Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10

MY JOURNEY 2

SON OF MARSHALL…SON OF GOD!

Kathi and I began to see more of one another that summer. I had just come out of a couple of relationships and was carrying a lot of emotional scars. I was the kind of guy, who tried to fall in love with every girl I dated. NOT GOOD! Kathi had just said ‘goodbye’ to a young man deployed overseas that she thought was ‘the one’. It wasn’t long before both of us were in great confusion. We were having feelings for one another. However, we had told one another; when we began to sense we were falling in love, that neither of us would ever tell anyone else we loved them unless it was the one we would marry. She even asked me, if I would sing in her wedding. Not what I wanted to hear. It didn’t take long for me to realize Kathi was the one for me and I…well…I told her I loved her. She was very thankful God had shown me but she was resolute in her commitment and did not give me the ‘obligatory’, “I love you”. She left me hangin’ a little, but…it was really OK. I respected her for sticking to her principles. She has remained one who is not easily moved by what others think and has made a resolute Christian as well. Sometime later…not long but seemed like an eternity, Kathi and I were walking back to her dorm one night. We had been to the Campus Christian Center and curfew was up. Yeah, she had a curfew. Did I mention we went to college in the 60’s? Anyway, as we walked toward the dorm we paused to kiss goodnight. Suddenly, she said, “Dave, I love you.” I think it shocked her as much as it did me. She says that it was something she really had no control over (I can have that affect. LOL!). She told me later it was like something physical came up from deep within her and came through her throat and out her mouth before she knew what she had done. Well, let me tell you I was one happy college guy. I picked her up, swung her around and shouted.

Meeting Kathi changed a lot for me, and one of those changes was my poor grades.            During that summer I actually made the Dean’s list and got my grades up so I could join the track and cross country team for the fall term. At that time in my life athletics was my life.            It was something I had substituted for my inability to speak. I had been working out all summer and was in the best physical condition of my life. It appeared my dreams of running for the Green and White of Marshall U were finally coming to fruition. Finally, I could be known for something besides being a shy, stutterer. However, between summer school and the fall term I got sick. I was so weak I could hardly put one foot in front of another. I had a temperature and a sore throat. Kathi encouraged me to go the campus doctor. He did a quick examination and sent me immediately to the county hospital for some tests. I went back to the campus doctor and he told me he had been very concerned about me, even considering I might have Leukemia but he said the tests showed I had Mononucleosis. I asked him what that meant for my running cross country that fall. He said there was no way I could do it. I said what about track in the spring. Again he said it was not possible. Since I was then a junior, my chances for realizing my dream were gone. In what seemed like a moment of time and a horrible turn of events, my life was over, or so I thought. My life was athletics. I thought it was all I had. Now it was gone. I was mad…I mean really mad…at God. I told him, “My only chance at some notoriety and now you’ve taken it away.” Kathi, who was light years ahead of me at that time in her spiritual astuteness, said, “Maybe God has something better in store for you.” I couldn’t see how that could ever be.

I was so very sick I had to go home and it appeared as though I was going to miss the entire fall semester. By some miracle of God, however, within two weeks I was well enough to return to school, if I promised to rest every afternoon. I missed Kathi so much I was willing to promise anyone almost anything to get back to school. Interestingly, a turn of events was about to take place which would radically change my life. One of the Marshall Football players began to speak with me about joining his fraternity. I had not thought much about it before because my grades were not good enough. But now I was an academic qualifier for several things. Denny was a great guy and was so proud of his fraternity that I eventually decided I would give it a shot. I pledged Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity in the fall of 1967. It was a Jewish fraternity, although there were young men from all faiths and non-faiths, who were a part of it. Now, I don’t recommend joining fraternities for everyone, but for me this was the right choice. Forty years later at age 61 I still have good friends, which I made during my time with the Zebes. Being in the fraternity forced me into social situations and brought me out of my crusty, protective shell.

In the spring of 1968 one of my fraternity brothers invited Kathi and me to a gathering of young Christians on campus sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ. It seemed like a good thing to do on a Thursday night so we went. I don’t think either of us was prepared for what we saw. College students were ‘turned on’ to Christ. I had been raised in the Church and like most youth did not appreciate my spiritual roots until much later in life. I was trying to avoid Church, God and the whole scene. Remember I was mad at God. Fortunately for me that did not bother God. Thursday night ‘College Life’ meetings became a regular part of our schedule. After a few weeks I began to think more seriously about my future. I was fairly sure by now that my future also included a cute little Co-Ed named Kathi, and I wanted to be sure I was as responsible about life and its choices as I could be. On one of those Thursday evening ‘College Life’ meetings I was listening to one of the Brothers share a simple message on salvation. My heart was unusually stirred. Kathi and I left the meeting at the Campus Christian Center and I was walking her back to the dorm. As we passed the women’s gym and turned the corner toward her dorm a miracle occurred. Suddenly, without a prayer, an altar, a formal invitation or anything, Jesus entered my life. I can take you to the exact spot today on Marshall’s campus. I’ve been privileged to take all three of our children to see the place where my life was radically transformed. Each time, to His glory, he has helped me to show them the exact place where it happened. My grandfather was a part of Marshall University’s graduating class of 1897. My dear mother had two degrees from Marshall. Kathi and I are both graduates of MU. Two of our three children attended there and our first grandchild’s name is Marshall. So, we really do bleed green in our family and I am thankful to be a “son of the great John Marshall”. However, nothing compares to having been known for the last 41 years as a son of Jesus the Christ, the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords.

MORE TO COME… (You can also view this permanently on “MY JOURNEY” page).

August 7th, 2008 Posted by | Biographical | 3 comments