ANGELS AT THE CROSSROADS
by Ann H. Gabhart
- Angels at the Crossroads, one man's inspirational journey from
wrongdoing to redemption.
Angels at the Crossroads is the life story and testimony of my friend, Jerry Shepherd. Jerry is a talented tenor singer and he and my husband, who sings bass, were both members of the Patriot Quartet. As we traveled around to Southern Gospel singings, Jerry shared bits of his story and I felt the Lord pushing me to write down Jerry's story. So Angels at the Crossroads, based on Jerry's remarkable testimony, came about.
Jerry is proof that the Lord never gives up on any of us no matter what we do wrong or how far we try to run away from his love and purpose for our lives. He keeps running alongside us cheering for us to get back on the right roads in life. Then when we do accept his love and start walking his way, the Lord rejoices with us.
A great way to get a copy of Angels at the Crossroads is at one of the Patriot Quartet's concerts where you can hear some toe-tapping Southern Gospel music. While no longer with the quartet, Jerry has started a solo ministry to share his amazing testimony in word and song. Jerry's powerful testimony and great singing will be sure to inspire all who hear him. His amazing story of grace is the reason Angels has touched so many readers. It's our prayer that the book will be an encouragement to all those who may have ended up on a wrong road in life and help them recognize the "earth angels" at their crossroads who want to help them find their way back to a better life. email@example.com me for more information on how to bring Jerry's inspiring story to your church or organization or you can check out Jerry's firstname.lastname@example.org info on Facebook.
Purchase this book by following this link: www.amazon.com
A PERSONAL NOTE FROM JERRY SHEPHERD...
For many years while telling my life story after I was released from prison, people would come up to me and tell me that I needed to have my story put into a book. I thought about it every now and then over the years, but then I would back off when I saw everything involved in getting a book together and getting it published. Well, it was too much for this old county farm boy to deal with, so things would cool off real fast and the thought of a book, let's just say, would be put on the back burner. I would give God another one of my excuses and leave it at that.
After I had been singing with the Patriot Quartet for four years, I came to another one of those crossroads that always seem to pop up in my life. With many hours and many miles on my body starting to take a toll on my health, I had to make a decision about continuing with the quartet or going into solo ministry to once again tell my story. Then along came Ann who is married to Darrell Gabhart, the bass singer in the Patriot Quartet. Ann is a writer and she had heard me tell parts of my story. She took an interest. We got together and all of a sudden the big word, book popped up.
God never ceases to amaze me. God always has a plan. God always brings the plan together in His own time. Thanks, Ann, for letting God inspire you to pick up pen and paper and write about my life. I pray this book will touch and bless someone at a crossroad in his or her life.
The chase was over. Jerry's car was almost out of gas. He'd outrun them when they had first pulled in behind him with their lights flashing as he headed home down U.S. 60. He'd floored the gas pedal, speeding well over a hundred, dodging other cars that spun off the road away from him and the police cars chasing him, and he'd lost them. He might even have gotten away, found a place to fill up and gone on to Louisville and who knew where after that. Maybe California. He'd run there once. He could do it again. But he'd wanted to see his mom and dad one last time before he ran again or the police caught him.
With an eye on his rear-view mirror, he'd cut through the country roads to get back to his farm. He knew the roads. He could have made it if only his gas needle hadn't been sitting on empty. A car's wheels stopped rolling without gas.
He had one last chance. He turned down a gravel lane he remembered from his school days where couples parked to make out. It was daytime. Nobody was there. He pulled down among the trees and hoped they'd give up the chase. He didn't pray. He didn't figure there was any use of that since he'd long since gone beyond the mercy of prayer. He just hunkered down behind the wheel and tried to be invisible.
But they found him. The car that pulled up behind him didn't have bubble lights on top, but its long antennas whipped in the wind. Without a doubt, police. They'd tracked him down and now it was time to pay for what he'd done.
Jerry kept his eyes on the car in his rearview mirror. They had been bound to catch him sooner or later, but he couldn't keep from wishing it had been later. He wanted, no needed to tell his parents goodbye, to see them one more time while he was still free. He'd been on the run for weeks. It was April 1969. Jerry was nineteen.
He'd thought about turning himself in. He'd done the crime. He was ready to pay for it, but he hadn't been able to decide how to do it. Even now he wasn't sure what to do as he pulled the mirrors down so he could better see the men climbing out of the police car. One of them walked slowly toward Jerry's car. At least his car now. Never really his car.
Jerry didn't have a gun, but he could make them think he did. Or he could just jump out of the car and take off running across the fields. They'd shoot. They'd shout at him to stop and then when he didn't, they'd shoot. He stared into the mirror at the man approaching his car and tried to decide if he looked like a man who could shoot. If Jerry ran, he'd want the man to be a good shot.
As his fingers touched the door handle to pull it up, he shifted in his seat and felt the Bible in his back pants pocket. Instead of opening the door, he reached around to take hold of the small serviceman's Bible the Gideons had given him what seemed like a lifetime ago while he was in basic training. He'd kept it with him through everything. He wasn't sure why. Courage maybe. Strength. Comfort. Definitely comfort. Now he knew he didn't want anybody else to get hurt because of him. Not even his parents, but it was way too late to be wishing that.
He didn't take the Bible out of his pocket, just curled his fingers around it. He watched the man in the suit and tie moving closer. The other man stayed at the car. He could feel the men's eyes watching for him to make some kind of move. Jerry's feet felt itchy and thoughts were exploding in his brain like a string of firecrackers all lit at once.
Then a calm voice bubbled up in his mind overpowering all the other thoughts. Peace be still. Peace be still. He gripped the Bible tighter and waited, hardly daring to breath.
The officer leaned down to Jerry's open window and asked, "Are you Jerry Shepherd?" The man looked older than his father and had gray hair and wary eyes.
"Yes, I am." It felt strangely good to admit that was his name after using another man's name these past weeks. A man who was dead because of Jerry.
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