October 6, 2008

Good bye to a friend ...

Less than two weeks ago, we received the call from Texas that our dear friend and former pastor had exchanged his faith for sight. He was no longer looking as through a cloudy glass; he was finally able to see what he had so faithfully believed and taught. He was only 58 years old, but his time here was still not one day shorter than what our sovereign, loving God had purposed from the beginning. With that telephone call came the confirmation for me to do the funeral. It is difficult to bury a friend, yet God's Word is true - we do grieve, but not like "the rest of men, who have no hope" (1 Thess. 4:13). Jeff and I had enjoyed many conversations over the years, brown bagging our lunches in a nearby park or including our wives as we prayed for the people of our church. Thursday evening's service was a celebrtion of his life and his God. The graveside service was Friday morning. And then, just 5 hours after leaving my friend's casket and his family at the cemetery, I was surrounded by excited conference attendees at the 2008 Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis. Life goes on. That transition was a difficult one, but made easier by the number of guys I'd met before who were looking to connect again. Seth from Memphis emotionally shared how much God had used Banner of Truth books to disciple him for so long when he was without access to a solid, Bible-preaching church. Robby and Matt said they had accepted my challenge from last year; they did work through Thomas Watson's "Godly Man's Picture," and it impacted both them as individual guys and also as Christian brothers! How always encouraging it is to hear what God is doing with shipments that leave this Banner of Truth U.S. warehouse.
In addition to your feasting on the Word, of course, what Banner of Truth book are you reading today? My current one ... the latest small paperback from Walter Chantry, "Habakkuk". I had never spent considerable time in this Old Testament book, but Chantry takes those three prophetic chapters and makes them live, and with great application for today because our God never changes! Highly recommended.
Grace & peace to you today,

1 comment:

Steve Burlew said...

I received the following comment by email:
Hi Mr. Burlew,
I met you at the Together for the Gospel conference. You may remember me: I'm the 6' 9" guy pastored by Irfon Hughes.
Anyway, I just read your recent blog post. The internet filter where I live (at a children's home) doesn't allow me to comment. However, I wanted to tell you about the Banner book I'm reading right now.
My grandfather was a mainline Presbyterian missionary to Korea. He died in 1992 when I was just six years old. My uncle is still trying to clean out my grandfather's study. This summer at our family reunion, I claimed a few books out of the study including The Glorious Body of Christ by Kuiper.
I started reading Kuiper's book this weekend. I have been overwhelmed by the Kuiper's love for the church and of the beauty of the Church which Christ presents to Himself in splendor. It's particularly special to read my grandfather's copy, because I get to see the things he starred and underlined. (It seems that my grandfather was more convicted by Scripture than his denomination would have been!)
I am also working my way through Valley of Vision each morning. What a gift that book is to my spiritual well being!
Thanks for all your hard work.
In Christ,