In 1950, I was a Senior at the University of Oklahoma.
I was doing my practice teaching and coaching toward a BS in Education with double
majors in History and Physical Education.
I did some of the teaching and coaching at Central Jr. High here in Norman.
Two of the young students I met and worked with in Athletics there became lifelong friends of mine...Jamall Badry and Allen Morain.
This past week I attended a surprise party for Jamall celebrating his 50 years in Music Evangelism.
The MC for that evening was Allen Morain and over 100 people attended the event.
I have appreciated Jamall's ministry throughout the years...
as he came to share/sing in several of the churches I pastored.
He does concerts in Branson, Missouri, patterned after his 'Evening of Music' along with his Bible Conference each year.
Each time La Moyne and I would leave to go do an Interim, we would take Jamall's music CD's with us as his songs minister to us!
Should you like to know more about Jamall's ministry, you can read about it on his website:
Jamall gave his testimony about how he 'came from so little...to so much'....
by the Grace of God and the help of friends.
He closed his testimony by singing:
"Many things about tomorrow I don't seem to understand...
but I know Who holds tomorrow and I know Who holds my hand."
I left the gathering with my 'cane in hand'...and 'joy in my heart'...at how good God is. This becomes even more evident as weakening of the physical (and perhaps the mental) has taken place.
The following are words of encouragement that God gave me....for you.
I pray they will help as we all age:
1) Do not concentrate on what you do NOT have...
but all that you DO have!
Don't count just 'what is weak', but what is still fairly strong.
2) 'Little is much if God is in it'....and the results can last for Eternity.
I am amazed at how God has opened several ways for us to continue ministering.
No matter what age,
done in God's Way...
and for God's Glory...
will never lack God's Power and Provisions.
3) As we show signs of aging (hair, teeth, mind, bones and joints)...
we must focus on God's unlimited sufficiencies....not on our deficiencies!
(Study the following: Philippians 4:13, 19; II Cor. 5:6-7)
This week we heard a wonderful testimony from Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Though he comes from wealth, he haslived in the projects for 8 yrs. with those whom he is trying to help. It was an amazing testimony!
He said, "This country is a perpetual testimony to the achievement of the impossible." (See Matt. 19:26)
4) I Peter 5:7: "Casting (continuous action) all your cares (anxieties) on God...
for He cares for you."
After 2 strokes, I was concerned about the possibility of another one. One night as I was thinking about it, I looked out and saw that God had blanketed everything with snow. Then I remembered a sermon I had preached entitled 'God's Love Covers it All'.
Disappointments, doubts, discouragements and disabilities.....
in all of these 'd's we can be helped by the Greatest D...the DIVINE!
5) God gives us so many people in our lives, to encourage us.
I have 'My Moyne', our precious children, gr'children and our siblings.
I met 'Moyne in church and together we have been SO blessed by people in every church we've been privileged to serve.
6) When I have 'inner worry' and turmoil, I turn to my favorites, Psalm 37 and Scriptures on Peace (Isa. 26: 3-4 and Phil. 4:4-7 and John 14:1-6)
7) Think about Heaven and read Scriptures on it, but don't make death an obsession.
That is in God's Hands and His Timing.
You can not choose the 'length of your life'...
but you can choose 'the width and depth' of it. (Ps. 90:10,12)
8) My 'get up and go'...'got up and went'....
but I don't mind when I realize where my 'get up and go' has been!
Enjoy your precious memories while you are making more!
'Never lose the wonder of it all' includes the past, present, future and Eternity.
La Moyne's favorite saying is 'How God Has Guided and Provided'
....and He 'shore' did (and does!)
When my Dad wanted to emphasize something, he would use the word 'shore' for the word 'sure'.
I tease our neighbor, Joan Teet (who is from England) that she needs to learn to 'come down hard on her 'r's.....as it's an 'Oklahoma thing'. (:o)
9) A person may hold 'opinions', but 'convictions' is what will hold the person!
Be sure and have convictions based on personal experience and study.
Know what you believe...and why you believe it.
10) Be encouraged by others, but be an encourager yourself.
The world can't have too many encouragers!
11) Resentment will never bring contentment for anyone.
God's forgiveness to you and to others, is the ONLY way to have contentment...
and be free of resentment.
People need your friendship and then your testimony of 'my best friend is Jesus'.
God will bless what He initiates:
What depends on Him for success....
and what is done according to His Word and for His Glory.
John Wesley wrote:
"Do all the good you can....
by all the means you can....
in every place you can....
at all the times you can....
to every one you can....
as long as ever you can....
Do all the good you can!"
The Apostle Paul 'grew well' growing older, for he trusted the Will of God...
and depended on the Grace of God.
Jeff D. Ray wrote:
"Let me grow lovely, growing older...so many fine things do.
Laces, ivory, gold and silks need not be new.
There is healing in old trees and old streets...a glamour holds.
Why not may I as well as these, grow lovely, growing old?"
Longfellow put it well:
"What then? Shall we sit idly down and say,
'The night hath come..it is no longer day?
The night hath not yet come...we are not quite cut off from labor by the failing light.
Something remains for us to do...or dare, even the oldest trees, some fruit may bear.
For age is opportunity, no less than youth itself, though in another dress.
And as evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day."
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I love this article Travis. I especially liked what you wrote here: God will bless what He initiates: What depends on Him for success.... and what is done according to His Word and for His Glory. I truly believe that God will do just that. Thank you SO much for sharing. Blessings to you and La Moyne! From your friend, Sharon