The Faith of Lyle Luther Davidson
Posted September 4, 2010
Recently I asked God, "Where did my Dad get his faith?" The Father clearly spoke to me, "I gave it to him when he was born again, just as I gave you the faith to do what you do."
Growing up, my Dad's faith always made me uncomfortable and frankly he embarrassed me. I thought he was too simple, which was my pride and my mother's pride. My mother once told me, "Don't be like your Dad; get an education". Dad approached God with the simplicity of a child.
Dad was born again when he was seventeen along with his whole family in 1924. My Grandfather, Luther Albert Davidson and his family were Northern Methodist. When Granddad was fifty years old, he and his entire household were born again, just as in the book of Acts, when the jailer said to Paul and Silas, "What must I do to be saved and they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house " . At that time, he was doing road construction on a section of US-66 in the area of Rolla, Missouri. My understanding of what I have been told was that Granddad felt he could no longer continue doing business the way they had been. I know one day he said, "When we're finished with this section, we're going home." I assume that the bidding process for government contracts required things that he didn't feel he could be a part of any longer. For years, I never understood how in one day, Granddad just changed, and walked away from large government contracts. Today I understand; it was God. I know that is why I was able to walk away from my veterinary practice; my grandfather did it before I was ever born.
The Davidsons were a family with uncommon wisdom and a fear of God that can be traced to their ancestors. Records show Davidsons listed in the Scottish Covenanters Index. Those who remained steadfast in their Presbyterian beliefs and refused to take an oath to the king saying that he was the head of the church became known as Covenanters. They believed that Christ was the head of the church and were punished for this belief. Many were forced to pay the ultimate price for this by laying down their lives. Psalm 111:
10) "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding, have all they that do his commandments."
Not long after Dad was born again, God, in a vision, took Dad down to the gates of hell three times. He shared the experience with me more than once and told me he saw the flames and people that he knew in the flames. He said God would show him, and then pull him back, and then show him again and pull him back and this happened three times. He said, "When God was finished showing me those things, I wasn't just born again, I was converted. I had a fear of God after that day, which I had never had." Jesus said to Peter in Luke 22, "31). Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32) But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen thy brethren". Dad said there was a change in his life after that. God put a fear of God in Dad with that experience and he said there were things he was no longer able to do afterwards, because they were sin.
When Dad talked about the vision of hell I didn't believe him. I did not want to hear what he was saying; it made me very uncomfortable and I just wanted him to stop talking. He would tell me, "Doyle you're going to have to preach the gospel." Well, I didn't want to hear that either; I wanted him to be still. My sister Betty also remembers Dad talking about his vision of hell and she said, "I knew from the way he said it, he never intended to go there."
Recently someone asked me if Dad described hell beyond the details I have already related. I considered this, and my answer to the question was: "Dad never tried to sell you anything. He told you how it was, what he believed, and you could do with the information what you wanted, and I am the same way. Dad never felt the need to convince me or anyone else of what he experienced.
Dad spoke plain and it didn't matter who you were. Betty remembers him telling her after a visit to their house that "George and I had each chosen a boy to favor and we better stop or we would have serious problems later." She also wrote, "He told me on another occasion, 'If you allow George, he will make men out of the boys. If you stand in the way of him the boys will become sissies."
My dad grew up with six siblings. His oldest sister and brother both became preachers. Dad wasn't as tall as two of his brothers but his physical strength was unmatched, as was his faith. Dad demonstrated his faith, and his family and people around him couldn't deny it. Everyone that knew Lyle knew what he believed, even the guys on his construction crew, and they respected him for it. He could believe God to be healed, he could believe God to provide for his family and he was never afraid to take on jobs that others wouldn't touch. I would be amazed and he would say, "Doyle, this isn't me, this is God." He always gave God the glory. He was a house mover, a builder, a farmer and a mover of heavy machinery. If it could be moved, Dad could move it and relocate it and his reputation was such. In the late forties and into the early fifties, Dad relocated the entire town of Forsyth, except for one house, before they built Table Rock Dam.
Growing up, and as a young man, he had helped my grandfather, Luther Albert Davidson, in his dirt contracting business which was all done with horse drawn equipment and I have been told Dad could handle a team with a skill that was unrivaled, except by my grandfather.
Dad could handle people about as well as he handled horses and I spent much of my time with him when I wasn't at school, learning things you don't learn in the classroom. He was the only one of his siblings that contracted work all over the state, dealing with city and state authorities. He took jobs in Springfield, Jefferson City, Kansas City and St. Louis, as well as local jobs. He dealt with bankers, lawyers, city councils, inspectors, all types of people who were in positions of authority and he was not affected by their title or position or their demeanor. In his business he was required to get permits to move houses or equipment down the highways and if he ran into trouble getting the necessary permits, he would set his heart to believe God and always, there would be a person come forward to provide just what he needed and he would say, "God did that". He would get in trouble financially, God would deliver him and he would say, "God did that." That would irritate me, because I had no cloak for my sin.
Dad would come home from work, many times after being out of town all week, and get on the tractor in the evening and farm for three or four hours. He said God visited him while he was on the tractor one night and ministered to him for an hour and he said it changed his life. God convinced him of sin and brought him to repentance about those sins. I didn't want to hear that, I just thought, "Dad you are too simple for me". Now I understand; God visited me the same way, convincing me of my sins and God has changed me to be much more simple.
The day that God visited me while I was rotating the tires on my car and said, "I don't want you to be a veterinarian, I want you to be a minister of the gospel," I experienced a fear of God like I had never known. The presence of God was upon me and all I could pray was, "Lord, don't send me to hell, Lord, don't send me to hell." Dad's vision of hell was obviously in my heart, and that fear of God and hell was revealed to me that day. I didn't obey God and I went on to become a veterinarian with a successful large animal practice, primarily equine; years later God would tell me I didn't obey him because of unbelief. Dad never stopped being watchful of what was going on in his children's lives and one day he came and spent the day with me at my veterinary hospital. The parking lot was full of horse trailers and while I was working, he mingled outside with my clients, listening and asking questions. When the day was over he said to me, "Well I've found out two things." I said, "Yes, and what would that be?" "Your clients say you are honest and you're not afraid to say you don't have the answer but you'll try to find out." I replied, "Well that shouldn't surprise you, you raised me."
Dad never questioned my decision to sell my veterinary practice and obey God; he told me all the years I was growing up that I would have to preach the gospel. He knew I was doing what God had called me to do. Dad went to heaven in 1996 at age eighty-eight. He told me in a conversation we had not long before he went to heaven that he was proud of me and said, "I wished I had believed God like you do." It absolutely broke my heart. I said, "Dad, don't talk like that, if it hadn't been for you and Mother, I wouldn't even be on this earth."
When I was an infant and diagnosed with having a hole in my heart, a woman told Dad, "You might as well plan on finding him dead some morning." Dad said, "That won't happen. He will not die, he will live." The preacher from Redwood Church told Dad that he supposed all the holiness people's children were on their way to hell and Dad replied, "Well, I know there are four who aren't going and they're mine." Dad never wavered in what he believed. Many have heard the testimony of the Lord healing Betty Baxter. Betty's mother had faith God would heal her daughter and when other's including the preacher told Betty, she would soon go home to heaven, Betty's mother said, "Preachers don't know everything." My Dad had faith like Betty Baxter's mother.
The preacher from the Redwood Church was a family friend and years later he was visiting my parents home and he and I spent forty-five minutes in the kitchen discussing doctrine while the others were in the den. As we walked back into the den, he said to my parents, "There is nothing wrong with this man's doctrine."
We lived in a time when Dad made $1.50 per day with two horses and a wagon. Dad would load wagons with gravel by hand with a No. 2 gravel shovel. I remember when I was a small boy, hearing my mother say to my dad, "Lyle you know we don't have anything to eat tonight." Dad said, "Well we will have." Mother, in her unbelief said, "Well, I'd like to know how you're going to get it." "Well I would too," Dad replied, "but we'll have it." Now understand my mother was a Baptist, and she was of the mind that God helped those who helped themselves. Dad had faith, and he demonstrated it. He had a team of mules, Jake and Jack and he went down to the barn that morning, hitched up those mules and headed out of the barn and up the lane. Just as he was coming up the lane a car pulled in and stopped beside Dad and said, "Lyle, where ya' headed?" Dad said, "Well, I don't know, what do you want?" He said, "I need some hay baled, right now." "Well then," Dad said, "that's where I'm headed." Dad drove over, baled the hay, the guy paid him and he drove the team home and told mother, "Alba, we've got some money!" They went to town to the grocery store and bought plenty.
My Dad believed God for healing many times and he would tell me about it but I didn't believe it was God; I just thought my Dad was a strong man. I thought strength was of the mind and body but God has led me to repentance. God healed my Dad's broken jaw as he drove himself from the doctor's office, to the hospital, after being injured on the job. The doctor had examined him and believed it was broken, stating that he could feel a crack as wide as a pencil. He told Dad they would have to put a pin in it. He asked him if he wanted him to have the ambulance take him to the hospital and Dad told him he could drive himself. He talked to the Lord on the way over and after the doctor looked at the x-ray, he said to Dad, "Lyle I don't know what to think, all I see here is a hairline fracture." Dad wasn't surprised. His reply was, "Well, God healed me." The doctor said, "Well, I don't know about that Lyle, but I don't think its right to put a pin in it.' When Dad shared this testimony with me, it tore my heart up because the evidence was hard to deny.
Dad suffered from ulcers and had to give up certain foods because they made him sick, one of them being apple pie ala mode. One day while driving down the road he told the Lord he was stopping at a particular restaurant and he was going to have a piece of apple pie, with ice cream and if it killed him, God would just have to bring him on to heaven with ulcers. He ate the pie and was never bothered by his ulcers again.
My Granddad on my mother's side, Frank Miller was a Baptist and he never talked about God. When he was in his forties he started having a lot of knee problems and walked with a cane. In early '60s he began having lung problems and was in and out of hospitals as they tried to figure out what was wrong. He spent nine months in the hospital before he died and my Dad went nearly every night during those nine months and slept in a chair by Granddad's bed. Dad could sleep anywhere, on a concrete floor if necessary. If there was ever a man at peace with God, he was. Every night, Dad would talk to Frank about the Lord. He would tell him how the Lord had healed him; he'd tell him that you need to be born again. He told him that you needed to receive Christ and you would be saved. One night Granddad Miller woke up and said to Dad, "Lyle, Jesus is standing at the foot of my bed." Granddad went to heaven that night. Later, Dad said, "Doyle, I wanted to make sure he went to heaven."
When Dad was sixty-two years old he believed he was dying and going to heaven. Mother called me to come over and when Patti and I got to their house, Dad said to me, "Doyle I think I'm getting ready to go to heaven". "Well, praise God, Dad, I don't believe that!" I replied, and I took his head in my hands and began praying in tongues and God told me I wasn't " wrestling with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places," Ephesians 6:12. I continued to pray for three hours, Patti joining me all she could. We had arrived there at 12:30 A.M. and the doctor came at 3:30. The pain continued and after the doctor examined him he said he believed Dad was having a heart attack, he had all the symptoms. As we continued to talk, all the pain and symptoms left. Dad said God gave him a new heart. The doctor didn't know what to think, but told him to come in for an EKG in the morning and when Dad got there, the EKG machine wouldn't work. Dad just turned around and walked out and he didn't go to heaven till he was eighty-eight. A neighbor, Mother's cousin said to Dad later, "Lyle, if Doyle hadn't prayed for you, you would have died."
Derek Prince was the first charismatic preacher I met and Kenneth Hagin was the second. When I began to follow God, I thought these men could help me but I found they couldn't and the Lord told me so. I listened to Kenneth Hagin speak, and he related an experience of God taking him to hell three times, much like my dad's. He wrote about the experience more than one book, and he said he was born again during that experience. I also heard Hagin share about an instance where he fell, fracturing his arm and knocking his elbow out of joint. He wrote in his book, I Believe in Visions , that God allowed the accident to happen to "arrest your attention or you would not have lived past the age of 55 because you would have continued in my permissive will instead of my perfect will."(pg. 92) Hagin wrote, "The Lord told me.that he would restore 99 percent use of that arm. He said he was going to leave that 1 percent disability (not from sickness) to remind me not to disobey Him again, but to use the ministry He had given me." (pg. 93) He also wrote that the Lord told him he had allowed this to happen because, "you put your teaching ministry first and your prophetic ministry second."
Romans 12 states there is a " good, an acceptable and a perfect will of God" and Hagin supplied his own word, permissive. I also heard Kenneth Hagin say, "We don't do it quite like they did in the book of Acts." At some juncture Kenneth Hagin had to have yielded his members to a wrong spirit. I heard people in the charismatic circles talking about losing your healing and Kenneth Hagin even wrote a booklet titled, How to Keep Your Healing.
At one time a survey was done of Katherine Kuhlman's meetings, interviewing people who had been healed in her meetings. Out of the group who were interviewed, only 11 percent retained their healing after six weeks. At the time I heard this information, I was a little more humble toward the things Dad had shared with me through the years about his healings and I went to talk to him. When I told him about what I had heard about people losing their healing, Dad said, "Doyle I never lost my healing after God healed me."
As a child growing up, we attended the Redwood Church, which taught John Wesley Methodism. My Grandfather, Luther Davidson, along with his sons and others built Redwood Church. My cousin remembers them cutting the timber and hauling the logs with teams to the building site. I recall there being some dispute amongst the congregants over water baptism and because they weren't sure which was correct, sprinkling or immersion, they decided they wouldn't baptize at all, rather than be wrong. In later years, I once asked my Dad why he went there. He said because the other places he'd been were worse. I had asked Dad when I was eighteen, if I could stop going to church there; I told him it wasn't doing me any good. Dad said, "Well, if it's not doing you any good, then you ought not to go." But Dad never gave up on me, he knew one day I would preach the gospel.
While Dad and Mother were attending another church, which was also a holiness church, a number of people were discussing water baptism and my dad spoke up and said, "You ought not to speak too strong against water baptism by immersion, Jesus was." Someone told my Dad after that, "You ought to get out of that church and go to a place where they believe what the word says." Dad did eventually leave that church and began attending a Baptist church at the urging of my sister, Betty. She told my Dad he could fellowship with anyone, anywhere, but Mother couldn't and she was a Baptist. Betty suggested to Dad, "Why don't you fast and pray about moving to another church", and he humbled himself and did what she asked. After they started going to the Baptist church, he was no longer able to get healed. He and I talked about it. He had to see physicians more than he ever had in all his years and he also began taking medication. Baptist spirits seduced his faith.
As God began to reveal his word to me I realized Psalm 107 described my Dad. My Dad could not control his desire to enlarge his business and every time he tried, he'd get in financial trouble. He'd pray and God would get him out. He'd get in trouble, he'd pray and God would get him out. One year he was running some cattle and of course needed feed. He had planted a field of Hegari (pronounced hy-gear), which is a feed crop and it was withered from lack of moisture. Dad hitched up his mules, and went out and started cultivating the field, expecting God's mercy. It rained, the crop revived and grew tall with large heads and he had feed for his cows for the winter.
Lyle was a man with a lot of wisdom and common sense. He knew when he was in trouble and when he wasn't; he knew more than I ever knew about God. I marvel how he came to God with a childlike faith, never doubting that God would provide whatever he needed. Dad always expected God to come through for him. Even if he got himself in trouble and knew he had, he went to God, seeking mercy, and expecting it. He was never condemned, he just went to God, like a little child would go to their own dad, and asked for help. Hebrews 11:6 was obviously written in his heart, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
He was a student of the bible and he spent much of his free time, reading and studying. I remember growing up, hearing Dad speak things he believed to be true and at the time, I didn't want to hear about them or know about them but it is clear to me today that he had the faith to speak those things. He talked about the coming of the Mark of the Beast, 666 and he believed anyone who took it was going to hell. I certainly didn't want to know about that! I just wanted to die before those days ever got here. He was sure the church would go through the tribulation. I didn't read the bible, I didn't want to know. He saw in 2 Thessalonians 2, because people rejected God's word, God sent strong delusions to them and they believed a lie. Today I know that's true; America is full of people who rejected God and believed a lie and they elected Obama as their president. Dad read in Psalm 106 about how the Jews in the wilderness lusted after things, God turned them over to their lust and sent leanness to their soul and Dad said, "That is America since WWII."
Lyle was a man of great compassion, on the poor and the weak. He liked to pick up hitchhikers and he'd talk to them about the Lord and how he had healed him. He would ask them if they had any money or if they had eaten. Usually they hadn't and he'd take them to the grocery store and give them money to buy bread and lunchmeat and then he'd drive a short distance away and park and watch them till they came out and started eating; then he'd drive away. Dad loved people.
When asked about Dad, Dorothy, my oldest sister said: "Daddy was a good man and he would fight for all of us kids. He wanted us all to be good people, and he prayed for all of us, a lot." My youngest sister Glenda's sentiments of Dad are much the same as her sister's: "I will never forget the man my father was and the Christian life he lived and his willingness to always help others. Daddy prayed many prayers for all of his family. I could not have had a better father. I would not be the person I am today if it were not for his teaching, praying and caring," and sister Betty also wrote, "Daddy's faith made a great difference in all of our lives."
Kathy Mai, my daughter has also included her remembrances of her grandfather's faith:
"My name is Kathy Davidson-Mai. I am the daughter of Doyle and Patti Davidson. My Dad was the son of Lyle and Alba Davidson. I was the first granddaughter born to Lyle and Alba. I spent a lot of time with them as a young girl. They lived on a farm in Southwest Missouri and every summer I would spend a couple weeks with them while my Dad attended vet school in Columbia, Missouri.
I loved to go to the farm and I loved spending time with my Grandpa. He was a kind and loving man. He never met a stranger and he always thought of others, before thinking of himself. Many days when he would come home from a long day at work, he would jump on his tractor and ride over his farm. I rode with him many times and he would talk to me about Jesus. In the evenings, it was not uncommon to see him sitting in his chair, studying his bible. Also, I enjoyed the evenings on the farm, because my Grandmother would play the piano and he, my Aunt Glenda and I would sing hymns together. I went to church with him while staying on the farm, and I noticed that Lyle was different from many of the people that attended church with him. I now realize it was because my Grandpa believed God. He didn't just talk about the Lord, he believed that he was real and he wanted all of his family to be born again and got to heaven. I have heard many stories of healings that took place in his life, he just believed that God would do that for him, and he did. I won't go into that, because I am sure one of his children will probably get into that. When I was sixteen years old, my Dad sold his veterinary practice in McKinney, Texas. We ended up in Sarcoxie, Missouri where my grandparents lived. My Dad bought a farm and my grandpa would go out there and help my Dad on the farm. Through a series of events, my parents moved to Florida and I stayed with my grandparents in Missouri. I attended cosmetology school in Joplin, Missouri and they were gracious enough to give me a place to stay. I was not one bit interested in serving God; in fact I was flat rebellious at this time in my life. My Grandpa would try to talk to me about the Lord and I would just say, "Sure Grandpa." One night I awakened to Lyle kneeling on the floor beside my bed. He was praying for me. My heart was so hard, I was like, "Don't pray for me!!! I didn't say this out loud to my Grandpa, because I loved and respected him greatly, but my heart was convicted. I thank God for his prayers. He was a man with child-like faith and he believed for his family. One day his prayers and the prayers of my Dad, were answered and I quit running from God and starting serving the Lord Jesus. All of his children are born-again Christians, and I believe all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well. I am thankful to be a part of the Davidson family and to have had a Granddad like Lyle, a man with faith that believed his household would be saved." -Kathy Mai
When I told Dad and Mother that I spoke in tongues, he was troubled and went to see a preacher friend that also knew me. He told him that I spoke in tongues and the man said, "Lyle, leave him alone." He then mentioned a woman Dad knew and said "Do you remember her?" Dad said yes and this man told Dad, "When she started speaking in tongues, people told her it was of the devil, and she quit." When I went on television in Joplin, Dad watched me and he and Mother visited Water of Life and he asked me, "Where do you get your money?" I told him, "I have never told anyone what I need, I pray and tell God what I need, and people give..." Dad said, "Well good for you." Dad didn't want me to get off track, and become like most preachers he knew. On my television broadcasts I had been coming down pretty hard on Baptist spirits, and someone said to my Dad once, "Boy Doyle is hard on Baptists!" Dad just said, "I know." When my appendices ruptured in 1992 Dad called me and said, "You've gone too far this time." I said, "Dad you don't know what you're talking about, you better be quiet." He just said, "Ok."
I can remember certain places and instances that took place in my life that are as fresh in my mind as if it were yesterday and they sum up the faith Lyle ministered to me. I remember living on an 80 acre farm that Dad leased, southwest of Sarcoxie, Missouri. We moved there when I was a year old. It was a beautiful white frame house, bungalow style and it sat on top of a hill. It had a double lane one quarter- mile long that led to the main road. As the hill sloped to the south, there was a large barn with stalls for horses and cattle and there were hay troughs and feed troughs built in the side of the hayrack. Dad was a horseman and a teamster and he had a team of mules I've previously mentioned, that were infamous in the local community. Their stalls were in the northeast corner of the barn. One mule was black, and Dad called him Jack and the other one was a bay with black points and his name was Jake. Jack outweighed Jake by only ten pounds and could be a little ornery but the two worked together like a finely oiled machine. Dad had put them together as a paired team and they were sure footed and could walk on a steep slope as it was being built on highway jobs.
This team of mules knew Lyle. There would be times when I was in the barn with Dad and he'd send me into their stalls, and when you opened up Jack's stall door, he'd turn his head and look at me, and his eyes just seemed to gleam, like "Come on boy, I'm going to kick you out of this stall." Dad would walk up and just stand there and Jack knew he better just be steady, and Dad would say, "Go on, don't run, walk on up there, he won't hurt you." I'd slide on past Jack, get through the little gate into the hay rack at the front of his stall and I was ok; I could look Jack in the eye and I wasn't afraid then. I don't remember Dad ever letting me back out of a task. If I wanted to say, "Dad I can't, "he'd say, "Go on, you can do it."
In 1935 or '36, (I was three or four years old), Highway 166 was being built just east of Sarcoxie. They were having to blast through flint rock and as they did, they would use the flint rock to make gravel. They had a big rock crusher on the job, for crushing the flint and there wasn't a truck in the country that could pull the crusher. It was on wheels, and they couldn't find a team of horses or mules that could move it either and someone told them about Lyle. They came to visit Dad, told him what they needed and Dad said, "I have a couple mules that can pull it." So they hired Dad and told him they would let him have a go at it. What they didn't know was, if Dad said he could do it, he could, because it was faith talking.
Dad drove on to the job with Jake and Jack and he could hear all the other horsemen with teams laughing at him, "A team of mules pull that crusher, when our draft horses couldn't?!" Dad hitched his team to the crusher, took his time walking around his mules and checking their tack. Then he walked behind them, picked up the lines and Jack knew to set his feet, because he knew 'ole Jake would yank him off his feet if he wasn't ready. Dad said, "Jake", the pair leaned into that harness and the crusher started moving. By 10:30 that morning, Lyle was sitting on the bank, the lines draped over the hames, and he was talking to the crew. When it was time for the crusher to move again, Dad would just holler, "Jake", the mules would move the crusher, Dad would say, "Whoa", they'd stop, and Dad would go back to visiting. Knowing Dad, he was probably telling them how Jesus had healed him.
Dad told me he had to sell Jake and Jack, he liked them too much. People came for miles to see those mules, their reputation was well known. The day they left the farm, I don't think one of us had a dry eye. Almost immediately, Dad bought a grey mare and a black horse and began training them to pull as a team. One day as he was driving them around the yard, I was on the back of the grey mare, holding on to the knobs on the hames and she was not pleasing Dad. He said, "Doyle, hold on!" He hit that mare's backside with a rein, she lunged and he immediately stopped her in her tracks, never losing control. Mother was out in the yard and saw what happened and scolded Dad, "Lyle, you're going to kill that boy!" Lyle answered, "Alba, you couldn't get him off that horse, leave him alone." Dad ministered faith to my heart with those words.
We lived in the seventh district which was the Joplin area. The office that issued permits for that district was ran by a man named Sinclair who was about 5'6" tall, wore a mustache and always smoked a cigar. Dad would walk in and tell him what he needed and Sinclair would ask him all kinds of questions and it was the same thing every time; he just wanted to throw his weight around and watch people jump through hoops. Eventually, Dad started sending me to get the permits and I couldn't have been much over thirteen. Sinclair would see me coming and He would say, "Where in the hell is Lyle? He sends a boy down here to get this permit?!" I would say, "Well what do you want to know? I can answer your questions." "Oh hell," he'd roar, "you can't answer these questions!" But you know, I never went in there that I didn't get a permit. Dad would send me and I would say, "C'mon Dad, you know this guy is just going to cuss me out." I wasn't used to people who acted or talked like that, but I got to the place where he didn't bother me anymore. I'd walk in and say, "Dad needs this permit," and he'd grumble and snort around but I would get what I went after and I overcame my fear of him.
When I was around fifteen or sixteen, Dad started sending me to bid jobs. He would say, "Go on, you can do that." That's how Dad raised me; he didn't expect me to fail. By sending me to do what he needed done, basically to do a man's job, he was instilling confidence in me. Dad wasn't foolish or impulsive; he just continued to give me more responsibility, little by little. And in retrospect, I was learning what Dad already knew, ". faith to faith, strength to strength". God, out of Dad's heart, shaped my character and I am thankful for how I was raised. There was no one else, God made Lyle to be not only my earthly father, but also my spiritual father.
Dad went to heaven February 28, 1996. Physicians had advised him that day that he needed to make arrangements to move to an assisted living facilty, that he could no longer live alone. He said, "I need to go home and think about it." I had talked with him by phone and he told me he didn't want to go live somewhere else and I agreed with him. My sister Betty was with him, and was giving him a pedicure as they watched CBN with Pat Robertson. A young man was giving his testimony, and Pat was ministering to him. Dad just kept saying, "Isn’t that wonderful." Betty finished the pedicure; Dad leaned back in his chair and was gone. I believe it was his faith that took him to heaven.
Joplin Globe - March 1, 1996 (Pg. 25):
Lyle Davidson SARCOXIE, Mo. — Lyle Luther Davidson, 88, Sarcoxie, died at 9:50 p.m. Wednesday at his home after a short illness. Mr. Davidson was born Dec. 16, 1907, in Sarcoxie, and lived in the town all of his life. He was a mover and contractor. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Temple, Sarcoxie. He married Alba Miller on Dec. 24, 1927, at Hallowell, Kan. She survives. Additional survivors include a son, Doyle Davidson, McKinney, Texas; three daughters, Dorothy Mitchell, Republic, Betty Jackson, Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Glenda Schoen, Mount Vernon; a brother, James Davidson, Pierce City; a sister, Velma Fullerton, Carthage; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Housh Funeral Home, Sarcoxie. The Rev. John Gibson will officiate. Burial will be in Sarcoxie Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.
This is a very brief summary of Lyle's faith, many more pages could be written, but I am satisfied that all who have ears to hear will hear what the Spirit of God is speaking, through these testimonies of Dad's faith.
I didn't understand my Dad's faith at the time, but I do now; and my love and respect for him are immeasurable. Today I know, if not for my Dad and the faith God had given him, I would not be here, nor would I be doing what I'm doing. I am much more like my Dad in my walk with the Lord than I ever thought that I could be.
It is my prayer that all who read this will see God glorified through Dad's faith, for "without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6