Pastor's Pen

A Simple Game of Marbles!

Dear Friends,

One of my most influential professors in Seminary was Howard Hendricks.  "Prof" is now with the Lord, but his impact continues to this day!  His passion for teaching and modeling authentic Christianity was infectious.  In his book, Teaching to Change Lives he writes the following:
"I'm sure I would have died and gone to hell and nobody would have particularly cared. 

I was born into a broken home, my parents having separated before I was born. The only time I ever saw them together was eighteen years later when I was called to testify in a divorce court. 

As a boy I lived in a neighborhood in north Philadelphia in which they said an evangelical church could never be planted. But God has a fantastic sense of humor whenever anyone decides what can't be done. The Lord led a small group of Christians to band together, buy a little house and start a church. One man in the church was named Walt. He had only a sixth-grade education. One day Walt told the Sunday school superintendent he wanted to start a Sunday school class for boys. "That's great, Walt, but we don't have an opening." Walt insisted however, so the superintendent said, "Good. Go out and get a class. Anybody you find is yours to teach. 

Walt came into my neighborhood. The first time we met I was playing marbles out on the concrete sidewalk. "Son," he said, "how would you like to go to Sunday school?" I wasn't interested. Anything with the word 'school' in it had to be bad news. So he said, "Well, how about a game of marbles?" That was different. So we shot marbles and had a great time, though he whipped me in every single game. After that I would have followed him anywhere. 

Walt ended up picking up a total of 13 boys in that neighborhood for his Sunday school class - all but four of us were from broken homes. Today, eleven of the thirteen boys are serving in full-time Christian work."

Hendricks concludes, "so you see, my interest in teaching is much more than professional - it's intensely personal - a passion - because the only reason I have a ministry today is that God brought along my path a committed [passionate] teacher."

I share that story as a reminder that none of us know fully the impact we might have on people.  What's more, that impact can begin with a simple point of contact, like playing marbles.  

Let's continually look for people who we can influence.    
In the light of His glory and grace,

Pastor Doug