Getting old proves to really be challenging at times. This is happening to me more and more at 73+ years of age.
The primary challenge for someone who has been very active all of my life is the increasing limitations on what I can do. But reality cannot be brushed away as though it doesn't exist. One's body won't let the mind get away with such delusion.
For me, this spring has posed two of the bigger obstacles. Declining health has forced me to give up teaching a SS class at our church here in Costa Rica. I've been privileged to lead this class of adults almost the entire time that we've been here since Sept. 2010. I though at first that letting go of this responsibility would give me time and energy to then devote to the weekly Bible study group that meets at our home each Wednesday. But this has proven to be wrong thinking. Consequently the final meeting of this group at our home will be this coming Wednesday morning, May 20. Thus for the first time in my entire adult life I will not be teaching or preaching to a group of people on a regular basis since the middle 1960s.
Humanly speaking these pose huge threats to me. But in praying my way through all of this, the Lord has granted a wonderful sense of peace about everything. I know out of my family heritage from both my father and grandfather that I must have something constructive and productive to do if my earthly life is to continue on.
For several decades, my prayer has been that God would enable me to enjoy an active and productive retirement with serving Him through serving others at the center. Thus far He has seen fit to answer that prayer in the affirmative in so many ways that I could never have anticipated.
What seems now to be the continuation of that answer to prayer is found in my web site, cranfordville.com. What was begun in 1998 as a learning aid for my students at Gardner-Webb University has evolved into a global ministry for providing Bible study materials free of cost. Over the past several weeks some 250 people average coming into cranfordville.com seeking such materials each week. There are so many projects not yet completed that enough work remains to keep me busy for quite some time to come. Increasingly the health limitations push me to focus more and more attention on research and writing Bible studies for the Biblical Insights Commentary series at cranfordville.com.
As Claire and I begin completing the plans to move to the Texas Baptist Retirement Center in San Angelo, Texas at the end of the year, my spare time will be devoted to cranfordville. For this I give God profound thanksgiving!
- Grew up in farm and ranch life about 70 miles west of Fort Worth, Texas near the small community of Perrin. Did undergraduate degree at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas (BA, 1964) and masters (MDiv, 1968) / doctorate (ThD, 1975) at Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Ft. Worth. Taught Koine Greek and New Testament at SWBTS 1974-1997. Then taught at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC (1998-2008). Pastored the IBC Baptist Church in Cologne Germany (2008-2010) before retiring and moving to Santa Ana, Costa Rica, where Claire and I now live.
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