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“Dearest Dear Abbey”
It’s astounding when I think about a certain fact of my life. Let me pose as a question.
Where have I laid my head more than any other place that I (or my parents) have called home? (The answer may surprise you.)
The 6 Wins for Readers
I’m amazed at 47 years of age, I’m known to some of my friends & acquaintances, as an avid reader.
- Middle school Jeff would have never believed that could be a possibility.
- High school Jeff … Ditto.
- College Jeff … No chance (Although I was a master of Cliff Notes. May need to google.)
- Late 20s/early 30s Jeff … Nada.
Then something changed…
Spring Breakfast March ’17
SEAL for Christ enters the Battle in Springfield
By Kermit Rowe
Gathering Communications Committee
Williams, who was called into the ministry while in training to become a Navy SEAL, had no problem picking up The Gathering’s 2017 theme, “Help many, train a few,” and charging into the spiritual battle he was assigned.
He spoke about how he decided to become a Navy SEAL while sitting in his high school’s parking lot with senior finals looming.
“I was ditching classes, partying, hanging out with my friends and it hits me, ‘I am going to be a loser,’ ” he recalled.
So Williams scrapped his plans to become an Alaskan crab fisherman. Despite failed attempts by his father to dissuade him, Williams became one of 13 in his class of 173 to become a Navy SEAL.
He survived running 200 miles a week – carrying his personal boat – the grueling pre-graduation test called Breakout, which included surf torture, sleep deprivation and hallucination, among other challenges.
And Wednesday, he was challenging the capacity crowd at Hollenbeck Bayley.
He shared how a famous quote from evangelistic apologist Ravi Zacharias helped him focus on his divine mission: “The loneliest moment in life is when you have just experienced that which you thought would deliver the ultimate, and it has just let you down.”
“The satisfaction doesn’t last as long as you thought it would,” said Williams. “So you raise the bar. Then when you reach it, it again doesn’t satisfy. And the endless cycle starts over again.
“What happens when you arrived to the top of the totem pole,” he continued, “when you get to the top of the mountain and there is nothing there?”
Segue to the Bible, and the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5. Naaman had leprosy, which in that day was a death sentence. Williams called Naaman a “dead man walking.” Naaman was instructed by a word from God to dip himself in the Jordan River seven times and he’d be healed.
But as often happens in our walk with Christ, it was not the message Naaman was expecting.
“He was expecting some big show,” said Williams. “He leaves in this rage. His true obstacle is himself. That pride, that ego.”
Luckily, God had surrounded Naman with people who loved him and talked him into doing it. It was a most difficult thing to do, but it worked and Naaman was healed.
“How many men and women in this room today are like Naaman, looking like they are in control on the outside, but dying on the inside?” Williams asked. “Just as God provided a way out for Naaman, He has provided a way out for you.
“Do you have something else going on inside you?” he added.
We do. It is the disease of sin.
“Now that you understand the problem, here is the solution: God sent his Son on a rescue mission,” Williams told the captivated crowd. “He lived that perfect holy life you and I can’t live.
“Like leprosy, sin is a fatal disease you cannot recover from on your own,” he continued. “Jesus trades skin with you and I. Not only does He step in for us as a hero, He has power over the grave. That same power that rose him from the dead is in you and I. Just as that leprosy was blotted out, your sin is blotted out.”
And that’s ultimately why The Gathering of Miami Valley exists. It should be each man’s main reason for being a part of this gift of an organization that God has given Clark County and its bordering counties.
Sure, the fellowship is enriching. And the teaching and sharing are edifying and uplifting. Help many, train a few. But shining His light in a dark world is our main mission as men of God.
That light was seen this particular Wednesday morning as more than one raised their hand when Williams asked is anyone wanted to meet his Hero Savior.
“That’s what it is about for this few who do for the many,” Williams said. “Your life is not about you. Whatever you do in life … Do it all in the name of Jesus.”
He then fast-forwarded to his current life.
“Now I am a Seal for Christ,” said Williams. “Freedom isn’t free; it is paid for by the blood on the battlefield. As we realize what others have done for us on that battlefield, realize what the Savior has done for you on the cross. It’s the Naaman thing to do. Humble yourself.
“Which will it be: Thou will shall be done, or your will shall be done?” he continued. “It’s our whole purpose of life: Know your creator, and go make him known.”
Thank you to Spring Breakfast Chairs Randy Ark, Jeremy Hudson and Rick Smith. If you’d like to know more about The Gathering of Miami Valley, or about how to become a Christian, contact Bruce Willmann, Associate Director at 937-206-6513 or email email@example.com.