Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Dad

My Dad


I was married, in college and a soon to be Dad the night I got saved. I couldn’t wait for the weekend to come to drive back home to Sanford to see my family. Mainly, because we stayed with one of our parents, they fed us and always sent us home with a care package of canned food and more utensils.

As soon as I walked in the house I told my mother, “Mom, I got saved.”

She was very happy for me, but it wasn’t a minute before my Dad came into to the room. He walked up to me, got in my face and said, “Boy, I’ve got to put up with that from your Uncle Bill, but this is my house and you can either shut up or leave.”

I just stood there. I couldn’t get over the people that weren’t as excited about me getting saved as I was. I honored my father and shut up. Dad and I continued to do a lot together; he was a jack-of-all-trades, my fishing buddy, but most of all, my Dad.

I moved back to Sanford about a year later and not much had changed in my life. I had a lot of friends, but one couple was special. (With two kids named Punky and Beaver, they had to be.) When I talked to Tom about the Bible, something was different.

It was like when Cleopas and the other disciple that walked with Jesus along the Emmaus Road. They said, “Did not our hearts burn within us as He talked with us by the way, and while He opened up the scriptures?”


My heart began to burn within me. I knew something was wrong, but not why. So, I decided that I wanted to change some of the things I was doing and that I was going to go to church. I was going to say no to “sin” in my life. It was a Wednesday night, and they had a service, so I went, and I went by myself.

Everyone was on one side of the building and the preacher wasn’t on the stage, he was in front with a little pedestal. I sat in back.

After a prayer, a guy raised his hand and said that he needed money to buy a new spark plug for the church lawn mower, “All approve say aye.”


“Aye,” Motion approved.”

Then they sang and the preacher gave a Bible study.

But he didn’t preach, he talked, and others would raise their hand and talk back.

Wow, this was different. After the lesson I raised my hand. “Yes, George?”

“Do you do this every Wednesday night?” I asked.

“Pretty much,” the preacher replied.

I said, “We’ll I like it.”


“Come back next Wednesday, then,” he said.

As I pulled into my driveway, there were two teenagers telling dirty jokes. It reminded me of another one, but I paused and said, “Nope.” Then I got out of the van with my Bible and said, “Sounds like you boys should have been in church tonight.”

"Tonight? We don’t have church on Wednesday,” they said they attended All Souls Catholic around the corner from where I lived on Elm Street.

I pulled a Gospel tract out of my Bible that I found at the church and read it to them. Then I asked, "What do you think, do you want to do that?”

One said no and walked off, the other, named David, said, “Yeah... I’d like to do that.”

Well, I didn’t have a clue what to say next so I asked him to come inside. We sat on the couch and I read the tract to him again and asked, “You still want to do that?”

His eyes were getting red and he almost whispered, “Yeah, I do.”


I still had no clue what to say or do next. I was laying in bed when I got saved so I said, “Come on, let’s go in the bed room!” We sat on the edge of the bed, David had his head down in his hands and I could hear his tears dropping on the carpet. I said, “Just a minute.”


I turned to the side and said, “Lord, I don’t know what to do!”

I didn’t hear a voice or anything, but it was like, “Thank you, let me do this.”

I felt a sweet peace and turned to David and said, “Just say, ‘Lord help me to pray' and tell Him what you want to do.”

He did, he prayed, and it was sweet, and just like when I got saved, he got real happy about it. I went into the kitchen and called the preacher. I said, “This boy just got saved, tell him what he did,” and handed the phone to David.


While David was on the phone I looked down and saw a pack of cigarettes in my pocket. I was embarrassed. I snuck them out and hid them in the bottom of the trash can. I was ashamed that David might see them. The strange thing was I just sat through a church service with them in my pocket and lit one up in the parking lot as I was driving off. Didn’t bother me a bit.

Even though I had been saved a few years, I did not know that the Holy Spirit lived in me. And when I started saying “No” to what I wanted to do, His presence became real. He was there all the time, longing to have a relationship with me.

Almost thirteen years later, I went over to pick my Dad up to go fishing. It was 5:30 in the morning and he always had breakfast ready when I got there. I walked into the kitchen, breakfast was ready, but Dad was back in his den.

He came into the room, slowly, and with his usual limp on his right side. He held up a little red booklet and said, “Hey boy, I did that.”


As I walked over to see what it was, he reached out and handed it to me. It was only 2 by 2 ½ inches, but the title stood out like BOX CAR letters! It read: Personal Bible, Verses of Comfort, Assurance and Salvation.


Dad reached over and flipped to the back pages where his name was signed at the bottom of a prayer that read, “God be merciful to me a sinner! I believe Christ died for me and that His Precious blood will cleanse me from all my sin. By faith I now receive the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart as my Lord and Savior; trusting Him for the salvation of my soul. Help me Lord to do thy will each day. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen”

He wrote in the margin around that prayer, “3-11-79 Born-Again Praise the Lord.”

Dad was 58 years old when he was “born again.” A Methodist preacher from Tampa held a revival at my Dad’s church and Dad went and knelt at the altar the night before.

My Dad died when he was 80. Like you, I get excited when I read, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you… so that where I am there you may be also.”

Every time I see the sun gleaming through a huge cloud in the eastern sky, I think, “Wow, now would be good time!”

I want to be alive to hear the Shout and the sound of the trumpet as we meet our Lord in the air! But, as I walk by those Jasper walls and along the River of Life, the next sound I want to hear is, “Hey, boy!” And I will, because someone shared the Gospel story with my Dad and he was ready to listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment