PASTOR GLEN'S BLOG
February 22, 2018
As I write this blog, we are just hearing the news of the death of Dr. Billy Graham. I stand in awe by the way in which God has used Dr. Graham over the last seventy plus years. Most people in our country and all around the world have in some way been influenced by Dr. Graham’s ministry.
I imagine all of us have various ways Dr. Graham’s ministry was influential in our lives. While I had heard of Dr. Graham as a boy; it was on the night I was packing to leave for college that I heard one of Dr. Graham’s crusades on television and recommitted my life to Christ. During the first days of my time on the College of Wooster campus I wrote to Dr. Graham’s organization to receive Decision Magazine. That magazine and subsequent involvement with the Wooster Christian Fellowship helped me to grow in my faith.
During college, I had planned for a career in medicine; however, in my junior year the Lord had in various ways “tapped me on the shoulder” to consider ministry as my path. In considering where to go on for additional study, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary became the school which rose to the top of the list, given its commitment to the authority of the Bible. I learned in my time at Gordon-Conwell that it was Dr. Graham, along with Dr. Harold Ockenga (the former pastor of historic Park Street Church in Boston and the first president of Gordon-Conwell) that had brought two unique schools together (Gordon Divinity School in Boston and Conwell School of Theology in Philadelphia). Dr. Graham had served for many years on the Board of Trustees, including serving as the chairman of the board. He was a Trustee Emeritus at the time of his death.
At the end of my first year of seminary, I was asked to play trumpet for the baccalaureate and commencement of the Class of 1982. Dr. Graham had just returned to the United States from an historic trip to the Soviet Union where he had spoken to capacity crowds in Orthodox churches there! When he was ready to speak at commencement one of my professors asked me to adjust his microphone (my claim to fame!!). I had also played at the inauguration of the new president of Gordon-Conwell (Dr. Robert Cooley) where Dr. Graham commented in his address that he did not have the privilege to attend a seminary; to which, a member of the large audience, quipped, “It’s not too late!”
Throughout my ministry as a hospital chaplain, I carried Dr. Graham’s tract, Steps to Peace with God with me; and I had opportunities to pray with various patients to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Certainly, getting acquainted with Ruth and other members of her family has been a genuine joy for me; and being invited to celebrate Independence Day at Dr. Graham’s home several years ago and having a hot dog with him was one my great memories! Meeting Dr. Graham in person I discovered the man that was so humble, gentle and kind.
While we will all grieve in various ways for the loss of such a great man, I am confident that he is now rejoicing in the presence of Jesus, whom he preached with such fervency and consistency! As someone who was genuinely humble, he was also amazed that God would choose a dairy farmer from Charlotte to have the opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ with so many people around the world! This begs the question, “How does God want to use you and me to share that same good news where we are?”
As we reflect in our own ways at the loss of Dr. Graham, may we give thanks to God for the many ways we have been touched by his ministry and may we continue to pray for Ruth and the extended family in this time of loss . . . but, more importantly, may we yearn for the same zeal to see others experience peace with God through Jesus Christ as Dr. Graham did!
Jon & Jennie Justine
The Justines are almost 3/4 through the school year in Thailand. Their boys are doing good but ready for summer. Pray for son, Levi as he is graduating and still deciding what to do after graduation. He is leaning toward the Marines. Son, Judah, attends Liberty and is in Beijing on a semester abroad - but is going to Japan this weekend, for a week. Pray for his safety there. Wren is a delight and has acclimated to her new life very well. Jon continues college courses so please pray that he will finish well. They are hoping to purchase a van for their family, and are still a few thousand dollars shy of their goal - please pray for that. The Scout troop is going great and will have some big outings this spring, including golf, art and kayaking (care to join them for a round of golf or kayaking through the jungles of Asia?).
THIS SUNDAY- Pastor Glen will continue the sermon series, on Hosea, the story of God’s amazing love! His sermon this Sunday is: “Fading Away,” based on Hosea 6:1-11.
New Member Class – The second half of this class will be held during the Sunday school hour today. This class is an opportunity to explore the benefits and expectations of membership in Hope Community Church. Please contact Pastor Glen if you have any questions. We look forward to your participation!!
AXIS night at Ridgeview Christian School - Do you ever feel like your student is growing up in a completely different world than the one you grew up in? Parenting these days feels like it requires a degree in multi-cultural studies. Do you ever wish you could have someone to help translate the culture for you and your family? You are not alone. AXIS Night is a free event open to our community in which we will band together to help all students stop renting their faith from their parents and others and start owning their faith for themselves. Monday, March 5th, 6:30 - 8:00.
RSVP at ridgeviewchristian.com/axis
Bible study/small group opportunity - The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Genesis 12 – 25: Be Obedient: Learning The Secret of Living By Faith. It is an exciting examination of the foundational truths of faith, sin and relationships through in-depth and practical study. Newcomers welcome! We meet the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 11-12:30 at the home of Beth Laughlin, 525 Bader Ave., Waynesboro. For any further information or questions please call Beth at 943-0971.
Parenting Young Children Through Gospel Principles – A new Bible study, using David Tripp’s book, will meet every other Sunday at 2pm at the home of John & Sarah Todd Severs. Childcare will be provided. The next study will be March 4th. Please contact Tiffany Severs to sign up and receive a book.
BAJA Mission Trip - Dan Woodworth would like to invite anyone interested or those who have questions to attend planning meetings for the trip. The mission trip will be July 8-14. The date of the next meeting is Wednesday, March 7th at Olivet Presbyterian at 7pm.
PRAYER CONCERNS & PRAISE REPORTS
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” - Colossians 4:2
Beth Laughlin – Praise God that Beth is home and thankful for good health!
Wink Brown- Please continue to pray for Wink as she recovers from gallbladder surgery last week.
George Wilson – George is now recovering at Moore Rehabilitation Center at the Woodland in Farmville, Va. Please keep him in your prayers. Cards and Notes are appreciated: 2003 Cobb Street, Farmville, VA 23901
Joan Hughes- Please keep Joan in prayer for continued healing from shingles.
Paul Childers– Please keep Paul in your prayers as he continues to wait for hip surgery.
Rose Parler – Rose would like prayer for her autoimmune disease to be in remission or in control so she can have a needed surgery on her hip. Please also pray for finances now that it is a new year with deductibles to be met.
Dixie McClenahan - Please pray for Dixie regarding some lower left leg pain. She has had an MRI and will meet with the podiatrist the end of the month.
Ruth Graham - Please keep Ruth and her family in your prayers after the loss of her father, Rev. Dr. Billy Graham, on Wednesday, February 21.
Shirley Wright-Please keep Shirley and the Wright family in your prayers after the loss of her husband, Massie recently.
Don Acker (brother of Debby Ray) – Praise God that Don was able to go home from the hospital! Please continue to keep his recovery in your prayers and also pray for family and friends that will be his 24/7 caregivers over the next several months.
Candi Brown's mom – Please pray for Candi’s mom as she hurt her back caring for her father.
Neil & Gina (Lowell Gross’ brother & sister-in-law) – Pray for eternal comfort (salvation) and for comfort for Gina, in the recent loss of her father.
Linda Ritchie - Please keep Linda and her family in your prayers for the recent loss of her mother, Elizabeth "Libby" Wingfield.
Jason & Marcella Bennett (son and daughter in-law of John & Judy Bennett) - Please cover them in prayer regarding health concerns.
Walter Sass (Marge’s son)– Pray for Walter with various personal challenges.
Jay & Dede Hamilton – Jay is much more engaged and able to communicate more successfully with the recent adjustment made to his hearing aids. They have decided to move forward with the plans for Jay to have a cochlear implant but to postpone the surgery until March 16. This will give time to determine Jay's quality of life with the hearing aids.
PEOPLE WHO ARE UNCHURCHED in our community; there are people all around us who need the Lord! Pray that we will truly be salt and light in Waynesboro and beyond!
HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH – Please pray for God’s guidance as we discern the possible next location for our church family.
Students at Kate Collins – Pray for our upcoming meal fundraiser on 2/24 to help meet the needs of the students.
US Military - Please pray for protection for our soldiers and our country, as well as discernment for our country's leaders.
Ruth Graham – Please continue to pray for persecuted Christians around the world. Pray also for Ruth in working to raise awareness in the Valley of our persecuted sisters and brothers.
The Rev. Dr. Andrew Brunson – EPC teaching elder Andrew Brunson continues to be imprisoned in Turkey. Ruth Graham shared an update from his wife, urging everyone to continue to pray fervently for his release in the midst of this difficult time!
Other Prayer Requests:
Glenna Cash – Please keep Glenna in your prayers.
Parker Staples (son of Cindy Roberts’ friend) – Pray for Parker, a 7-year-old diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and his parents, as Parker receives medical care at UVA. Additional prayers for fundraising efforts going on to support the family.
John (Friend of Bill Flournoy) – Pray for John who had his leg amputated recently. Pray for strength in the midst of this huge transition.
Jay Dee Clark- Pray for strength and wellness from a stubborn case of pneumonia.
Corrie Green (friend of Kelly King) – Please pray for Corrie who was diagnosed with breast cancer recently. She is in the midst of several months worth of chemo and radiation treatments. Pray also for strength and encouragement for her 8 year old daughter, Marlo and husband, Chris.
Dan Conyers (friend of Blake & Marty Porter) – Please continue to keep Dan in your prayers. He has been moved to a nursing rehabilitation facility.
Joan Bundy-She sends her thanks for our prayers as she has undergone radiation treatments for breast cancer. Dan Woodworth reported that she is improving in her recovery.
If you would like to add someone to the prayer list or would like to update a prayer concern, please contact Beth Laughlin at 943-0971 or Wink Brown at 540-241-5531.