SIMPLE TRUTH: An example of a transformed life

Published 9:51 am Thursday, October 4, 2012

By Charles Christmas

“Offer your body, once and for all, to God as a living sacrifice. Do not conform any longer to the world’s pattern, but be transformed.” (Romans 12:1-2)

The life of Louise Anderson Christmas spoke loudly and clearly by examples that could challenge most any of us. Foremost of these is the example of a transformed life.

The time was the Roaring Twenties, 1924. After already having become parents of six, Sadie said to her husband, Dovie, “If you’ll let me have my long hair bobbed into a modern hair style, I’ll give you another baby.” Thus, Louise, the bargain baby, was born on Easter Sunday, 1925.

The baby had become ten years old when her father died from a heart attack. His final words to his 28-year-old bachelor football coach elder son were, “Son, take care of the baby.” This son of sterling character and his godly, widowed mother raised this youngest child.

Having made a profession of faith as a young child, church activities were routine in her family. Tap dance and piano lessons were made available. She became the drum majorette for the Thomasville High School Band and a varsity cheer leader. Advancing to become an amateur tap dancer, she was often invited to appear at Blue Grass and other events in her area. As you can imagine, this popular young lady had young men competing for her attention early on and dates had to take their turn. While Louise was in college, a columnist for The Thomasville Times newspaper wrote, “Louise Anderson is our city’s favorite daughter.”

Upon graduation from high school, she enrolled at the University of Alabama and continued church related activities. In the spring of her freshmen year she did a “song and dance” routine in an event on campus. Unintended and totally unknown to her, this routine would forecast and announce her life changing experience that would happen only a few weeks later. She danced and sang the “roaring twenties” worldly jazz song, “There’ll Be Some Changes Made.” The words she sang were: “For there’s a change in the weather, there’s a change in the sea; so from now on, there’ll be a change in me. My walk will be different, my talk and my name. Nothing about me is going to be the same. I’m going to change my way of living; and if that ain’t enough, then I’ll change the way that I strut my stuff.”

On Mother’s Day weekend, Louise visited her sister and brother-in-law in Fairfield. A Revival Meeting was in progress at their church. On Mother’s Day morning she attended with them. After the evangelist’s convicting message, the invitation song’s title was, “Is Your All on the Altar?” The music director sang the following words: “Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid? Your heart does the Spirit control? You can only be blessed with His peace and sweet rest, as you yield Him your body and soul.”

Louise went forward and fell on her knees before the Lord and said, “O God, you know that my all is certainly not on Your altar. Within myself, I cannot change. So I ask You to change my life. Take out of my life every thing that does not please You and put into my life what pleases You. I place my all upon Your altar.”

“The old was being left behind; the new had begun. All this was from God.” (II Corinthians 5:17-18a). She returned to the University on Mother’s Day afternoon. This freshman was on her new journey of a transformed life. There came a new focus and purpose for life; a new hunger and love for the Word of God, to know it and to teach it; a desire to share her new life changing commitment with her old boy friends, family and friends; a new dimension in praying; new activities to replace the old; and a desire for a new kind of young man for her lifelong partner.

She would forever look back to Mother’s Day, 1944, when she entered into a new, transformed life. This “new” life was her life for the next 68 years. She often said, “I was born on an Easter Sunday; but I was “born again” on a Mother’s Day.”

What about you…Is your all on the altar?

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-Charles Christmas is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Thursday.