Could I have your autograph?

Pastor Thad Gifford - Contributing Columnist

Have you ever met a famous person and asked for their autograph? I used to do that all the time!

Over the years, I have collected the autographs of people from all walks of life. I have an astronauts autograph (John Glenn signed my Eagle Scout card). I have famous football player’s autographs (Archie Griffin, Chris Spielman, Eddie George, Frank Gifford and others). I have the autographs from famous coaches (Bill McCartney, Earl Bruce and Jim Tressel).

I have famous preacher’s autographs (W.A. Crisswell, Bob Harrington and David Jeremiah) and from famous authors (Max Lucado, Zig Ziglar, James Robinson and John Maxwell). I have famous golfer’s autographs (Phil Michelson, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Ed Snead and David Duval) and one very famous singer — Alice Cooper. (He’s now a born-again Christian.)

And just this week, Dana Perino (“the” Dana Perino who was the White House press secretary for George Bush) “liked” one of my posts on Facebook. That was pretty neat!

But you know what? No one has ever asked me for my autograph! I have been a pastor for almost 40 years. Hundreds and hundreds of people have come to know the Lord during those years. Two young men have surrendered to become pastors in two different churches where I was pastor.

I have written this article for almost two years now, and not one person has ever asked me for my autograph. Last week, someone stopped me and said they read the articles I write. I responded, “That’s great! Would you like me to autograph one for you?” (Of course, I was kidding.) But they graciously replied, “No.”

Have you ever gone to a swanky restaurant or an elite restaurant where you needed a reservation? Your name must be on their list, or you will not get in. Some people like to look at the register of old hotels to see who has stayed there. Did Robert Redford or Dustin Hoffman or Jane Seymore or Dana Perino stay in the same hotel where we are going to stay? The Red Brick, right here in Lafayette, boasts that numerous presidents have stayed there. That is really neat, I think!

So when we get right down to it no one has asked me for my autograph and probably no one has asked you for yours. Why? It could be because to others, we’re not that important. I mean, we might know someone who is really important and as much as we would want their autograph, they wouldn’t even think of asking us for ours!

Most of us are just normal, everyday, down to earth, hard-working people and we’ll probably live the rest of our life right here in London, or Madison County or where ever it is we live. (Beth has a friend who lives in California who told her they read my article. I asked her if they wanted my autograph — they said “No.” I just can’t win.

But here’s the deal. Whether our name is found on a football, or a trading card, or a golf ball or on a book or on something of value or whether it is not, there is one place where it must be recorded. The Bible tells us our names must be recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life if we expect to enter into and live in Heaven for all eternity. (See Revelation 20:12-15)

Our name must be written there. It must be. So how can our name be written there? By accepting Jesus as your personal Savior and inviting Him into your life and receiving the free gift of eternal life.

And that is Something To Think About for this week.

If you are uncertain of where you are going to spend your eternity, and if you have any doubts about whether your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, please let me know, I’d be happy to talk with you.

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at, or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.

Pastor Thad Gifford

Contributing Columnist