I have a propensity to remember dates. Birthdays. Anniversary days. Adoption days. Important ones and insignifant ones. Special days. Happy Days. Sad Days. The obvious and the obscure. I remember specific dates and the specific events that their tied to. For example, my four children are all adopted; and with that, for each child, is attached numerous special days. There's the obvious: their birthdays. But there's also this: the day we met each of them; the day they came into our home and joined our family; the day their adoption became official. I remember all four dates for each child. Oh okay, I'll go ahead and prove it in the order that I listed those occasions above:
Brandon: 1/25/2000; 5/21/2004; 6/1/2004; 10/8/2004
Bradley: 6/26/2001; 5/21/2004; 6/1/2004; 10/8/2005
Brenna: 1/21/2004; 4/21/2004; 4/21/2004; 7/1/2005
Bethany: 8/11/2005; 6/16/2006; 5/11/2007; 11/27/2007
August is a month full of important dates in my family that I remember well. There's birthdays; Bethany (8/11), my twins Jonathan & Jenny (8/15); my oldest sister Patti (8/23); and my mom (8/28). There's other dates I remember: the day my twins passed away (8/16); and the day we buried them (8/19).
But without a doubt there's two very important dates that are maybe the most important dates of any days that I remember from any month. That first day is August 22, 1976. That's 37 years ago today. On that Sunday morning (probably about lunch time) at Terrace Hills Baptist Church in Longview, Texas, I trusted Jesus Christ to be my personal Savior and Lord. Bro. James Dawson shared the Gospel in Children's Church and asked if anyone wanted to make the decision to become a Christian. I raised my hand along with two or three other friends; and we stepped across the hall, where Bro. James took the Bible and shared with us God's plan for our salvation through Jesus - that we were sinners, and that Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven and we could have a relationship with God. And that if we trusted him by faith, he would come into our life forever. I did, and Jesus kept His promise. He saved me and transformed my life that day 37 years ago. Wow! One week later on August 29, 1976, I was baptized; making my profession of faith in Jesus public through believer's baptism.
Ironically, when Bro. James Dawson passed away in 2004, it was in August. August 2 if I remember correctly. How ironic that in the same month that I became a follower of Jesus Christ, the man that was instrumental in helping lead me to salvation received the fulfillment of his eternal life - a forever home in heaven with Jesus Christ.
Thank you God for your free gift of salvation that comes by grace alone through personal faith alone in Christ Jesus alone for whoever will call upon your name. Thank you for Your faithful servant, James Dawson, who loved me enough, to tell me the truth about my need for Jesus as my Savior. Thank you for using him to lead me to trust Jesus. Thank you that because of this day, August 22, I will live forever in heaven; and oh, what a day it will be when that day becomes a reality. Like August 22, 1976, it will be a date to remember.