Rise And Shine
Lou Nicholes and I worked together at Word of Life Ranch when I was sixteen. He was the program director for the Middle Schoolers, and with Don Kelso, I was the program director for the younger Elementary School kids. This was Lou’s summer job. In the winter he was one of the pioneers in Word of Life’s Bible Clubs for teens, the director for Ohio. He is now helping his son, Steve, with the ministry on Jeju Island. Lou knew my dad very well and after supper he shared this story about my dad’s passion for an early morning quiet time.
“I was just beginning the Bible Club ministry in Ohio and your dad was faithful in checking up on me. One morning he called, ‘Hi, Lou, this is Jack. What did you get out of your quiet time this morning?’ The phone was silent.” As Lou told me this story over the golf cart that he uses to get around campus due to some aging legs, he smiled, “Dave, I hadn’t had my quiet time that morning, and I knew better than to try and fake it with your dad. He didn’t chastise. Instead, he broke the silence. ‘Hey, let me share what the Lord just gave me this morning.’” Lou looked me in the eye, “Dave, I never missed getting in that early morning quiet time again. You can’t be telling teenagers they need to be disciplined in connecting with their Lord if you’re not doing this yourself.”
Lou and my dad had developed the same dependence upon God’s Word as the writer of Psalm 119:147-148,
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in Your words.
My eyes open before the watches of the night, that I may meditate upon Your promise.”
LORD, Dad and Lou both have set a healthy example for me. With the time change in South Korea and the waking sunlight about 4:30 AM, it’s not that hard to get up early and spend some time in Your Word. It’s also an easy priority when my responsibility is to teach Your Word to students several hours in the upcoming daylight. Help me to genuinely listen to Your voice and not just study to have material for another lecture.
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