Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gold from Fort Knox

Located adjacent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, is a vault used to store a large portion of the United States' official gold reserves. Also know as the United States Bullion Depository, this facility holds 4,578 metric tons of gold bullion (147.2 million oz. troy). According to some sources, this is about 3 percent of all the gold ever refined since the dawn of man. That's a lot of gold! But there is another Knox I know that holds more. His name is Knox Holder.

While I was preaching in Lawrenceburg, TN, I knew a couple named Knox and Marie Holder. They were kind and gentle people and they worshiped with us regularly, although Miss Marie's health prohibited her from attending a good portion of the time. This couple always reminded me that if the world were filled with such people, very few problems would exist. Knox was a skilled and hard-working man. He was very active in his old age, always compassionate, and constantly smiling. But in particular there has been one thing about Knox that for years has been his signature: his positive attitude. Anytime you would greet him and ask him how he was doing, he would say the very same encouraging thing. No matter the occasion or circumstance he would say it...it was dependable, and you learned to count on it. To hear his greeting would certainly change your day for the better.

This past Saturday I was privileged to travel back to Lawrenceburg and perform a wedding ceremony for a young lady that Knox and Marie helped raise. Nearing the age of 94, Knox was not only in attendance, but he, with the help of this young lady's father - walked the bride down the aisle! I found out later that Knox had also driven himself to the building that day! And so, when I had come into the church building that morning, with great anticipation I approached him as he sat in one of the pews while the pre-wedding pictures were being taken. The greeting! It was coming, and I couldn't wait to hear those words once more.  So I said, "Knox, how ya' doin' this mornin'? It's been a long time and it's so go to see ya'!" And then the words I had been waiting for came through with the demeanor and delivery perfected by an artist who had spent his entire life on one beautiful portrait. With his indelible grin and humble and sweet tone he replied, "Well, ya' know I'm ashamed to admit it, but I believe I'm the best I've ever been..."

The meaning and direction of our lives are shaped by the things we value. Who we are is determined by what we think, what we say, how we act, and all of these things begin with what is in our hearts. There is a fortress I know of that holds a great treasure. You might even say that hidden within the walls of this fortress there is pure gold. But this gold does not come by weight. It cannot buy anything physical. And it will not be left behind for future generations to enjoy. Because Knox Holder will soon move on to where his treasure truly lies. And then for certain and for eternity, he will be the best he's ever been.

And if you ask me, that's worth more than all the gold in Fort Knox, Kentucky!

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." ~ Matthew 6:19-21


  1. Jeremiah, Thank you for these kind words. You are right about so many things, but Knox Holder is other then my own father the finest man I have ever met. He means so much to our family and to have him be a part of Kinzi wedding this past weekend we wouldn't of had it any other way.

  2. Loved reading this about my Uncle Knox. His "greeting" will certainly be a legacy for all of us to use as a way to approach life. My mom was Marie's sister and I always looked forward to their almost weekly visits to Long Branch, where I grew up. Thanks for turning his 'simple greeting' into such a heartwarming story. Blessings….Judy (Markus) Scheidegg

  3. It's great to be looking for something online, and find something better, something you were not expecting. I am lucky enough to be able to say that Knox's brother is my father's father! Making him my "great" uncle Knox. I am saving this page to my tablet and the family that has not seen this will all get a kick out of it. Imagine how used to that line we are! We can only hope it is a genetic trait, that optimisim Jeremiah, because he means it when he says it. Each day for him is a blessing, and he treats them accordingly...
    Thank You, Nathan Holder.

  4. What a great thing to say. I'm lucky enough to say that he is my "great" uncle Knox. His brother is my grandfather. By the way, when he says that, he truly believes it . Every day for him is a gift from God. Lets hope his longevity and optimisim are genetic!!
    Thanks, Nathan Holder

  5. I just found these comments, including the those by my son Nate. Having known Uncle Knox all my life and having grown up one house over, I can assure you Knoxy's good humor did not derive from a life free of sorrow and pain. He saw death up close in Europe in WWII in France, Belgium and Germany; he shared the sadness of many family deaths, including standing vigil over my father, his closest brother. Even in the last three months, he lost a young woman who was like a daughter to him. Still he looks forward not to the past.
    In 1964 the Doctor told Knox he would die w/o stomach major
    surgery. Knox asked him if it was worth it for a couple of extra years. Knox said the Doc told him it would buy him 15 years or so. When Knox told me this story in 2014 I told him, " uncle
    Speedy he should have operated on your ears also!! He said FIFTY not FIFTEEN!!"
    Oh, Nate, it is genetic ! He got it from my grandpa. The key to both of their lives, was always being more concerned with the welfare of others, first, themselves last. You saw it in you Granddad. Unfortunately, you may get the genes but you have to develop them, something I am still working on.
    Uncle Speedy's nephew
    Carl Holder