Korea: Now And Then

As I read the news about North Korea’s problems in the world, my memories take me back to 1958, when, two months after graduating from high school, I enlisted in the United States Air Force.

I was stationed at Osan Air Base, South Korea, where I quickly learned the power of military discipline and the art of self-defense. I ate, drank, walked, talked and slept military life. And, after watching a display of Korean karate (called tang soo do) in a small village, a fire consumed me for the martial arts.

I learned a lesson back then that I’ve spent my life trying to teach others: We all possess God-given potential to make a difference on this planet.

Heroes Still Born In Numbers of One

The impact one person can have would become a successfully reoccurring theme for many of us action heroes in Hollywood.

Movies, however, are not real life, but real heroes are still born in numbers of one.

It sounds kind of canned, but there truly is a hero in all of us. We all were designed by God to be a blessing to others – a hero to someone. As my mother has always told me, I pass on to you: God has a plan for your life.

The question is: will we recognize and offer the power of our one life?

Facing the Giants

Few readers have probably heard of Michael Catt or Alex and Stephen Kendrick, but I believe they are great examples of how each of us can affect our world.

Catt is the senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church and has a vision for his congregation to ”reach the world from Albany, Georgia.” Two of his pastoral staff (Alex and Stephen Kendrick) are materializing that vision through a lifelong dream to make films that reintroduce decency and faith back into the movie industry.

The Kendrick brothers created Sherwood Pictures, the church’s filmmaking ministry, and just produced their second film, ”Facing the Giants,” on a shoe-string budget and volunteer crew. This family-friendly and faith-filled motion picture is currently winning the hearts and minds of grass-roots America. My wife, Gena, and I have seen it three times and taken others!

Even more, their work inspires me to do more faith-based movies in the future. This fresh infusion of biblical morals and values is desperately needed in our culture.

Recently Gena and I were talking about the fact that we don’t need to travel around the world to make a difference. We all can make a difference in our own backyard. These Georgian clergy prove the point, and set an example for all of us.

You’re Never Too Old to Kick Start

One of my life’s principles is to ”develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways.” Admittedly, that is not always easy, especially when you are sixty-six years old!

Two weeks ago, at the end of my ”Nightline” interview with ABC host Bill Weir, he asked me my age, and I proudly told him. I added with a smile, ”I like to say I’m 39 with 27 years of experience!”

I loved his response even more. Quoting one of those thousands of ”Chuck Norris Facts” circulating the Internet, Bill said, ”Well, according to the Chuck Norris Fact Generator, ‘Chuck Norris doesn’t age. He round-house kicks time in the face!”’

After a huge laugh, I sincerely thought about it and replied, ”That’s exactly what I do!” That’s exactly what I believe we all should do.

Continuing to contribute to society is one of the reasons I created the World Combat League, which comes to Miami for the East Coast Playoffs on November 10. I am proud to say that all the profits of the WCL will go to my Kick Start inner-city karate program, which has graduated 40,000 children in 13 years, building resiliency through the values and philosophies taught through the martial arts.

Starting this program is proof that we’re all never too old to Kick Start!

I’m still amazed as anybody when God uses my life to impact someone else in a special way. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life, and I sure don’t claim to know all the answers.

I am convinced, however, of a force of one. As the great preacher D.L. Moody put it, quoted recently by our rural Californian pastor, ”I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do.”

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