Chuck Ballweg

chuckI was raised by religious parents in a Nebraska cow town and was a faithful pew sitter for most of my life.  I attended parochial school for 12 years and was active in my church, following the example set by my parents.  I knew about God but didn’t know Him. I knew about the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus and a historical fact, but had no clue that He wanted a personal relationship with me. 

 

God gave me a love for motorcycles and airplanes, so I joined the Airforce in order to see the world thinking I would also be the world’s greatest jet fighter pilot although He had other plans for my life.

While stationed in Germany I bought a motorcycle and would ride it to places the tourists never heard of. I never had a destination in mind, but had a mathematical formula that led me to some fantastic places and people. 

 One day, a co-worker asked me to be the best man for his wedding which was to take place in Holland. There I met my soon-to-be sweetheart at the wedding rehearsal and fell in love.  She was to be the bridesmaid,   We spent 23 hours together (all honorable) the day of the wedding.  After all the celebrations that followed the wedding, the wedding party went to a bar/dance hall located between Belgium and Holland in “No Man’s Land” to continue the celebration.  At some point, the person who drove us there left without us and the establishment closed at 2AM.  Having no choice, we started walking to the closest city in Holland (her in heels walking on cobblestone roads) and got there a little after 5AM.  We got a taxi and she got home a little before 6AM.  She had just got to bed when her mom called her to get up and get ready for church.  Had her mom or dad known how late I had her out, my life, and hers, would have been at risk!

After I returned to work, my boss noticed that my mind was clearly not on my work and he told me that I needed to go back to Holland and get myself straightened out.  I took his advice, sold my motorcycle, bought a car and headed north to court Wilhelmina who I later started calling Billie.  We had a very interesting courtship despite the fact that I spoke no Dutch and she could not speak English.  We had met on the 28th of February, got engaged on the 17th of March and got married on the 17th of July – all in the same year.  Our engagement was really due to a failure to communicate.  I had asked her if she wanted to go to a motorcycle race or if I should buy her a ring.  She didn’t understand the question but didn’t want to say anything so the next thing she knew, she was engaged and I had a big grin on my face.  After that, I went back to using a note pad and pictures to clarify our communications. 

When we moved to the United States, Billie learned English by watching “I Love Lucy” on TV and was saved while watching the 700 Club.  Our marriage began experiencing problems for the first time, because she was no longer interested in the things that interested me, and it took five years of her fervent prayers for me to begin to see the light. She says she is still praying as she sees me as I really am! ;=)

While on active duty, we moved many times and with multiple assignments in Europe and one (without her) in Thailand.  I spent most of my career as a logistician with a brief stint as a launch crew member for the Atlas F missile during the Cuban crisis.  My final assignment was to the Air Force Data Systems Design Center.  This was a “think tank” where I came up with an initiative that resulted in cutting costs in a single work center by $3.2M.

Although I felt the savings were significant, my supervisor pointed out that it was a rounding point on the budget.  It was, however, a significant rounding point and I was requested to delay my retirement an additional year to determine potential savings in similar work centers.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1982, I found myself unemployed and began watching the 700 Club and decided to try tithing since nothing else was working.  God honored His word (Malachi Chapter 3) and a major corporation offered me a dream job supporting a special Air Force initiative which required relocation to Dayton, Ohio.  That position was gained with no application and no resume and at a pay rate 3 ½ times more than expected.  The position was unique and carried the invented title of “Solution Manager” for which I wrote the job description.  Although not sales related, I ended up selling more high-end computer systems than the combined sales force of the company that hired me.

While living in Ohio, I was tricked into going to a Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship breakfast in Fairborn where God really got my attention.  He totally destroyed my religious comfort blanket and I was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit at that meeting.  I, of course, joined the Fellowship at that time then discovered there were many chapters in the area, so made an effort to attend several meetings every weekend in an effort to soak up what I had missed in my church affiliation. I was elected to the position of president if the Fairborn chapter and was active in both the Dayton and Eaton chapters.

I worked closely with a senior sales manager from a high-end computer manufacturer who realized that his numbers were up because of my work with the Air Force.  When he moved to Dallas, he called me at a time when I knew my company was failing and asked me if I would consider moving to Dallas if I could write my dream job description and name my own compensation plan. I delayed my acceptance for a few minutes and found myself in Texas soon thereafter.

I had a reputation in the new company but only knew a few, mostly technical individuals, and they wanted me to attend a special meeting in California as part of my introduction.  I was met at the airport by a limo driver and, when I arrived at the meeting place, they had a red carpet rolled out for me.  The corporate CEO came up to me and asked why I had taken so long to join the company.  In short, I was really made to feel welcome. 

Since arriving in Texas, I have been president of 2 Full Gospel Business Men chapters and was recently elevated to the position of Field Representative. I was appointed State Overseer for FLAME Fellowship and formed TEAM Ministry a vehicle for prison ministry until health concerns forced a stop to that activity.

Chuck Ballweg Hearing His Voice