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A New Heart

Navy Chapain-900x474

Dear Precious Saints of MBC,   

I trust you are doing well and looking forward to the Lord's Day.

Seventy-six years ago last Tuesday, October 15, 1943, Chaplain J. D. Tolleson prepared a Bible Study for sailors who wanted to spend their Friday night studying the Bible and being with other Christians. At that time, the US was at war with both Japan and Germany and many of these men had seen the horrors of war.  Stationed at the naval base in Dutch Harbor, Alaska were 10,000 sailors.   Just off base was all manner of entertainment customized to meet the needs of lonely sailors who were far from home.  Chaplain Tolleson knew he had a lot of competition but surely there were a handful of men who might want to avoid the trapping of main street. So Chaplain Tolleson worked his best to come up with something relevant and useful.  

He settled upon Ezekiel 36:26 
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
 As it turned out, there were just three men that showed that night:  Dave Wallace, Mel Hart, and John Hornok. Dave and Mel were believers but John was not.  Chaplain Tolleson preached as if were talking to a hundred men instead of just three! That night, John Hornok, my Dad, met Jesus Christ and his life was changed; and so also was Hornok history. He was the first of his eleven siblings to trust Christ. In time a few of them got saved, but most never came to Christ.   They all suspected "Johnny was shell shocked!"  
Because of what God did through J.D. Tolleson, the John Hornok branch of the family tree was changed forever.  His branch is as different as night and day from the rest of the family. John's children all had the chance to meet Christ early in life, and avoid many of the temptations on "main street."  Sadly, most of the other Hornoks did not have that blessing.   
I look forward to meeting Chaplain Tolleson in heaven and thanking him for faithfully preaching and sharing the gospel.  I, along with my other siblings are where we are today because of his faithfulness.    
God bless the memory of faithful men and women who share the gospel.  Today, let's be among those faithful. You never know how God will use it for generations to come.  
See you on Sunday!
In the light of His glory and grace: 
Pastor Doug