(Pictured: Jim & Coletta Burns, Beneth Jones, Bob Jones III)
Pastoring God's people in a local church is filled with tremendous blessings. It is also hard work because our sinful nature does not like doing spiritual things. Also,because the Devil is always against you, it can sometimes be brutal. Our pain and pressure as Pastors and Pastor's wives are not like the pain our good people at Liberty Baptist suffered with for nearly three years of striving to physically convert a school building into a church building. Our pain is not like the agony of a broken bone or pulled muscle. Our pain is often invisible to the human eye. Our pain is usually from the temptations of the world trying to pull us away from the will of God, and from a Devil and demons who would be thrilled to see us get washed out.
But the Bible still says, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9). Satan fought our church's building program about as hard as I have ever seen him fight. He did not want this to happen. He did not want that last drop of paint brushed on. Satan did not want the final light bulb screwed in. He didn't want the pulpit placed on the platform. He didn't want the church choir to sing their first song in our new auditorium. But, Satan lost this battle and Jesus won.
Every now and then, a special gift or event takes place that we know has to be God saying,"You've past another test,so, here's your reward for a good grade." For me as the Pastor here, my reward for what our church has been through these past three years was having Dr. Bob Jones III and his wife, Beneth Jones come to Van Wert to help us celebrate this great victory. This is probably the greatest honor Coletta and I have ever had in 34 years of ministering at five different churches in four different states.
Although hated and misunderstood by many, Dr. Bob Jones, III is one of the most sincere, genuine, compassionate and friendly men I have ever met. Beneth is equally the same as a Christian lady. Let me say the Devil hates this couple also. But Jesus loves them and has used them for many years.
Back in the 80's when a very well known Pastor of a large church fell, I heard Dr. Bob Jones, III say, "Maybe now we have finally learned that in Fundamentalism, our only hero should be Jesus Christ!" Well, Dr. Bob, I know your right about this. But I must confess, I have loved and admired you and your wife as a man of God and she a women of God since the day I met you, and you're still my hero in the ministry!
(Pictured: Me shaking hands with Bob Jones, III in new auditorium).
Thanks to both of you as well as the BJ pilots, Pete and Morgan for coming to our church Sept. 18 & 19, 2010. It made it worth it all. May God bless you.
(BJU Pilots, Morgan and Pete standing with Dr. and Mrs. Bob Jones, III)