Last Sunday as Pastor Ted took us on a journey down memory lane, It was so much fun for me to see the journey that I and so many of the people remember. A very special part of the memories of that first Sunday at Bethel Assembly and the two young boys who greeted my parents, was a little girl, age 8, named Arlene who sat in the second row right behind my mother and me. We were instant friends and remained so until she went to be with the Lord because of cancer a few years ago. But one of these memories includes my sister Charm and me staying with Betty and Chester Moore when my little brother Ted made his impressive entrance into this world at 10 lbs.
My father teased me that Ted was so big he would probably walk into Betty's living room and greet me. I cried because I wanted a baby brother that I could hold. I was so happy when a "real" baby was placed in my arms, although he was really big.
Fast forwarding on this journey to Pastor Ted as a little 7 year old boy going everywhere with our dad. I was reminded of this story as I was retyping my book, "The Man Who Talked With Angels" for reprint.
Ted was walking down the street with my dad who was going to the post office. Ted kept hanging way back and my father kept saying "Ted, why don't you come up with me?" Ted would come up for a little while and then slowly hang back. He did this over and over and finally my dad stopped and said, "Son, what's the matter, why do you keep slowing down and walking behind me?"
Ted said, "Well daddy, you look so nice in your suit and I just have my play jeans with patches on them and my coat is kind of raggedy, and I'm not very clean. I don't want people to think I'm with you, because I look so bad and you look so good." My Dad just scooped up my little brother in his arms and said, "Son, I always am so proud of you no matter how you look. I love you so much. Now you walk with me!"
I thought what a beautiful picture of the Father Heart of God, who loves us so much and is so proud of us that He washes all the dirt off of us and gives us new clean clothes to wear and lets us know how proud He is of us and asks us to walk right beside Him as sons and daughters.
Side note, my little brother got a beautiful new jacket and as my dad shared this story with the rest of us, we just all had to love on our precious little brother...who was not little for long I might add.
In reading about Hezekiah this week, it says "He did what was right in the sight of the Lord!" I thought about the fact that His father Ahaz did not end up doing right in the sight of the Lord at the end of His life. But there was a short while when Ahaz did do right in the Lord's eyes, and somehow the seeds of that short time of doing right were planted in the heart of his son Hezekiah.
It says in my commentary that his name means "the Lord Has Strengthened." There were none like him. His faith was unparalled by any other king who had proceeded him after the time of David.
As I listened to my brother share the journey of Central Assembly until now my heart was stirred thinking that my father, if he was here, would be so proud. But even more important, as God looks down upon us as we start our new journey, led by Pastor Ted, as he is listening to God's direction, I believe God is proud of this son of his, but also of all of us who are on this journey empowered by the Holy Spirit.
What an opportunity do we have to join together in prayer and fasting, like we never have before. We are being thrust forth into this community with the opportunity to reach out without the bondage of debt. But, SET FREE...NO LIMITS...TO BE USED BY GOD LIKE NEVER BEFORE! THIS JOURNEY IS "MORE THAN A MOMENT!
SO FOLKS....TO THE WORK AT HAND! Father is proud!