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by Gary James Smith
Not For Sale
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We were living in Sault, Ontario in the early sixties when the first Kentucky Fried CHICKEN Franchise came to town. Before that it was mainly Dairyqueen and A&W .
Over the years as our family grew it was the most economically viable way of feeding a family of nine as back then a barrel of chicken (20)pieces of chicken, two large fries and a large colesaw would come to just under twenty dollars. ($19.99 to be exact) In fact, I think that a large gravy was included as well. Over the course of a few years we ended up moving to Alberta where I began a small moving company and when the economy took a dive in the early eighties because of the national energy policy.
A lot of people who had moved out west were desirous to return to Ontario . As well, our family had been travelling back to Ontario for a vacation at least once a year
and we would always stop at a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise for our meals. It became such a regular routine at our stops along the way that one of our daughters, Stelena, when she would notice the Picture of the Colonel and the barrel on the store front would point and say,"kicken,kicken" and put her right hand in the air as if she was grabbing something. We would all laugh and then naturally pull into that particular store and have our meal. At one time I was sharing with the children that
apparently Colonel Sanders had become a born again christian believer. At the which, one of them piped up and said,"Does that mean we'll have chicken in heaven dad?" We all had a good laugh over that one too. During one move back to Ontario, I was travelling with 10 other fellows and we were moving someone to Winnipeg, Manitoba and then down to the Ontario region. I had purchased an older moving truck and three of us were riding in it and I had a crewcab truck that another seven were riding in. I hadn't even driven the truck around the block when I first looked at it (1963 cab over 17 foot moving truck). I chatted with the mechanic in the back of the large facility where it was located and when he asked if I would like to try it out, I said no, I will take your word for it. So when we had loaded all of the furniture that we were to be delivering and headed out towards Ontario, one of my sons who was driving the crewcab pulled up along side of me and said, "Dad, can I drive ahead of you?" I said,"at least wait until I've driven at least fifty miles, because if this will go fifty miles without a problem, I'm sure that it will go five thousand", he said,"ok dad" and at exactly the fifty mile mark east of Calgary, my son pulled up again and said, "Dad, it's fifty miles" I said, "ok, go ahead but don't go to far ahead just in case anything happens" he said, "ok dad and away he went. The spare tire for the furniture truck was in the back of the crew cab.About forty minutes later while driving and communing with the Lord and thanking Him for how well this truck was running. All of a sudden "wham", the right front tire blew and I was just on a descent on a hill, a very steep hill I might add. One of the fellows travelling with me had been sleeping and he bolted upright with a look of terror on his face. I went to apply the brakes but found out
that I had none. The blown tire had caused the brake line to malfunction so I was at the mercy of the Lord. Praise God that there wasn't any traffic coming because the truck took on a life of its own. It was moving back and forth from one lane to the other. It was on a two lane highway, fortunately by the Providence of God there was no other traffic at that early morning hour. I was in an immediate attitude of prayer, praying, "Dear God please protect these people's furniture and our lives as well. Bump, bump, bump it would go and then bump, bump, bump it would go again. I was holding on to the steering wheel but I was not steering. Finally on the final bump, bump, bump, the truck pulled off on the right hand side of the road right near a guard rail. Now my son, had gone ahead of us with the spare tire and I didn't have a flash
light on me. I got out to surmise the damage and all of a sudden I heard someone say "hello". I answered "hello" back and he said "do you have a problem?" I said "yes I do, my right front tire is blown and my brakes are gone, but I have a bigger problem than that right now". He said "what's that". I said, "my son has gone on ahead and I don't know when he will realize that I am not coming behind. "Where are you heading I asked him" He replied,"I'm heading to Nova Scotia. I have been laid off as a transport driver and I'm going back home. I said, " I'm not going that far, I'm only heading to Ontario, Toronto area. "Could I get a ride with you that far" he said, I said "sure , if you don't mind small quarters" Basically that furniture truck could only hold three comfortably and we were already at that quota. My son Steve laid
down on the rest area behind us. After about an hour my son appeared with the crew cab and we changed the tire and then had to head back towards Calgary to purchase some brake fluid. My son put a screw in the brake line and we limped into Brooks , Alberta at about seven o'clock in the morning. I pulled in behind a General Motors
dealership and waited for it to open. I went to the parts department and told them about my dilema and when asking me what year that the truck was, I was told that it was too old of a vehicle for them to be able to help me out but they gave me a location of a store that would probably be able to help me. I used the crew cab to go over there and explained the scenario to that fella.When I inquired as to what the cost of repair would be, he said that it would be seventy five dollars. That was the exact amount I had and had been expecting to use it for our meals until we got to Winnipeg where we would then be reimbursed for the move. I asked when he would be able to have it fixed and he said come back in a couple of hours. I left and headed back to the General Motors dealership. All of the other fellows had stayed behind and it was really hot out. They were just sitting on the grass behind the dealership. Myself and the hitchhiker (laid off transport truck driver) were just sitting and chatting when he asked me if I had a hydraulic jack. I told him that I did. He said, while we are waiting for the part to be fixed we might as well jack the truck up
and put the best tires on the outside in case we have a flat on the back, this way the best tires would be able to hold the weight. I said, good idea and proceeded to look for a small piece of two by four to put under the jack. Just as I began to look along the chainlink fence behind the dealership my son came over and said "Dad, do you have any money for chicken?" "No son, I said, I don't." He said, "I thought that you had seventy five dollars". I said " I did, but that is what it is going to cost to get truck fixed." He said,"we are all hungry dad," I said, " I know son, I'm hungry too but the Lord knows". Somehow that didn't seem to be much consolation to him. He turned and walked away. As I proceeded down the fence line I looked and there amongst some crumpled leaves lay a twenty dollar bill. I reached down, picked it up and yelled, "Hallelujah, chicken money". I went back to where my son was sitting with the other fellows and said, Stafford here's twenty dollars, go and get us a barrel of chicken, large fries and gravy and a large coleslaw." He said "dad, I thought that you were broke," I said, "I am son but the Lord had a twenty dollar bill sitting here in some crumpled up leaves for us." He said " hey guys, my dad found a twenty dollar bill here along the chainlink fence." You couldn't have found ten more swift footed men as they began searching themselves. Needless to say they didn't find any. When my son returned with the chicken, I noticed that someone had thrown out a pile of carpeting in the laneway. I said, "boys lets get this carpet and sit on it while we're eating and let me pray and give thanks to God for blessing us with this meal.
They all heartedly agreed, we prayed and ate, Hallelujah, what a Saviour, "hallelujah, chicken money!"

Five years later, as a further blessing with this above story. My wife and I and a few of the kids were travelling back to Calgary, Alberta from Ontario and it was on a Sunday morning. Often when we found ourselves travelling we would look for a church to attend as was our regular custom. We came across a Baptist church and it was just before the time of the service to begin. It was a Thanksgiving Sunday service. After we had taken our seats and the pastor was about to begin his message, he said,"I have never ever done this before but seeing it is Thanksgiving Sunday, I wonder if anyone would have a testimony to something that they can be thankful to the Lord for.
I waited a while and looked around to see if there was any response, when there wasn't, I raised my hand and said, " I would like to share a "Hallelujah, chicken money story, how the Lord blessed me and ten other fellows five years ago in this community of Brooks, Alberta. After his message a couple of people came up and thanked me for that testimony and said that it had blessed their hearts. I said, "Praise the LORD".

Remember friends, never be too "chicken" to share a testimony as to what God has done for you! It gives God glory, and will be a blessing to others as well. Have a great day!

Copyright Gary James Smith
Champion, Alberta, Canada


Does anyone have a testimony
Can I get an Amen!
Don't be shy to testify
About the sinner's friend
Witness to His workings
What He's done for you
Some needy heart is waiting
To hear your story too
Our God takes great pleasure
When Him we glorify
Stand up and give Him praises
Testify, testify!

Copyright Gary James Smith
Jan.25, 2011

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