Donald T. Carlsonís Testimony

The only notable things about my background in my estimation, are the person I married and the work I did after college. All else was quite ordinary.

The year after college graduation I married my wife, Ginny, and we left our home state for Georgia where I entered pilot training with the U.S. Air Force. The next twelve months were really tough. I soon found that I had an excellent wife, and that I was in an exciting , challenging career. As we experienced the birth of our first child, and as I saw the way Ginny dealt with all the pressures and changes, my belief that this was the right lifetime spouse for me grew even stronger.

When I graduated from pilot training and received my USAF wings, we moved across the country to California. My assignment was flying jet transports anywhere in the world. I was sure the future would be happy.

But problems soon began that were all my fault. I wonít specify what they were, other than to say these were wrongs I was doing, and rights I was not doing. This led to situations that threatened my marriage and my future as a pilot. As I began to realize this it scared me. However, I could not change my behavior.

While on a mission, another pilot in my squadron asked if I was interested in a home Bible study. Since I had attended church since childhood and considered myself a Christian, I agreed to attend. The study was sponsored by the Officers Christian Fellowship and met in homes of people on the Air Force base. We participated actively. I even led a couple of studies. Studying the Bible seemed to aggravate my problems, though.

Since we had become friends, the coordinator of the study invited Ginny and me to an evening service at their church. The speaker was a traveling evangelist who told his own story. As he spoke, I saw my own life - some reasons for the problems I had as well as the awful things that could occur. I was convinced that the only way disaster might be averted was to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That very night I made a "decision". God saved me, and put me in His family as I accepted the call to repentance.

I am happy to report that God also saved my marriage and Air Force career. Ginny and I have now been married for 31 years. A few years ago I retired after more than 24 years of Air Force duty.

And the Lord has seen us through difficult times. He has shown us amazing ways to serve and obey Jesus.

The very best part is learning to know the holiness, mercy, wisdom, love, justice, and power of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We gain this daily through the ministry of the Scriptures. I had no clue of any of these many years ago. I only knew I needed help. Itís wonderful to know that God is so much greater than I could ever have imagined.