December 28, 2014

The Shepherd's Corner

Something unusual will take place in the 2015 Tournament of Rose Parade.  The horse that is supposed to carry the Grand Marshal will have no rider on it!  Louis Zamperini, the designated rider, died on July 2 of this year, just weeks after he was named to be the 2015 Grand Marshal.  However in honor of his service to this country the Rose Parade committee decided to keep him as the Grand Marshal and not choose anybody else to take his place.Something unusual will take place in the 2015 Tournament of Rose Parade.  The horse that is supposed to carry the Grand Marshal will have no rider on it!  Louis Zamperini, the designated rider, died on July 2 of this year, just weeks after he was named to be the 2015 Grand Marshal.  However in honor of his service to this country the Rose Parade committee decided to keep him as the Grand Marshal and not choose anybody else to take his place.Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete and a war hero, came home not as a victor but rather as a prisoner of war.  He was still at war with himself and imprisoned by hatred and alcoholism.  After three years of marriage, his wife could not take it anymore and thought about leaving him.  It was then a young Billy Graham came to Los Angeles to hold his citywide crusade in 1949.

At the urging of his wife, Louis Zamperini went and there in front of thousands he dedicated his life to Jesus and to forgiving the Japanese prison guards who had tortured him.  It was there he also committed his life to serving Jesus, especially to reaching the troubled youth—a commitment he kept till he died.

His son recently spoke about him.  He said a lot of people often referred to his dad as an inspirational speaker but he was more “a witness, an evangelist . . . sharing his remarkable story of survival and forgiveness.”  When he gave his life to Jesus and made a decision to forgive, he was forever free from his own prison.

In a way we, too, are witnesses and evangelists.  We, too, have our own stories to tell—stories of how the grace of God through Jesus saved us and how He gave us hope and strength.

Pastor PaulLouis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete and a war hero, came home not as a victor but rather as a prisoner of war.  He was still at war with himself and imprisoned by hatred and alcoholism.  After three years of marriage, his wife could not take it anymore and thought about leaving him.  It was then a young Billy Graham came to Los Angeles to hold his citywide crusade in 1949.

At the urging of his wife, Louis Zamperini went and there in front of thousands he dedicated his life to Jesus and to forgiving the Japanese prison guards who had tortured him.  It was there he also committed his life to serving Jesus, especially to reaching the troubled youth—a commitment he kept till he died.

His son recently spoke about him.  He said a lot of people often referred to his dad as an inspirational speaker but he was more “a witness, an evangelist . . . sharing his remarkable story of survival and forgiveness.”  When he gave his life to Jesus and made a decision to forgive, he was forever free from his own prison.

In a way we, too, are witnesses and evangelists.  We, too, have our own stories to tell—stories of how the grace of God through Jesus saved us and how He gave us hope and strength.

Pastor Paul

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