This morning Woodrow Kroll of Back to the Bible preached on the reliability of God. "You can trust God because his character never changes." He reminded us that because God never lies, everything his Word says must be true.
We ate lunch with Lou and Thelma Nicholes who have been with Word of Life for over 40 years. For a long time, they led the Youth Reach-Out program, which sends teens to various mission fields for short-term projects. These days Lou and Thelma have a big part of their heart invested in Korea because all of three of their children serve there with Word of Life. Lou has also written a series of highly effective devotional commentaries on various books of the Bible. You can order the commentaries from their website. I particularly recommend his book, The Bible in a Nutshell, an easy-to-read summary of all 66 books of the Bible.
Monday night is always missionary night at Word of Life Florida. We heard from missionaries representing Brazil, Germany, Ukraine and Japan. Then Harry Bollback brought a brief message on the theme, "Is it nothing to you?" from Lamentations 1:12. He challenged us with these questions:
Is it nothing to you that so many people are dying without Christ?
Is it nothing to you that so many are doing so little?
Is it nothing to you that Jesus died for the world?
Harry is the true heart and soul of Word of Life. He just turned 80 a month or so ago, and he preaches with as much energy and enthusiasm as when I first heard him in 1971. Harry loves people, loves to laugh, has a million stories, and has the gift of making those around him feel important. Tonight I felt my own heart stirred about the needs in China as I listened to him preach. I've continued to read books about China, and continued to think about China ever since our trip in January.
After the service a few of us went to Harry and Millie's home for a time of fellowship. For the last few years, we've usually spent an evening with the Bollbacks when we come to Word of Life Florida. Her table is the only place I've eaten pickled herring. When she invited us yesterday, I asked if she would be serving pickled herring. "Of course," she said. I think she knew I was going to ask her. She prepared a beautiful table of various treats that she called "Millie's Funny Food." Harry and Woodrow Kroll regaled us with stories from their travels in many places. Harry told us about the years he and Millie spent living in the jungle in Brazil. At one point they had a pet ostrich until it ate the top off a lemon meringue pie. Then they ate the ostrich. They had a pet monkey and a parrot that could sing the chorus to "At the Cross." That was 50 + years ago. Harry and Millie are still going strong. It was a great treat to be with them tonight. I didn't preach today, but I'm up first tomorrow morning with part 2 in my series, "Samson: A Very Modern Man."
To sign up for Pastor Ray's free weekly sermon email list, click here. You can find his daily weblog, online sermons, travel schedule, and other resources at www.keepbelieving.com. You can write Pastor Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org.