Sunday, August 19, 2018

Springfield Today July 31, 2018

July 31, 2018 by  
Filed under Blog

Good Moanin’ Springfieldians,

God loves to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things.  And I love these three stories that all happen to include former General Superintendents in the Church of the Nazarene. I love these stories not because of who is included in them, but also because they illustrate the truth that God loves to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Dr. Jim Diehl’s (former G.S.) wife came from a thoroughly unchristian home.  But a Nazarene couple happened to drive through her neighborhood one day, noticed all the bikes and toys that were scattered across the yard, and they stopped and asked that mom and dad if they could take their children to Sunday School.

Those parents saw it as an opportunity to get rid of the kids for a few hours and so they agreed.  It was a very abusive home and when the mom died, the dad didn’t want his daughters, so he literally gave one daughter to that couple who had been taking the kids to Sunday School, and gave the other daughter to another couple who attended that little Nazarene Church.

That little girl was literally rescued by just an ordinary Christian couple that had a heart for children and a heart for Sunday School.  They had no idea what would result from that Saturday morning when they stopped and asked if they could take the children to Sunday School.  They had no idea that one day they would adopt one of those little girls, provide her with a Christian heritage, she’d go off to a Christian college, marry a young man who was called to be a pastor, and that he would one day end up as a General Superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene.

Dr. Eugene Stowe (former G.S.) was used by God to lead a young man who was dying from AIDS to Jesus Christ.  It really was all about a group of moms who were praying for their adult children, who had turned their backs on Jesus.  But all through the years they kept meeting and praying together.

And one day the phone call came.  “We have your son, he’s dying from AIDS, and he wants to come home. Can he come?”

Of course, that mom and dad said yes.  And they, and that prayer group, loved that young man and ministered to his needs.  And one day he was ready, so that mom called Dr. Stowe and said, “I think he’s ready.”  He went over and led that young man to the Lord.

As he was dying he went into an AIDS hospice in Denver and the counselors there started sending other dying patients to him.  And one after another he was able to lead people into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  And at his own funeral, his two older brothers, who were also away from the Lord, both, asked Jesus Christ to come into their lives and be the Lord of their lives.

That happened not because a G.S. was involved, but because ordinary Christians prayed, ordinary Christians ministered, and an ordinary Christian led him to the Lord.

Dr. Don Owens (former GS) tells of walking out of a large hospital in Kansas City after visiting a friend.  He noticed a large Korean family huddled together and he could tell they were in despair.  He said he felt the familiar urging of the Holy Spirit, and so he went over to this family and in their own language (He was a former missionary to Korea) asked if he could help them.

They told how their father was dying and for whatever reason their own pastor couldn’t come up to the hospital.  Dr. Owens asked if they would like him to go up and talk to their father.  They said yes, and were so appreciative.  And so he made his way to this dying, elderly Korean man’s hospital room.

As he entered, as all polite Koreans would do, he tried to rise up so he could bow.  Dr. Owens then sat by his bed and in his own language began to tell this man the story of Jesus and how he could have salvation and know that heaven would be his home.  And a tear began to trickle down the weathered old face of that Korean man and they prayed together.

Dr. Owens said he thought it was real, that the man was genuine, but he said Koreans are so polite that sometimes they’ll let you pray with them just so they won’t offend you.  He told the man he would come back and see him another day.

But his schedule was busy and he didn’t get back as soon as he intended, so three days later when he showed up at the hospital he was told that the old Korean man was no longer there, that he had died.

Dr. Owens felt terrible, and he decided to try to locate the family. With the help of the hospital he got an address and went to the home where the family was gathered.

When they saw Dr. Owens they were thrilled and they said, “We’re so glad you found us.  We didn’t know how to find you, but our father told us to tell you something.  He said, ‘Tell the white man who spoke our language, that I believe.’”

Once again, God was using an ordinary Christian to do the extraordinary.

I know I’m more ordinary than extraordinary. What does God want to do through me if I will just listen to Him?

And what does God want to do through you?

Don’t tell me you’re just an ordinary Christ follower and He can’t use you.  He loves using the ordinary to do the extraordinary.

 

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