Weekly Thought – May 26, 2015
Fred regularly prayed to be “useful, helpful, and productive.” He strongly believed in the recognition of gifts and the purposeful employment of them. Two of the friends Fred mentions (Torrey Johnson and Ron Glosser) are in heaven with him. They each taught him much about the Lord’s service.
Our 2016 schedule for the Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute is nearly complete. Three of the four schools have definite dates. We sincerely covet your prayer support. Thank you.
Used or Using?
I met Torrey Johnson when he first started Youth for Christ. At that time, I was asking certain people I highly admired for their autographed picture. I kept them in front of me, not as a sign of my relationship with them, but as a reminder of their character qualities. Torrey sent one back with the inscription, “To Fred, God’s man in God’s place.” I never felt I could hang it on the wall. I kept it in my desk drawer.
I was always condemned by how seldom I actually felt I was God’s man in God’s place. During the times I sensed He was using me, I felt very small yet very secure. When I was playing for my own team, I felt insecure and uncertain because I was depending on my own strength.
Recently I was talking with my dear friend Ron Glosser, former CEO of the Hershey Trust. He is a truly delightful person. I asked him the usual question, “How’s it going, Ron?” He answered in the best possible way that simple question could be answered when he said, “Fred, I feel God is using me.”
What a wonderful feeling to realize God is using us rather than our using God. So long as we keep that spiritual dimension in our leadership, people will see God in us.
Two great epitaphs come to mind. Steve Brown, great friend and President of Key Life Network, told me he found the small gravestone of Fanny Crosby, the hymn writer. She reportedly wrote 6,000 hymn lyrics. Her music continues to bless the Christian church after all these years. Blind from an early age, she often used words alluding to sight in her writings. Someone once said, “Aren’t you sad you can’t see?” Her answer: “If I had the choice I would choose blindness because that way the very first face I would ever see is that of Jesus!”
Fanny Crosby’s epitaph reads: “Aunt Fanny – she did what she could.” The other epitaph of note is that of great theologian A.W. Tozer which simply says, “He was a man of God.”
Editor’s note: Fred’s epitaph is only three words, but powerfully express his desire for usefulness: “He stretched others.”
This week think about: 1) When do I feel God using me? 2) What do I want on my gravestone? 3) Who represents Godly character in my life?
Words of Wisdom: “What a wonderful feeling to realize God is using us rather than our using God.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 5,6 NET Bible)