'Facing The Future With Faith'
by Travis Wiginton
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You faithful readers know by now (after 285 papers) that one of my favorite subjects is Faith.
Facing the Future by Faith is true only if the object of our Faith is Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord....and if we claim all the Promises in the Bible as true and valid for today...and for all Eternity. That's a long sentence, but is so true!
In 1990 (after pastoring for 45 yrs.) I had two strokes, then later found that I had cancer of the vocal chords.
That's a tough diagnosis for ANYone, but especially for a pastor as the Dr. said there was a possibility I might lose my vocal chords!
After 32 radiation treatments in 1991, I have been cancer free....Praise God!!!!
Due to the cancer treatments leaving my mouth VERY dry, I had to take early retirement even though it meant lower benefits.
I told LaMoyne that I was literally a 'dry preacher' but hopefully not in my ministry!
I also told her that I had gone full circle from a baby bottle....to carrying a bottle of water with me all the time :)
When I retired, I was told I would be eligible for Disability. When I learned that if I chose to do that, I would no longer be able to pursue my life's calling of pastoring, I took early retirement instead.
God was SO gracious to open doors of ministry for us as we were able to serve these churches as Interim Pastor.
~Emmaus Baptist in Moore, Ok.
~Waikoloa Baptist on the Big Island of Hawaii for 2 yrs.
~Eastwood Baptist -1994 (near Nicoma Park where we served as full time pastor for 5 yrs.)
~Alameda Baptist in Norman Ok. - 1994 (as well as Dir. of Vacation Bible School)
~Kinoole Baptist in Hilo, Hawaii (Aug.- Dec. 1994)
~Kona Baptist on the Big Island (Jan. 1995- June 1995)
(where we previously served as full time pastor from 1986-'90)
~Wailuku Baptist on the Island of Maui (Sept. 1996 -Oct. 1997)
~First Baptist Church, Hobart, Ok. (July 5, 1998 - Feb. 1, 1999)
(La Moyne's home church where she was baptized @ 10 yrs. of age)
~Kaumana Dr. Baptist in Hilo, Hawaii (Aug. 13, 1999 - June 2000)
~Etowah Baptist Church east of Norman (for several months)
It has blessed our hearts as we've heard from several of the churches in Hawaii, asking us to please come back!
How we wish we could, but we're limited now due to health 'challenges'.
We've dreamed of living and serving among the precious people of Hawaii again,
but it's comforting to know we'll join them some day in Heaven!
God blessed us with this new 'Avenue of Ministry' when we joined Faith Writers in 2004 and began posting weekly messages. Over these yrs. we only missed 2 wks. of posting..once due to an Ice Storm, then again when Moyne had a heart attack (afib).
Lately we've had to miss some weeks as we're 'slowing down'...not by choice!!
I thought I would share some things that we've learned and hopefully they might be helpful for you.
1) Don't be anxious over what 'might be' as it'll keep you from what is 'now'.
2) Take life seriously and not 'for granted'.
Don't miss the 'Joy of the Moment' as the best is NOW.
Death is a reality, but don't make it an obsession!
As we age, we've been made 'aware' of death almost daily as SO many of our dear friends have gone on Home.
Just learned today that a dear neighbor died yesterday. He and his little dog and I with our little dog Cosmo, used to take our walks together. We had many good talks as we recalled the days when we played ball for Oklahoma Univ.
3) During a restless night one time in the hospital, I looked at my watch and it had stopped at 3:05 a.m.
The 'clock of life' will stop someday but with God, the best is always 'yet to be'....this of course includes Heaven.
4) I may not get to preach again down here, but I remember one of Edgar Guest's poems..."I'd rather SEE a sermon any day as to HEAR one."
5) Two of my favorite Scriptures come to mind:
~ "Prove me now says the Lord" (Malachi 2:10)
~ "Be shut up to Faith" (Galatians 3:23)
Retirement is not for the faint of heart, but for 're-newed' hearts.
Many times lately, I've had to re-new my vows to God to 'keep on keeping on'
until Jesus comes or until He calls me Home.
God gave me a motto for our latter years...from our favorite show 'Andy Griffith' when Barney Fife said, "2 plus 2 equals 4".
When I'm having memory difficulties, I tell La Moyne,
"Remember 1 plus 1 equals 1."
Course some days the 2 of us don't even equal ONE, but then we say, "At least we're still here."
We receive encouraging mail from several members @ Bethel Baptist Church where I served as Pastor (1975-1986).
It thrills me when they address the cards to 'Pastor Travis' and La Moyne as I miss being called Pastor.
This card from a Ladies' Group at Bethel really ministered to me:
"Pastor Travis, we pray each day that you and La Moyne may know:
~THE PROMISE OF HIS PROVISIONS
~THE POWER OF HIS WORD
~THE PROMISE OF HIS LOVE
~THE PRESENCE OF HIS SPIRIT
~THE PROSPECT OF HIS COMING
~THE PROTECTION OF HIS PROMISES
This is our prayer for you both"
And that is our prayer for each of YOU also!
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YES! Hand in hand we walk with Him along the Garden path. It's all that counts. It's all that counts -- until we see him face to face. God Love you!
Thank you so much for sharing your testimony of faith, Pastor Travis. I am so blessed and touched by it, that I have to let you know that I will keep you and your wife in my prayers to give you strength and long life so God can use you mightily for His glory.
"After 32 radiation treatments in 1991, I have been cancer free....Praise God!!!!"
Praise the Lord!