Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 

Matthew 7:24-27 



Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21 

          “Mario, why do you say you’re a Christian, but you don’t live like one?” Merle Pollock (sometime in September/October 1973) 

          What could I say? I talked a good talk, knew most of the books of the Bible, had even taught a class or two, and loved to sing the hymns. Yet my life demonstrated that I was not saved! And Merle cut to the chase! 

          I liked to think I was a Christian (making a distinction here, Christian vs saved). Sure, I drank, sometimes got drunk, told dirty jokes, and acted a fool. Yet, since my birthday in 1969 (turned 18) I carried the King James Bible my folks had given me as a present (and they weren’t saved either!). 



Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Psalm 66:1 

          Fishing trip over, packed up and headed back to the church. Some of the men asked if I would like to stay for choir practice and I said, “Sure!” They all went home, showered and changed clothes. 

          The rest of the choir began to show up and I was introduced to Hank’s wife, Sharon, who was the choir director. The men returned, fresh and clean, and we went inside for the practice. 

          Now think about it, here I am after two days of fishing, sitting by a campfire, clothes smelling like I’d been fishing for two days, and the brothers and sisters in the choir, including Sister Fern Johnson (Pastor’s wife) just loved me. They didn’t say anything about how I looked or smelled. All they knew is that I was saved and had a heart to sing! 



Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.II Timothy 1:13 

          I was leaving Spain, my spiritual birthplace. I was leaving the comfort of brothers and sisters who had prayed for me and with me. As a new Christian I had my first pastor, Ron Waggoner, a man called by God and sent to Zaragoza who we, the Christian believers, had been praying for a pastor. 

          I was being reassigned to a different base in South Dakota (after a brief trip to Lackland AFB for the Tops in Blue competition) to a place and people I did not know. Ron took me aside, a few days before I was leaving, and told me that as soon as I got to the base find a good church. 

          Now the word, “good” might seem to be a little broad, but I knew what my pastor meant. Find a church that preached, taught, and believed in salvation through Christ alone, the inerrancy of the Word, and of Jesus, born of a virgin, crucified and then resurrection, now sitting at the right hand of the Father. 



Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, Ephesians 5:25-26

 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:5

 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

 In the early 90’s Bonny and I lived in an area in Idaho called Myrtle Grove that was located right next to the Clearwater River. There were about a dozen homes in Myrtle Grove and it was beautiful to say the least.

One summer it was exceptionally hot (100+ every day for days) and the best way to cool off was to go swim in the river. Now, the Clearwater River was a very cold river so it would take a few minutes to get all the way in. However, if you stayed in that cold water for about a ½ hour or so, it would lower your body temperature so that the 100+ degree summer day felt comfortable!



Acts 19:13-17 A demon and the 7 sons of Sceva 

          There was a good Brother in the church in Loo-zee-ana named Houston and he was kind of a fix it man. Kind of. Walking into his home one day, Brother Otto noticed that Lolita, Houston’s wife, was doing laundry and the washing machine lid was up and some of the clothes were being flung out with water and soap suds going all over! 

          Lolita finally got things calmed down and wiped down and she closed the lid and restarted the machine. Come to find out there had been a problem with the washer and Houston told his wife, “I can bypass that!” with the consequence that the switch that would normally stop the cycle when the lid was lifted, had been disconnected! 

So, sometimes Lolita would forget and open the lid and chaos would ensue. “I can bypass that!”  



“To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.”Jeremiah 6:10 

 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any
time they should see with
their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be
converted, and I should heal them
” Matthew 13:15 

 “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.”Hebrews 5:11 



“Music is portable theology. Scott A. Gayer 

          What a quote! With few exceptions we can sing the Word aloud. Yup! Grocery stores, at the gas pump, even at work (as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job!), walking around the mall, just about anywhere! 

          “For I’m persuaded to believe nothing can separate us from the wonderful love of God . . .” (Romans 8:38-39). That is theology in a song. It is something that we, Christians, can hold onto when things are seemingly chaotic in our lives. 

          The great theologian, Martin Luther, penned the words to one of the most outstanding hymns of faith and theology. Consider these portions taken from the verses of “A Mighty Fortress”: 

  • (God) A bulwark never failing – Isaiah 26:1 
  • Were not the right Man on our side . . . Christ Jesus, it is He 
  • We will not fear for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us 
  • The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still, His Kingdom is forever 



The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:
” Ezekiel 18:20b” 

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

II Corinthians 5:21 

 In the fall of 1975, I was transferred to Ellsworth AFB, S.D. and assigned to the 44th Missile Site Security squadron. I worked 3 days in the field, supervising the security staff at 5 Launch Control Facilities, with 3 days off (but one of those days off was usually spent in transit from the base to the LCF’s as the closest one was 100 miles from the base).  

As a Staff Sergeant (E-5), I supervised approximately 15-20 Air Force enlisted Security Policemen and oversaw the security of 50 nuclear missiles (10 missiles per LCF) located in and around the Badlands of South Dakota. Me, Mario, was in charge! 

Being in charge was good as long as it was when I was on duty. I soon found out, though, that being on duty and being in charge carried some responsibility. One time, on my days off, I received a call from the squadron to report to the Colonel (squadron commander). 

I had no idea what was up so I put on my uniform and drove into the base. At the office myself and an airman (one of the men I supervised) were escorted into the Colonel’s office where we stood at attention, saluted and reported in. The Colonel stayed seated, returned our salutes and just stared at some paperwork on his desk. 



For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Ephesians 5:8 

 I have told the story of coming in one morning in the boat when it was so foggy, I could hardly see a few dozen feet in front of me. I wrote of how I would shine the spot light looking for the pilings that indicated I was in the boat channel and would not run aground. 

What I didn’t mention is that while I was searching for the pilings, I was also looking for the reflective tape that they were supposed to have (some did not and that made things interesting!) wrapped around them. Flashing that beam of light ahead and to my right looking and hoping to see then next piling that showed me I was right where I was supposed to be. 

Those reflectors were saying, “Here I am! Follow me to safety! I can show you the right path!” 

Our Lord Jesus declared, “I am the Light of the World!” There is no truer Light for mankind. And Jesus promised: “he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12