The rain is falling and the sky is gray, it’s a pretty dismal day here in Ohio. Perhaps the weather has driven me to a place of reminiscence, or maybe the simple fact that I picked up a book this morning and read the inscription. I bought Steve, my brother, a book in November of 2007, and then wrote the following words:
“Stev, After reading this I thought about our entire life as preparation for what is to come. I look forward to you joining me off the paved road!”
The book is “The Barbarian Way” written by Erwin McManus. The jacket has a great description of what is found in the writings of this 148 page treasure.
“In the Barbarian Way, McManus calls you to return to the ancient, primal, and dangerous faith of Jesus and His early disciples. Let go of a sanitized Christianity and get back to the powerful, raw, and ancient faith that chooses revolution over compromise, peril over safety, and passion over lukewarm and watered-down religion.”
Steve and I had many conversations about the lessons and inspirations found in this book. In fact, it was the catalyst for Sonya, the boys and me leaving a great church, where I had been pastor for over eleven years and starting a new work. The plan was simple, get things going and in a few years Steve and Susan would join us, thus my prayer of working with my brother would come to fruition. My prayer was not God’s plan.
Steve’s service to the Lord was much bigger than most of us realized. He had an uncanny ability of making each of us feel like we were the most important person to him. In a way, when anyone was talking to him, seeking advice or counsel, they were the most important thing. Thus, his service was greater than coming to a new church plant. He placed in the hearts of the numberless, a desire to reach new spiritual heights. Being touched by the hand of God and then used in ways most of us did not fully recognize. Can anyone fully grasp the magnitude of a person serving and living for the Lord to the fullest? No. But it is now easy to see the results!
There are so many people, myself included, who still feel the sadness of Steve not being here with us. However, we have been left an example of what a committed life to Christ looks like and what results happen. Changed lives. That is all Steve cared about, affecting others in a positive way, aiding in their walk with the Lord. Join me as we follow his lead.
Wow! I think the rain has finally stopped, time to get back off the paved road!