To Ray Carson;
Let us introduce ourselves. Aside from the referral from my brother Chuck Kirkland who said you are his other brother-inlaw relating to the one whom I met at his wedding here recently, (I have known Chuck over ten years. We have a brotherly fellowship like no other. I miss him.) I know practically nothing about you — and I miss not knowing you better.
I am married to my second and best wife, Vivian. Her photo I don’t have. We married in the Overcoming Faith Center in Fort Worth, 1981, thirty-five years ago. We made the best move to Alabama in 2000 just after witnessing that terrible tornado downtown. That capped-off living there with God’s exclamation point.
I am laying down resting after a light breakfast, listening to sacred music that blesses my heart. Having just made my bed and thinking of writing you this note, I feel we might benefit — communication can be improved when some first-things can be explained — like I came from California and moved to Texas just after serving one tour in the Marines. . .
MY STORY HAS THREE PARTS
My first wife of 10-years, was the mom to four children, who were all grown up through my Army duty assignments. But leaving that, divorcing and remarrying, put me in the place for experience in Navy and Army Aviation schools, with Northrop University A&P Course, I was hired to train in engineering writing and was certified there, before computers.
We stayed with that really great company, General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., until retirement when I turned sixty. That was then, when the tornado came. Incidently, our church was in it’s path when heading through. There were people praying in the prayer tower when the tower walls blew away and they survived by holding the steel beams.
[I’ve just had lunch while Viv is on the phone with her daughter Terry, I am peacefully watching live television on EWTN, one of the four Christian TV stations we can receive. The program is the prayer vigil for young people that’s being broadcast from Europe, well Eastern Europe would be evening now, so it is live, seeing the sun setting.]
We were so willing to move here to be close to the grandchildren and the youngest, Brianna, will be sixteen in September. Living seven hours away by car, is not close enough. So we left the home we had in Texas, after former children moved on to their new families. Our world is not perfect, but we are content and well provided for with social security.
THE FUTURE IS THE BEST PART
Now, about our working together to produce for God, the story of your life. I feel personally honored to have this really rare opportunity, and want only to be obediently available to do such work. God is able to reach many others, or, as I view my calling, if I can reach even one other human being, then God can bless that, and He will welcome more, and more.
However, as you may certainly have learned already — our self, our flesh, the world, and God’s mortal enemies (the devil, Satan, and his evil forces) all resist such purposes as God calls us to. And our ignorance of such resistance is an obstacle that is possibly interfering with our progress and communication about closing the gap from the first and last chapters.
The devil is smarter than we think he is. Good men do bad things because they are not smart enough to understand the battle. God gives us weapons that we need to know about and use skillfully. Wisdom to live the victorious Christian life doesn’t come easily. Trials and failures prove the paths we must travel. Now, Ray, can we find our bond in Christ here?
CONCLUDING WITH ROYAL GUIDANCE
The prayer vigil for young people (on TV) just now, is providing the anointed sacred music with which to do this. You may desire to listen to such music of your choice. My heart rejoices to tears to see how God is working in our lives. I hope this letter is finding you peacefully. This morning’s devotional led me to a quote long forgotten but may help us here.
“We ought, like David, to keep our spirit in stillness (carefully, cautiously) even in times of intense confusion, our inner being should never-the-less be able to sustain an independent quietude. A placid spirit is essential to anyone walking after the Spirit. Without it, he shall quickly fall into sin. If our spirit is hushed, we can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit there, obey the will of God, and understand what we cannot understand when confused. Such a quiet inner-life constitutes the Christian’s adornment which betokens something manifested outwardly.” –Watchman Nee, The Spiritual Man, page 181
Psalms 54:1, “Save me, O God, by your name.” captured my attention. I just had to look up the Hebrew word for God used here. Elohiym, ‘El-Oheem’, professor Larry Richards says,
“This word used for God is frequently used more than other names in the OT. It is a plural form — a form used to suggest a fuller manifestation of diety. It is often called, “The Plural of Majesty” indicating more than one Person is included. (Although One Person, in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.) Dictionary of Bible Words, Zondervan, 1985
Thank you Ray for bearing my attempt to regain your personal confidence. We can do your book for you! Amen! And the above verse goes on to say, “And vindicate (clear) me by your wondrous power.” If there is any obstruction in our getting to know one another, please let me know. Nothing you’ve sent me is lost. I use Frank’s email server to send iZip copies.
Oh, did you get the prayer I sent you? Please acknowledge you have it. And pray for me too, thanks.
Your friend and brother in the Lord,