A MARRIAGE MADE IN HOLLYWOOD (AND WAIKIKI BEACH), WAS STILL BESET WITH PROBLEMS — UNTIL GOD INTERVENED
By Dan Wooding, Founder, ASSIST News Service
LAKE FOREST, CA – One-time Hollywood film and TV actor, Bob Turnbull, who was featured in such shows as “Hawaii 5-0,” “Petticoat Junction,” “Ironside,” and “My Three Sons,”(The Man From U.N.C.LE.” and others, thought he had a glamorous marriage that was made in both Hollywood and Waikiki Beach.
But like so many marriages, it soon turned sour, and it took God to finally heal it. “We have spent 25 years of our marriage presenting marriage and family conferences all throughout the USA and Canada, and now only want to do them on an occasional basis,” said Yvonne Turnbull, who became a Christian in her late 20’s and quickly realized she had been designed by God for a purpose. However, too often she says, she was stopped from living out that purpose because of her struggles with a negative attitude, continual worry and fear.
Yvonne says that the Lord started on her journey of learning to both depend on Him and trust Him for everything in her life. Gaining confidence with the Lord directing her, she states that she started to experience a wonderful new freedom and growth in her life, plus how the Lord is truly faithful in all situations. When she started to share her journey with other women she discovered that many women were also struggling with worry, fear and a negative attitude.
She speaks from her heart to the hearts of other women, and encourages them as she delivers a message of hope of what God can do in their lives. Bob also shares this same message to husbands who attend their seminars.
Their life together began on the golden sands of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki Beach, where he and his wife, Yvonne, met at the “Sun and Soul Talk” beach service that Bob started there in the 70’s.
“We instantly had ‘an eye’ for each other and became good friends over a three-year period,” said Yvonne. “The Lord, in His unique way, changed that just-friendship level during the same week when we both had a strong nudge from the Lord to become husband and wife, which we did a few months later.”
Bob then said, “Even though we had a strong faith we soon discovered we were woefully unprepared for a marriage union.”
Yvonne followed up by saying, “We played the usual cover-up marriage game. We would put on the ‘Happy Mask’ wherever we went and so everybody assumed we were blissfully happy as a married couple. Not.”
Bob and Yvonne’s personalities are strong and they had a built-in power struggle, and each were too prideful to seek help. But God met them at their lowest point in those early years of their marriage, by giving them a reason for hope.
Bob says, “I was a volunteer football coach at a high school and while driving home from one of our practices I yelled out, ‘God, is there any hope for our team on Friday night? ‘And then added, ‘By the way, is there any hope for our marriage?'”
It was then that God placed a thought in Bob’s mind. “He reminded me of Romans 15:13 and what He planted it in my mind went like this – ‘May the God of hope – for your marriage – fill you with all joy and peace – in your marriage – but only as you trust in Him – so that you may overflow with hope – in your marriage – by the power of the Holy Spirit – Who – don’t forget – lives in both of you 24/7.’ Gulp! THAT impacted me.”
Bob went home to tell Yvonne the revelation that God had placed in his mind. As he walked in the door, he saw Yvonne sitting on the couch with tears in her eyes. He asked what was wrong?
Yvonne replied, “Nothing is wrong. Actually it is right. I was looking through the Bible and a verse in the New Testament caught my eye and one I am sure will give us hope for all of our marital struggles. Before I could tell Bob what it was he asked me, ‘Was it Romans 15:13?’ and that stunned me. I told him it was and then we both knew that was the Lord talking to both of us, giving us hope. We held each other and thankful tears filled our eyes. From that moment on it wasn’t just two steps forward and one back, but around four or five steps forward and one back. That was a turning point in our relationship.”
Prior to leaving the Hollywood Entertainment Industry and moving to Hawaii, Bob had been in many movies and TV shows, which also included, “The Smothers Brothers,” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” to name a few. Films were “The Story of Ruth,” Camelot,” “One Way Out,” and “The Little Bustard.” (Yes Bustard – it is a bird). It was during his Hollywood days that he became a Christian when a Christian actress witnessed to him.
God’s intervention three times in their lives kept them away from death’s door. Once, when Yvonne was thrown off a motorcycle when she had just graduated from high school and once, when she switched cars enroute over some mountain passes on her way home from Washington State University to her home in the Seattle area and because she switched from the front car to the back car she wasn’t killed when for whatever reason the front car decided to pass on a curve and was hit head-on by a lumber truck and the vehicle burst into flames and all four students burned to death instantly right before her horrified eyes. God had plans for her life.
Bob says, “In my case as a very young boy I was at a summer camp and came down with a bad stomach ache. A doctor who frequently visited the camp, and had just done so a week earlier, was passing by and at the last moment decided to pop in for a quick check. When told of my stomach ache and after he talked to me for a while he suddenly poked his finger right in the area of where my appendix is. I yowled. He quickly called for the Highway Patrol to come get me and with lights and sirens rushed 32 miles to the nearest hospital. I was later told that after one incision that my appendix burst. If that doctor had not stopped by when he did, and especially since I had that stomach ache for three days already, I could have easily died.” Yes, God had plans for his life, too.
“Since we received Hope at the right time in our own marriage, we want to pass along that Hope plus Help assisting couples in building a lasting relationship,” added Bob. “In the history of our conferences we have been informed that 1,822 couples, after attending our marriage gatherings, have either postponed or halted their divorce plans. Knowing THAT has given US HOPE to keep on keeping on.
“Having cut way back our national/international traveling, and now settled in the Palm Springs area, we are now enjoying being Relationship Coaches together, plus I am a certified personal trainer and Yvonne is a certified health coach, and just as of September 1st she is now full-time as the House Manager of the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, which is the Coachella Valley’s premiere performing arts center. Busy doing what our passions are and not just loving it but thankful for it.”
For more information on their ministry, please go to http://turnbullministries.org, and to e-mail them, please send your message to BTMIN@aol.com.
Photo captions: 1) Bob and Yvonne Turnbull. 2) Early days of Waikiki beach ministry, 1975. 3) On the set with Brian Keith – “The Little People” TV series. 4) The book cover of “Calling Angel One”. Bob working with Honolulu PD. 5) Acting with Jack Lord in the original “Hawaii 5-0” TV series.
(And to be sure that you have Peace With God we would like to encourage you to visit www.billygraham.org and then click on Grow Your Faith followed by clicking on How To Know Jesus. You may want to share this link with family and friends.)
PO Box 5580
La Quinta, CA 92248