Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Keep Your Tools Ready, Guys

You never know when you'll need them. I offer the two on the right, as evidence for the prosecution.

The one at the top is, or course, one of my Bibles. An HCSB that was given out, gratis, at a B21 Meeting during the SBC Convention in Louisville (thanks, Lifeway).

The gray one that's all dusty, at the bottom, is called a "RotoZip". It's sort of a mini-router, designed to let you "plunge cut" and saw things without a big blade whirring away. It came with various semi-drill bits, which you chuck into the business end and then run'em up to 20,000 rpm, if you want.

I needed it today as I wanted to take the baseboard up in part of the basement and check to see if the bottom plate (the 2X4 fastened to the slab, that the wall's nailed into) was dry.

It was. But to get to it and check, I had to remove about 1-3/4" from the bottom of the drywall. I went and got the RotoZip, as it was perfect for the task. I even had the clear plastic attachment that the vacuum plugged into, and when I cut 1-3/4" of gypsum board there was no dust whatsoever. It was really cool!

Now: the cute part about all this is that I bought the RotoZip maybe 15, maybe 20 years ago in a fit of weakness and under a barrage of heavy TV advertising. I bought it and brought it home but I didn't actually use it. Well, I did a couple of really small things like punch a hole in a piece of plywood, but nothing approaching slicing through 12' of drywall. Which took about 20 seconds.

I was really glad I'd bought, and kept, it.

While I was pondering the wisdom of keeping my tools ready, I was reminded of an episode from 40+ years ago. It involved some Discipleship Training, 4 weekend retreats under the tutelage of Doug Snider, founder of Shamgar Discpleship, as it is now known. I believe we were the 6th training class he'd held, and he came to Indiana to put them on for 12 of us, in a Southern Indiana Methodist Campground.

During Shamgar, we learned a particular method of presenting the Gospel in a story-telling, non-threatening way. The method generally involved the verses in Billy Graham's Tract "Steps To Peace With God", although we memorized them and did not use the tract as a presentation. The idea with Shamgar was to equip believers to use whatever they had in their hand .. whether a cocktail napkin on an airplane, or just a conversation on a street corner, to promote the gospel.

I'd learned the program pretty well, and in fact, presented it to a Sunday School Class at a Boy's Prison, before the Shamgar Sessions were even over, and 6 kids prayed to trust Jesus.

Our last Shamgar Session was May of 1971.

Cut to June 1991. We were on a Mission Trip to Nassau, and were leaving to come home. When we went to the airport to return home, Sam Neugent, our leader, asked me to stay behind with the luggage and shepherd it through the Departure process, which he'd pre-arranged. I did that, and when I got through Customs, Immigration, or whatever department oversees all that, I walked down to the gate. The rest of the crowd was already there.

As I walked past an empty gate adjacent to, but across the hall, from our gate, I heard someone in the gate say "But love is love...", to which another voice responded "But if it's not the love from God, it doesn't count". This got my attention, so I backed up two steps and glanced into the waiting area.

I saw two gentlemen .. one in a suit and one in a Baggage Handler Uniform ... talking. It was obvious that the guy in the suit was witnessing to the Baggage Handler. So I walked over to them and said "Excuse me ... do you mind if I listen in?" They both said they didn't mind, and continued talking.

After perhaps 5 minutes of back and forth, I asked if I might say something. They said yes, and I said "You know, all this is baloney". They looked a bit surprised, and asked why, and I responded, to the Baggage Handler,that the only thing that really mattered is, "If you died tonight, do you know where you'd spend eternity?"

He said he wasn't sure. I said if he wasn't, I WAS. I asked him if he'd like to change that, he said he would, and I launched into the "Shamgar Presentation" I'd learned 20 years before. Now I have to say I most likely could not have recited it 15 minutes before, but I didn't need it then. When I did, God brought it back clear as a bell. At the end, I asked him if there was any reason he would not want to be a Christian; he asked me two questions, and after I answered them, he said he'd like to become a Christian.

We prayed a prayer, and then I said "Wait here a second" and I ran to the next gate and asked one of our youth for two of the tracts we'd used on the trip. When I got them, I ran back to the other gate, gave one to each man and said "Here's what you just did". I then spoke to the guy in the suit and said "He's yours, brother .. see that he gets into a church and gets fed." He said he'd do that, and I ran back to our gate and got on the plane, the flight having already been called.

As I was sawing the wallboard this morning, my mind went back to the airport in Nassau, and I reflected on how wise it is to keep your tools ready, because you never know when you're going to need them.

God certainly knows how to set that up.  And, sometimes, it's right now!

And it's just YOU.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Living the Christian Life is Hard. Not.

Our lesson in Sunday School was interesting, Sunday. It concerned the story of Israel's grumbling against God, God's serpenticious (if that's a word) response, and Moses lifting up the bronze replica of a snake, on a pole. But it turned into something else.

Among the other things we discussed, the thought arose that some may have been skeptical about the effectiveness at looking at a bronze model of a snake on a pole. I mean, venomous serpents were biting people and they were dying, and how does one negate the effects of that by simply looking at something?

Well, specifically, it's what God said to do. But it was just so simple, you know? 

Now, the Bible is silent as to whether anybody didn't go and look, out of skepticism, but then Scripture doesn't say everyone was made well, either. So, human nature being what it is ... and was ... I'm guessing some know-it-all who knew better, woke up the next morning dead.

Anyway, we then discussed whether anyone had done anything that seemed so simple at the time, but yielded results all out-of-proportion to the effort involved. That's a frequent thing in God's work, where we are serving the God that we do. And it's one of my old mantras with the class ... I'm sure they're tired of it by now ... that it's not what we do in advancing the Kingdom, but rather what GOD does WITH what we do in His service. One of our members shared a very moving story of her mentoring ... which really started out as just a friendship ... with a teen in FBC Pelham that ended with the teen growing into a fine young lady, marrying into a very well-known family, and starting a nationwide ministry that she'd dreamed of for years. Our member was very moved even in the recounting of the story, and was in awe that God would use something so simple to produce such awe-inspiring and eternity-impacting results.

I also recalled suggesting to our pastor that we start a Sunday School Class for folks in the nearby Riverchase community ... after 3 failed attempts by folks to start a church there ... and the eventual result of the Class was the Riverchase Baptist Church.

That was one of the most awesome and humbling things in my own life.

Anyway, I'd started the class by asking a number of questions (as I always do) and I had asked them if they knew how you eat an elephant. They did ... it's "one bite at a time" ... and also if they'd ever assembled any IKEA furniture. I showed them an instruction sheet, in fact ... the one up in the corner. It's step #21 on Page #17 of the instructions. And there were a couple pages following, too!

The bottom line, and hopefully the real takeaway point in the whole lesson was that the Christian life is like assembling an IKEA bookcase, or eating an elephant. You do it one step at a time. In fact, until you do the next thing, you cannot do whatever follows.

I've heard for years that living the Christian life in "this modern world" was a hard thing to do. It's not, if you want to. It's become obvious to me that the things which are difficult for us are the things we don't want to do. It may be hard to get up at 4 a.m., but if someone gave you an around-the-world vacation, and the plane left at 4 a.m., you'd probably not have much trouble being there on time.

Side note: they were saying that living the Christian life in "this modern world" was a hard thing to do, in our Sunday School class 50+ years ago! Go figure......

The idea in following Jesus is to do the next thing. Do the next thing! We're so accustomed to advance planning, long-range goals, and cause/effect, that we lose sight of the fact that Jesus is building His church, and if the "Gates of Hell" ... whatever they are ... cannot stop it, neither can we. You don't have to concern yourself with visiting the widows and orphans in their distress, while you're next door delivering a cup of cold water.  Nor do you have to worry about using the gift of administration when you're turning the other cheek after an insult, or turning away wrath with a soft answer.

We also had a brief discussion as to whether living the Christian life, according to what the Bible says, is any different from doing what the local church tells us to do. The class came up with several things ... they expressed that the Christian life should be earmarked by the Fruit of the Spirit ... love, joy, peace, all the others, and also marked by the characteristics mentioned in the Beatitudes, whereas the church seemed more to focus on church activities than that. Did you go on a mission trip? Did you bring your Bible today? Did you go to Sunday School? Are you tithing?

Perhaps it is that the church, with its collective desire to see its people doing things, is more focused on seeing the people involved in something they can count and report, than in developing people into what they should be, living how they should live.

Someone once said it's amazing how much you can do when you don't do anything else. If our focus is on being what we are ... followers of Jesus who are happy that's what we are ... and doing the next thing God puts in front of us to do, I think we'll find out how much God can do in our lives.

God specializes in doing extraordinary things in the lives of ordinary people, who seek the abundant life for which Jesus came to earth. And act like it.

While they're doing the next thing.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Stewardship ... Part One-Half

I taught our Sunday School Class a lesson on Stewardship this past Sunday. March was "Stewardship Month" at FBC Pelham, and all the adult classes were asked to have such a lesson.

Our Ed Min even furnished 4 sample lessons, but I read through them and did not care for them. At all. They had what I considered unacceptable errors. So I prepared my own.

I must say it was the most fun lesson I've done in a long time. I am certain the Holy Spirit was in it, because, when I sat down to begin preparation, the outline came out clear as a bell and I knew immediately what I wanted to discuss.

And it was, in fact, a discussion. The class was exemplary, IMHO.

The outline that popped out all of a sudden was this:


  • What kind of giver is God?

  • What does God say about giving?

  • How does God feel about giving, and about those who give?

  • Who is to be our pattern for living?

  • What is good stewardship not?

  • What's involved in being a good steward?

I had seven pages of outlines and notes, so I don't think I'll try to explain my thoughts in one sitting here. My carpal tunnel doctor would probably plan a room addition to his house, if I did. But I'll share some, now, and maybe some, a bit later. 

 FIRST: What kind of giver is God? He's a pretty good one. The best that ever was, in fact. He created the earth and all that's in it, and gave it to man to dominate and subdue. And God didn't ask for us to DO anything in return. He simply instructed us not to do one thing He didn't want us to do. And it makes a lot of sense that He did that, as taking that first bite of forbidden fruit was arguably the worst thing any mortal ever did. The conclusion then would be that instructing us not to do that would be an act of love, not one of cruelty or deprivation or tyranny.

 Even after that first sin, He left us here, albeit not in the Garden. But I've seen a lot of the world in my life, and I can tell you God left us in charge of a pretty terrific place. And if the whole "some plant and some water but God gives the increase" thing is true, then it's God who causes crops and herds to grow, too. So He's still giving, today.

Ephesians 2 says: "Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus." And the word used for "riches" seems to apply to earthly treasures as well. So God indicates his grace shown to us in salvation, is as precious ... and moreso, really ... as all the wealth the world has to offer. He give us not only the world, but something He considers precious to Him: Grace.

 Matthew 7:9 ... Jesus speaking ... tells us: "What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" 

Point blank, He tells us that God gives good gifts. And He gives them.

1 Corinthians 4:7 "For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you didn’t receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as if you hadn't received it?"

Some of the Corinthians seem to have been proud of their gifts, and Paul is reminding them that they didn't have anything they weren't given..I made this point to the class by asking if they knew anyone that worked harder than they did, but had less than they do. Or anyone who was smarter than they, who similarly had less. When they said yes, they did, I asked them "Then why you?". I think they got the point.

I'll pick up next time on how God says, and feels, about those who give.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

When Enough Good People Do Nothing ...



You've probably heard of the buildings that blew up in New York City ... East Harlem ... yesterday morning. That's them in the picture, up there.

They are now completely a pile of debris. Looks like a landfill with building rubble dumped on it.

What's staggering is that several people living there and in the adjacent building reported having smelled the odor of gas, the night before. But there are no records of calls to the authorities, and no one has said they reported it.

Related: years ago, I read a study, in Reader's Digest I believe, designed to test how likely people were to report a problem, based on the perceived size of the audience. In the experiment, the subject was in a soundproof booth participating in what he or she thought was an anonymous group, sharing their inner demons ... fears, problems, limitations, etc. ... to see if the act of sharing them would help them deal with those "demons". The first person to share always told his story, got gradually more and more upset, and eventually screamed he was having a heart attack. The hoped-for response was the "subject" would come out of his soundproof booth, yelling for someone to help that person he thought was having a heart attack.

What they found was this: when the "subject" thought he was in a group of two .. just himself and the guy with the heart attack, he ALWAYS came out of the booth. But when he thought he was part of a group of three ... him & #1 and somebody else, the "subject" only came out of the booth one out of four times!

When the "subject" thought he was part of a group of five or more, he never came out!

Thought #1: When I read that, I resolved to never be that guy that never came out of the booth, since I now knew I couldn't count on others in the situation. That has led me to second more motions in meetings, when everybody else was sitting around with their teeth in their mouth, not doing it.

Thought #2: I don't know how many people smelled the gas that eventually turned those buildings into rubble, but apparently not a one of them took action to notify authorities.

Thought #3: The SBC has a lot of problems right now. By every objective standard I've seen, we're in decline. And if you look at population over the past 10 years, percentage of members actually attending church, baptisms, giving compared with inflation, it should be obvious that something's wrong.

Take the matter of attendance. A couple of years ago, The Alabama Baptist published a bunch of statistics for Alabama, by county, showing the membership and attendance of churches in Alabama, both for all reporting churches, as well as for Southern Baptist churches. The volume of numbers was a bit overwhelming, but it was a simple matter to take the 6 big population centers in the state  ... Jefferson County, Montgomery County, Mobile, Shelby County, Madison County (Huntsville) and Tuscaloosa ... and do a spreadsheet figuring the percentages of attendance for the Baptists, and for everybody else. What they revealed, in terms of attendance as a percentage of membership, was ......


Baptists: 33.28%
Others: 53.97%


Against a setting in which the prime directive ... the Great Commission ... is to "make disciples", even I can deduce that something is radically wrong, in the SBC, in what should be as Southern Baptist a state as there is.

Yet I hear very little about this from the higher ups ... the people with the prime responsibility to see problems and find solutions ... and it's painfully obvious that something is also terribly wrong with THAT!

I wonder how long it'll be until the SBC looks less like the picture above, and more like THIS.....  





All it'll take is for enough of those good people........

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

No. Not Telstar. TRELSTAR Is What It Are.

It's not the big round thing over there on the right. Even though it feels like it. What they shot me in the hip with, earlier this afternoon.

Telstar was a communications satellite ..  a series ... many years ago. There was even a song by that name, which was back when satellites were new. Trelstar is something else.

It's a hormone-suppressant developed over the last few years. It's used where Prostate Cancer is present, and it suppresses the production of the hormone that feeds the cancer. There are others ... I took Lupron in 2008, before all the radiation treatments, which ended January of 2009.

I got the shot in the hip this afternoon for the obvious reason. Yup. My old friend is back.

My PSA has been creeping up very gradually for several years. It was 0.01 in December 2008. Since that time, it has crept up to 0.05, 0.3, 0.5, 0.8, and finally ... from a blood draw 2 weeks ago ... 1.2. For comparison purposes, in 2008 my PSA had risen from 3.1 to 5.1 in 4 months. That told the doctor it wasn't BPH (it's easier to say Google it that it is to spell it....), but more likely Prostate Cancer. Tests revealed it was, and in the fall of 2008, it was surgically removed.

But, surprise surprise, the PSA only went down to 4.0. That told the doctors that the cancer had gone somewhere else, and scans found it was most likely an enlarged lymph gland in the abdomen. Two months later, after 40 radiation treatments, that problem was solved, with a 25% chance it would end the problem.

Apparently, I'm in the other 75%.

So it's back, somewhere. The Trelstar will likely stop it, and the PSA will go to zero. At least that's what we're hoping. That's what history says will happen. And, this is apparently the slowest-growing cancer around, which also adds an interesting twist to the mix.

Chemotherapy .. as this uneducated layman understands it ... is ineffective with prostate cancer for an interesting reason. Chemo works by killing the faster-growing cells, which include most cancers, and also includes hair cells. So .. the hair usually falls out. Again, as I understand it, chemo goes everywhere in the body, but cells are at their weakest when they are dividing. Which is what hair cells do, and which also causes cancer's growth.

Well ... prostate cancer grows so slowly that the chemo just isn't effective.

So, I think the old adage is true ... most men die with prostate cancer, but not from it. A little like a kid that develops acne, and then gets run over by a truck. He dies with acne, but surely not from it.

Besides, at 75, I'm 'way too old to die young.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

TWO PROMISES; MANY TROUBLES


I know that The Garden of Eden probably didn't look like that, but it'll serve the purpose, I guess. That's where I want to start, anyway.

When God created man, and put them in the Garden, it was the most perfect of settings. The earth in its entirety, the most beautiful spot on that earth, and His crowning achievement .... man.

And woman.


I ask myself how long God made that arrangement, to last. A year? A century? Had Adam & Eve not sinned, would that idyllic arrangement have persisted? Maybe as long as it took to multiply and fill the earth?


I think so. But it's irrelevant, except in one important aspect. 


I don't attribute the sin, of man, to God, in any way whatsoever. And if I don't, then I have to think the situation in the Garden could have gone on forever, but for man's sin. So in that sense, I must ask whether man derailed God's plans.



I don't think we can do that.

Fast forward to last week, as I was preparing my Sunday School lesson. I was thinking on the character of God, and I stumbled across the thought that God only promises that there are two things we will definitely have in this life.

  • John 16:33: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
  • Hebrews 9:27: "Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment..."


Troubles, and death. 

Regardless of our faith.

Sure, there are lots of things God promises us, in Jesus, but not everybody will turn to Him, and not all those who do so will elect to love others, experience joy, or peace (which we do have to decide to do....), or all the other myriad of things God promises to His people. But EVERYBODY is going to experience troubles in the world, and EVERYBODY is going to die.


Now, we know that the eventual outcome for the Christian is eternity in a setting far more wonderful than we imagine the Garden of Eden to be. But that's on the other side of death, and it seems that God would prepare us for that, if we're willing to see it.


So ... what's the one thing that will prepare us for death? Reading up on it? 


I doubt knowledge would accomplish that. 

Focusing on the defeats and heartbreaks of life, so death will seem like a relief? 

I doubt God wants that ... it'd be a lousy witness to His sustaining power. 

Anything the world has to offer .. like "Positive Thinking", stuff like that? 

I doubt it.


Maybe there's a clue in the Bible. From Matthew 14:32-33, immediately after Jesus had helped Peter up out of the water, and the two of them got into the boat Peter had just stepped out of:

When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  Then those in the 
boat worshiped Him and said, “Truly You are the Son of God!”

These guys had seen Him do plenty of miracles, including feeding a huge crowd with just a boy's snack, just that afternoon. Water had been turned into the best of wines, blind eyes had seen, dead folks had rejoined the living, and Jesus had just gone for a walk on water! 

If you'll note, when He made wine out of water, they placed their faith in Him. But when He miraculously saved them, they worshiped Him! 

We hear lots & lots of stories about what miracles God does in other places and at other times and to other people, but when Jesus brings you through something in a spectacular fashion, it's up close & personal, and our reaction should be as the guys in the boat's was.

If we keep our focus on Jesus, I figure He will show us how He has saved our bacon many, many times in this life. With its troubles. And maybe the woes of this life are part of His plan to make us so sure of His ability and His intentions, that the specter of death becomes another woe that we're absolutely certain ... way down inside ... He'll bring us through.

And, better for the experience.

And THAT is nowhere more true, than in the last woe we'll face on earth. Which will bring us back to the original premise ... God, living with His people, in the most beautiful, idyllic place imaginable. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

AS TO WHAT'S IMPORTANT......

The building in the picture is the Hyatt Regency Hotel, at the Galleria Mall .. a couple miles North of our home. It was built in 1984-1985, as I recall, and I signed the structural beam that "topped out" the building.

The Galleria is a large enclosed mall, spectacular now and even more so, 30 years ago. At the time, I owned Riverchase Business Brokers,  one of my sales personnel had met the developer, and she got us an invitation to attend the Topping-Out ceremony. I suppose 100 or so people signed the beam, which was hoisted up while we were there, and bolted into place.

That all sounds like a big deal, but it really wasn't. Doubly so, for reasons I shall explain in a moment.

This past Sunday, we surmised, in Sunday School, what it would be like to reflect back on your life, as it draws to a close. And what we would really be happiest that we'd done. To prove a point, I told a lot of things I'd done in my life, and I'll recount them (and some others), to make a point.

Don't think I'm boasting ... most of the things were either dumb luck, or a gift from somebody else. So, in no particular order.....

  • I recall walking the Formula One Race Course in Monte Carlo, with Peg, maybe 20 years ago. We'd won a trip there from an insurance company, and toured all Monaco, went into France and saw Cannes and other Cote d'Azur spots. Toured a perfume factory, went up the Var River Valley for lunch at Valberg .. high in the French Alps. Bought a model Ferrari from the Ferrari Shop on Rue Grimaldi. Attended a dinner party at the Monte Carlo Casino. 
  • Stood atop Victoria Peak in Hong Kong and gazed out, trying to comprehend I was looking at the South China Sea. Also went from there ... via Far East Jetfoil ... to Portuguese Macau, and thence North into Communist China, where we had lunch at the Chung Shan Hot Springs Resort. Took a walking tour of a village, and, by chance, Peg and I stopped at a house which Michael Jackson had visited not long before, and had the lady who lived there proudly show us the picture taken of her with Michael standing in her little home. I'd seen that picture in the media here, in fact. And, just standing at the waterfront by our hotel in Kowloon, gazing across the harbor, was unforgettable itself.
  • Visited the Kehlsteinhaus ... Hitler's "Eagle's Nest", which Martin Bormann built for Hitler's 50th Birthday. Looked out over Berchtesgaden, went through the Documentation Center there, visited Dachau Prison Camp, went through the BMW and AUDI factories. Spent quite a while at 120 mph on the Autobahn. Sang "Amazing Grace" a mile up in a hot air balloon, over the NW face of the Bavarian Alps, with our hostess. At sunset.
  • Saved a multi-million dollar program of my employer, by moving the program to a life insurance company headed by a friend of mine from the olden days .. when we could find no one else to take it.
  • Invented a new type of insurance, inspired by what I'd seen at a Jewelers' meeting in Connecticut. Gave us a significant edge over our competition.
  • One of my biggest insurance clients sent me a new client, who told me Dave had tears in his eyes when he told how I'd gotten him coverage in Lloyds' of London, when no one else would touch it. A record snowfall shortly after had collapsed his entire building.
  • Peg and I have been on vacation in many places .. Costa Rica, St. Martin, Ste. Maarten (countries on one island), St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, Jamaica (about a dozen times), Cancun, Cozumel. Went to Alaska and Hawaii, too. Note: When Peg first incurred Breast Cancer, we decided there was no use saving up so we could travel when we got to 65, as we might not get there. As we were married on March 13th, and her birthday is March 20th, we chose to go away that week for many years.
I've done a lot of other stuff, too. I used to go to London every year to work with Lloyd's, and I've been to unforgettable church services in places I never expected it. I've been in 45 states and 25 foreign countries.


And other stuff I can't remember.

NOW: the conclusion. In class, I posed the question "When I'm lying on my deathbed, which one of all those things do you think I'll be happiest that I did?" The answer? None of them.

The things I will be most grateful I got to do? Things like the time I presented the gospel, in 1969, to the young Sunday School class of convicted juvenile felons at the Plainfield (Indiana) Boy's Prison. The time I shared how to be saved with Kori's family as I sat on a couch in their home. The Bible I bought and took to a little girl in Charleston SC. The time we sang praises to God under a huge picture of Lenin in the Pskov (Russia) Community Center .. .and people stood and shouted.

 Stuff like that.

When you're in heaven, seeing remote places on earth won't have made a bit of difference. I imagine we'll be able to see whatever we want, from there. And the insurance programs I thought of and saved? Long since bankrupt and out of business. The businessman I helped? Died many years ago, his business bankrupt. The "topping-out" beam I signed? A couple weeks later, a tar kettle caught fire on an adjoining roof and thoroughly scorched it. I should have learned something right then & there......

Ahh ... but the young lady who prayed in that home, or the 6 juvenile felons who asked Jesus to save them, or the Word of God I gave to that young girl in Charleston, which God said would not return to Him void? Or the people from the USA's former arch enemy, who stood and cheered and praised God, as we sang for them?

Sure am grateful I did those things. I suspect I always will be.

Eternally.