Today is Columbus Day. Christopher Columbus, certainly, was not a perfect man but he was a tough ole bugger. He endured a lot of hardships as an explorer and died at the age of 54. Today he has a lot of critics and his faults are easily found in history. Whatever opinion you hold good or bad, he was one of many who changed the world. I admire his courage, his feats of exploration, his seamanship, and his grit.
Autumn is upon us and I am wondering where this much of the year has gone. Time flies when you are having fun, as the old saying goes. There is nothing like being and working in the Kingdom of God; knowing that you are part of something so much bigger than yourself.
One of the greatest stories in the Bible is the turnaround of Saul of Tarsus who we now know as the Apostle Paul. He was a Jewish Pharisee who had a blood-boiling rage against the early Christian Church that was known at the time as the Way.
The featured photo is a typical class of our school at Bossier, Haiti.
August has been an eventful month for the Whitt Family. On August 22nd, Jennie and I welcomed our newest granddaughter into the world. Perri Amelia Jane Whitt arrived healthy and beautiful for which we are so thankful. She is the daughter of Seth and Lanie Whitt.
Christians are sometimes criticized for claiming our religion is exclusive when we are adamant that Jesus Christ is the only avenue to eternal life. That is why I am evangelistic about my faith in Christ; it is not that I take pleasure in someone being excluded but rather I have strongly held beliefs about Jesus Christ. The invitation to follow Jesus is inclusive, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 NKJV).
Sunday morning, August 12, 2018, I woke at 2:30 am with chest pain, sweating, and light-headedness. My wife, Jennie drove me to the ER at Gadsden Regional Medical Center. (She wanted to call 911 but I convinced her to drive). After arriving there, the first EKG was normal, blood pressure was normal but then my heart rate dropped to a dangerous level; second EKG showed I was having a heart attack. They immediately sent me to the Cath Lab and I had an artery that was 100% blocked. They put in a stent and I spent two days in the SICU and then one day in a room for observation. They released me Tuesday afternoon, August 14, 2018 and I am at home doing quite well. I praise Jesus for protecting my life and health. I did not have any heart damage.
I want to thank God for His wonderful peace in a difficult situation. Jennie and I understand the scripture better than ever when it says, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NKJV). In this situation, God gave me just a crazy peace; I was concerned but I was enveloped in this wonderful peace only God can give. Jennie experienced this too.
I want to thank my wife for being a real trooper who kept her cool and has the making of an ambulance driver. She showed me great love and compassion. She was the first to lay hands on me and pray. She was a spiritual, emotional, and physical rock for me. Our love for each other was made even deeper.
My children: Jeremy and Amy Prickett (grandkids Emily and Tyler); Seth and Lanie Whitt (grandkids Audra and Lizzy) for their quick response, smiling faces, encouragement, prayers, and love. Love your children because there will be days when you will need their love. My children are the best!
Many from my extended family came to visit and others prayed from a distance. Fellow ministers reached out with their love and prayers.
My church family, New Life Christian Center, was on the scene from the beginning and journeyed with us through this ordeal. We knew you loved us but now we understand how deeply you love us. One of our church members, Robert Dillard, a fire chief who works part-time for an ambulance service was in the ER on another call and was an angel in the skin of a friend and brother.
I had people praying for me around the world. Many of my friends reached out through messages, texts, and emails. They called their churches together to pray for me and my family.
I want to say a big thank you to the doctors and staff that treated me in a professional and caring way. They were great!
I have a great hope and prospect for a long future of loving my family and continuing the work God has called me to do. If you have chest pains don’t mess around, get to the ER. Chew four baby aspirins and put under your tongue.
If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, you don’t need to mess around, bow before the King and surrender your life to Him. You could wake up at 2:30 am and go into eternity with little warning. In the time of present danger I had eternal peace. I was ready to live and I was ready to die only because Jesus saved me by His grace.
Harry L. Whitt
PS: Praise God, the doctor’s said after about two months or so of observation, I should have no problems traveling internationally on mission trips. I had no heart damage and they will be checking me regularly to prevent another heart attack. I appreciate the doctors but my faith is in Christ Jesus who will fulfill His plans in my life. I am His in life or death. I appreciate your prayers.
I had a neighbor who once said she only argued when she was right. Don’t we all? A Christian friend of mine asked a co-worker who was of a different Christian denomination, what they believed. He replied with great affirmation, “We believe the Bible!” My friend laughingly replied, “So do we!”
A new school year begins this week in our area. We have blinked twice and the vacation days of summer are gone. Yet, here in Alabama, we have many more days of summer heat to endure. Our school in Haiti will begin in full force September 3rd with some of the older grades beginning August. 6th.
“How much does it cost?”, it is a question we ask when we shop. But life is a series of questions of, “How much does it cost?” It all comes down to value. Everything has a value fixed at a different level by different people. What do we really value?
Here are Five Things I would do differently if I were 18 again: