Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Father's Day 2009 at Gettysburg

In June of 2009, my family and I took a two-week vacation to Washington, DC. For me, one of the most memorable times during our trip was the day we spent at Gettysburg National Park. It was Father's Day.

A week or so before our trip, I contacted Gettysburg National Park and obtained a permit to open-air preach, during our visit to the park. Park officials gave me just a few options regarding the location I would preach. One of the options was Devil's Den.

It seemed like an appropriate place.

The crowd in that part of the park, especially considering the holiday, was small. But I was very blessed that a few local Christians heard I would be there, so they came to lend their support. And two of my spiritual daughters, along with their brother, drove more than three hours from Northern Pennsylvania to be there with us.

Being an amateur (emphasis necessary) Civil War historian, I was overwhelmed to be on such historic and hallowed ground. Add to that my general nervousness about open-air preaching in such an important place--a place, up to that point, I had only dreamed of visiting--well, I was shaking just a bit.

My pulse was racing as I stepped down from the rock. It certainly wasn't my best open-air; but the gospel was preached and that's all that really matters. And it would be an open-air I will never forget.

It would be hours after my Devil's Den open-air experience, while my family and I looked down upon the ferocious killing place from atop Little Round Top, that my emotions would finally catch up with me. I fought back tears as I thanked God for the opportunity to preach the gospel where thousands of men, almost 150 years ago, had given the last full measure; and for my family who helped to make it possible.

Here is my Father's Day 2009 Gettysburg open-air.