRISTIAN.
He finally got through to me 10-13-85 through the preaching of
Pastor David Durham. A friend invited me to Mt. Sinai Baptist Church
where the Holy Spirit said "this is your church home". During the
sermon the Holy Spirit said "you've run long enough, it's time to come
home." I had to stop committing the sin of trying to control my own
life. It scared me when I was informed that sin's penalty was
separation from God for now and eternity. It brought tears to my eyes
when it sunk in that Christ paid the penalty for sin when he took my
sin to the cross, accepted the judgement for it, and made it possible
for me to be accepted by God.
Receiving Christ meant acknowledging I was a sinner, accepting
forgiveness from Him, inviting him in to enter my life as Lord and
Saviour, and trusting him to do for me the things I could never do for
WHAT BEING A CHRISTIAN MEANS TO ME.
I'm not perfect, just on the right track. I'm not without problems,
I just have resources to handle them that I didn't have before. I now
have Jesus on my side, and my problems are not mine when I give them to
Him. II Corinthians 12:9 makes sense now when God tells us through the
Apostle Paul "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for
my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I
rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon
My purpose in life is to glorify God, and to be a witness to what He
can do with a converted and committed life. I desire to learn and do
God's will, through prayer, faith, study, and application. I spend more
time doing work for the Lord and not for man. I pray more and I am more
mindful of being a better steward of God's money. I'm not afraid to die
anymore because I know how fragile and temporary this human body is and
that this earth is not my home. I understand what the Apostle Paul
meant when he said in Philippians 1:21 "For to me to live [is] Christ,
and to die [is] gain."
I am just a pilgrim passing through on my way home to Heaven.
Christian friends greatly help the journey with fellowship and prayer.
My level of tolerance is much higher, minimizing the frustrations.
Failure on my part represents an opportunity for God to display his
power. I'm truly thankful now for the little things, like being able to
see the sun shine, and to hear the birds sing.
Unto Him be the glory, for now and always.
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