Chuck’s Testimony


Today, Chuck would have turned 65. If I live until next summer I will have been on the earth longer than he was. We lived together for 41 1/2 years. Before and after that I’ve lived 21 1/2 other years. I thank God for every year He has given me, the hard and the easy. I learn more everyday that all these years are but a wisp of time compared to eternity.

I found the following words from Chuck on a usb while trying to purge files on a computer. They were written in 2008 as we were preparing to join Covenant Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine.

I was born (1956) and raised here in Jacksonville, Fl. My parents were hard working, moral, but not spiritual people. Needless to say I was not raised in church, I can actually recall the only four times that I attended church services up until I was 21 years old. I was lost but I did not yet realize it. I believe it was true of me when the scripture says; “I was once alive apart from the law.”

My only real interest in life from age 8 to 20 was playing baseball. Everything I did centered on baseball. Life was planned around it to the extent that I chose my college based on which Jr. College had the best baseball coach and where would I have the best chance of being drafted. Baseball was my first and only love. Everything was subservient to it in my life. Little did I realize how God was working in my life, especially, since I had no interest in Him or need for Him (at least by my perception).

I met Angie in the summer of 1977, at the age of 20, when we were both students at Georgia Southern. We began dating and soon I fell in love with her. At this point God began to move in my life.

I never was a good student in college; I was always making good enough grades to maintain my status on the baseball team. However in 1977-78, it all caught up with me when I was suspended for one quarter (winter) due to my grades. This meant I was no longer eligible for baseball. So, too ashamed to go home, I stayed in Statesboro and worked at a lumber yard full time, saving my money so that I could return to school in the spring as a ‘new man’. I decided I would focus on serious things, making good grades, etc. I was still without God, lost, and head over heels caught up in the world. I did return to school that spring and I pulled three B’s which, was a marked improvement for me, but now it was time to go home for the summer.

In the summer of 1978 two significant things occurred; 1) I decided to propose marriage to Angie and 2) She started back to church. She accepted my proposal and soon I followed her example and started attending services myself. Over the next several months I heard the Bible taught for the first time in my life. I learned about God and His Son and I learned about my sin, “but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.” It was the first time that I ever realized I was a sinner and lost. In the fall of 1978 I surrendered to the Lord, I repented of my sin and believed Jesus Christ and He saved me. I was baptized within a few weeks of conversion and by the kindness of God in December of ’78; Angie and I were united in marriage.

If I may fast forward to the present to say, it has now been 30 years since the Lord saved me. My walk with Him, like all believers, has been full of hills and valleys, though sometimes the valleys have seemed like long deep ditches. But I can honestly say with the psalmist; “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way.

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

A Day in the Life

Thanksgiving, 2011

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, I have been giving a lot of thought lately to the business of being grateful. I read a lot of blogs and I’ve been impressed recently with the idea of looking at all of life with a grateful eye. Which isn’t always easy when your roof is leaking, the termites are back and you get rear-ended by a hit-and-run driver. But, all these things and more drive me to my God, Who knows it all, Who determined it all for my good.

Today was a day of ups and downs, but I felt the peace of God surround me in it all. My grandson spent the night with me last night, so my morning didn’t start with me being alone. I had his company at breakfast and conversation on the drive to school. After I dropped him off, my tire pressure light came on. I found an air machine and paid my $2, only to run out of air time before I got to the one that was actually low. I drove home and then I remembered I had an air compressor that hooks up to my car. So I was able to put air in and the light finally went off. Hopefully that’s it.

Ruby and I got out for a walk around the block before noon. When I returned the mail had come. I got a nice card from a widow I met recently via Hope For Widows. Turns out we have the same birthday! She is only about an hour away so we plan to meet in person soon.

Late in the afternoon I went out to pick up a few things from the Dollar Tree and grocery store. Didn’t realize Friday night at the Dollar Tree was a hopping place. I didn’t feel impatient waiting in line, which is not how I used to be. God has done this work in me. In front of me was a grandma with her baby grandson. I could tell her mental capacity was a little diminished. As I approached the door to leave she was struggling with her bags, trying to get them all out of the cart, with the baby still in the seat. She asked me to get him out and I offered to carry him to her vehicle. She was appreciative, but all I could think was I’m glad it was me and not someone who might take off with the baby! When I lifted him up I could tell his diaper was soaked. When we got to her truck I told her he was pretty wet. So I lifted him back out of his car seat so she could change his diaper. I pray for her. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for her.

I proceeded to the grocery store, wandering around getting only a portion of what was on my list. By the time I left it was dark. I saw a man across the parking lot who, from the back, reminded me of Chuck. He was tall and broad shouldered, but when he turned I saw he looked nothing like Chuck. It still brought tears to my eyes. I thought of how when the time changed in Alabama Chuck hated getting home after dark.

Now, as I sit typing this, my windows are open and there is a pleasant little breeze. I’ve got a favorite playlist going in the background, my dog at my feet (when she isn’t up barking at every little noise).

Last night one of the elders from church called me. He was so compassionate and gave me this verse before he prayed with me over the phone:

The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and kind in all his works. – Psalm 145:17