This is My Story: Dane
This is taken from a talk Dane previously gave at a church in North Raleigh. He entitled it, "Our Magnanimous God."
I am not a preacher but rather a pilot. I ask you to please judge my efforts here in that light. This is my humble attempt to relate to you some of the things I have learned and experienced through my life and career in aviation.
Who is God and why do we serve Him?
God is: Magnanimous
God is: Generous
God is: Charitable
God is: Benevolent
God is: Princely
God is: Noble
God is: Wisdom
God is: Infinitude
God is: Sovereignty
God is: Holiness
God is: Trinity
God is: Omniscience
God is: Faithfulness
God is: Love
God gives us His word in the Bible. In it He says what He means and means what He says.
Who am I and why am I here?
I grew up in Southern California, a drug baby, drug to our Baptist Church anytime the doors were open. I have had a great family influence, a great church influence and great mentors all through my life.
I had a severe setback in my youth that changed the direction of my life. Months in the hospital, numerous surgery’s and a year out of school. I suffered permanent damage that totally reformatted my plans for my life. Now I have a Great wife, two children both happily married and two grandchildren.
In the early 70’s, flying became my life. Through time, furloughs, company bankruptcy’s, work, study, and God’s blessing I transitioned up through the ranks of aviation. First small planes, single engine and multi engine land and sea, then the DC3, Lockheed Electra L188, Douglas DC 9, Boeing 737, Airbus A300, Boeing 757, 767, Douglas DC10 and finally the Boeing 777. I retired from United Airlines with about 20 years flying the DC 10 and 777 internationally.
I have been privileged to see and experience some of God’s great wonders, from Sao Palo Brazil to the North Pole, from Israel and Europe to Guam and Hong Kong. The Northern Lights covering the whole sky, spectacular sun rises and sun sets, spectacular weather displays, topography rivaling the Grand Canyon, starry nights over the dark North Atlantic Ocean, Mt McKinley from the air and the Dead Sea, and many of God’s wonderful people along the way.
Does our behavior matter once we are assured of our salvation?
I believe God put every one of us here for His purpose. You never know when or where an opportunity to share the gospel will occur. Some of the people in my life, especially my professional life, have had a great effect on me and I hope I on them.
What is our witness?
Sharing the Gospel when God gives us an opportunity. People watch us when they perceive we are Christians, they watch our behavior, or language, our honesty, and the quality of our kindness and caring. God works through these experiences and it benefits all concerned.
One night over the black arctic I left the cockpit to stretch and encountered a flight attendant in the galley crying, she was reading Chuck Missler’s book The Kingdom Power and Glory she was overwhelmed by her perceived inadequacy and insufficiency as it related to her relationship with God.
She asked me what I thought and I did my best to explain some of the points she was concerned about. Points she had gleaned from Chucks book. She asked me to outline what I had said and write her something that would cover what we had talked about. I figured it would be a page or two but when I was finished, I dropped off a 12-page effort in her mail box. I believe The Lord led me to write that for her. I saw her several years after that and she told me that my effort on her behalf really made a difference in her life.
I have had many other opportunities to witness to fellow crew members, fellow pilots, ground personnel even in communist China.
We witness by our behavior and actions when we interact with our social clubs and civic organizations, even the simple act of prayer while we are out in public before we have a meal can lead to an opportunity to witness. It is our duty as Christians to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. We are here to witness, inform, educate, listen, care, and respond.
We can witness by our everyday actions and behavior, inform from our personal study of God’s word, educate those who God brings into our sphere of influence, listen to people’s voices of concern, longing, troubles, successes. Basically, to care and pray for folks. We need to respond with appropriate words and deeds to show the love of God in all we do and say.
Our support comes from God and belonging to a church congregation. Participating in the running of our church and outreach ministries, lifting each other up in times of trial and challenge, doing this will lift us up also. Others watching you will see the results of your life and that is a powerful witness.
Looking back on my life and career gives me a long-term perspective on incidents and challenges I have faced; it is apparent to me from this view that God was actively preparing me for my roll in serving Him.
From the felt board in Sunday school so long ago to the professional training experiences I have had in many facets of my career, to the varied passions I have enjoyed in my life, God has blessed me and prepared me.
I believe God has done the same for you. Now it is our job to go and tell!
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will council you with my loving eye on you." (Psalm 32:8)
Share Your Story: We love the lyrics of "Blessed Assurance": "This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long." Stories and testimonies like the one above lead us to worship. We know God is at work and would love to highlight your story in an upcoming post. Share your story here.