Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Another slant on the Greatest Generation

2:57 p.m. Today's project, identical to yesterday's for the 9:30-10:00 a.m. time slot, was to listen to Dr. David Hocking on K-Wave FM Christian radio. He follows another outstanding Bible teacher, Alistair Beig, whom I listen to daily as well. I'm soundly taught and challenged in my walk with Christ by both teachers, but I want to focus on Dr. Hocking in this post.

When I was first saved on January 6, 1980, I began listening to the local Christian radio staion KBRT ("K-Bright") every waking minute I was able--that was the level of my desire to learn the Bible! At age 28, I figured I had not a moment to lose! God knew from the foundation of the world why I was so compelled to listen to radio Bible studies as well as to cassette tapes of Chuck Smith and Greg Laurie in the listening library of Calvary Chapel Riverside (now Harvest). And I definitely betook myself and my oldest son to church whenever the doors opened, and attended a Friday night home Bible study. As a single mom, I knew that Jesus Christ was the only hope for us in this life and for eternity, and I wanted to know Him through the Word of God as thoroughly and rapidly as possible! Jesus was prophesied through the Holy Spirit saying in Psalm 40:7,

Then I said, "Behold I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart."

God is never in a hurry, of course, so I do get a chuckle over the vehemence of my desire to learn, but in my case, God wasn't very slow in proceeding, either. After all, it was His doing that I was a career insurance agent who drove around all day, and could listen to John MacArthur, J.Vernon McGee, David Hocking,  Billy Graham, Chuck Smith, and other teachers whose names escape me after 32 years. Additionally, Dr. James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" taught me how to be a Christian mother, and in pretty short order, on July 11, 1981, Steve's wife. Other anointed teachers, like Drs. Walter Martin, R.C Sproul, Ray Ortlund, and Henry Morris had huge impacts on my generation, whether through their radio programs, books or guest appearances on Rich Buehler's talk show on KBRT. I even had the privilege of hearing the late Alan Redpath at Harvest, and joining in the choir and serving a phone counselor for a Billy Graham crusade in Anaheim years ago

We hear very often of the greatest generation, those like my father, 85, who served this nation so honorably in World War II, Korea, and later in Vietnam.  But I look back, now three decades later, to the way a young single mom with a burning desire to learn the Bible--a lifelong pursuit--had these teachers to edify and educate me. And how I would need all of that knowledge, because God called me to be a women's Bible study teacher six months after I was saved! After immediately seeking counsel from my home fellowship pastor, and acquiring a mentor, mature Christian Bonnie York, I now  had guidance in studying even more intensely, but with more focus and direction.

Some of my past radio teachers are deceased, many have passed on their minstry day-to-day    teaching duties to their middle-aged children or long-time, proven staff.  J. Vernon McGee's "Through the Bible" recordings are to be played in perpetuity on the radio. I certainly hope the same is true for Chuck Smith, Billy Graham and David Hocking. These teachers were my "spiritual fathers." Though my generation has certainly stepped up to the plate in teaching, training pastors around the world, charities,  missionary work, writing and evangelism, these men's passing will be mourned by Christians worldwide.

As I listen to David Hocking's expository teaching each morning, I continue to learn and attain a deeper understanding of  the meanings of original languages, very needful since I never studied Hebrew or Greek. My own teaching and writing is never far from mind, and I know that my next summer's ladies' II Samuel study will benefit from Chuck Smith's teaching of the book currently at noon daily. His NKJ Bible that I teach from has important commentaries dispersed throughout, full of the scholarly--and loving--Pastor Chuck. His voice will be in my brain, that's for sure!

God is moving into the next generation of ministry now. Today, I am seeing my daughter Heidi teaching verse-by-verse Bible studies with her husband to the critical 5th & 6th grade age group; my daughter Heather leading, mentoring and inspiring high school students at her church, and leaving with her husband to help plant a church in 2014;  my youngest son Steven ministering and mentoring youth, boldly evangelizing, and using the gift of healing God has given him. God's work is always moving forward, using my generation's leaders and soon going beyond us! This is life. Only God lives, moves, creates, instructs and saves forever!

I John 2:12-14 covers us all:

I write to you, little children,
  Because your sins are forgiven
      you for His name's sake.

I write to you, fathers,
  Because you have known Him
    who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
  Because you have overcome the
     wicked one.
I write to you, little children,
  Because you have known  the

I have written to you, fathers,
  Because you have known Him
    who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men,
  Because you are strong, and
    the word of God abides in you,
  And you have overcome the
    wicked one.

As we look back to our "spiritual fathers," let us follow them in God's footsteps!

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