Sunday, August 1, 2010


My reputation as being a militant atheist must have been well known, because when I met a Chief Petty Officer named Hal Judd, he immediately began asking about my atheism. Although I had never read the Bible, I knew enough about the stories to frustrate his effort to "save me." By the time I was finished, he left in anger and I could tell he couldn't care less if he ever saw me again. I was very proud of myself.

A few months after my "victory," I received a letter from a hippy friend who had been our neighbor three years earlier in San Diego. Tim had never impressed me as someone who would write, so I was curious as to why he had after three years. When I began reading the letter, I was shocked to learn that he had left his drugs, adulterous life, and had become a Christian. Tim was the last person I would have thought would fall for the ignorance of religion. The letter angered me because he tried to push his beliefs on me. Tim also sent me a pocket New Testament, which I threw across the room in anger. I wrote and told him to forget writing if he was going to talk about religion. I didn't hear from him again.

About six weeks later, I had the night duty watch over the aircraft and office of the Blue Angels. It was a long, boring night and after studying for a college exam in American History for five hours, I decided to look for some lighter reading material. A Navy duty office always had a lot of pornographic materials around, but on that day, someone had "sterilized" it. I could not even find an aircraft manual. I decided to study for my science class just for change of pace. When I opened my briefcase, there was that little pocket New Testament. To this day, I do not know how it got there, but I decided to read some just for laughs. I opened it at random to Matthew Twenty-five and read the whole chapter. I was amazed! I could not believe that something fifteen hundred years older than Shakespeare could be so beautifully written. I was so impressed that the next morning, I told my wife about it. She sat in shock while I told her all about it. Our girls came downstairs and turned the TV on before going to the kitchen for cereal. A church program was on, and ordinarily I would have told them to turn that ---- off. But I was so into telling Judy about the beauty of the material, I didn't say anything to them. Just as I was finishing, the announcer said that the preacher was coming to speak. I told Judy, "Wouldn't it be something if he spoke about what I had read?" His first words were, "Good morning, my message is from Matthew Twenty-five, the Parable of the Ten Virgins." I literally screamed in my amazement, and then went in to listen to him. Two sermons later (I watched three church programs!), the preacher said, "Get down on you knees in your living room and accept Jesus as your Savior." I started to, but I saw my wife in the kitchen and knew she would laugh me out of the neighborhood. She immediately turned around and walked outside; neither of us knows why, but the door shut and my knees hit the floor. I believed in Jesus! To be continued.

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