I was born on Flag Day, June 14, 1940—the day that Paris fell in World War II.
When I was about three years old, my mother arranged for a couple to care for me in their own home. I lived with them until I joined the Navy in 1958. While I lived with them, I had continued a relationship with my mother and my father, and after their divorce I had a good relationship with my stepfather. Although I could wish things would have turned out differently, I was fortunate to be loved by all and that each one continually maintained close contact with me.
While I responded to an invitation to become a Christian when I was about ten years old, and was baptized in a farm pond in the middle of January, to my recollection no one explained the gospel nor asked me to pray to receive Christ. I did become a church member.
Prior to my leaving for boot camp, my foster father told me that if I expected God to answer prayers, I should remember, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” Approximately fifteen years later, in a Serviceman’s Christian Center in Oakland, California, an ex-sailor gave this testimony:
While in the Navy, he had been an active member in a local church. He was president of the college-age group, attended church regularly and taught Sunday school. While on the naval base, however, he was proficient in swearing. This was a mirror picture of me! He then quoted the same verse my foster father had quoted prior to my leaving for boot camp, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” He invited anyone who wanted to have their sins forgiven through Christ to respond by going to the prayer room. That night, I received Christ and knew my sins were forgiven.
Since that time, God has directed in my life, allowing me to serve Him in various ways. One of the privileges I have had was to conduct the funeral service for my mother, father, stepfather, and foster father.
At present, I am involved in a worship service and Bible study at Bright View, an assisted living facility, and a Bible study at Forest Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Jim leads the Bright View Assisted Living Outreach, and a Friday morning men’s Bible study at the Double T Diner in Bel Air, MD.