On Monday morning after a night of meeting head-on with Jesus Christ and He winning out. I head to Seminary. I enroll. I get a dorm room because Sandra and Tammi are still back in Port Neches. This is a Summer session of six weeks. I have to take two course as a full load in the Summer. Immediately, I file for an exemption with my draft board and I am exempt right away with a IV-D classification. God is truly directing our path through all of this. We have a another situation. We have a mobile home and we need to move it to Ft.Worth. The Seminary has a trailer park so I go inquire about getting a space. The lady tells me there is a waiting list but she would put me down on the list. In the mean time I am attending class and looking for a job. I go by the Job Board and there is a notice that St. Mary's School is looking for a coach and PE teacher . I go to that school. interview and I am hired that day. I now have a part-time job coaching girl's volleyball, boys and girl's basketball and girls softball plus teach two classes of PE. That week also as I was walking down the hall going to class and the lady who manages the trailer park flags me down and says to me , when can you get your trailer here? If you can get it here within three days you got a space. I said I will do it. So on that Saturday, I had my family and our mobile home in Ft.Worth in place ready to live.
Then there was this other situation, Sandra needed a teaching job so we start looking. We go to school district offices applying and eventually find an elementary teaching job at Kennedale,TX, not that far from our home. So within a matter of days we have a place to live, two jobs and we find a lady to keep Tammi during the day just blocks from our home. God is truly at work. In the trailer park two other families are there, the Simpsons and the Sneeds. Neither of them have children so Tammi is the center of attraction for all six of us. The saying it takes a village to raise a child was certainly true in this case. We all loved here and she became very spoiled, in a good way.. All three couples plus Tammi had some incredible times together. we are now in place for the 1970 Fall term at Seminary and Sandra is about to begin teaching. It seems like we are on a straight and smooth road.
Like I said Tammi was born in Beaumont, TX. I was coaching at Vidor Jr. High and everything was going well with us. One day I receive a notice from my draft board requesting my attendance. So I loaded on a bus and rode to Houston where I went through the exams they give you and the last word from them was you will be hearing from us. This is 1970 the height of the Viet Nam War. What to do? Do I wait and see or what? So I call my draft board and a real nice lady answered. I told her that I had a teaching job, a new baby and was there something I could do. She said wait a minute and when she came back on the phone she asked me why I dropped out of Seminary. I told her I had to support my family. She then went on to say that perhaps if I went back to Seminary and filed for an exemption that maybe I would not have to go. Immediately after talking with her I called Southwestern and asked about getting in. The registrar said a new Summer semester was starting the next week and if I got there and enrolled I would be back into the classroom. But I need to back up a few weeks before that. Before the draft situation, I had been struggling with my call to the ministry. I was invited to preach at a little country church. Still wondering is this what God really wants me to do. I prayed God if you want me to continue in the ministry let there be two people make decisions today. Sunday morning I preached, nothing happen. Sunday night there were fifteen people in the congregation. I thought to myself will this is not going to happen. [Lack of faith]. I preached , offer an invitation and two people came forward wanting to unite with the church. I thought this is proof positive that God still wants me to continue on in the ministry. Then fast forward to the draft, Seminary and here it is Summer 1970. I am headed by to school. I leave Sandra and Tammi in Port Neches and head to Ft.Worth on Sunday afternoon. I arrive in Irving and go into the auditorium of Plymouth Park Baptist Church where they are having a youth-led service. God is all over the place in this service. The Holy Spirit's presence is so evident. He begins to work on me. I fall under deep conviction and when the invitation is given and go forward in deep contrition. I am a broken man. I am face with so much uncertainty. I fall into the arms of Blaine Parsons just weeping. Blaine says, " Just lay down at the cross." I did that day and Jesus forgave me, cleansed me, and filled me. Joy unspeakable came over me and I was truly set free. But there was much more ahead.
So we needed a job and I turned to my father who helped me get on at Texaco in Port Arthur,TX. It was at the terminal filling tankard trucks. We bought a small mobile home, placed it in the back of my Aunt Martha Lou's house and began to prepare for the new arrival. This was the Summer of 69. I worked shift work at Texaco for several months. One day Sandra suggested that I apply for a teaching job at some local school districts. I tried my school district Port Neches- Groves but there were no opening. I ended up at Vidor ISD and applied there. They did not give me any hope. But Sandra suggested we sit and wait in the Administration Office and soon my Junior High principal walked out of a meeting and saw me. Ask me what I was doing and I told him looking for a teaching job. He told me to wait. This we did and in a few minutes I was hired as a history teacher and a coach right there on the spot.Truly a divine appointment. So began my career as a teacher and coach. I taught Texas history and geography and was an assistant football coach, which meant more time and a little extra money. I loved it. However, I remember my first day as a teacher. I walked in the classroom and there sat these 7th graders. It so overcame me I ran across the hall to the restroom and threw up my breakfast. It was not a good start. But I soon grew to love my job and the kids. This was my first real exposure to young people. Then on September 25, 1969, Tammi Lea Sasser made her debut into this world, born in Beaumont,TX. A new chapter in our lives.
I want to reflect hey been perfect on our journey with the Lord for a few weeks. I want to show you how God has led us all these years. They have not been perfect but God has been the leader all these years. Sandra and I met at Louisiana College in Pinveville,LA where we courted and then married at Immanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria on February 24, 1968. Our honeymoon consisted of traveling to Dallas-Ft.Worth to look for a teaching job for Sandra so I could go to Seminary in the Fall. We ended up in Irving,TX where Sandra taught school and I commuted four days a week to Southwestern Seminary in Ft.Worth. After working at Hardee's, Sanger- Harris, I got a job as a janitor at Plymouth Park Baptist Church, where we were members. After a few weeks the pastor ask me to be the Visitation Minister. I took the job on salary and my pay was reduced because I had been working by the hour. It was my job to visit hospitals, shut-ins, newcomers, visitors to our church and I also taught an evangelism class while still going to Seminary. While in Irving we discovered that we were going to have a baby. I wanted to continue at Seminary and I began applying for full-time jobs in the Ft.Worth area. It was during the Viet Nam War and jobs were plentiful. I applied to Bell Helicopter, General Dynamics, and even tried getting on the police force but all doors were eventually closed. It was a stressful time to say the least. But God is always in control. So what do we do now?
Have you ever heard of a biblical character named Shamgar. It is easy to overlook this man if you are not careful. In Judges 3:31 is says," After,Ehud, Shamgar son of Anath became judge. He also delivered Israel, striking down six hundred Philistines with a cattle prod(ox goad)."
One man, virtually unknown delivered Israel out of the hands of the Philistines. There are two lesson we can learn from Shamgar. Lesson Number One: Stop Making Excuses. No more delaying. How many of you have said," I am going to do_________, this week, this month, tomorrow, this year?" But you always have an excuse why you haven't done it.Stop it. Stop making excuses. Here was a farmer, not even a Hebrew that saw a problem and set out to do something about it.
Lesson Number Two: Advance One Step at a Time. Do not try to tackle the situation , the problem all at once. Just take it one step at a time. Shamgar obviously did not kill six hundred Philistines at one time. He was not a Rambo. He picked them off one man at a time until he took care of the problem. One of the major excuses we will make when facing seemingly insurmountable challenges is," I can't do it all." So we don't do anything at all. One step at a time. DO IT!