I received my orders to be stationed at Fort Carson, CO, in February of 1988 and moved my family out here by March of ’88. We were backslidden heathens when we got here. Even though we had both been taught the right way, we had strayed pretty far off the strait and narrow way. Through some genuinely heartbreaking experiences and some tough questions by our young children, we came to realize that we needed to find our way back. We had a kind of a false start at first at a different church that taught what we had been taught but we weren’t as ready as we thought we were. But by the fall of 1989, we found the church we are currently in.
We knew immediately it was the right one but then we realized that we had a decision to make. We knew what they taught was what we had grown up with and that to keep coming and really be in the church instead of just visiting all the time we would have to consciously change our lifestyle. Our son had been going to Sunday School regularly and was starting to ask hard questions. After church one night we had a long talk and made our decision. We poured all of our alcohol out, got rid of our TV sets and VCR and quit smoking by the next day, which happened to be the Great American Smokeout, the third Thursday of November, which, that year, was November 16th and started back up on the strait and narrow way.
Over the last 30 years, we have seen and heard many amazing things and met many amazing and wonderful people. One of the first people we met in that first year was Greg V. The church was having a spaghetti dinner fundraiser and he had fixed this homemade manicotti. I didn’t really know what manicotti really was, but he said, “You’re from Wisconsin, so you’ve gotta love cheese. You’ll like this.” Like it? I loved it. We cracked a few jokes with each other and became fast friends.
That was 30 years ago. Over the last few years, especially this last year, he has been in and out of the hospital with some very serious concerns, but even after all that, he’s always, always the same guy. He stopped by my pew tonight to visit and told me a story he overheard in the hospital.
It seems there was a pirate who discovered a mole on his back that looked and felt different from the others. He could kind of look at them in the mirror but called his wife to come and check it out. She took a look and said, “That doesn’t look good. You’d better go to the doctor.” So, he went to the doctor and the doctor told him to take off his shirt. After looking them over the doctor said, “There’s nothing to worry about. They’re benign.” “Nay, doctor, there be ten. I counted them this morning!”
I still love cheese.