Robert O. "Buggs" BUGNON
I never really thought of God in my growing up years. I knew there
was a God, I just took Him for granted.
As a boy, I went to Sunday School and church with my mother. Through
the years we tried out different churches. There was the church on the
corner, and the little nondenominational church in the New Jersey
woods, where my friends went. I remember a great Sunday School teacher
I had in my teens. He was always planning excursions and things for us
to do on Saturdays. In thinking back, he never once mentioned the
I was about 15 when my Dad first went to church with the family. We
all began to enjoy the Little Church In the Woods. I become more
involved. As an usher, I sang in the choir and attended Youth
Fellowship, but still no one ever told me the "Good News" of the
After Navy boot camp, I was stationed in Green Cove Springs,
Florida. There I met a fellow who was different from the other young
Navy men. He didn't swear, or drink, or run after women. I thought all
sailors did those things. I watched him. I wondered why he was so
different. One Sunday evening, after returning from church, he
explained the "Good News" to me. For the first time in my life I heard
that God loved me so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die
for me, and that if I believed on Him I would not perish, but have
everlasting life. He explained John 3:16 to me. I was soon transferred
and never heard from him again. It was to be over three years before I
heard any more about Jesus Christ.
I married Kathy, started a family, completed my Navy enlistment, got
a job with a major insurance company. Shortly after Kathy started
working, her boss invited me to a Christian Business Men's Committee
(CBMC) dinner meeting. After a splendid meal, I heard the "Good News"
again. It came in the form of a personal testimony from a very
successful business man, Stanley Tam, of Lima, Ohio. He shared what
Jesus Christ had done in his life and what Jesus would do for those of
us who were listening. Right there, I accepted Jesus Christ as my
personal Saviour. I confessed my sins to Jesus and asked Him to come
into my heart. I now had the "Good News" I was looking for. I called
on the Lord in faith. I was born again.
That evening was a turning point in my life. I started attending
church for fellowship with other Christians. I began reading my Bible
and praying every day. As I became aware of the power of sin in my
life, I tried to deal with it. Unfortunately, I tried to do it myself,
and not through the power of the Lord Jesus. As I watched other
Christians, I knew I should stop certain bad habits. I was glad to
stop them, but I know now that I stopped most of those things because
other people had done so and I was just following suit. As I look back
on my life I see that I was living on other peoples' convictions and
not on my personal walk with the Lord.
It is true, "old things passed away and all things became new",
except my mind. The Bible also says to the committed Christian, "be ye
transformed by the renewing of your mind." I let my mind stay as it
had always been, and that got me into lots of trouble. If I had only
asked Christ to change my mind through His Word and by hiding His Word
in my heart, I would not have turned my back on Him when my time of
testing came. Under heavy trials, I became discouraged and turned away
from the Lord. I lost a home, two good jobs and almost my family. God
was certainly doing His part. He was talking to me, but I was not
Amidst the turmoil I reenlisted in the Navy and we started attending
church on and off mostly off. Kathy and I put our marriage back
together and began to enjoy an excellent relationship. We made plans
to do a lot of things together, but within four months Kathy was killed
an automobile accident; she was hit by a drunk driver. I felt my life
had ended. God was speaking to me again; and again I did not listen. I
continued to turn my back on Him. I felt I now had a good reason not
to listen to God.
For the next fifteen years I continued to walk the way I wanted to
walk. Not long after the tragedy I married Ann, who like myself had
recently lost her mate. I had three daughters, ages six, five and four
and she had a three year old son. We needed each other. Again my life
was from day to day, making the best of what we had, never thinking of
spiritual things. Finally, although everything in our family appeared
to be normal, I informed Ann I was filing for divorce.
I told her I did not love her, and maybe I never did love her. We
were separated for almost four months when I received the divorce
papers in the mail. All I had to do was to sign them and mail them
back to my attorney, and in ten days I would be divorced. I started
thinking--there must be more to a marriage than getting married, having
someone raise your children and then getting a divorce. I called Ann
and asked to meet with her. We talked for almost the whole weekend.
After the second weekend together, we decided to try to put our
marriage back together.
In July '84 I had burned out as a drug and alcohol counselor for the
Navy and was sent to Jacksonville Alcohol Rehabilitation Center for
outpatient therapy. The senior counselor confronted me and wanted to
know what was going on in my life, what I needed, what I wanted and
what he could do for me. I was the counselee instead of the counselor,
and I was most uncomfortable. He reminded me of the third step in a
twelve step recovery program, "make a decision to turn our will and our
lives over to God as we understand Him."
That evening I made the second most important decision in my life.
I knew what God had wanted of me for a long time. I did it. I
confessed my long list of sins and dedicated my life to Jesus Christ.
I could have done that at any time those past fifteen years. What
trouble and pain I could have avoided. It was I who had turned my back
on Him. He was there, for me, all the time.
I am convinced that God worked with me through those trail years to
teach me to trust Him. What a blessing. I know now that He wants me to
share His "Good News" with family and friends and the entire world.
Ann and I and our whole family are happy in the Lord. We now have a
purpose in life, and it's exciting to see what new things each day may
Life gets better and better every day. I'm not saying I don't have
any more problems. I now have someone in my life I can talk to and
turn those problems over to. What a joy it is, knowing "My God shall
supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ
Robert O. "Buggs" Bugnon. Bob has been in the Navy for 26 years.
He is a Naval Aviation Ordnanceman and has served several years as a
drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselor. He is now a logistics
analyst for NADOC, NATC Patuxent River, MD. He is chairman of the
Lexington Park Christian Business Men's Committee (CBMC). He is very
active in his home church as a Sunday School teacher and a home Bible
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God
[is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from
the dead, thou shalt be saved
Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation
Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him
shall not be ashamed
Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the
Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord
shall be saved
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man
hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup
with him, and he with me
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