When my sergeant entered my name to be considered for Airman of the Month, it meant that I had to be interviewed with nominees from other squadrons. I was fortunate to be selected by the interviewing officers, which later sent me to another interview along with other winners. Again, God had a hand on me, and I was selected to proceed to a third and final interview with other finalists. The neat thing about being a new Christian was that I was now the same person no matter who I was around. We often don't realize it, but others might notice that we don't use profanity and don’t tell or laugh at dirty jokes. That is quite a contrast with what is common in a worldly setting.
From that final interview, I was selected to be Airman of the Month for the largest Air Force base in South Korea. It was definitely the change that God, through Jesus Christ, had made in my life that won this honor for me. The awards were amazing: $50 cash (in 1959 dollars!), a nice engraved calendar/desk pen trophy set, and a seven-day trip to Hong Kong. Thank you, God!
God continued to smile on me. Shortly thereafter, I was one of thirteen eligible for promotion to Airman First Class (now classified as Senior Airman), and they were only going to promote one airman! Sometime after all the interviews had taken place, I was informed that I had come in second. The guy who came in first had been in the Battle of the Bulge! There was no way I could overcome the huge number of points he was awarded in the category of “time in grade.” But… just before the promotion became official, the other guy was late getting his buddy back on base before the 11:00 p.m. curfew. As a result, his promotion was cancelled, and Lt. Lowery was happy to tell me that I was receiving the promotion!
I want to give all the glory to God for the good things that happened in my life during those days.
After my time in Korea was up, I was stationed in Alabama. I fell in love with a sweet Christian girl at church, and we were married a short time after my discharge. God blessed us with a wonderful son, I finished my college degree, was ordained as a deacon in our Southern Baptist church. We went to Sunday school and church every week, plus Sunday night and Wednesday nights, and we both served the Lord in different capacities.
Over the years, the Lord blessed my witness to some of my co-workers who accepted Jesus Christ. God continued to be so good to me.
But… I failed in a very important way by failing to “cherish” my wife. After twenty-nine years of marriage, she divorced me. My world fell apart. I was devastated. It drove me deeper into Bible study, and after four years of divorce recovery. But then God brought a wonderful, godly, Christian lady into my life who had experienced the same thing that happened to me. What an answer to prayer! God had healed us both because we both were determined to be faithful to God. Our blended family of six children and eighteen grandchildren is alive and well in the Lord. We will be celebrating our silver wedding anniversary this fall.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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