What do we see?

“As he passed by, he saw a man” (John 9:1 ESV).

It is not difficult to recruit people to go on a mission trip to Nepal. Everyone knows about “The Rooftop of the World,” the home of much of the Himalaya Mountains. We are all fascinated by mountains, and that fascination increases exponentially when Mt. Everest and other Himalayan peaks enter into the discussion. The scenery is awesome, the sense of adventure overwhelming. One returns from a visit to such places with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.

But there is much more to this remote, densely populated nation than magnificent vistas. More than 30 million people inhabit its approximately 57,000 square miles (roughly 1/3 larger than the state of Tennessee). More than 90% of the population claim Hinduism or Buddhism as their religious faith. Taken together, these constitute the world’s largest current polytheistic and idolatrous religion. In the New Testament Paul spoke of his joy over those who turned “from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9). He regarded them as having escaped bondage to enjoy freedom in Christ Jesus. Continue reading “What do we see?”

To live is Christ. To die is gain.

This past Monday morning around 11 a.m., E. Jeannette Newton, my mom, graduated from this life.  I find myself reflecting upon the life of this farm girl.

Some of the milestones strewn throughout her life included the beginnings of The Herald of Truth, an Exodus movement, a school teacher, a preacher’s wife, a new wife adopting two kids from New York City and then having two of her own, a missionary, as well as a Bible school curriculum developer.

The Dust Bowl and its aftermath seems like an unlikely contributing catalyst for such a life. But as she told it, it was one of the dominoes setting in motion a series of events.

Continue reading “To live is Christ. To die is gain.”

People are important

There are some chapters in the Bible that we tend to avoid reading and that we definitely don’t want to have to read in public! The top of our list would undoubtedly be genealogies – someone begat someone who begat someone else…and on and on the list goes. Just down from that would be lists of names like we find in Romans 16.

Although we might initially find such lists “boring,” the more we study them the more I become fascinated with what I find. Rather than “just” being a list of names, what we have in Romans 16 are snapshots into Paul’s life. We really don’t know much about Paul. We have a general overview of his life from the time he became a Christian in the book of Acts, although great chunks are even missing from that account. We have a few odds and ends scattered throughout the letters he wrote. Then we find a long list of names like we have here. His life suddenly becomes quite interesting. Continue reading “People are important”

Remembering Ike Hall (2)

Eventually, Ike was evacuated to a military hospital in Great Britain. The doctors treated his chest wound, inflated his collapsed lung, and removed many briar thorns from his body. They also treated two wounds, which he had received before arriving at the hedgerow.

Earlier in the battle, his head and arm were creased by rifle fire. Because of the serious nature of his spinal injury, the War Department told his family that he would not live. Knowing that this would worry his mother, Ike had a medic write home saying that he was fine, and he was receiving good care. Once in stable condition, he was then loaded onto a plane to make his long journey back to the United States. Continue reading “Remembering Ike Hall (2)”

Remembering Ike Hall (1)

“You turkey-birds stop running in the hallway!” Those were the first words I heard out of the mouth of Isaiah Hall.

Being a veteran teacher, “Ike” was one of my mentors when I arrived at Memphis Harding Academy. If you were on campus between 1966 and 1988, you will remember him wheeling up and down the ramp outside the Guidance Office. Perhaps what you do not know is how he ended up in that wheelchair.

One month and four days after D-Day, at dawn on July 10, 1944, eight men of the U.S. 121st Infantry, cautiously approached a field in rural occupied France. As the noise of battle increased, Pfc. Ike Hall ordered these men forward into the field. Still thirty miles short of their objective, the squad slowly crawled toward a thorny hedgerow. Stopping to take a break at the hedge, they waited for the 1st U.S. Tank Division to cut an opening in the vegetation. Continue reading “Remembering Ike Hall (1)”

Thankful for So Many

I have so many things to be thankful for, but THINGS are the least of my blessings. The greatest of my blessings, after my salvation in Jesus Christ, the loving presence of our divine Father, and the aid of his Holy Spirit, are PEOPLE, those beloved friends, family, neighbors, and spiritual brothers and sisters who have circled my entire life, as my journey winds down. The late Bob Hope often ended his tour appearances with the now-famous phrase, “Thanks for the memories.” Yessiree, but those people are more than memories, for I hold a part of every kind person who … Continue reading Thankful for So Many