Essays on Faith: Mess hall message

After sea duty aboard the U.S.S. Wright (CC-2) (See “Karl C. Priest: Do Not Forget the Cold War and the Reality Of Russia” in the Charleston Gazette-Mail on July 16, 2017), I went to a Navy school at Bainbridge, Maryland. There, I came in contact with a sailor who was totally committed to Christ.

I first saw him while I was standing in the chow line in the mess hall. He had his head bowed as he said a prayer before eating. I joined in the joking from other sailors who made wisecracks about him.

A few days later, I was in the laundry room loading my dirty clothes into a washer and he came in. My trepidation was quickly erased as he turned out to be a regular guy. He invited me to a servicemen’s ministry held in the home of a local Christian family. There, I was blessed by the Word of God.

One night, when I was alone in the barracks, I repented of my sins, received God’s forgiveness through Grace, and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It was like the transformation (metamorphosis) of a butterfly. God changed my heart that night and I knew it without a doubt. The boy who would fight in a flash was changed!

The guy shipped out not long after we met and I do not remember his name. However, I know I will see him again in Heaven.

This verse is a perfect example of that sailor’s life: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16a).

He preached a message without being in the pulpit.

I am so very thankful that God let our paths cross in that mess hall.

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Funerals for Sunday, December 8, 2019

Board, Dencil - 3 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Booher, Hughes - 3 p.m., Maranatha Fellowship, St. Albans.

Carpenter, Homer - 2 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Collins, Jacob - 2 p.m., Morris Funeral Home, Cowen.

Donahue-Moubray, Kathleen - 3 p.m., Haven of Rest Mausoleum, Red House.

Estes, Peggy - 2 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Friel, Ruth - 1 p.m., Lantz Funeral Home, Buckeye.

Johnson, Marvin - 1 p.m., High Lawn Mausoleum, Oak Hill.

Linville, Vada - 2 p.m., Orchard Hills Memory Gardens, Yawkey.

Pettit, Michele - 3:30 p.m., Faith Baptist Church, Spencer.

Prue, Margaret - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Scott, Robert - 3 p.m., Capital High School, Charleston.

Smith, Wanda - 3 p.m., Billy Hunt Cemetery, Kettle Road.

Sneed, Virginia - 2 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.