Get ready, get set, because you may be going

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
The thoughts preceding this writing are the root cause of why I am writing what I have chosen to write today. In May, August, and September, I have personally lost three close friends. Neither of the three expected to be dead by September 13, but they are. I thank God that by all accounts, all three were saved people. They had put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for their eternal salvation. I realize we do not all think or believe alike, but most people do believe in something outside of this day and age in which we live. If we didn’t we would be of most men and women – Completely miserable.

I love simplicity. I enjoy being able to understand matters with which I deal in life. I trusted Christ when I was 17 years old at Toccoa Falls Bible College Camp in Toccoa Falls, Georgia. You know why? It was the first time in my life that I heard and gained a glimmer of understanding as to what the plan of salvation really meant. I frankly admit I did not know very much at all about the Bible. Our immediate family was not a church going one.

My Grandmother Cannon, my deceased father’s mother, was a devout Christian and a charter member of Avondale Alliance Christian Missionary Church in Avondale Estates, Georgia. My Uncle John Wesley Long, a recognized builder in the greater Atlanta area, designed and built the beautiful building in which the church was housed. I often spent weekends with them and attended church events at those times. I enjoyed the fun times, but did not truly know what the services and speakers meant.

My Grandmother decided I should go to camp that summer and two of my aunts took me shopping for appropriate clothing. I was so excited. An entire week was beckoning on the shores of a beautiful lake nestled in the edge of the North Georgia mountains with friends – Boys and girls, good food, sports, games, and activities, and no housework or the responsibility for cooking or caring for my two younger brothers.

The very first night of camp, a Monday, we all met under an open tabernacle. The program featured a young male singer from Cuba who sang The Love of God. I had never heard anything so beautiful and I loved music. A young pastor followed the song and he brought a clear-cut message on the love of God. I had never heard anything like that. I knew in my heart that I did not have in my life what those teens around me had. I did not understand all that they said nor did I know much about what the Bible said.

Without intentionally making a decision to go forward, I found myself pushing past the kids in my row and going to the front of the tabernacle. A kind, neatly dressed woman put her arm around me and ushered me to the nearest camp building where small, clean offices awaited people that had responded to the invitation. There was a second lady there and we three spent the next two hours with me asking questions and them answering.

After the discussions, I quietly bowed my head and prayed and the best way I knew how, I asked Jesus into my heart. No lights flashed. No noises exploded. Nothing dramatic happened to me that I can share. BUT, the sweetest peace and most pleasant moments of my young life settled over me and I felt serene, safe, and secure.

I admitted my sin. I believed Christ was not a sinner. And, I confessed what I had done. I refer to those three things as “the A,B,Cs of Salvation.” I have enjoyed God’s blessing on my life, his nearness, his joy, and his peace for some 63 years now. I joined a Bible believing church, was baptized, and studied the Bible I was given. In the Lord’s graciousness, he allowed my husband and I work in Christian ministry. I worked 26 years for my pastor and I worked for an international ministry where I traveled and visited churches all over America and some in foreign countries. I have written all my life since 10th grade of school and God has utilized that gift.

The reason I am compelled to share this today is that come Christmas, I will be 81 years old, and though I find myself in good health, working every day, teaching, traveling, and enjoying life, I know I could go Home at any time. The sudden deaths of three dear friends made this reality more real to me, and I want you to know you can make the same decision I made. It could be me and it could me you going next.

What I’ll never understand is how people face death without knowing where they are going or that the Lord loves them and will help them.

“My goodness, and my fortress, my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust…” (Psalm 144:2)

[BCH: Sep-26-2023]

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One Response to “Get ready, get set, because you may be going”

  1. Chris says:

    Sorry to hear of your loss.

    Since it’s clear you could go any minute, could we finally get Grandma’s Bible back? It’s kind of important to us.

    On a side note, millions of people all over the world face life’s most dire circumstances with grace and courage, without the slightest awareness of your particular cult beliefs. Your inability to understand that reflects more on you than on them.

    Please return the Bible or we’ll tell Jesus.


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