Where were you on May 15, 1987?

Psalm 103:2-5
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Where were you on May 15, 1987?

Many of you are saying, “I wasn’t even born yet.” To you, I say, “Thanks for making me feel old!”

Others of you may be saying, “You’re joking, right? I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast!” To you, I say, “Thank you for making me feel normal!”

For those of you old enough to remember 1987, here are some actual headlines that may help you remember where you were:

“Sinatra Given L.A. NAACP Award Despite Rights Protest”
“Rita Hayworth, Film Queen Who Became a Princess, Dies”
“Peasants Beaten Out of Melons in Beijing”
“Graduates to Hear Reagan”
“White House Expects Far Higher Deficit”
“Senate Steps on It, Oks 65 M.P.H. Limit”

Other items that were big in the news on this day included AIDS testing for immigrants, the Iran Contra hearings, Dr. Jerry Falwell needed to raise 7 million dollars in less than a month to keep the failed PTL ministry from going under, and the Gary Hart Scandal! Does that help you remember where you were?

Truth be told, probably not! I know it didn’t really help me. I mean, of course I remember some of the events, vaguely. But it didn’t pin down for me where I was on that exact date. The headline about Rita Hayworth make me feel sad even though I’d never seen any of her movies and wouldn’t have recognized her if I’d bumped into her on the street.

She died on May 14, but the news reported it on May 15, 1987. We didn’t have the Internet then to broadcast what had happened before it even had happened! She had appeared in around 60 videos and was touted as a “Love goddess” who married a real life prince and became a real life princess.

Her picture was on the fourth atomic bomb to be detonated, she was the top movie box-office attraction in the world for 3 years in a row, was one of only six women who danced on screen with Gene Kelly, and her lips were voted the best in the world in 1949! Wow, what an amazing life, right?

The only problem is when you look at the rest of the story. She was married and divorced 5 times, broke and died from complications with Alzheimer’s.

The reality is that she had a very sad life. If you think that having money, fame or good-looks will satisfy you in this life, you’re very mistaken. Our value comes from the fact that we are created in the image of God, nothing that we bring to the plate! (Genesis 1:27)

And speaking of money, the federal deficit that was in the headlines on May 15, 1987 was expected to be $134 billion dollars. That’s chump change in today’s world. The federal deficit for FY 2017 is estimated to be $504 billion dollars and we currently owe China alone over $1 trillion dollars! Hmmm! Wish we were in the good ole’ days!

And what about the melons thing in Beijing? Unbelievably 7 truckloads of watermelons valued at $2,700.00 was stolen from the farmers as they were taking them to market by gangs. While that may have been enough to make it into the headlines, it still didn’t help me remember where I was on that day!

And the truth is I didn’t need any of those headlines to remember where I was, because I remember it clear as a day. One reason is because it was my 26th birthday. We were living in Salt Lake City, Utah at the time.

Another reason is because my brother had moved in with us to finish his senior year in high school and I took him to the University of Utah Huntsman Center, but not to watch a basketball game! Yes, we did see an NBA player from the Utah Jazz. His name was Mark Eaton and he was speaking at a Lowell Lundstrom Crusade. The truth is, I can’t remember anything that Mark spoke about, not a clue.

But, I remember Lowell Lundstrom preaching the Gospel. I remember the scales literally falling off of my eye’s. I remember very clearly saying to myself, “I’m going to hell! I’m taking people to church, but I don’t have Christ.” I also remember repenting that night and turning my life over to Jesus Christ even though I didn’t have a clue what that looked like, I just knew that I couldn’t do it on my own.

You see, May 15, 1987 was not only my birthday, it was my “spiritual” re-birth day! Can you remember where you were when Christ opened your eyes and changed where you were headed for all eternity?

If you can, share it with someone today, start with your family and then work your way out. (Mark 5:19)

If you cannot remember ever submitting yourself to Christ, make today the day that you surrender your life to the one who can and will take your broken pieces and turn them into an amazing mosaic! (Psalm 147:3)

Blessings and Stay Bold!

Carl Kerby

Carl Kerby is an inspiring, motivating and highly respected Christian speaker. With more than 20 years of ministry experience, Carl shares his extensive knowledge and understanding of God’s creation in his presentations, outreach events, books and other resources as the President and founding board member of Reasons for Hope, Inc.