On November, 30 2018, President George H. W. Bush, the 41’s American President, passed away, leaving behind a life of legacy. He is the first President that I really remember. He took office when I was just 3 years old. Four years later, I remember sitting in my parents room crying when he did not win the re-election. Even at such a young age I remember feeling that he was a man of integrity and strong morals.
Having lived in Houston, Texas my entire life, we have seen the Bush’s in action many times over the years through local media, or word of mouth. It seems that every Houstonian has their own story of meeting the Bush’s. In 2008, I attended the Rocket’s Tux & Tennies event while representing my former employer, Southwest Airlines, as one of their marketing reps. President Bush was there, supporting the Houston basketball team’s charity as usual. He looked handsome, gentle, and debonair in his eye catching blue plaid tux. I will never forget getting to see him.
Over the past week, I have been moved by the way that the Bush family has allowed the public to be a part of his passing. The speeches by family members and close friends have been captivating and inspiring. 41’s’ son, President ’43’, George W. Bush, gave an emotional speech about how well his father loved them and that everywhere 41 went, he left it a better place. 41 made his home, his town, his country, and the world a better place than he found it. There are not many people in the world that statement could be made about, and it actually ring true.
More important than any of that, is how 41’s family, friends, and the American public know without a doubt that he had a personal relationship with God. They can rest knowing that he is in Heaven with Jesus and his beloved wife, Barbara. He was never ashamed of his faith and it was always public.
As a part of the funeral ceremonies, 41’s body traveled on a beautiful, blue, historic train from Old Town Spring, to College Station where he will be buried next to his wife at the Texas A&M Presidential Library. My family was one of the many who stood near the rail road tracks to see Train 4141 pass by, holding the casket and the Presidential family. When the train finally passed by, there was an unanticipated and overwhelming wave of emotion that engulfed the crowd. It was an incredibly moving experience to witness.
After the train had passed, and people had begun to leave, I walked to the tracks and a picture, following in the direction of the train’s path.
I keep looking at this picture and what it represents. It represents the path of a man who lived his life well. A man who loved God unashamedly. A man who loved his family immensely. A man who changed the world for the better. And lastly, a man who finished his life journey well, and is on his final journey to Heaven. A man who, we have no doubt, will spend eternity with Jesus and his family.
This is a hot topic, I know, but I’m going to say it anyways. Unashamedly. If you died today, do you know where you would go? Will you go to Heaven? Or will you go to Hell? They are real places, whether you want to believe it or not.
In Romans 8:9-10, the Bible says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
That’s it, that’s all you have to do be a ‘believer’. Just breathe a little prayer to God and tell him you believe and that you confess that you are not perfect and that you need him.
It’s not about how many good works you can do… because it’s not about you. It’s about God and his amazing grace to forgive our sins so that we can live with him in Heaven. He loves us. We are his children. No matter where you come from, what you’ve done, he loves you. He wants to bring you joy, peace, and hope, and to make you his son or daughter.
If you are not a believer, or are an Atheist, I ask you 2 key questions: What if you’re right and I’m wrong? What have I lost? The answer is nothing. If I’m wrong, then when I die I turn to dust, but I have lived life well, loved others, and gave generously. I’m not getting into denomination legalities here. This is strictly the bottom line truth were talking about today. That “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
But, what if I’m right and you’re wrong? The wages of sin is death. We have all sinned. I’m not pointing fingers. But if I’m right, then I’m redeemed and my sins are forgiven. I go to Heaven. People get so mad at Christians when they share their faith, but if Christians truly believe that anyone who does not believe in Jesus will go to Hell, shouldn’t you want to punch us in the face if we don’t talk about our faith? Like, how rude is that?!
I care about where you go. So, I speak boldly and I am not sorry.
Fire and brimstone aside, a relationship with Christ offers healing that cannot come from a counselor. Joy that cannot come from a pill. (not condemning medicine.. I am pro medicine!) My point is that God offers a joy, peace, and deep healing that cannot come from anywhere else. I have been in the pits of despair before, and it is only God that got me through. He shows me mercies and gives me fresh breath in my lungs daily. It’s a feeling that I cannot put into words.
Know where you are going when you die. I am inspired by President Bush to continue building my own legacy. I may not bring the Berlin Wall down, but we can all make the world around us a better place.
If you have questions about any of this, please reach out. I would love to talk with you or help you get plugged into a great church.