It Takes Two Birthdays to be Truly Happy
John 3:3 – “…Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Today I am celebrating my birthday. I am 78 years old today. I was born in South Bend, Indiana, on this date in 1942. I do not remember much about my parents because they both died when I was only three. My mother died from pneumonia when she was only 23 years old. My father died about three months later in a motorcycle accident when he was 27 years old. My brother and I were placed in an orphanage home in Franklin, Indiana. It was a good “Home” in a lot of ways. We had good food, good clothing, and good lodging. We received a good education and we also learned a lot of practical things by working on the farm that was a part of the Home.
What I did not learn at the Home was also very important. We had no Bibles, no Sunday School and no Church. There was no spiritual training. Consequently, when I left the Home in the middle of the night when I was 17, I soon got into a lot of trouble and a very unhappy lifestyle. There were times when I slept in the park, I picked up a few odd jobs here and there. There were also times when I had to steal to have something to eat. Soon a high school friend of mine asked his parents if I could move in with them. This kind act saved my life. This family owned the local bowling alley and the father not only gave me a place to live and food to eat, he also gave me a job working at his bowling alley at night. This opened up a whole new life for me, I was able to finish high school and go to college.
My second birth came in 1969. I owned a used car business and a friend of mine, Clyde Beal, came into my office one day and said, “Larry, I want to collect that favor you owe me. I want you to go to our Church revival meeting with me tonight.” I couldn’t talk him our of it, so I went with him to Church that night and for the first time in my life I heard the Gospel. Paula and I went back every night of the revival meeting and we both accepted Christ as Savior on May 16, 1969. Immediately our lives changed. We were baptized and grew spiritually. Soon we sold our business and went off to Bible College. We started a Church and I pastored in Quincy, MA, for five years and then we opened our first Lighthouse Children’s Home in 1978. Now we have six Lighthouse Homes located in six different countries. We have now raised over 1,500 homeless and needy children. We would like to thank the many Churches and individuals who have helped us to rescue these children. It is amazing what God can do with anyone who has experienced the second birth. To God be the glory, great things He has done!