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When God Will Not Let Go

When God Will Not Let Go

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When God Will Not Let Go

115 pagine
1 ora
May 22, 2018


This book tells the life story of the author from birth until the time God brought him all the way home. It tells of his early life being raised in the hills of East Tennessee. He was raised very poor but happy. His father was an old-time preacher who worked hard to keep food, clothing and shelter for his family, while he pastored several churches. The author enlisted in the Army and went to Vietnam as soon as he was old enough. During the time he was in the Vietnam war he was protected many times by the hand of God. After he came home from Vietnam he was a fugitive from justice, with the FBI on his trail. He was finally captured and sent to prison. He was later released but continued his lawless journey until the FBI was after him again. He was again captured and later released. After this release God brought him home where he completely surrendered his life to do the Lord's will and has been preaching the gospel ever since. You cannot get away from God, he will bring you home sooner or later if you are one of his elect.

May 22, 2018

Informazioni sull'autore

Dr John McElhaney Graduated sums cum laude with a Th.D. He has pastored churches in Tennessee and Florida for almost fifty years. He has been Married to Margaret Leffew for forty seven years and they have three children, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. His passion is writing, preaching and teaching the sacred scriptures. He is available for speaking engagements by appointment. You may contact him by E-mail at , by phone at 423-836-7231 his mailing address is 1104 Christianburg Lane Sweetwater, TN. 37874

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Anteprima del libro

When God Will Not Let Go - Dr John McElhaney

When God Will Not Let Go

The story of how God’s protective hand and his sovereign grace, guided the life of one man through life and the war in Vietnam, even when

he was not honoring him.

By: Dr. John McElhaney

This book is dedicated to, Lee Roy McElhaney, my first cousin, who was my best friend growing up but did not make it back from Vietnam alive

Copyright © 2018 by John McElhaney

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


Chapter I The early years------------------5

Chapter II Entering the Military---------66

Chapter III Going to Vietnam--------------82

Chapter IV Back from Vietnam----------154

Chapter V A fugitive on the run---------175

Chapter VI Captured and imprisoned-181

Chapter VII Released but not changed-191

Chapter VIII God brings me home--------198

Chapter I

The early years

I was born in Ten Mile, Tennessee, in a little one room house on a hill above my grandfather McElhaney. My father’s parents were Bob and Bessie McElhaney, they owned a farm or what we called a farm in that day. It was mostly hillsides that had to be cleared before it could be farmed, but my grandfather, having farmed all his life for other people was now able to buy his own acreage, clear the trees away and do his own farming. My family was always very hard working self-supporting people who never believed anyone owed them anything, it was up to each person to make his own way. My grandfather never had any modern equipment to farm with, he used mules and all his farming equipment was what the mules could pull. I have watched him work the mules all day in the hot sun on the rocky hillside and bring the mules to the barn at the end of the day with the sweat running off them as well as grandpa. When I was old enough to handle the mules, I could work them. Being old enough meant you were about 10 or 12 years old. The mules were very gentle and used to the work, so you could plow with them by just saying gee and haw and they would take the step over without ever having to pull on the rains. You have never lived until you have worked a team of mules when you are about 11 years old, plowing with a two-horse turner, the plow hit a stump and the plow handles hit you in the belly, that’s what we called getting kicked with a plow, it can hurt you bad. I, most of the time would only use one mule, with the one-horse turner and the other plows made for one mule. I am so glad I was born and grew up in a time when people had a work ethic and was privileged to experience hard work.

My mother’s parents were William and Lula Sitzlar. Grandpa Bill, died the year before I was born, so I never got to see him in this life. He was a preacher who had married my grandmother when she was a teenager and he was 46. His first wife, died from one of the epidemics that came through in 1910 as well as his 10-year-old son. They were married for 20 years with 5 children, he needed a wife and married my grandmother who was Lula Adcock and they had 9 children, including my mother who was next to the youngest child. My grandmother Sitzlar bought 5 acres across the hill from my grandfather McElhaney, and built a house there. In this day people just built their own house. My father bought 1 acre from my mother’s mother and build the house where my siblings and I were raised.

My father, after I was born couldn’t find work, so he went to Florida and worked for a while in the orange groves driving a truck hauling the oranges to market. His sister who was married to my mother’s brother was already there with her husband, working. Another one of my mother’s brothers went with my dad. My dad, had some more family that was working there as well.

My mother and I were staying with my grandma Sitzlar while he was away. I remember during this time my mother still had a sister and two brothers who were still at home not married. I remember my mother’s youngest brother had a wind-up toy that when he was gone my aunt would get the toy out and let me see it, of course she would not let me hold it for fear I would tear it up. The toy was an Indian that would crawl on his stomach with a tomahawk raised in one hand as he sneaked up on his enemy, I would lay down in the floor on my stomach, my aunt would wind it up put it out in front of me and let it crawl toward me, I thoroughly enjoyed that.

One day we were in the house at grandmas and we heard hammering up on the hill above the house, my mother said, your daddy is home, she grabbed me up and ran out the door up the hill to the house my father had started to build before he left for Florida, and there he was working on the house, he couldn’t stay away any longer, he had come home to stay and finish our house.

After my father finished the house and we moved in I continued to live there until I left home, my father and mother lived there until she died, and a few years later my father moved into an apartment for the elderly in Sweetwater, where he lived until he had to go to a nursing home because of Alzheimer’s, later dying there.

I was the oldest of five children, four years older than my brother born after me, with another brother born about 21 months after him, a sister born when I was nine years old, and another sister died at birth when I was 11.

The house was very small 2 bedrooms with living room, kitchen, a porch on the front and porch on the side that was high above the ground because of the house being built on a hillside. It is very hard to find level land in this part of the country.

We enjoyed living there even though when the house was first build we had no electric, the power company had not furnished power to this area yet, so we lived with the oil lamps and wood cook stove in the kitchen, a heating stove in the middle of the living room with a stove pipe going up through the ceiling into the flue that went out the top of the house. Many times, I have seen the stove pipe solid red from the heat, it was God’s protection on us in those days or we would have burn up from a house fire.

It was so much fun living here with the heating stove in the middle of the living room. We would put potatoes in the ash pan from the stove, shake some coals down into the pan and bake the potatoes, that was good eating. We would also slice potatoes and lay them on top of the stove, cook and eat them, they were very good.

I never knew we were poor until later in life when people told us we were, we were happy, enjoyed life greatly, and had the same thing every day to eat. In the morning we would have gravy and biscuits for breakfast, this is what we had every day, with a piece of middling, or ham. We also had coffee, I cannot remember a day when I didn’t drink coffee, I think they must have started feeding it to us the day we were born. For lunch and supper, we had Pinto beans, potatoes with cornbread or biscuits. We would kill a chicken on Sunday, fry it up with gravy, I loved to sop the chicken leg in the white gravy and lick it off, the flavor from the fried chicken and the gravy together would make you swallow your tongue, that is what people would say when something was good eating.

Every family that could would have a pig they would raise to kill in the winter, this would be your meat through the winter. Hog killing time was when it got cold enough so the meat would not spoil. Usually it would be cold enough by November to kill hogs. The hog would be hit in the head with a sledge hammer or shot between the eyes, as soon as it was down you would take a long butcher knife and stick it in the heart allowing the blood to all drain out. You then would take the hog put it in this large vat of boiling water that you had been heating all day, this took several men to lift, some of the hogs would weigh 600 pounds or more. We then would take the hog out of the water and scrape all the hair off him. Next you would hang it up by the front feet and open him up removing all the internals. We used to say that everything is eaten

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