I have a "Thorntonism" that says you really don't know about a person until
you read the obituary. But I'll admit ahead of time that I was what you call the "class clown" back in high
school. I had a one-liner answer for whatever came up. One day I met Joy Bruce as he came down the sidewalk on his bike, and
as he stopped, I had no idea what I was going to say to him, but this came out: "Joy, have you died your hair?"
He answered, "No...why?" And I said, "Well, it looks dead."
once when our Literatue teacher gave us a test that must have been something psychological anyway, it made no sense, and I
gave out a "holy COW," and she got me with "Billy D, we'll have no holy cows in my classes!" But she
was responsible for my appreciation of poetry and good writing, and in later years, I wrote to her about her good influence
on students during her years of teaching.
I loved school and the teachers, and
they seemed to love me, because there were never repercussions for my popping up with interruptions.
Both our schools had burned at the start of World War Two, and even at my young age at the time, I suspected
Sabotage...and of course, we had trouble getting back to normal, which inched along until after the war was over. Somehow,
they were able to get enough typewriters for a class, and I loved it. The Lord was in it, because I couln’t have done
my career, nor these articles, without that training.
God knows everything...past,
present and future, and I thank Him that He lets me write these Conquest articles, which are done in a labor of love with
my hope that some have helped, or even blessed, my readers. I feel it’s my calling in these later years. I was converted
at about age 11, and God has kept my name in His Book...despite my stumbling. I’ve enjoyed writing my articles, songs,
poems, and other things for Him, and even the cartoons and the non-religious songs, I've written...because I grew up in
the Big Band era, and it won't go away.
At any rate, I haven’t regretted
that eleven-year-old decision, and I recommend that you try it, if you haven’t already.
I’ve noticed that some of my Conquest articles have taken on a new complexion since my wife
went to her new home. I don’t feel the same about passing from this life to the next. I like to use the
term “The Promise” that the Lord gives to everyone…that Christians will immediately be with loved
ones who’ve gone on, when our turn comes.
King David used that consolation we see in 2nd Samuel 12:23,
after his son by Bathsheba died; “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” And of course Jesus
showed the same comfort to us, as He hung on the Cross, when he told the thief hanging beside Him, who had become a believer
there, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
I’ve written about that in an earlier article, but for those of you who didn’t see it, I’ll give
my interpretation of those words by Christ. “Today” means now…assuring us that we won’t be
put in a waiting area until some time in the future. And “shalt thou be with me” means that He will go to
the same place with this person who’s dying at His side.
And the Bible clearly shows that the word “Paradise” and
“Heaven” are the same place. Revelation 2:7 is enough to convince us: “He who has an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which
is in the paradise of God.” And the tree of life serves double duty, also indicating that we’ll eat the
best of foods in Heaven.
The only ones who
should fear death, are those of you who haven’t given your heart to the Lord. I beg you to take care of that,
at this very moment. It’s the only time you’re guaranteed.