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Do you remember what you were doing on the morning of September 11, 2001? I do. Some points of history leave an indelible mark. This was one of them for me. I remember that I was in my office (Sullivan, IL) working when a chat request came to me as I was on-line. The chat request was from a preacher in Canada (Sarnia, Canada). “Have you seen the news?” I was asked. Of course, while in the office, I had not. Then checking the news I saw what happened. I turned on Fox News and was entrenched from that hour on.

I am a conservative man, a strong hardline patriot. I was ready to reenlist in the USAF all over again (I was in the USAF from 1982-1992) because I suspected, then finally learned this was sabotage or an attack. It reminds me of those things I read relative to WW2, how a great many young men gave up the routine and pleasures of life to serve their country when Japan attacked in 1941. Because of the determination those men had, because of the capacity of production our country could generate and because I believe the Lord was against the tyranny of evil propagating at the time, the Allied Forces crushed two military empires (Japan and Germany). In human history, this was no small feat!

There is another point of history that left an imprint on me, and that was November 1, 1983. With the Bible (the Good News Bible) in hand, I obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was a young man living in Alamogordo, New Mexico (USAF) when the events of life turned my attention from the things I was currently involved with toward things of greater value. I thought I had some religious inclination, and was even a little bit informed. I soon learned that I was not. My roommate, Dave Hunt, was a Christian who was not faithful, and in his lack of faithfulness, he was still better informed than me. Being humbled is a good thing to experience, though at the time I did not think so much along that line!

In my lack of knowledge, I decided that I wanted to be better informed. I went to Bible studies on the Air Force Base (Holloman AFB), and engaged where I could in conversations. My apostate roommate invited me to church services one day (might have been on Easter Sunday), and while interested, I was not intrigued all that much (yet). Weeks came and went. On the AFB I hosted a Bible study in my dorm room (otherwise known as barracks). From that study, I learned enough about the Gospel of Christ that I knew I wanted to become a Christian. On November 1, 1983, I was baptized into the Lord Jesus for the remission (forgiveness) of my sins. I was happy, but I then became a bull in a china shop. I was clumsy and enthusiastic in my new-found commitment to the Lord. As the years unfolded, I moderated and learned more humility by being humbled. Tough growing pains.

Here it is, 33 years later and I am writing a bulletin article about an indelible mark left on the brain of Ron Thomas. In those three decades, not all of my experiences have been positive; some, in fact, have been rather painful. Still, the decision I made a long-time ago has brought no regrets to me. Instead, I have a living hope before me.

What kind of imprint did your decision for Christ leave on you? Was it a greater impact than that which occurred on September 11, 2001? It is very likely you remember what you were doing on September 11, 2001. Whether you do or not, does the Lord remember you because you have chosen to take up His banner and carry His name with you? On this date, let us be reminded of what is really important. RT

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