Dear Ministry Partners,
As many of you know, this has been a difficult year. Not just for me but for many of our brothers and sisters in the Lord. I do not recall being surrounded by so much death. Our church had four funerals in four weeks, including young people and senior citizens. My wife, Ruth, stepped into the Lord’s presence on August 14th. But PRAISE GOD, Jesus has conquered death! 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Death has an awful sting this side of Heaven! Praise God that is not the end of the story! We know we will see our loved ones in Glory someday.
Ruth’s overwhelming desire was to serve God to the day she stepped into His presence. She fulfilled that goal. That is also my goal. I am continuing to have speaking engagements, for which I am grateful. Thank you for your prayer and financial support, without which I could not continue. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
In honor of Ruth’s love of God and commitment to service, I would like to share her obituary.
“How can you share a eulogy about 83 years of life and 17 years of marriage? You can’t. Ruth overcame years of struggles, disappointments, and challenges. God brought her to the gracious, Godly, classy lady that many of you have complimented. Her journey was one of the most difficult that I have known. She never quit. She was a single mother that held multiple jobs in order to provide for her three children.
By our second date, she shared her life that had been filled with challenges and struggles. She told me that if I didn’t want to date her because of those challenges and struggles, she would understand. What I saw in her immediately was honesty, integrity, straightforwardness, no manipulation of me or God. Outstanding qualities.
Ruth was saved at about 7 years of age. Her salvation caused great conflict in a spiritually divided family. She was forbidden to return to church. No one taught her how to walk with God. As a young woman, “Big John”, a converted “Hell’s Angel” and Baptist pastor, with his wife, took Ruth under their wing and taught her how to walk with God. For 20 years, Ruth lived alone, walking with God.
We were brought together by, and blest of, God. We did not hold hands until we were convinced that this is where God was leading us. We did not want emotions to get in the way of God’s leading. I still remember the night that I first touched her hand. Two days later she walked across the room and into my arms just as if she had always belonged there. She stayed in my heart and arms for 17 years.
It was a huge change for Ruth from being single for 20 years to being married. Not just being married but becoming the wife of a pastor. Ruth came without reservation and a commitment to work through the changes, which were difficult at times. It was a great sacrifice of her personhood.
Ruth had a servant’s heart. When she first came to our church, she volunteered to clean bathrooms. After we became engaged one of the people said that they supposed they would need to find some else to clean bathrooms. As the pastor’s wife, she continued to clean bathrooms. She had a deep desire to serve God and to glorify Him to the day she stepped into His presence.
Ruth felt it was her calling to “keep me going.” Because of my diabetes, that was expressed in the way she cooked for me and at least 3 times she literally saved my life.
If there was an outstanding feature in her life, it was her deep love of her Savior. She would sometimes get up an hour before I would and spend time with Jesus in addition to our family devotions.
I praise and thank God for the gift of Ruth in my life. I am grateful and honored to have shared my life with Ruth, my life partner for 17 years.”
Have Bible Will Travel