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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Ding-Dong (05/16/13)

TITLE: Doorbells for the Lord
By Marsha Barrow


My daddy—a man of God, a minister of the Word, an instrument, and a vessel—dedicated his life in seeking to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”

The calling to serve God is a calling to a position of special honor. God has placed an incredible weight of responsibility onto the Christian leader's shoulders, and my daddy may not have been a “superman,” but in my eyes, he simply “hung the moon.” I was daddy’s little girl, the apple of his eye.

Our family didn’t have a lot of money. In fact, my daddy held down a fulltime job as well as ministered at a small Baptist church in a rural area. The tiny, quaint structure beckoned sinners to enter the doors and to embrace the Spirit of the Lord, which manifested in the warm hospitality of the saintly church members.

Daddy worked during the day, but shepherded his flock by evening and on weekends. Sundays encompassed Sunday school, morning worship, and evening service. Wednesdays supported weekly prayer meetings, and Thursdays were set aside for visitation.

In addition to these organized ministries, daddy spent countless hours at the hospital, at nursing homes, or in his study preparing his weekly sermon. Many times, if possible, he took me with him—his large, strong hand holding tightly to my tiny, petite one.

Several church members embarked on the Thursday evening ritual of “soul winning.” We met at the church, and one of the deacons distributed two “visitation cards” to each group. Groups were made up of two or three people who were commissioned to visit the two names or families on the card. The importance of visitation could never be overemphasized. Jesus went out and talked with the people in their homes and on the streets so my daddy believed that surely the minister of the gospel could do no less.

After sending the groups out, all five years old of me would crawl in the back seat of my daddy’s car ready to “help” spread the good news of the gospel, near to my anchor to the world, next to the man who viewed visitation as a privilege, not a bore-some duty. Daddy remained constantly alert and knew what he would to say before he opened his mouth. Bro. Brackett rode in the front seat with daddy, and therefore; they spoke of scripture, prayer, and meeting the needs of those we would visit, and then, with a joyful voice, daddy broke out in song—for my benefit—to peak my interest:

“Oh! How sweet to walk
‘round and ‘round the block
Ringing doorbells for my Lord.
Wearing out my shoes
Telling God’s good news
Ringing doorbells for my Lord.

Ringing doorbells, Ringing doorbells,
Ringing doorbells for my Lord
Wearing out my shoes
Telling God’s good news
Ringing doorbells for my Lord.” (author unknown)

Daddy spent his life ministering to the world, and at the age of 55 succumbed to heart failure after spending ten days in a diabetic coma. Hundreds of preachers and evangelists attended the funeral and were seated in the choir loft directly behind the open casket. Two of daddy’s brothers, both Baptist preachers, spoke. His daughters (my three sisters and I) sang a couple of his favorite hymns, and my uncle delivered a sermon. Directly after the sermon, Uncle Winfred extended an invitation to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Many of the ministers seated in the choir loft arose and stood for the alter call.

Later, I found out that my daddy had requested the invitation be given at his funeral. In my memories, I drifted back to those Thursday night visitation times. Daddy lived his life winning souls for the kingdom, and in death, he was still ringing doorbells for his Lord:

Ding-dong, God is calling.

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This article has been read 288 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/25/13
This touched my heart. what a loving, tender and powerful tribute to your daddy. He sounded like an amazing man with a heart on fire for the Lord.

I loved how he thought to invite people up for the altar call, even in his death. How amazing is that?

I'm sure he was welcomed home and the Lord said,
Welcome home my son, well-done my servant, well-done. Amen.

God Bless~
Judith Gayle Smith05/26/13
Exquisitely poignant . . .
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/28/13
This is a lovely testimony. There have been several God is ringing, knocking or calling stories this week. Yours shows your love for a dear man who left you a wonderful legacy--knowing Jesus personally. Nice job.
Linda Berg 05/30/13
Beautiful testimony Marsha of a man who loved God and others. I relate to many of your showing details of your father's commitment in life. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/30/13
Congratulations for ranking 5th in your level and 33 overall!