My grandfather was one of the most godly persons that I have ever known. He had a tremendous influence on my life and on the lives of countless others. He was in the ministry for over 65 years and was actually our pastor for a few of those years in Sunbury. I also had the special privilege of living with the Wolfs for three of the years that I was in college. On the 65th anniversary of his entering the ministry, a special celebration was held in his honor. Members from his former congregations came from all over to honor him and grandma Wolf that night. Recently my cousin prepared a CD of that service. It was stirring for me to listen to it because so many of the people who shared that night were influential in my life and are now with the Lord. At the end of the service Grandpa Wolf was given a chance to share a few words. I have never known any pastor who could share such profound thoughts in such a short time. He had a special gift to be able to do that so effectively. That night he shared a story about a neighborhood boy he learned to know when he served in Bethlehem. The day after Halloween he discovered that somebody had taken his gate from the fence in the backyard. He searched around the entire neighborhood for the gate but was unable to locate it. Finally he saw this young lad in the alley behind the parsonage and he told the lad that his gate had disappeared. He offered the boy ten cents for an ice cream cone if he could locate it. That reward offer gives you an idea of how long ago this happened. The boy accepted the offer and then pointed up in the air. As Grandpa looked up he discovered that the gate was hanging on the telephone phone. He continued by saying that he had looked for it everywhere but up. He then concluded that this is the way that we often handle situations in life. We look everywhere but up. Not only is that a great lesson but it explained to me where my grandfather's favorite expression might have come from. All of us who were under his ministry know that he continually exhorted us to "keep looking up". I know that this was meant as a reminder that our strength and wisdom come only from the Lord and we need to continually look to Him for our help. But I think it was also a reminder that we are to be watching for the return of the Lord. We don't know when that will happen but we need to live each moment in anticipation that it might be today. I guess because of the truth of this phrase and probably also in memory of my grandfather, I find that the older I get, the more I am also using that phrase. So I don't know what your needs are for this moment, but my message to you today is ... keep looking up!
THE CHURCH'S ONE FOUNDATION
6 days ago