Defining Moments In My Life (Part 2)

Spring of my freshman year at Tulane University (1977)

My decision to attend Tulane University (New Orleans, La.) – I applied to 4 schools as a senior in high school: Clemson, Cornell, Duke, and Tulane. I got accepted to Clemson, turned down by Cornell, wait listed at Duke and accepted to Tulane. For some reason at the time I did not want to go to the same school that all my friends were going to – which was either Clemson or U of South Carolina. I chose Tulane for 2 reasons. 1) My grandfather had gone there, and 2) it had a very good engineering program. I went there and majored in Biomedical Engineering. I remember sitting in my dorm room before classes had even begun, not really knowing anybody, when there is a knock on my door. I open it and this young man says to me,”Hi my name is Dirk, I understand that you are a Christian.” Well, I certainly had not told anyone that I was a Christian at that point so I was a bit surprised how he knew this. It turned out that he was with Campus Crusade for Christ – thus began my college career and my association with CCC. Little did I know at this point how that first conversation would impact my life.

Hearing God speak loud and clear (the first time) – So my last year of high school I had begun playing games with God. I was Mr. good Christian kid whenever I was around the church but away from church I was acting in some very non Christian ways. The most obvious was partying and drinking. So off I go to Tulane, join a fraternity and continue my game playing. Of course this was not hard to do in “Sin City” with The French Quarter so close by. All the while I am getting more and more involved with CCC and even assuming some leadership roles. How do you spell “hypocrite?” So in January I think God was pretty saddened by my choices and decided to give me a chance to repent once and for all. I remember walking across campus from my fraternity towards my dorm when I heard God speak to me as clear as I ever have. It was probably not audible but it was nonetheless unmistakeably loud and clear. He said, “Decide now!! What side of the fence are you going to live on?” It was loud enough that it stopped me in my tracks. And it was loud enough that I knew I couldn’t just blow it off. That day is the day that I surrendered my life to the Lord. I quit the game playing, quit the drinking, and began seeking to know Him and to find out how to serve Him.

The first picture I have of Linda and I Galveston, Tx (July 1979)

Hearing God speak loud and clear (the second time) – So fast forward 2 years, I am now in my junior year at Tulane. I have applied to go on a Campus Crusade beach project in Myrtle Beach SC. My thinking is that I can be a part of a project and still not be far from my home in Aiken for the summer. In early April I got notified by CCC that I was NOT accepted to the Myrtle Beach project but that I had been accepted to a project in Galveston, Texas. I had absolutely no desire to go to Texas for the summer so I fired off a reply to Crusade saying thanks anyway but I was declining their offer. I was lying on my sofa later that day listening to some music by Keith Green with my headphones on when God again spoke extremely loud and clear. This time He said, ” Go to Galveston! I’m not going to tell you why but you need to go to Galveston!” Again the voice was unmistakable. I knew without a doubt that God had spoken to me. So you know what I did? I went to Galveston that summer. And it was a life changing decision and a life changing summer… ’cause that’s where I met a young lady named Linda Tucker.

*The next 3 Defining Moments will appear in a later post

10 thoughts on “Defining Moments In My Life (Part 2)

  1. I am so thankful that you have listened to the Lord for all of these years. You make good and wise decisions because of it. I am blessed to be part of your life-defining moments! What a great summer of seeking the Lord and finding each other – I do love OUR story!!

  2. This is SO touching and meaningful to me especially because Tucker has continued your legacy in CCC and has reached out to Russ and has such an important place as Christian mentor in Russ’s life. Also, I was astounded by how as a young man, you looked just like Tucker. It’s hard to see the resemblance now when your hair is conspiculously absent. Just kidding!
    Thank you so much for sharing your meaningful testimony and for reiterating that a “simple little invitation to church” can make all the difference in one’s life. Praise God!

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