Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

December 4, 2011

Another Birthday

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

As you know, I just celebrated a birthday.  I celebrated my 77th birthday.  But I have had another birthday — but the extra birthday doesn’t count in the chronology of birthdays that commemorates the years we have lived on the earth.  The extra — and extraordinary — birthday is in a totally different realm.  Let me tell you about it and how it came about!

During the summer of 1946, several of the boys my age formed a club.  We had regular club meetings, but with no agenda.  Within a few weeks of organizing, we had a quarter in our treasury.  I don’t remember how we got it, but it was a big deal!  We had elected some officers, but no treasurer.  Seemingly at this important meeting as we discussed what to do with the quarter, we realized we did not trust any of us to become the keeper of the quarter.

It was decided that we would take the quarter, place it in a Prince Albert tobacco can, and bury the can behind the club house.  After all agreed on the number of paces from the clubhouse, we dug a hole and buried the can.  We would dig it up at  every club meeting just to admire our treasure.

My house was next to the club house and I thought about that quarter.  The temptation grew, and when I could account for every member of the club, I paced off the steps, dug up that can,  stole the quarter, and buried the can again.  I had plans for that quarter.  In Stone Mountain, Georgia in those days, the Saturday afternoon matinée was 14 cents, popcorn was 10 cents, and a piece of bubble gum was 1 cent.  That would give purpose for the existence of that quarter.  So I did steal it; I did not borrow it; I did not leave an I.O.U.  In fact, at the next meeting when we discovered the quarter was gone, I yelled the loudest about someone stealing our quarter.

A few days later, I was down in the village and went into Mr. Henry’s store.  He asked if I needed something, but I simply replied that I was just hanging around.  In a few minutes he went to the store-room.  I felt my success as a thief, and so I quickly went to the apple crate, and stole an apple.  I returned the next day for another apple.  The same conversation and scenario followed.  This time I quickly grabbed two apples.

Immediately I felt something inside.  I knew what I was doing was wrong.  It was contrary to what I had been taught at home and in Sunday School.  But I could not think straight.  I quickly put the apples under my arms and ran out of the store.  I ran home and climbed the tallest tree in the yard.  I felt sick inside for what I had done.  But I did not know what to do.  I ate the apples, and I believe I even ate the cores because I wanted to destroy all the evidence.

About that time, my mother called me.  I came down the tree and went inside.  Well, I looked at my mother and I knew I was in trouble.  Sure enough, my mother had heard I stole those apples.  A good neighbor had been at the door of Mr. Henry’s store and saw me steal the apples.  I even ran by her on my quick exit, but I did not see her.  I since have learned that Satan can blind us as well as confuse us mentally.

My mother, of course, gave me quite a lecture.  It was where she sat in the chair and had me lay across her lap, and while she lectured she used hand motions where her right hand when up and down on my back side.  Now why am I confessing all this?

I share this because of what happened later that summer.  In August I was sitting under some pines tree in north Georgia,  I had an experience that day.  I did not see visions or hear voices, but inside something happened to me.  I had known for years the story of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for my sins.  I understood mentally that I needed to accept Him as my personal Saviour.  But until that Thursday afternoon, it had only been head knowledge.  In that moment, God’s Holy Spirit  used that knowledge to lead to a heart experience.  That day I became aware of stealing that quarter and apples, and a myriad of other things that God would call sin.  I repented of those things, and personally asked Jesus Christ into my life as my Saviour and Lord.  I was what the Bible calls, “Born again.”  This was a new birth.  A birthday to be celebrated!

He came into my life . . . and my life has never been the same.  God’s Spirit used that quarter and those apples to bring me into a relationship with Him.  Is there something in your life that He is seeking to use to draw you to Him?  Have you a spiritual birthday to celebrate?

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  (1 John 1:9)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)

I may be 77 years old . . . but I am 65 years old as a child of God!  Trust me if you have questions.



1 Comment »

  1. You used this illustration and story in the first sermon you preached at FFBC…However I remember you not being able to finish all of the story (you made your point, of course) and today was the first time since then I’ve heard the entire thing. =) This MADE my day! I remember that first sermon vividly…It was awesome!

    Comment by Jonathan McMath — December 7, 2011 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

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