In my website article of July 22, 2005, I shared with you the sermon that I preached the Sunday following my Dad's death.
It was entitled: "There Is No Disappointment in Jesus".
That was true THEN and again in 1990.....
when my Mom had a terrible stroke that ultimately ended her life on earth.
It is true NOW in our lives with our health issues in recent years.
The answer is in the words of John 6:66-69:
"From that time, many of His disciples left Him and walked no more with Him".
Jesus then asked the remaining ones, "Will you also go away?"
Then Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life and we believe and are sure that You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
If La Moyne and I ever publish a book about our lives, it will be entitled...
'How God Guided and Provided'.
The purpose of this paper is our reflections and to ask you to do the same.
In 1946, I was to graduate from Friendship High School near Altus, Oklahoma.
That rural area was Oklahoma A&M (now OSU) country, so I went up to Stillwater (where OSU is located) to try out for a Baseball scholarship.
The Coach said, "No" so I (and God) decided that I would enroll @ Oklahoma University in Norman.
It was closer to home and I knew that in order for me to get home,
I would have to 'hitch-hike' as I didn't have a car.
I only had a bicycle....and it was 120 miles from home to Norman.
(An added blessing: I made the OU Baseball team!)
Years later, I saw how my disappointment was God's appointment.
We have now lived in Norman for over 30 years.
(11 of those yrs. I pastored Bethel Baptist Church here in Norman).
When we were unable to return to Korea after medical furlough in 1964,
God opened the door for me to serve as a Campus Minister
(also known as the Baptist Student Union Dir.) at OU.
While I was a student @ OU many years before, I was a member of First Baptist Church, Norman and was also active in the BSU.
When we served as missionaries to Korea, that same church 'adopted' us....
praying for us and for our effectiveness.
We are still living in the house that we bought while pastoring Bethel Baptist Church....
(as they did not have a parsonage).
Our home is located about a half mile from the OU campus
(close enough we can hear the roar on football days!) :)
In 'Our Daily Bread' devotional book this week, Dennis Fisher quoted the actor,
After receiving his 2nd award, he said to his family,
"I told you that if I LOST tonight, I would come home and we would celebrate....
and if I WON tonight that I would come home and we would celebrate."
In defeat...or disappointment....we can count our blessings and not our bruises....
and renew our faith in God Who holds tomorrow's opportunities in His Hand.
In Psalms 30:11 the Psalmist said, "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing."
Truly, the pain of disappointment can be soothed by a heart of gratitude.
The Korean War began the month that I graduated from the University of Oklahoma.
I was coaching and teaching 6 miles from my parents' home in Southwest Oklahoma.
I was enjoying living at home, but was drafted in November 1950 and sent to
Ft. Carson, Colorado.
I had hoped to be assigned to Ft. Sill, Okla. as it was only 50 miles from my folks.
My older brother Bryce, trained in the artillery there during WWII.
But God knew what He was doing....for one year later (and 56 yrs. ago)...
I met La Moyne in church in Colorado Springs.
God knew the person I needed as my wife and partner in ministry...
so he took me 500 miles away to meet her!
By the way, a friend took my place at the school after I was drafted.
God led Delbert to his future wife there at that school...
and they enjoyed a full life until his recent death.
During our time in Korea, we developed a real love for the Asian people.
While pastoring later in Norman, we were able to start a Korean Baptist Church....
which is now doing well.
A few yrs. ago I preached there (in Korean) to an appreciative congregation.
Also while serving Bethel, we had opportunity to minister in revivals in Hawaii....
as well as a 6 wks. Sabbatical with Kona Baptist Church on the Big Island of Hawaii.
During those times, God renewed our desire to service among the Asian people.
We were at Kona Baptist Church as full-time pastor...
then served as Interim Pastor at 4 other churches on the Big Island...
as well as one year on Maui.
As we look back on our life, we realize that our disappointment in not being able to return to Korea, was replaced by His Appointments throughout our life, as we lived/served many Asian people (as well as others) in many different places.
Each of you have testimonies, so lets' 'testify'.
We don't care 'who' gets the credit, as long as God gets the glory.
In last week's paper on 'Faith is The Victory', I didn't have room to share the following which I hope will add to the theme of THIS paper.
'Faith is the Victory' comes from:
1) FAITH TO LIVE -
Jesus said, "I've come that you may have life and that more abundantly".
2) FAITH TO LEAN -
God's Grace and Power are always ready to 'prop you up on your leaning side'.
3) FAITH TO LOVE -
We are channels only, but SO important when it comes to Love.
Pass it on...for it is too good to keep.
I John 4:18: "Perfect love casts out all fear"
4) FAITH TO LAST -
We often say in tough times, "Tie a Prayer Knot and hang on".
We have more, for we have 'Christ IN us'....the Hope!
Col. 1:27 and I John 4:4:
"Greater is the power IN you than any power in the world."
5) FAITH TO LEAVE A LEGACY OF FAITH -
This comes by:
"fighting a good fight...
finishing the course...
and keeping the faith".
(II Tim. 4:7)
Leaving this kind of legacy is better than money, houses or lands.
"The One Who leads you makes no mistakes.
The One Who guides you has the right directions.
The One Who counsels you has the wisest answers.
The One Who provides for you has the greatest resources.
The One Who blesses you brings the greatest joy."