In 1966, millions of teenagers were making life-changing decisions. Nineteen-year-old Elton John committed himself to music. Hillary Rodham (Clinton) and Dan Quayle opted for law and politics. Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench were committed to baseball, while Farrah Fawcett and Arnold Schwarzenegger ventured into a career in Hollywood.
Many teens were drafted into military service to fight in the Viet Nam war. Records show that over 11,400 soldiers under the age of twenty died in that conflict. Not to mention those who suffered horrible injuries, and the after-effects of chemicals like Agent Orange. SSG Rudy Morales Becerra of Richmond, TX,
was only nineteen when he died in Cambodia. He valiantly perished for the freedoms we enjoy today. Thank you for your service.
As a nineteen-year-old in 1966, I joined Arlo Guthrie, Meatloaf, and Steve Forbes, as we made decisions about our future. Earlier in my mid-teens, the Lord called me to the ministry. But, seeing the challenges my dad faced as a pastor, there was not enough upside in church-work to attract me.
Then one night, a mighty Presence entered my room, and the Call became a reality. I was alone and tired, but fully aware that Christ was in my room. The encounter didn’t last long, but it was powerful, confirming, and immediate.
After a season of prayer and counsel, I applied for ministerial credentials. The tests and interviews were taxing, but I received my initial License to Preach in June of 1966. As Stephen King began his writing career, and Paula Deen started cooking, I launched out in ministry.
It was in that spring of 1966 when a young man said, “We’re more popular than Jesus, now.” That young man was singer John Lennon, and the Beatles were certainly riding the wave of international fame and fortune. Though he eventually apologized for this brash statement, Lennon had touched a nerve. His words mortified me deeply, and they have served as an impetus to do more for Christ to this day.
Another driving force in my decision-making came in April of 1966. It was then that the Church of Satan was formed by Anton Szandor LaVey in San Francisco. This seemed like the most sacrilegious step anyone could take. How could they be so bold as to openly defy the Church of Jesus Christ? Their blasphemous actions were just one of many sacrileges that mankind would make as they attack the work of Jesus.
Looking back over 53 years of ministry, I regret that I cannot do more to fulfill the vision God placed in my heart. However, I will continue to lift up the Name of Jesus in both the spoken and written word until my heart's last beat.
What about you? To what noble purpose have you committed your life? In the end, will it be worth it? Just asking.