Friday, June 15, 2012

Father's Day-Sam Houston's Redemption


             In a sky-towering contest with pine trees, a statue of Sam Houston stands sentinel on I-45 near Huntsville, Texas. It’s 67-feet tall on a 10-foot base. Historians continue to write about this Texas hero, but his spiritual journey, highlighted at Sam Houston State University Web site, teaches lessons, too.

    After re-election as governor of Tennessee in 1829, and separation from his young wife, he “called out to organized religion and it did not answer. He asked to be baptized, twice, and was refused.”

            Today, some still set themselves up as security guards for Christ’s church, to keep the “unworthy” from entering the ranks of the “righteous.” The sanctuary doors slam, the keys to the kingdom jingle on belt loops of the gatekeepers as they walk away from the desperate.

            When Christians start deciding who can come in, then there’s no need for God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit. Jesus, the Great Physician, said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31, 32). 

            Most people pass through life without notoriety, their good deeds and trip-ups never make it into biographies. However, Houston’s life is an open book. 

            After several failed relationships, Houston wed a woman several decades younger. Margaret Lea bore him eight children, and her faith and presence seemed to contribute to his calmer, later life. A milestone occurred for Margaret Lea and Sam Houston when on “November 19, 1854, at Rocky Creek near Independence, Texas, Houston was baptized.”

            A church periodical reported the announcement of General Houston’s immersion. It “has excited the wonder and surprise of many who have supposed that he was 'past praying for...'"

            Good natured, Houston took the ribbing. Marquis James reported a friend saying to Houston, “Well General, I hear your sins were washed away."

            "I hope so," Houston said, "But if they were all washed away, the Lord help the fish down below."

            Houston had most likely learned that lives have a way of dripping onto future generations. “Trickle-down” is not only a political term. At a recent funeral, I heard grandsons speak of a grandparent’s powerful faith taking residence in their current families.

            May God bless all our faithful dads, and may God cause a change of heart for those in need of life alterations. May the men in our generation remain watchful of the ingredients they pour into the river of life. Happy Father’s Day to all.

            Hunger for Humility (24): “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance” 2 Thessalonians 3:5.


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