Gideons International is a businessmen's group that unites across denominations to raise money for & give away Bibles. One like this helped lead the column's protagonist to salvation, and he later joined the Gideons.
The man was youthful but deliberate, taking notes on a pad and at times holding out a microphone to record the park ranger’s narration of the scenic trail in the Alibates Flint Quarries. The radio newsman was doing a feature for his morning show in Houston on this national monument 35 miles north of Amarillo, Texas, focusing on its ancient Native American history and longtime chief ranger, Ed Day.
The quarries drew just 271 visitors that month, but one turned out to be key to the young man’s life, and it wasn’t whom he figured it would be. An elderly woman from Florida went with him and Day on the trail and approached them as the reporter set up for an interview in the park visitor center.
“I thought I would give you a copy of God’s Word,” the white-haired lady told them as they sat down. "I hope it blesses you." She handed each of the two a pocket Gideon New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs.
After the young man replied, “Thanks,” Day turned to him and said, “It probably wouldn’t hurt either one of us to read some of this.” The reporter didn’t know it, but the ranger was a deacon at the Church of Christ in Fritch, the next town up the road.
The radio newsman, just shy of 26, had little background in the Bible. He had been raised as a nominal Christian in a church that did not preach individual salvation or the inerrancy of Scripture, preferring to think of all people as saved and the Word of God as a book of good ideas written by people for people.
The reporter read a little of the Bible in confirmation class when he was 13, but the students mostly copied answers off each other when they met in the church basement so everybody would get a certificate of completion and entrance to membership in the congregation. He thought the Word somewhat interesting history if biased, as it must have been penned to promote a particular point of view, and he paid it no mind after the course ended.
Shortly, he no longer would attend church, since his mother gave him the option whether or not to go, as he was now an adult in the eyes of the congregation. He later joked, “I was confirmed in unbelief and stopped going to church.”
However, a dozen or so years later, that little green book the aged woman gave him began to make sense. He had suspected there was some kind of deity, for otherwise life had no overarching purpose, and humankind and the earth had too much detail, depth and potential for that. In response, he had moved from saying he was an "atheist" to an "agnostic."
Now, as he read the Bible, he realized he'd lived the truth of some of its passages, such as Galatians 6:7. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, this he will also reap,” it says.
The words of Christ encouraged him. “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these the Gentiles seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these,” he saw in Matthew 6:31-34. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
There was also inspiration. “Because I live, you will live also,” Jesus said in John 14:19. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” the Lord promised in John 8:32.
As the radio news director went to sleep each night, he read more of the little green book. He knew there was something different about it, not just another volume. He remembered what it stated. He began to do what Jesus said in it: believe his Word, repent of sin, make him Lord and Savior, and follow him.
When the man was back in Houston, he began to balance his radio program between Christian and secular, conservative and liberal, committed to truth eternal and temporal. His bosses didn’t like it. Rather than debate them, he took the problem to the Lord, and put the first bumper sticker on his car: “’I love my enemies,’ Matthew 5:44.” His best friend at the station told him his colleagues were starting to notice the bumper sticker and the change that was happening in him and the show.
The newsman had started talking about God, Jesus and how he was getting good teaching from the Bible and Christian radio as well as church. Not too long before, he had thought a relative who’d been saved was “going off the deep end.” Now he was making the jump, too.
As management interfered in the man's work more and more, he began to sense the Lord was sending him elsewhere. That turned out to be Waco, Texas, as a daily talk show host and graduate student at Baylor University. He resigned from the station in Houston, and a friend gave him a New King James Bible as a gag gift. That became his favorite version, and he wore out the copy’s pages reading it. Christ rid him of fornication, carousing, bad language and much else in becoming the center of the man's life.
Some 25 years after receiving that pocket Gideon New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs in April 1994, that now 50-year-old man is still serving the Lord and closer to God than ever. He loves telling people about Jesus at each opportunity the Holy Ghost presents.
He is Kyle Huckins, a pastor as well as professor and media professional. Me.
God gave us the Bible so we could know who he is. Jesus lived, died and rose so you and I could be saved from our sins by his perfect sacrifice and resurrection power. Believe in Christ, repent of sin, and ask him to come into your heart and life as Lord and Savior. Then follow him. See more details.
Have a joyous Easter, that is, Resurrection Day, but even more, have your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Become a Christian and seek, seek, seek the Lord in personal relationship – daily, real, and powerful – and possess eternity now.
About the author: The Rev. Kyle Huckins, Ph.D., has an earned doctorate and taught both journalism and religious studies in universities, winning three honors for scholarly research on the intersection of faith and media.
He's won 25 awards for professional media writing and production in a career stretching back to the 1980s and covering every mass medium. For 20 years, he's worked in public relations and marketing with outstanding results in placing articles, generating click-throughs, growing social-platform accounts, and more.
Ordained in 2003, he's clergy and has served congregations and denominations in numerous positions of pastoral, administrative and educational leadership. He has a master's degree in theological studies from Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. See below on this page andclick here for more on Huckins.
This website also has a blog on faith, regularly updated Facebook and Twitter feeds and more. You may email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. He enjoys hearing from readers!
The protagonist was about to interview Ranger Ed Day when an elderly woman gave each a big gift small in size: God's Word.
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument had only 271 visitors the month of the column protagonist's visit, but one was key to his life.
Media Helping People, Ministries Glorifying Christ
Our protagonist, Rev. Kyle Huckins, Ph.D. (R), in the early 2000s with Rev. Henry Blackaby of "Experiencing God," Huckins' first Bible study.