Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
October 16, 2016
Got time to hear a
love a good story. I love to tell a good story. My best sermons include good
stories. My “almost really good” sermons, my wife tells me, are the ones that
“needed a good story.”
people repeat stories. Younger people laugh at them for doing that. When I get
old I hope my family will gently remind me not to tell the same story over and
are, however, good stories that are worth repeating. So I reckon the secret is
to tell such stories no more than once a year. That is my goal. I don’t want to
lose my best stories; in every audience there are a few dear souls who have not
heard my treasured stories.
good stories touch the heart. They stir the soul. And they remind us of our own
breathtaking, and heartbreaking, real life experiences. A good story prompts us
to think, “Yes, I know how that feels.”
beautiful moments can often rescue us from despair and help us face the latest
heartache with courage. When misery hovers near it helps to remember that “this
too shall pass.” A little fortitude, mixed with the grace of God, can help us find
a way through the dark cloud of the moment. Flying has taught me that there is
often brilliant sunshine just above the darkest cloud.
moments often occur during painful experiences. If we cherish them and store
them in our hearts, they can help us when trouble comes, as it surely will. So
at the risk of sharing stories you may have already heard me tell, allow me to share
two beautiful moments in my life.
years ago my wife was critically ill in a Pensacola hospital. I was deeply
troubled. Her doctor was worried and not sure what to do next. The needs of our
four small boys kept me from being where I wanted to be, by her side. A week
after being hospitalized, Dean was still very sick.
the eighth day things changed. As I walked into her hospital room she greeted
me with a beautiful smile and said quietly, “I am well. The doctor said I can
go home today.” I was stunned. The day before she was so sick her life seemed
to hang in the balance. How could this be?
took my hand and explained. “Yesterday afternoon I felt terrible. It was hot
and stuffy in the room. My nurse opened the window and soon I felt a gentle
breeze. Suddenly I felt a Presence in the room and in my mind I heard a voice
say, ‘you are well, my child.’ Then I realized I felt well. I did not feel sick
anymore. I knew I was well.” And she was!
that any way you wish. I have never tried to analyze it; I just said “Thank
you, Lord.” That is enough for me.
that moment energizes my faith when hard times come around again. If it
happened once, through no merit of my own, it could happen again. And frankly I
have not been shy about asking the Lord to do it again. He is able, you know. This is his world and
he is in charge.
other beautiful moment happened almost 50 years ago but it is still fresh in my
we made our way down the highway I turned the car radio on. Steve reached up
and turned it off. Then he moved a little closer to me on the front seat and
said, “Dad, why don’t we just talk?” I said, “Son that is a great idea; let’s
talked for a long time. Then, after a bit of silence, he said, “Dad, we like
being together, don’t we?” It was an electric moment. I don’t remember my reply
but those words were forever etched in my mind that afternoon. That remains one
of the most beautiful moments of my life.
life is tough, remember beautiful moments and weave them into a good story. Good
stories can help people find the courage to face the worst of times.
stories are so good they are worth repeating – again and again. Cherish golden
moments in your life. Weave them into stories. Share them, more than once, with
the people you love. In so doing your little life may be dignified by the joy
of helping some hurting person make it through the night. + + +