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Chapter Seventeen
And Thy House

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
~ Acts 16:31 ~

The first thought of every man who comes to Christ, is the salvation of his own soul. Naturally, when that question has been settled in both heart and mind, his next concern is the salvation of his family.

Chuck Overholt understood this fact well. He had slept soundly through the night only to awaken three hours before daybreak. As he stared groggily at the dotted paneled ceiling of his room, the pattern slowly formed into the likeness of Charlie. Yes, she was foremost concern in his mind, for the salvation of his dear Charlie's soul was at stake.

Overcome with care, Chuck decided to give it to the Lord in prayer. First, he thanked God for the return of his daughter, who was the dearest person, except for Christ Himself, to his heart. Then, Chuck asked God to intervene on his daughter's behalf, and somehow reach his Charlie, to the saving of her soul.

As any good parent would, Chuck knew his daughter. He knew her temperament and inclinations-- both of which could easily stand in the way for this glorious event to take place.

As Chuck lie in bed, waiting for morning to break, he recalled the time when Charlie, who was no more than four at the time, wanted to "pet" a cactus at a local zoo in Montana. She had never seen a cactus before, and was enthralled with its myriad of spines and showy flowers. Chuck told her, repeatedly, that she would get hurt if she touched the cactus, but Charlie simply refused to believe him. Chuck could still remember holding his screaming daughter while the zoo doctor extracted each painful spine with the aid of tweezers and a magnifying glass.

Charlie's inherent stubbornness was compounded by the realization that she was smarter than her father. This understanding bred a tendency to disbelieve him. When it became apparent to her that he didn't comprehend something as accurately as herself, Charlie would often dismiss his point of view, even though it had merits of its own.

When Charlie's eyes glazed over in the I'll-humor-you-because-you're-my-Daddy look, Chuck knew he was fighting a losing battle. At these times, he would pull rank and make an executive decision, rather than debate the subject any further. If she was to be saved, God would have to perform a miracle to do it.

Then there was Vera's, "fish in the sea," comment to consider. He had protested that she was too young to think very seriously about boys, or, in Mike Garner's case, men. However, he could not deny the fact, that his own mother was only one year older than Charlie when she married his father. What did the future hold for his daughter? Oh, that his life had been one of faith and Christ-like example! Charlie had grown up without Christian principles or guidance. True is the proverb, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Charlie had not been trained in the way she should go. Chuck had left her spiritually open to whoever might walk into her life and influence it, whether for good or for bad. The older his daughter became, the harder it would be to correct her before it was too late-- before his influence over her would be replaced by someone else's.

Chuck chastised himself for putting his daughter in such a precarious circumstance. How could Charlie possibly have any hope of being reached, now? As Chuck began to despair, he thought of something that Adam had told him-- if we love God, then all things conspire to our good. "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Clutching this promise, Chuck took heart, and fell asleep once more.

"He was such a cute baby! See here?" pointed Vera, holding the photo album in front of Charlie. Charlie squinted her eyes to read the inscription beneath the photo.

"Chucky, three and a half months old," she read out loud. "Chucky?" repeated Charlie, grinning at her father who had just sauntered into the living room in his pajamas. Chuck smiled sheepishly.

"Now you know," he said, flopping down into an armchair opposite the couch.

continued on next page...
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