Fields Of Life.
As I consider those who have faithfully sown seeds through the generations – I’m particularly thankful to God for the conditions which led me to be in Christ, then nurtured me to grow in His grace.
Indeed, I have been encouraged and influenced by so many over the years, both directly and indirectly.
I give special recognition to my Christian parents – who I love and treasure so much.
Growing up with Christian parents is a wonderful heritage. It served me well by giving me a deep understanding of spiritual things.
My lovely parents show to me the most attractive life possible.
But you know, it became apparent to me, that in order to secure my own eternal destiny, I could not rely on my parents’ personal faith.
Their belief in Jesus did not guarantee my ticket to Heaven.
I needed to make a decision for myself!
I needed to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus.
Sure, I was blessed by an acute awareness of my need to understand Him with my heart, as well as my head.
Remembering those early days, I see the well-worn, blue hard-backed Bible, a gift from my parents in 1970. I can still envision the spine hanging limply from the well-used book, revealing my own inscription, which I wrote a few years later – when I was about twelve years old:
I’ve been a Christian for five years!
Even now I realise how effectively their gift served me.
Special times and people leading up to my truly accepting Christ as my personal Savior are foremost in my memory.
My upbringing was very much influenced by my pastors, Geoff & Winnie Bowater.
In many ways I looked upon them with fond regard – as spiritual grandparents.
Anyhow, one preacher, Harold Fox, often came into town.
He was rather tall and lived in a cottage in the main street of Henley in Arden, a village near Stratford upon Avon.
When the reverend Fox preached at our church – Shirley Evangelical Church, he’d always arrive, bringing with him a pocket filled with sweets to give to the children.
What a delight!
In addition, this special person learned that I suffered from diabetes, and occasionally he would come, bearing a box full of sweets for diabetics.
A special treat just for me!
Even now I cannot determine what was most effective about this man who came bearing special treats.
Was it his evangelistic approach with Children?
His impressive height or his stature?
Perhaps, at my age, his gift of sweets was a big factor!
No matter, there was something about this man that made him really special, that revealed to me his love for the Lord Jesus Christ!
His mannerisms were not overlooked by me.
When he spoke words, he would thump his chest near his heart.
His resounding question will always effect me:
“Is the brass band beating in your heart?”
That was his compelling question!
Perhaps it was the total package of Harold Fox that made him a special messenger: His stature, composure, articulation, and love for God, all of which would drive almost anyone to his or her knees.
Obviously, as I grew older and could put things into perspective, I realised it was all part of God’s plan.
What a blessing!
He used this man of stature to reveal to me God’s love, power, presence, and anointing – all of which serves anyone well!
Looking back, perhaps this was my first glimpse of what it truly meant to live a life of complete and whole-hearted fidelity.
After-all, to follow Jesus suggests that we move into a way of life that has shape and form – along a path trodden by the One who calls us.
Remember, the Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.”
New Living Translation.”