Friday, April 21, 2017

Dorsey Wilbanks Tribute: Strong Men of God Can Be Shy - and Effective

Previously written January 19, 2016:
Dorsey Wilbanks is an 88 year old devout Christian who helped me and others greatly when he was active as a Gideon.  When I was the chaplain at Riverside Military Academy for nine years he was the Gideon who served our school.  My conservative estimate  is that in almost nine years he served Riverside as a Gideon he supplied us with over 2,000 pocket New Testament Bibles.   When called upon he would find us a needed Spanish, Korean or even Chinese version of the New Testament.  Some people do not believe in the power of the Word.  He does. Dorsey was and is a very humble and optimistic man.  He was happy when I told him where one of his testaments ended up.

Nine years ago I was picking up a friend returning from vacation in the atrium of the Atlanta airport.  As usual hundreds of people where intersecting at that point.  A young soldier walking by in a pack of camo wearing  soldiers and he yells out “Hey Chaplain Law.”  The soldier was a Riverside graduate from Chicago.  I was a civilian chaplain at the school.  I knew it was Riverside connection when I was ever called chaplain away from school.  The young man had enlisted in the U.S. Army since his graduation.  He told me he was catching a plane to eventually get to Afghanistan. My concern for this friend accelerated at the thought of this young person going to war.  I became almost frantic.  I asked him “are you trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation at this hour?” “Are you praying?” I kept asking more questions concerning salvation.  “Do you have a Bible?” He reached in his backpack and showed me a well-traveled green pocket New Testament.  It was one of the Testaments Dorsey had given me to give to students. The soldier said “Here is the one you gave me.”  "I read it." And he told me he believed the plan of salvation on the back inside cover.   I remember thinking   “Thank you Jesus” and reflecting on Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Monday, April 10, 2017


It is Holy Week.
Many churches are scurrying and hurrying to complete all the old church traditions from Maundy or Holy Thursday services to modern day Easter Egg Hunts.  If Jesus is preached in this time – good on all of them.

On an out of town vacation yesterday I slipped into a traditional mainline “First” church. You know what I mean – the “big steeple established church”.  During the “Children’s moment” sure enough - in this church with a robed choir, small orchestra, liturgical readings – here came the Easter Bunny.

The Children’s Minister had all the cute preschoolers to second graders come down in front at the steps leading to the pulpit.  Now here came THE EASTER BUNNY – the silliest bunny possible (like there is one with distinction).  The lesson consisted of Mary Madeline could not find Jesus at the empty tomb on Resurrection Day.  Mary asked “Where is Jesus” like we ask “Where are the Easter Eggs”.  Where is Jesus?  I felt like yelling out- “with Waldo”.  The service had the Easter Bunny but not the journey to the cross on Palm Sunday.  If the sermon contained the life giving gospel I can't remember.  I was too freaked out to pay attention to say.  The Triumphant Entry of the One who would conquer death, hell and the grave, forgive sinners, and give eternal life was skipped.

I want this to be an encouragement In the Holy Week observances to all Christians.   On especially Easter Sunday- those outside the church will visit.  Moms have wept tears to get their people in a service.  Unbelievers will attend for what they think are various reasons. YOU HAVE ONE JOB! Give them the gospel. LIFT JESUS UP.  We  HAVE ONE JOB - EVERY WEEK!