DLS Consulting

Remembering a Christian Soldier

This is a day given to remember those who have died in battle for our country and for our freedom.  I think about that daily as I read the papers and see the results of many who return home from Iraq and Afghanastan with missing appendages.  My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who have been devestated by losses to loved ones from all wars including of course the one we are currently waging.  My daily prayers include the ones who have suffered as well as those who give care to those in need.  Thank YOU to all of the soldiers and families of soldiers for the sacrifices you are making.

This MMM is dedicated to a Christian Soldier who did not go to a war fought with lethal weapons but who fought a spiritual war every day of his life.  He was born in a humble manner on a farm in Kansas, and was a young pastor when he took a job in Wauseon, Ohio, as the first pastor of the newly formed Evangelical Mennonite Church.  It was a small church that grew into a bigger church but really was not ever called a "mega" church at that time.  This pastor also had duties outside the church which included refereeing basketball games, piloting small planes, and caring for the needy.  He decided that even though he had a great college experience, he would attempt to go to graduate school at the University of Michigan while keeping all of the other activities and family obligations in balance. 

What a witness, a Mennonite pastor with a graduate degree from one of the top schools in the country and also leading revival services and Sunday morning worship and Sunday Schools.  When I went forward to receive Christ at one of those revival services, it was this man, Gordon Zimmerman who counseled me about the gift of salvation that Jesus was offering me and unless I reached out and took it and accepted it, I would never have it.  

The reason I trusted the information this soldier was sharing with me is because I had some history with this man.  You see, I had watched him as he played softball with me and other little kids at our Vacation Bible School every year.  I watched him as he kidded around with me when I was a spectator at basketball games he officiated, and then also when he refereed games that I was playing in as I grew older.  When he explained the truth of the gospel to me, it was believable because the man delivering the message was believable.  I thank God every day of my life since then for sending a man of faith and courage to my little church in Wauseon, Ohio, who had the credibility and honesty to share the truth with me.

As I see the large churches of our day that impress many of us with the vast number of people being reached, I think back and wonder how many kids will get to play softball with their pastor and learn from a person with that kind of credibility?  Take the time to play with your kids and grandkids as often as you can and think about a man named Gordon Zimmerman who took that lesson to the world with his example.   Happy Memorial Day!   dls


Sent May 21, 2007

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