September 2020

Father’s Day in Australia Today

It was a blessing to have lunch with one of our daughters and her family. I am so blessed o have had a godly father whom I respected and looked up to until this very day. He was firm but so insightful to my needs. By the subtely of his consistent example and his practice of patiently teaching me values and skills I was given an invaluable foundation for my entire life and ministry. Sixty-nine years ago I arrived at a Christian university to prepare for the ministry to which I had surely been called of God. I found myself surrounded by young men who had exceptional talent and ability. I viewed myself as a country boy who could do most anything required on the farm and ranch but I viewed myself very negatively to stand in a pulpit and tell people what to do. One September 1951 night I went to a darkened classroom and cast myself on the Lord. I was desperately battling with a “ugly giant”  of worthlessness and inadequacy to meet this challenge. The Lord graciously came alongside and reminded me of Romans six. In tears I offered the members that God had given me as instruments of righteousness into His almighty hand. The battle was over and to this day I have been enabled to rest in His disposition of the abilities of this unworthy servant.

   Today I thought of you, pastors and churches, who have faithfully stood with us through thick and thin, tragedy and triumph. I remembered special missionary friends whose fellowship and cooperation made big contributions to our ministry. I remembered selfless, praying saints who faithfully held up our faltering hands daily eve to this very moment. I thought of my impassioned pleas to God to fulfil my burden for getting our Bible History books into Arabic to leave behind in the language of our life’s ministry and how that dream is nearing fulfilment. 

   I was reminded today of the people who consider and call me a father to them. One such “daughter” expressed it so vividly on her death bed recently. All of this is almost too much for this “country boy” to handle! Thanks be unto God!

A middle-aged lady who comes to our home recently prayed with us asking the Lord to save her. A young lady we met on our daily walk recently cried out to the Lord for mercy. Her prayer was so beautiful and expressed her gratitude to God for bringing us across her path.

   Yes, we live in a troubled world, a pandemic plague, the breakdown of law and order in America. I can easily feel depressed watching Satan rip apart the country of our birth and I pray passionately for the churches and missionaries that stand in the trenches around the world. I’m praying for another miracle and the humiliating defeat of those who would destroy the foundations. 

   Kathleen and I thank the Lord daily for God’s wonderful grace for our small afflictions. When we think of others with fatal diseases and conditions, of Lebanon with its collapsed  economy and currency, so many who don’t know where the next meal is coming from, the recent explosion that rendered 300,000 people homeless in a few seconds plus the pandemic and hopeless government corruption, we are overwhelmed by God’s goodness and mercy that endureth forever.

   Lastly, our hearts overflow with gratitude to God our Father, Who is the God of all grace                     and mercy, Who delights to call us His sons and daughters. How beautiful heaven must be and so far beyond the scope of our finite imaginations. My thoughts then turned to my earliest “spiritual father,” the Devil who held me in his clutches. What a time of rejoicing it was when I first felt the embrace of my new “Heavenly Father,” the God of our vast universe, the Creator, the God of all grace, comfort and strength, which resources are mine for the asking! It was awesome that I could now call Him “Father,” but even more mysterious how He could delight to call me and us His “sons and daughters!” No human wisdom can fathom this mystery. Only as we view our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and the empty tomb does the mystery begin to clear. It was now Kathleen’s bedtime, so we prayed and thanked our Heavenly Father for a wonderful “Father’s Day.” “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits.” (Psalms 68:19)