In praise of … Chuck Norris

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to watch an all-American action movie.

I made a great choice: “The Delta Force,” starring Chuck Norris – and the most remarkable cast I could ever imagine. There was Lee Marvin, Robert Forster, George Kennedy, Shelly Winters, Joey Bishop, Bo Svenson, Martin Balsam, Lainie Kazan, Robert Vaughn, Susan Strasberg, Liam Neeson and on and on.

There was one gripping scene that got me, besides all the action stuff in the 1986 picture.

A plane was hijacked by Arab terrorists. They began focusing one the Jewish passengers – making lists, calling them Israelis, selecting them one by one. Then a priest, played by George Kennedy, walked up to the terrorists. They asked him what he wanted, since he was obviously a priest.

“I follow Jesus Christ. He was Jewish.”

Wham. Bam. What a line!

They don’t make ’em like that anymore. Not like Chuck Norris did.

I’ve known Chuck Norris for about 15 years. He’s been a dear friend ever since I asked him, rather boldly, to be a columnist for WND. He’s done everything I could ask and more – much more! Like promote himself as a WND columnist! I never dreamed that with a motion picture career, a television career, a martial arts career and a gonzo entertainment career like his he would ever do that. That’s Chuck Norris. Now a young 81, he has given people who work with him his all.

And what’s worst or better – I don’t know which – he has a become a better columnist than ME. I don’t know how he does it! He writes every week and has since the day he started. He has not disappointed.

He has with us in the best of times and the worst of times. He’s a true friend.

And so is his wife, Gena, and his pastor, Todd DuBord.

Chuck wrote this in his March 29 column, and it made me cry.

“On Easter Sunday 2009, I experienced another highlight in my spiritual life. I recommitted my life to Christ yet again, but this time with my household. Gena, our eight-year-old twins at the time, and I all recommitted our lives to Christ and were baptized together by our chaplain. What an absolute joy it was to watch my loved ones go into those sacred waters on our Texas ranch and to hear them affirm their belief and recommitment to follow Jesus.

“Watching them, I thought about the place in the Bible where Paul and Silas were miraculously freed from a jail cell. The jailer was so moved by the event that he asked them, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.’ Then the jailer and all his family were baptized.

“As our chaplain leaned me back and fully immersed me in the water, I thought about all I had been through in my life and all I still wanted my life to be. I felt renewed, refreshed, and cleansed, with the waters that are a symbol of Christ’s forgiving blood. As I came up with water flowing off my head and body, I prayed as my mom has prayed every day of her life: ‘For your glory, Lord. For your glory!’

“Every Easter I reminisce about our baptisms. Every Easter is a powerful reminder of a day that changed history, and I’m not talking about the bunny. The physical Resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian religion and our personal faith. It reset the course of humanity and has indelibly changed the hearts and souls of billions, including Gena and me. It has also given us our hope for the afterlife and a time when this world will be finally set right with God as its only King.”

That’s the Chuck Norris I have come to know.

Generous. Kind. A follower of Jesus the Messiah, as one would expect.

He’s been a inspiration to me – whether he knows it or not.

I just wanted to say thanks for enriching my life, an unexpected “side benefit” to agreeing to be a columnist for all these years.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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