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!