The day my dad got saved... in his own words
TECUMSEH – On July 7, 1992, my dad went to Heaven. A few years later, my mom found a note he wrote hidden in some of his stuff. It was a handwritten letter to his children (Dick, Joanie, Mike & me) about the day he became a Christian. He never gave it to us, but my mom gave us all a copy. Here’s part of it. I hope it encourages you.
What I’m going to tell you now is not what I did for you, but rather what God did for you.
When Greg & Dick were about 3 and 4 years old, I began to think what a challenge me and your mother had before us raising a family. Then came a daughter and, Mike, when you came along, I really got serious. Although I wasn’t a Christian at the time, I began praying for each of you. That you would grow to believe in God and that you would become Christians. I didn’t know at the time that I was actually praying for myself.
Then one August in 1970 God began talking to me. So, one Wednesday evening when your mother thought I had lost it (my mind) I decided to go to a Wednesday night Prayer Meeting. I had never been to church on Wednesday in my life, so I took Greg and Dick with me for support. I began going to church for the next 2 or 3 months pretty regular, thinking I would change a lot of my habits and clean myself up a little and be a better person and father for going to church.
After 3 months I couldn’t see much change, so I decided to give up on God. I called your mother from work one Saturday night and told her of this and that if she wanted to go back to the Presbyterian Church and keep you children in church it was fine with me. I was through with God and the Baptists.
That Saturday night after I got home, God gave me what I believe today was a last chance. So that night while everyone was asleep but me, I began to fight, pray, cuss, cry, and everything else I could to put off God. So, after 3 or 4 hours of this I accepted Christ just like I was… standing there looking out the window on Decker Road. No hymns being sung by a choir or a preacher standing up talking or no one praying for me (maybe my mom in Kentucky)… just me and Jesus.
The next morning your mother got us up, unaware of my nighttime experience and asked if I was going to Sunday School. The last she had heard was I was through with God. Even after I had accepted Christ that night, I still wasn’t ready to tell anyone. But decided to go to Sunday School with every intention of leaving Sunday School, skipping church and pick you all up afterwards. But when Sunday School was over, for some reason, I walked into the chapel and there was one seat left, beside your mother and next to the aisle. No place to hide.
I don’t remember the sermon but on the first verse of the altar call, when I asked your mother if she was going with me, she thought I was going out the door. I made public then what happened to me earlier in the night.
The Lord has spoken to me twice pretty strong, where He really had to get my attention, and this was one of them.
One of the reasons I went into detail was to let you all know that God worked with me by using you four. Although I wasn’t blinded or seen a great light from the sky that night, my salvation was just as dramatic and meaningful to me as Paul’s was to him.
With that decision to accept Christ I was able to turn you children over to Him and enlist His help in rearing you. I think He has done a fine job.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Burdine has been senior pastor of Faith Baptist Church since 1994. He has been married since 1981 to Judy, a preschool teacher in Tecumseh. They have four children and ten grandchildren. Greg’s passion is teaching the Word of God. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri and his Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Louisiana Baptist University in Shreveport, Louisiana. He has been in full-time ministry since 1982, serving churches in Iowa, Ohio, and Michigan. He likes to read, run, and play with his grandchildren.