Author of "Orange Socks: How I survived Vietnam & kept my sense of humor." Became a Christian in 1971 after receiving a "Dear John" letter while stationed in Vietnam. Currently working on a book of poetry.
Price Range: Free-will offering
Gig Length: 25 - 45 minutes
What to Expect
I share my testimony. Read Poems. Answer questions ... Sort of like the recluse uncle who comes to your party & tells quirky little stories, off in the corner.
Sometime in 1970, I stole a Bible. Perhaps “stole” is too strong a word. Let's just say I borrowed it and never gave it back. The theft wasn't intentional. It happened at the Naval Air Station in Atsugi, Japan. One evening, while on duty, I was in a room where someone left a Bible. I picked it up and began to read.
Though brought up in church, I'd questioned the existence of God, so His Word had become irrelevant to me. Fortunately, I had not become irrelevant to Him.
When my duty watch was over, I took the Bible back to my barracks, thinking, “I’ll return it when I'm done.” While flipping through pages, I found Psalm 40, and the words: “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”
The words touched me.
The year before, I'd been under investigation because of drugs. A dishonorable discharge loomed. But because I'd just become a father, I was given leniency. Perhaps fatherhood would straighten me out. Afterwards, I was sent overseas.
While rotating between Japan, Guam, Vietnam and the Philippines, I fell deeper into my own “horrible pit.” To deaden the despair, I turned to drinking. (I stayed away from drugs because I feared the Navy would throw the book at me—and it wouldn't be a Bible.)
In June 1971, my first wife wrote me a “Dear John” letter, launching a deep personal crisis that came just months before my discharge from the service.
The following Sunday, I attended an evening Chapel service. That night, instead of a sermon, a film was featured. It told the story of three men trapped after a coal-mine collapse. One man was a churchgoer whose faith was not real. The second was an avowed atheist. The third was a believer. It was obvious that only the believer was prepared to deal with this crisis. I wanted to be like the third man.
After the film, the chaplain gave an invitation. I was the second person out of the pew. Later, a counselor had me read Roman 10:13, “For whosever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." When I read the word "saved,” I knew the promise of Psalm 40 was fulfilled. I was out of the pit, and onto a “rock.”
Additional Booking Notes
Requirements: 1) Solid sound system. 2) Adequate lighting. 3) Big blackboard, green-board or white board.
Influences & Inspiration
Billy Collins. Robert Bly. William Blake. Francis Schaeffer. Ravi Zacharias.
Solid sound system.
Big blackboard, green-board or white board.
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