February 24, 2023

Ep. 69 | The Path Ahead with Pastor Bill Bivans

This week, Nathan has a conversation with Pastor Bill Bivans the pastor emeritus of Sandhills Presbyterian Church and faithful husband, father, and grandfather. Pastor Bivans shares lessons from his headstrong youthful days all the way to dying…
Life on Target
Life on Target
Ep. 69 | The Path Ahead with Pastor Bill Bivans

This week, Nathan has a conversation with Pastor Bill Bivans the pastor emeritus of Sandhills Presbyterian Church and faithful husband, father, and grandfather. Pastor Bivans shares lessons from his headstrong youthful days all the way to dying (multiple times)! This conversation will be an encouragement to the young and old alike. There are older men in your immediate social circles that have walked the path ahead of you. They have hard earned wisdom that you need for what you are facing today. Ask them for help and input often!

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[00:00:00] Welcome back to the life on target podcast. I’m your host, Nathan spearing, bringing you my interview with Reverend. William Bivans

[00:00:09] This was a amazing discussion that I had with the original pastor of our church, who 30 plus years later is still a member of our church. And one of the things I’d like to mention about this is it’s really amazing. The amount of wisdom that is available in your local church body. If you are someone in good standing, someone that’s men committed.

[00:00:33] To a faithful church. And. For a guy that’s in his seventies and that has lived a lot of life. It’s pretty easy to say, Hey, can we get together? And let me ask you a few questions. So I wanted to meet with pastor bill and ask them these questions. And I just took out. Microphones and. Coincidentally also had my 14 year old son edit the audio for you. He’s sitting next to me right across from the office. [00:01:00]

[00:01:00] So. Before y’all have even listened to this podcast. It has benefited me and it has benefited my son. And it is a older man that has been down the path before all of us and raised children. And pastored a church. And that wisdom is likely available to you where you are in life right now, geographically, there is likely an older man that has done some things in life that you want to know about that you want to learn from.

[00:01:32] And they’re at a point in life later on with their empty, empty nesters. If you will, grandparents, great-grandparents. They have the time to meet with you. But societaly, we’ve kind of discarded them. We’ve kind of think, oh, that’s that old guy. That’s a little bit slower to move and doesn’t understand.

[00:01:49] Tick tock or whatever, all the fads and things that are going on. And we can think that the wisdom. Is dated. And the fact is wisdom is never dated. Wisdom [00:02:00] is something that we read about in Proverbs was with. God at the formation of this universe or this galaxy or whatever. And. Is available to us if we would just ask. So in addition to listening to this episode and gleaning a lot of very interesting things from a man that has lived a long and successful life.

[00:02:26] I’d like to also challenge you to go out. And find someone locally. That can teach you and be a mentor to you. So without further ado, Oh, my. Interview with pastor Bevins.

[00:02:40] Okay. Yep. Hey, Nate. Looks like you got it well equipped here. Yep. Have no idea what a rodecaster is. Believe or not. I, majored in broadcasting.

[00:02:51] Really?

[00:02:52] Yeah. And worked at a TV station long time ago.

[00:02:55] Whenever you do scripture readings at church, I was like, I think [00:03:00] Pastor Bivins needs audio Bible like to just read it because you have, a voice for it.

[00:03:04] I believe it or not, growing up, I, I was such an introvert. I, I couldn’t get up for a class and say my name, let alone read and , you know, I don’t think it was until I had children that I started reading out loud and, I guess it’s developed over the years.

[00:03:22] And you’ve read, uh, what was it that you were reading to the covenant prep Children Every

[00:03:26] Oh, Chronicles of narnia, , yeah. One of my favorites.

[00:03:28] Oh yeah,

[00:03:29] yeah. Well, I did it. My, my kids growing up, each, each one would go through it again. I have six kids, so you go through it a lot and Yeah. And after a while I started, uh, you, my English accent cuz my wife’s English.

[00:03:41] And then I started doing the, the various, uh voices for Mr. Beaver. Mrs. Beaver. And

[00:03:48] did you do that for the kids too?

[00:03:50] Yeah, I did and, , that’s, , fun. I, I realized that wether, they got anything out of it or not. I, I enjoyed it. . Yeah. It’s fun.

[00:03:58] Well, you, [00:04:00] uh, you pretended at the beginning when I asked you to come on here that you didn’t know what a podcast was, but then when you found out

[00:04:05] Yeah, I guess I listened to one almost every day. Yeah. Yeah. Little RC Sproul. Yeah. . Yeah. I, I, you know, it’s, you don’t appreciate some people until they’re gone. Mm-hmm. , I, I knew him way back when. Yeah. 1975. He was one of my professors . Really? Yeah. I took Apologetics under him. He came in to do one of those, you know, all day short courses for a month. Okay.

[00:04:33] And, uh, that’s why first met him and seemed like I ran to him throughout my life until I went to Ligonier, when I was still in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. That’s how far back I go. Yeah.

[00:04:45] And what, how old were you when you, when you met him? Or were you took that

[00:04:49] class? Uh, let’s see. I was, I guess I was 25. It was after my Army days.

[00:04:54] Yeah.

[00:04:56] Yeah. So what was the, talk a little bit about the Army days. What was [00:05:00] the. We’ll get, we’ll get, get to current eventually,

[00:05:03] but Oh yeah. The Lord used, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s like my little ride down Midland Road a week and a half ago in the ambulance. You know, you think this is the worst possible thing, but it was, it was great.

[00:05:13] It was great. Yeah. Same thing with, uh, my, my Army days. Um, I, uh, I was in those rebellious sixties mm-hmm. , um, and, uh, I was, uh, not gonna have anybody tell me what to do. My dad was a, was a hero and I didn’t know it. He was brilliant man, loving man, but I didn’t know it. And I rebelled against everything, good or bad.

[00:05:41] He was one of those World War II heroes, was at Dday all the way through the Battle of the Bulge and won four Bronze Stars. He never talked about it. And so I didn’t know until the day before his funeral, but uh hmm. Anyway, I was rebellious. I went away to University of Florida to do anything but study. And by the [00:06:00] fall it was getting pretty clear.

[00:06:01] My, my college days were coming to an end and I got a letter from him saying, uh, uh, you know, we’d like to know how you’re doing, you know, and we’re sending you a check every, every month to pay for things we’d like to, you know, have a letter to kind of tell us thing. And, and I wrote back to him, I probably did the meanest thing I ever did to anybody.

[00:06:21] I wrote back and said, I, I don’t, I’m not gonna write you, listen, last letter you ever receive, and this will be the last time you overhear from me. I don’t want you in my life. Um, I don’t need you basically declaring independence. Mm. Just a little or 19 years old. So, uh, and you had already

[00:06:40] decided you didn’t want to continue college?

[00:06:42] Well,

[00:06:42] no. No, but I was. Kind of in, in inevitable cause . So I went to work in, in Gainesville, Florida, in an ice house for a dollar 60 an hour, you know, where it’s zero degrees and these 300 pound blocks come down the chute and you grab it with these tongues and you [00:07:00] chop it up with the ice pick and, and try to feed it into this grinder without getting your hand gr grind, you know, for a do.

[00:07:06] So, I went from free education to a dollar 60 an hour in an ice house and mm-hmm. , that was really brilliant. . Well, I had independence. I had independence and and so, you know, it wasn’t too long, you know, that’s not gonna last long. And so I dropped outta college and those days you dropped outta college, you became one A, which means you’re eligible for the draft.

[00:07:24] And, and uh, so I was, I was drafted, um, uh, in 1970, uh, during the Vietnam War days. And, and uh, as I walked into that induction station down in Coral Gables, Florida, , there was this old man there. and I didn’t know what he was doing there. He had a big old box and he was handing out little books, and I didn’t know what it was, but he was given to everybody.

[00:07:49] And some threw in the trash, some put it, you know, uh, didn’t take one, but I took one and put it in my pocket and, uh, it turned out to be a Bible, Gideon Bible. And that, and [00:08:00] that night as I arrived at Fort Campbell and my barracks, I knew I needed help. Mm-hmm. I, I began reading that bible and I read it every night in basic training.

[00:08:11] Everybody else was sleeping. And that changed my life. It really did. I went to visited a chaplain and I knew that, uh, despite all the rebellion and mess and disappointments my life and wasted 19 years, 20 years, that, there was a God who really loved me. Mm-hmm. and despite myself and, uh, And, and fast forward not too long after that, I did had tea, getting ready to go to Vietnam and, and, uh, came home and leave and met my wife.

[00:08:41] Mm-hmm. Watch another one of those great things in life, you know, , I’m visiting, uh, the mother of an old girlfriend, , and she was still friend and, and, uh, and pita was, uh, uh, working. She was over here from England about ready to go home. Had enough of the United [00:09:00] States spent over a couple years and mm-hmm.

[00:09:02] we met and, and, uh, were together every, every day and night that, uh, that short, uh, week and a half and came, visited me up for Knox Oxford, and, uh, we said we, we need to get married before go to Vietnam. I, I don’t, I’m not sure, you know, the, we smell that, you know, you think not very far in the future when you’re, you’re 20 years old and.

[00:09:22] She was 20 as well? No, uh, no. She’s a couple years younger, older than me. Okay. And, uh, so she, she, I have more of an excuse, you know, why would you marry somebody like me? In fact, my, we right for the wedding, uh, came down for just a couple short days, a buddy of mine, uh, to get married. And just before we go down, my dad had her over at the house and, and dinner, and she couldn’t figure out why.

[00:09:48] And then afterwards she found out why he was gonna kind of convince her that she shouldn’t do this . That, that, that his son would never amount to anything. And that was the most unwise [00:10:00] thing that she could ever do. And, and so I’ll let that make her mad more convinced, you know, when somebody tells you you shouldn’t do something.

[00:10:06] And, and, and the Lord was so faithful. Um, was she a Christian at the time as well? No, the, the, the pastor that was going to the wedding, I didn’t know. I was so naive about everything. I just, I had a pastor friend that was my pastor and, and helped me, guy guided me to help me understand something about Jesus and what the cross meant, and, and putting a faith in him and praying with me and, and Bible, but I didn’t know much.

[00:10:36] And she, she knew even little, she started coming to the church after we met, but, um, it was his assistant because he became very sick and his, this assistant that met with us, like mm-hmm. the night before we were married, he was Kane Presbyterian Church, a guy named Jim Stout. And, and Jim said, uh, I don’t know if I can do this, this, this, this is just [00:11:00] not a good plan.

[00:11:01] You haven’t known each other very long. You come from different cultures, you know, uh, you haven’t known each, you know, I just, and, and, and, and I’m not even sure where you are spiritually. And, and, and, uh, But sometime around midnight, the three of us got down on our knees and not only committed our life to Christ, but our marriage to Christ, our future.

[00:11:21] And, I don’t know if I would’ve done it, but he did it. He form our marriage and , he since come back into my life, we, we, uh, text and email and sometimes talk on the phone quite a bit. He’s in bad shape. He’s not that much older than me, but he’s in bad shape out in California.

[00:11:38] But dear friend and brother.

[00:11:40] So he counseled you until midnight? Yeah. And that’s, and basically we gotta get to a certain

[00:11:45] point. Yeah. And, and and you know, and off we went and the Lord provided everywhere we went, mentors cuz we didn’t know what it meant to be a Christian, let alone have a Christian marriage and a Christian family.

[00:11:59] [00:12:00] And cuz that wasn’t the way I grew up. We never talked about the Bible. Never read the Bible. Parents got mad at some pastor and quit the church when we were young. And, and she went to the Church of England where it was just formality and go twice a year. And, and she quit long time ago. And, and, and, and so it was all new.

[00:12:22] And Lord, everywhere we went, when we, uh, finally, um, liked to couple days before I was supposed to ship off of Vietnam, a friend of mine, Fort Knox said, I’d like to go to Germany instead. And so went to Germany, uh, and she went back to England. And, and lo and behold, um, I got chosen out of thousands to come into the headquarters of Seventh Army and, um, worked for the special unit.

[00:12:51] And the next day a guy walks in and says, um, I got a Bible study for you and I want you to come to, and it was the navigators. [00:13:00] And for, we were sent over there for nine months of discipleship with the navigators. And then when we finally came back and I went back to Houston, Florida, there was a faithful pastor church there that just took me under his wing and said, um, we’re gonna start a Bible study down in Leesburg.

[00:13:18] Come on with me. You know, okay. And, and he is talked about the Lord Jesus. And he would teach me songs. And I remember coming, uh, they had a , Sunday evening service was singing Bible study. And the first time I went, I said, this is fantastic. I went up to him, I said, I know this might be irregular, but would it be possible that could borrow one of these, these books like hymn books?

[00:13:42] And because I never, these are fantastic. And so I went home, started memorizing hymns. Mm. And I thought, that’s what you’re supposed to do. And, and, uh, more and more, I, I have a young lady who is a. I think it’s senior at Clemson right now. She , she used to date my, [00:14:00] my grandson, who has graduated from Clemson.

[00:14:02] And they don’t date right now, but she still calls us Grandpa and granny. And, and she, she wrote me, uh, oh, back in the fall. We’ve been writing back and forth every week or two and, and asked me what my favorite Hymn was. And I said, I said, I said, you know, I can right now think of 10, you know, I guess it’s whichever one I’m singing right now.

[00:14:22] But I put the top of this, you know, uh, uh, be thou my vision and greatest life faithfulness. But I think it’s the third verse. It kind of kinda summarizes it all. Say, um, pardon for sin and the peace that endureth thy own dear presence, to Cheer to God strength for today, and Bright Hope for tomorrow.

[00:14:47] Blessings all mine. 10,000 beside, mm-hmm. . I gotta hold that, you know? , I may not have strength for tomorrow, but the Lord is giving strength for today. Mm-hmm. , you know, and how he could, pardon me, but[00:15:00] pardon all my sense in his presence, you know, I can lean on him whether I’m going down the road, Midland Road in the ambulance, or whether I’m out in the woods chopping up firewood and enjoying the peace out there.

[00:15:15] I’m blessed. You have

[00:15:16] quite a garden. I might, we have to get maybe permission for you to me, to share that video of your garden tour , uh, where you’re doing the voices and the gardener and

[00:15:27] Yeah, yeah. That was, uh, you know, uh, you have, uh, I raise some reason one Lord’s day. I had a little extra time and I was not planned.

[00:15:34] We

[00:15:34] really enjoyed, enjoyed that tour. And you do CrossFit.

[00:15:39] I do. That’s, that’s a, that’s a blessing in my life. Um, Uh, I, I’ve, I’ve always, uh, you know, ever since Army days, you know, I, I, we had a, a new, uh, first sergeant, uh, in Heidelberg and we were getting lazy. And he says, every day at four o’clock we’re, we’re gonna go out and do [00:16:00] pt.

[00:16:00] And we thought he was crazy and we hated it cuz it was about, it was February and it was about 10 degrees and ground was frozen, but we’re gonna run. And pretty soon we liked it. Mm-hmm. And, and after a while we felt really great. So I got out, I, I kept running and I started to getting into doing races and I was doing two a day.

[00:16:21] I get at four o’clock and four O’ classes and run, then come back and run in the evening after my studying. And, and I’ve been doing that all my life, adult life. And then I got devolve into, um, triathlon out of an army, uh, um, doctor, friend, um, mark, uh, Craigo, who. Got me in the triathlons. He was gonna do one while he was over in Afghanistan.

[00:16:44] We’re gonna do it together. And, and, uh, and then right before I was going to have my last triathlon, uh, suddenly I was in the hospitals. Hospital. Seemed to be like turning points in my life. But good points. Uh, I was rushed, [00:17:00] almost, almost died up in, uh, Frederick, Maryland. They rushed me to John Hopkins and I spent, uh, 12 days there with no food and water, just IVs in both arms.

[00:17:10] I thought I was gonna die. I had a acute pancreatitis and almost did die. And eventually they took out my gallbladder, so, um, I quit triathlons and start, I’m gonna get back in shape again and start doing marathons. So I trained for marathons and, and, uh, and uh, that’s when they diagnosed me with melanoma.

[00:17:29] And the had to go to the. Oncologist surgeon up in Chapel Hill. And, and, uh, he said, we, we gotta do, we gotta operate, right? I mean like, like sooner than later. And I said, well, you know, the end of the month, I’m, this is February of 2012, uh, I got a marathon doing in Myrtle Beach. What you do that the next day we’ll do it.

[00:17:50] So, so I was running the marathon. It was great. You know, it was, you know, just, I felt so free Lord’s presence and, and the whole way I was, [00:18:00] uh, telling people, you know, uh, um, today’s my birthday, which February 17th is, and, and the next day is my anniversary, and the next day I’m gonna have cancer surgery.

[00:18:11] And I don’t know how it’s gonna go, , I can’t lose for me to live as Christ and die as gain. And I was sharing with everybody. I was made the marathon go real well. Mm-hmm. . And it was a great time. So after that, , I couldn’t drive anymore. So I had to get my daughter who’s in the CrossFit.

[00:18:27] So we were teaching at the same school. So she, she, um, brought me to CrossFit and um, so I said, you know, I think I’ll do this after I get healed up. So I’ve been doing that for, 12 years. 10 years. 10 years, almost, almost 11 years. And in fact, that is the very place where I had my heart attack. Hmm.

[00:18:49] Another turning point in my life, which is gonna be seven years. It’s Monday, 16th of January. That’s when I was blessed [00:19:00] with, uh, my wanna know a heart attack that here we need only need one. Right. mm-hmm. . And, uh, yeah, I’d never, I didn’t know any heart problems until that day. And, uh, we were Saturday morning partner wa Wadden, I was paired up with this, uh, another wonderful friend of mine.

[00:19:16] Uh, Medical doctor, uh, Robert Robert. And I just started the, the workout and, and, uh, I don’t remember any of this, so I, I, I collapsed. My heart stopped breathing, stopped. I turned blue and a bunch of SF medics were there doing CPR on me. And another one was holding my wrist, praying for me. And, so those three guys, by the way, I, I text every day.

[00:19:37] Mm-hmm. and we’re still in contact. And, and the 16th, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll have a conversation. I dunno if you know Ben and mm-hmm. , these guys, they’re wonderful guys. Uh, Eric and Tony . Yeah. Great guys. Anyhow, so the Lord put me at the right place, the right time to have a heart attack. And, and I spent, uh, five days at the reading, um, heart hospital in a coma.

[00:19:58] They put me in a [00:20:00] coma when Lord went to body temperature. And, and then they met him back to me, into to Chapel Hill, and I woke up in to 16. Don’t remember any of that. Just another one. But you know what I remember and I was going in and out. I didn’t know, know anything and, uh, I’m probably bored because I told you the story before Nate, but I woke up and then went back out.

[00:20:20] I kept coming back in and out. But the, the verse, Philippians 1 21 kept coming, like, for me to live as Christ to die is gain. Hmm. I thought, is this gain? Am am This is my last day. Am I leaving? And then I come back, I’m back. I guess I’m living and then I’m back. And, and, and finally I came back for good. And, uh, it was, it was a great, uh, thing turning point in my life.

[00:20:44] But, what were we talking about? Talking

[00:20:46] about? Oh, we were, I was talking about CrossFit. Oh, CrossFit . And you said,

[00:20:49] yeah. So, uh, you to attribute

[00:20:50] Yeah. CrossFit probably from you coming back though. Yeah. You don’t, not, it’s not, people should not do CrossFit cuz of heart attacks. Right. You say that helped?

[00:20:58] No, I came back to [00:21:00] CrossFit, uh, within six months , and the owners are all medical people.

[00:21:04] And so they, they watch over me and I, I think I worry them a little bit more than a little bit. But I, I, I, I came back and, was feeling good until I had to have the trouble bypass. And then I was out in the six months and I’ve been doing well there until, Till last Saturday. . Mm-hmm. No, last Thursday.

[00:21:23] Yeah. It’s been a week and a half ago. Yeah. I was, I was there, uh, and uh, again, it was holiday, so it was a busy time and I was, my daughter was there and we were doing partner thing. I, no, we didn’t do anything. I was coming out. I had just changed as colds, so I just changed in the bathroom coming out and, and, uh, walk about a step and whack.

[00:21:44] I was hit by my ceal defibrillator. I’ve headed in there for seven years and it never gone off and it knocked me down and I, I staggered a few more steps and it hit me again and knocked me to the couch. And I was in greater pain than I’ve ever [00:22:00] been in. I think it’s the knock that I can remember. And, uh, anyhow, 9 1 1 was there within a couple minutes, the fire department, ems and, and, and that ride going down, I, I felt such a peace in that ambulance going down to the emergency room.

[00:22:17] I thought, I really thought today’s the day. Mm-hmm. , I’m gonna go see Jesus. I really believe that. I, I really, you know, and the, and the EMS guy that was there doing all these things five times, he stuck me trying to put a, a IV in my arm, go bouncing down middle of the road, you know, of all things. Mm-hmm.

[00:22:34] and, and, and I’ve thought, you know, that’s ridiculous. But yeah, I just really felt like the heart is, is is gone, you , I’ve already lived past the expiration. Always. He says, you know, three score in 10 if you’re blessed and 10 more, you know, I’ve already gone past the three score in 10.

[00:22:49] So I did, um, but it didn’t happen. And, uh, spent three wonderful days, the last days of the year in, in the hospital and, and they let me come home [00:23:00] and don’t have much energy. They quadrupled my medicine, which helps my heart irregularities, but it lowers my. Hard rate down to about 40. So I gotta breath easily.

[00:23:12] Mm-hmm. . So, um, but I’m blessed. I, I am, you know, wonderful wife who loves me and children who love me, and wonderful friends around the country that, how many grandkids do you have right now? Right now, I think the last count was 22. Wow. The oldest is 26 and the youngest is not quite a year old. And I got a great-grandchild too, who’s almost a year old.

[00:23:35] Wow. And, uh, my oldest granddaughter, she’s an rn and, uh, two grandchildren are in medical school and another’s gonna be a lawyer and one to a wedding. One of my granddaughters getting married this weekend. And so, you know, it’s so, so many Yeah. Exciting things are happening. Mm-hmm.

[00:23:55] a lot. One of my most memorable moments [00:24:00] with you is I think it was the, one of the first.

[00:24:03] Church leadership meetings that we had during the, the extravaganza that we’ve gone through in the last two, two and a half years, . Uh, and we were talking about, and you said, I think you said this is paraphrase, but I think you said, you know, uh, people say that I should probably stay at home during all this because you were, you met all the quote unquote risk factors Yeah.

[00:24:29] To go and hide. You could have made that case and said, oh, you know, this is, this is my, my health issues and I should just stay at my house, or whatever. But you said I’d rather die . And, uh, and I just thought it was just such a blessing Yeah. To have. And you were the first pastor of our

[00:24:49] church,

[00:24:49] correct?

[00:24:50] Yeah, it is been, uh, a lot of years. 1991 that we started at the storefront. Just say on the road from here. Mm-hmm. .

[00:24:59] So [00:25:00] I’ve, I’ve heard Dr. Merkel say, that you can, you know, there’s one way to judge a church is about how many kids you have. Mm-hmm. , that’s a health factor, which we’re doing well there. But then the other way to measure it is how many people were in the church directory, you know, five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, kind of thing.

[00:25:21] And we are blessed in our community or our fellowship to have a lot of people that were there that day at the very beginning, still there. And then a few tons that have been a decade plus, you know, our pastor now 13, 14 years, you know. Yeah. His first Sunday was my first Sunday. Wow. Um, and so it’s, and it’s just, you know, you’re Pastor Emeritus is Right.

[00:25:45] Your official title

[00:25:46] at the church. I’ve been emeritus. I’m not sure what that means, but, uh, you know, , you know, after the heart attack , I was pastoring assistant pastor at a church in Fayetteville, and I, I just couldn’t, you know, the trip, the, the, the responsibilities. I, I, you [00:26:00] know, just. Stress. I, I, I realized it was time for me to retire all my life.

[00:26:05] I said, retirement is an unbiblical or at least non-biblical thing. and God doesn’t want us to do nothing. And, um, you know, it’s a silly modern concept, this idea of you live your whole life so you can live at ease. and going back to this thing about the, the, the 2020 thing I, am convinced more than ever the most unsafe thing you can do is try to live safely.

[00:26:31] Mm-hmm. . And, uh, I think there’s some one thing worse than dying and that’s quit living. Wow. And, uh, so, uh, yeah. I am so blessed to, we, we decided to come back to the friends and people here at Sandhill and, uh, what a blessing has been. That wasn’t our plan. It was the Lord’s plan and how blessed we are to, to renew old friendships and to meet, have new ones.

[00:26:57] And we can even meet with new ones cuz we continue to ed. [00:27:00] It’s a tremendous thing to meet new people and, uh, have, uh, them, uh, part of the loving fellowship and it’s a family. Mm-hmm. . It is, and I don’t know how, I don’t know how people live the Christian life without a family. I don’t know how people live life without a family.

[00:27:15] I’m blessed with a wonderful family, wonderful church, family, wonderful friends. Hmm. And, uh,

[00:27:23] so talk, talk through your, uh, your morning routine because you, you, I get a text from you , uh, you know, every day. And I’m not the only one. Oh,

[00:27:34] almost every day. Yeah. Yeah. Well, now I’m retired. I, I tell people I sleep in to 4:45 and I used to get up by 4:30

[00:27:43] yeah. I, I, and, and people say, you must be a morning person. I said, no. It’s just the opposite. I, I, I need at least a couple of hours, hour and a half before, you know, I begin serious, uh, stuff and with people and. I, I, I get up quick, quick shower, uh, [00:28:00] dogs fed and left the mouth. And I, uh, opened my Bible, basically write my journal, um, pager two every day, basically writing to the Lord, writing about how was blessed yesterday.

[00:28:17] You know, Lord, forgive me for blowing up in my wife. Forgive me for, uh, neglecting the passage I was gonna read, or, or this and that. And thank you so much for bringing that person in for that letter from my granddaughter, , adopted granddaughter, or, uh, that, uh, wonderful phone call from my old pastor in the California who’s in his eighties and still thinks a lot of me.

[00:28:45] And, , it is a combination of that as well as in the scriptures and letting the scripture, um, Uh, speak to me. And so when, you know, it says, Lord is my portion, [00:29:00] you know, uh, my lot has, uh, has fallen un pleasant places, uh, um, in th presence is fullness of joy. is the Lord speaking to me?

[00:29:11] Lord, you’re my fullness of joy. You’re my portion, you’re my lot. And, and, and speaking to him, he’s speaking to me through the scriptures. And, and so, um, I, I usually go through the Psalms in the morning and, and, um, my wife pita, I take a cup of tea and we have our prayer time together after my prayer time and she has her devotions coming out for breakfast and we eat together.

[00:29:36] Then we have her reading the devotion book. We. Sometimes we use table talk, but then we usually read the proverb for the day. It’s 31 proverbs. We usually read that. So today we read the 10th chapter of Proverbs. And, um, and then,\ , throughout the day, I, you know, it says, uh, you know, blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the council of the [00:30:00] ungodly, stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in . The Lord and on his law, he meditates day and night and, in, in that meditation. even though I, I wanna to have a balanced diet, read the Psalms every day to warm my heart and direct my heart heaven word. I wanna be the proverb day to grow in wisdom.

[00:30:19] But I also wanna read, uh, the Old Testament books and New Testament gospel and epistles. So I wanna balance diet, which is , if you use the plan, Robert Shay. . Yeah, I think so. Yeah. He, he, he kinda has that plan, but I haven’t really used that exactly. But that’s kind of the balanced diet that I, that I do and try to read, um, , before bed.

[00:30:40] And I think what you do before bed is it’s, it’s like, you know, the most critical times when you, when you fly, you take off and landing. Mm-hmm. . I think that’s kind of, you know, taking off your day and, and landing, ending. Well, I think it affects how you sleep. I think the dreams, I think it, it just affects the rest of the day too, [00:31:00] and making sure that you’re prayed up, you’re, you’re confessed up know, so we were told in our constant counseling, uh, marathon counseling before and after, uh, we were married, uh, you know, don’t go the bed unreconciled, you know, and all said the Ephesians, you know, don’t let the sun go down on your anger.

[00:31:21] I can give the devil foothold and amazing, uh, how, uh, we forget those simple things. Mm-hmm. . So what else you wanna know? .

[00:31:30] Well, we had, I, whenever I, I pulled you aside, I think it was Sunday morning or Sunday night, he said, why? What do you wanna do? And I said, you know, I think that, um, we talked about mentorship. Yeah. And you talked about already the Lord’s provided you with mentors and how you feel like that’s kind of missing.

[00:31:50] Yeah. And so talk through the whole wisdom of 20 years past thing that we

[00:31:54] talked about and, you know, I think, I think wisdom is gained by, by [00:32:00] being stupid and doing stupid things. And I, and I’ve done a bunch of those, you know, all things to the wise person. who always had it together, always made the right decisions, who always, you know, um, seemed to just not fall into the, the, the pitholes, you know, the, the, the, the traps of the devil and things like that.

[00:32:19] But, you know, we, we ought, we ought to, we ought to, to learn from the mistakes of others. Mm-hmm. . And, and, and that’s one way we grow from wisdom. We don’t have to make all the mistakes. I remember one time, uh, I was visiting my oldest daughter who was in South Carolina, and we just came back from worship service, I guess we came back early.

[00:32:38] She was, the family was visiting or something with somebody, you know, it was just her and me. And, and she asked something about what the church did. I dunno if in the worship service or, and I was trying to be nice, but I said basically, you know, I don’t think I would do that. And she said, but you used to do that.

[00:32:57] And I said to Sarah, I said, Sarah, there were so many [00:33:00] things that I did I wish I hadn’t done, you know, . Mm. But, um, Yeah, we were talking this on Sunday. I, I, I got this theory and I can’t put my finger on a verse or scripture or read it from some wise people, and I’ve had some wise people, but, oh, the Lord’s put in my heart, or I just made it up.

[00:33:18] And I, I have this theory that the Lord gives us wisdom about 20 years late. So when we’re little boys, we need young fathers in our life to, to, to be involved with us, to take us out, to get beyond our, how should I put it, beyond our mother’s apron strings so that they’re not over us watching and, and, and screaming, you know, be careful.

[00:33:45] Don’t get too close to the edge, and things like that. So we learned how to be a man by and not being purposely dangerous and stupid, but at the same time learning how to get out of our comfort zone. And, you know, Walk or [00:34:00] hike or run farther than you thought you were able to, to climb higher than you thought you were able , to go off those trees , and also to, to learn, you know, that your, your life is, is , a gift and an early age.

[00:34:14] You know, learn to know the Lord and to know ’em well in the scriptures and, and follow in those paths and, and, and all the way up. So when you’re a teenager that you have somebody that is 20 years in advance. . And I gotta tell you, you know, everybody says, um, know, listen to me. But when you’re going through those teenage years, you don’t wanna listen to anybody and we gotta teach ’em all your life.

[00:34:39] You need to walk with the wises. Mm. You need there, there’s, there’s safety in the council of many. , and we gotta teach ’em to take that, cuz I didn’t. when I was 20, I thought I knew everything, you know, when I was a little kid, I, I thought there were no dangers out there. Uh, I can jump on a bus from Kes Cane and go downtown Miami [00:35:00] and spend the day and even hitchhike there when I was in junior high school and go there in the middle of the night when my parents thought I was camping out in the woods of Kibes Kane, you know, and just crazy things.

[00:35:10] We, we need to take advice and, you know, when you’re having your own kids, how stupid it is to think, you know, anything about Childrearing. Mm-hmm. . Oh, I’ve read the books, you know. No, it’s, we need grandparents. We need older people that, that tell us, you know, how to handle those things. How to handle the, the crisis.

[00:35:30] And, and we’ve already been prepared in some cases, but you, you don’t, you don’t know what the day will bring. None of us do, as I tell you about my life, you know, so the, the major things, they were the good things. because the Lord got my attention. I began to listen maybe a little more. You know, I, I dunno if I told you this, one of my best friends in seminary, and I had a wonderful seminary experience, not only that R C Sproul but I happened to start seminary in the [00:36:00] summer.

[00:36:00] I went there the summer of 74. And if you know anything about, about US history, summer of 74, it was when Watergate came to our head and, and, and President Nixon resigned. And suddenly, uh, Gerald Ford became president, which also meant suddenly one of my friends and classmates was the president’s son. And so all three years of seminary, we had Secret Service agents going with us to class and all that, that, that stuff.

[00:36:30] But, , I was blessed to through that, that, that time. , but, um, with, with wonderful counsel, uh, yeah. Is is another dear friend who was three years older than me, but he, he, he minus Mel, well, been 20 years old than me . And we have renewed friendship. In fact, he called just, just this past Sunday.

[00:36:49] And, uh, we talked and dear friend, brilliant guy, but he’s the one that’s kinda pushed me out. I want you to preach for me, first time I’ve ever been in public, I, as I said, I was so shy, I couldn’t speak, you know, and [00:37:00] mm-hmm. , and,

[00:37:00] and so you’re in seminary seminar? Yeah. Not

[00:37:02] wanting to speak in front of you.

[00:37:03] Yeah, yeah. I, I just went seminary because I want to study the Bible and theology and be around other Christians. I had no idea what training for our pastorate or being a pastor, a preacher, was all about. And, and you get outta your comfort zone. And then, uh, this guy visited who was with the, uh, greater European mission and said, we, we need help there.

[00:37:23] And oh, Lord, you know, I, I gotta. An English wife and I got an English father-in-law who was gonna pay our way, uh, to go and, and I can’t just take a summer off. So I went over there and we, we, we worked, uh, in some really poor and hard places. You know, places where you didn’t have indoor plumbing and places where you couldn’t understand a lot of their accents.

[00:37:45] I thought I un understood English accents until you got to places like Romford England, where they, where they sit at a table and they passed the ba, uh, on the wa . And, uh, so, um, but that’s my theory is, is that, you know, and [00:38:00] still now, now that I’m in my seventies, uh, I, I, I, I thank the Lord for friends like Bill bruff, who’s in his late eighties, who, you know, I talk to, not just as a friend and brother, but somebody who’s been through things mm-hmm.

[00:38:15] and, and not just to ask ’em the questions or hear the advice, but to watch their lives, watch their lives. and, um, and so, uh, the Lord has enabled me not only to have a few people, but the whole concept of of, of giving advice was so, well, they won’t want to hear it. Well, and you’re probably right, but teaching people , to hear biblical counsel from wise people who’ve been down the road.

[00:38:47] Mm-hmm. , even people that have lived some stupid, life decisions like me. Mm-hmm. , or made some really good decisions because they had some good counsel and listened. Some people did repeat those dumb [00:39:00] things, but we need to teach people to take counsel and give counsel. Mm-hmm. , on one hand, we, you know, maybe I should have told them after they went off the cliff, you know, it’s kind of a little late, you know, and mm-hmm.

[00:39:12] um, you know, I, I. I think of broken marriages. And one, one time Saturday morning, , a young man, a soldier calls me and he was kind of, um, you know, in church and out of church, but his wife was regular. And he calls me and says, you know, my, my wife, what her name was, says she left me. I said, oh, I’m so sorry.

[00:39:32] You know, we’ll pray for why, you know, why she left you? No, I don’t know why she left. I didn’t do anything. And I said, maybe that’s why you didn’t. Mm-hmm. and I, all the things I, I should have been telling him beforehand that he wasn’t doing. Yeah. He didn’t do anything. The wonder she left, you know, they crave, they crave godly leadership, Christlike, you know, love your wife like Christ, loved the church.

[00:39:57] And, and, and I don’t think [00:40:00] any wife would love, would leave any man who was loving, like Christ, loved the church, who gave himself for the church, or laid down him life for his sheep. You know, nobody would be that dumb. . But so oftentimes we we’re, we’re late. We didn’t give the advice when we should have.

[00:40:16] At CrossFit we, um, um, do murf every, uh, Memorial Day, uh, honoring Lieutenant Murphy, you know, and lone survivor, uh, movie and all that stuff in Afghanistan. And, and, uh, I, I didn’t realize that a good friend of mine that we stay in touch with, who called just recently Alex , who’s now retired down down in Tampa, he and his wife Kelly are dear friends, and we get together, spent, spent a wonderful weekend with him not too long ago, and they talked, and they called us to the hospital recently, but Alex, uh, I didn’t know this, but the night before Murf went on his little mission, Alex met with him.

[00:40:55] He was the SF team that had been over there for nine months. He said, you’re, you’re gonna get [00:41:00] revealed, you’re, it’s not gonna go. , I’ve been here, I know that territory. I know those people. Mm-hmm. , they wouldn’t listen to him. Mm-hmm. and they all got killed cuz he wouldn’t listen to him. And he’s the one that led the SF team to rescue, uh, Marcus and mm-hmm.

[00:41:17] Marcus. He was the only one. Mm-hmm. . So, you know, there’s some big consequences, some little stumbling. Well, one of the people I I, why was I talking about seminary again? Uh, one of my dear friends, best friends, uh, at seminary was, was Ron, but there’s another guy named Walt . And, and, and Walt, um, was, was single and, and a little older than the others.

[00:41:38] And, uh, he, he, uh, he got to know Elizabeth Elliot. Well, we all did because she, she lived right there in South Hamilton, but he got to know her daughter real well and married Bowery Shepherd. And, uh, um, and, uh, and they, uh, had wonderful life. But, uh, I remember getting to know Elizabeth A. Little bit because of [00:42:00] that connection, but I remember Elizabeth saying she was asked by the Women’s Seminary Association to speak to chapel about the, , trial of widowhood.

[00:42:10] You know, we all know about her husband, Jim Elliott, dying in the jungle’s, Ecuador, you know, taking a spear and trying by the people he was trying to bring the gospel to. But, uh, and then, then she came back, did a lot of writing. Eventually after taking the gospel to those people, thes, who had, uh, killed her husband, but eventually came back and wrote a lot of books and became well known and the Christian, and, and moved to South Hampton and met a professor there, a guy, um, named, um, Leach, Dr.

[00:42:40] Leach, a beloved, godly, um, professor, and they married mm-hmm. . Two years later, he got cancer and died. So they, they wanted her to come and, and talk about the, uh, the trial of widowhood. And she looked at them and said, uh, representative group said, no, [00:43:00] no, no, you could help somebody. No, I will not talk about the gift of widowhood.

[00:43:05] I’ll, I mean the, uh, trial, I’ll talk about the gift of widowhood. It was God’s gift. Mm-hmm. . And so I tell people the gift of cancer, the gift of heart attack, the gift of, uh, of, of knowing. You know, Paul says, what Second Corinthians trial always says, yeah, you know, when I’m weak, I am strong. You know, my grace is sufficient for you.

[00:43:27] Mm-hmm. . And, uh, I go back to church. pastor says, well, y’all better now. I dunno, you know, I look at this way, Nate. I said, you know, there’s three things gonna happen. Either I get worse and die and go be the Lord, or I stay the same and. . I have to trust the Lord. That’s not bad, is it? Or I get better. You know, either I, I don’t get better.

[00:43:51] I stay the same or get better. It’s okay. It, it, it’s, it’s, it’s the Lord. I’m the Lord’s right? Mm-hmm. for me to live as Christ, I’m the [00:44:00] Lord’s. Mm-hmm. purchased with the price of his precious blood. Hmm. I’m blessed. So how old are you now? Um, uh, I’m, I’m 72. I’ll be 73 next month. Okay.

[00:44:12] So can you do like a, a rapid what you’d tell a 12 year old, a 22 year old, a 32 year old, a 42 year, like the scout, quick decades, cuz you would still have their wisdom talk to

[00:44:25] I, I wish.

[00:44:26] I wish I was. I hope so. I, I love talking to your sons, especially Abel, your youngest. Uh, I dunno, he likes to talk very ever, ever, ever since. Uh, he smashed his, uh, finger at my house. vivid friends. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I hope so. And I think that’s, that’s important. And sometimes children, little children, they, they talk.

[00:44:49] That’s why I love speaking at the chapel, which I, I guess I’ll do tomorrow, uh, at the school. Uh, and the little kids, because, uh, I say sometimes they’ll listen to grandparent types [00:45:00] more than their own parents. Mm-hmm. . And, uh, so that’s an open door. But I, I, what I tell ’em is, you know, listen to parents, watch your parents.

[00:45:08] They’re not perfect, but they’re, they’re, they’re the lords. Mm-hmm. . And, and their, what they are is the, the walking objects, um, demonstrations of God’s grace. Listen, you know, Paul and all his godliness and, and achievements and, and success says, you know, the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance that Christ Keys, Jesus came to the world, the safe sinner, which I’m the worst mm-hmm.

[00:45:34] to demonstrate his grace. You know, and listen, you, you, the only kinda parent you have are. are sinners. Mm-hmm. , you love ’em because of gifts from God. And, and thank God. Do you have ones that love Jesus. They’re not perfect. They’re gonna sin and, and love covers a multitude of sin. And, but you listen to, to them because they, they, they are the ones that God has given to you to instruct [00:46:00] you and nurture you in the, uh, nurturing Adam of the Lord.

[00:46:03] And, and , it’s not gonna be perfect. , we got this idea this day and age, especially as we look at history or evaluate anybody today. And, and then it goes from, from the, um, pastor to, uh, the, um, person who helped start our country, George Washington. We find something wrong and we dismiss him.

[00:46:24] Mm-hmm. and I wanna. Is that all you know about me? ? Mm-hmm. , listen, I could tell you a whole lot worse, uh mm-hmm. , listen. If you, if you, if you, if you, you want a perfect pastor, if you want a perfect parent, uh, if you want a perfect, you know, father of our country, I’m sorry, uh, it isn’t gonna happen. The only one we have is Jesus and mm-hmm.

[00:46:44] And Paul says, , follow me as I’m following Jesus. , and that’s the way, , don’t do something stupid like me and dismiss your parents , and let ’em know you love ’em , and as, and at the same time, , understand, , learn from their mistakes.

[00:46:58] Um, they’re [00:47:00] not, they’re not not perfect. And, and as, as you’re growing up, uh, you know, you, you don’t want to be the opposite because the opposite of of bad is bad. You know, the, it’s, mm-hmm. . The opposite. Stupid. It’s probably stupid. It’s something you’re in between, in the middle there and, and, and, and you, you, you’re gonna need a lot, especially when you get to that, that adult age.

[00:47:21] It’s funny, when I was 19 and, and said, I’m nothing doing with parents and my life is over, you know, and other people have, God has a plan for my life. I remember sitting in, uh, on my, uh, pastor’s bed down in, keep his cane. You know, so everybody else, God seems to have a plan for it, but there’s nothing, you know, from me.

[00:47:37] And then later on reading the biography, a biography of, of Billy Graham when he was 19, he said, uh, my life is over. I’ve all the purpose God has, God can’t do anything with me. Uh, I guess, uh, uh, uh, there’s no reason for me to live, you know, and, and look what he did to book Graham . No, we don’t know. But you know what, um, uh, [00:48:00] you know, listen, listen to your parents and, and, and also parents bring in other people.

[00:48:05] I guess if one of the. . One of the best things, as I talked to my kids, one of the best things I did is we brought in some great people. Mm-hmm. , uh, great missionaries, pastors, but just ordinary people. Um, people that love Jesus. Uh, uh, some they still now are friends of, even they’re older. I remember the right before we moved to North Carolina, which was 34 years ago, uh, we living in, uh, Taylor, South Carolina.

[00:48:33] And, uh, had our house on the market ready to move here and went to a conference in Greenville. Uh, and, uh, they had some really good speakers there. One was Jay Adams, another one of my former friends and pastors from the, uh, Theo, uh, from, uh, theological Day Seminary days. And, um, so I went up to see him afterwards and said, this is great, you know, uh, uh, good to see you again.

[00:48:58] I know you’re speaking again [00:49:00] tonight, uh, and you hate going out. Why don’t you come to our house for dinner? So I, I brought, uh, Jay, Dr. Adams, uh, Guy’s written thousands of books and known world renowned for his counseling and all that. And he came to our house for dinner and I didn’t even to tell my wife mm-hmm.

[00:49:15] And we have, you know, six little children running around. The youngest, uh, is in diapers, little baby. And next one, Joshua, who is about four or five full of energy. And, and he, he wants to sit next to Dr. Adams. And, and, uh, and Dr. Adams said, you just call me, uh, Mr. J. And, and, uh, he sat next to him and they just hit it off.

[00:49:38] And, and I’m looking at my watch and I said, yeah, we gotta get back. I need to get you back for your thing. And, and not only that, I, I was told I’m supposed to pick up, uh, his, his, this young author, speaker, preacher guy by the name Sinclair Ferguson. And, uh, he’s waiting on the side. He’s probably on the sidewalk right now.

[00:49:57] We better. No, no, no, no, no, [00:50:00] no. Well, we’re going upstairs. Joshua wants to show me his toy box, his toy. We’re going up there and, and St. Clair first can wait on the sidewalk, forget him, . And then we go up and, and so those are the kind of people, you know, we had in our house and, and, and, uh, kids experience with all growing up.

[00:50:17] And, um, that I think that was one of the smartest things we did. I should probably do that more.

[00:50:23] I was talking with Joey today on the job site that, um, that’s what I feel like is the benefit of the church is, uh, our sons and our daughters, our wives, whatever. Everyone’s looking around and, and looking at everybody living life.

[00:50:39] And nobody’s perfect when you, when you fellowship with each other long enough, you get to see, yeah. You get to see the worst things sometimes. Yeah. And, but, um, real people. Mm-hmm. , real people seeking after Jesus sinners. Sinners saved by grace, forgiven. And, and, and. To be able to say, if you don’t wanna listen to me.[00:51:00]

[00:51:00] Yeah. Eli, you know, you’re 14 now you’re starting to think, you know, know most everything now, you know, and he say, go talk to, uh, a dozen men now. Yeah, yeah. You know, maybe, maybe 30 or 40 men. Yeah. Go fi go out to lunch with him Yeah. And talk to ’em about it. It doesn’t have to, don’t take it. Take my word for it.

[00:51:20] Yeah. Pick, pick them in, you know, pick the lineup. Yeah.

[00:51:25] And that’s good. And, and, and, and sometimes we do gotta be careful. We who are, you don’t wanna usurp the place of the, the parents mm-hmm. The father. Um, you know, and that’s one of maybe the wisest thing that, that somebody can do is listen to your father, but, but, you know, confirm what, what’s being said.

[00:51:45] And, and maybe some, you know, it’s search the scriptures. Ultimately the scriptures are our authority. Mm-hmm. , um, not, uh, my ideas or, or isn’t, and direct them that. Way and, and ultimate judgment. Doesn’t matter whether [00:52:00] this makes your dad happy or you happy or neither of you happiest question is, is please Christ.

[00:52:06] , is that the ultimate, , um, defining, uh, factor , and that’s, so important. , but, , we were like that. I was just, I, , your son’s come being , I 1450. I couldn’t wait to get out. I wanna be independent. I, I thought I was smart enough, phy, physical, uh, strong enough and, and, and mature enough and, um, you know, declare independence and all that stupidity and, and, and realizing that I never walked that road before.

[00:52:35] Mm-hmm. , I remember I was with my oldest son at Rocky Mountain National Park in a few years, uh, , that’s a bit stronger in able, you know, they had like a dozen, 14 foot. Peaks, uh mm-hmm. my place. This is a great place. It’s a beautiful place. Yeah. We were just gonna, you know, walk along, just look at the view and, and, and we’re walking, you know, [00:53:00] four or five miles past the ranger station, seeing this magnificent view.

[00:53:04] And we come to a, a turning point and one side goes down to the parking lot, a mile or so goes down, easy walk, and the other one goes off to a place called Mount Ula. Mount Ula . I, it’s one of those 14,000 plus peaks and it says, um, if you take this fork, you are headed toward, mount you. The, the trail is difficult to follow and is very steep.

[00:53:31] It crosses the transcontinental divide. And, and, and, and many, uh, lose the trail and get lost. Don’t you be one of them. . Mm-hmm. . And, and I looked at as a challenge, you know, and oh, I know where we’re going and we did it. And by the grace of God, we had never done that before. You know, I tr traveled little ones like the Appalachian Trail and things like that, but mm-hmm.

[00:53:54] Yeah, it was tough and I thought I was in good shape and we made it back and [00:54:00] justice. Were coming back to that little fork in the road. We see these, I say old ladies now, they’re probably my age now. Uh, coming, you know, and being led by this look like a retired forest ranger type lady with the smokey the bear hat and the long socks and shorts on and, and the walking sticks.

[00:54:20] And she’s leading them with great authority and, and ones behind her just timidly, kind of whatever she says, walking along. And she starts up that Mount Ula trail and I. I didn’t wanna gonna say anything about, I got to because the weather was changing. This is July. It dropped out 30 degrees by way of snow, wind and cold and steep and rocks.

[00:54:44] And, and I said to her, uh, ma’am, do you know where you’re going? Oh yeah, we’re going down to the parking lot. No, you took the wrong way. This goes to Mount Ula and there’s nothing between here for another 20 miles other than hard trail and, and [00:55:00] difficult path. And I think this is not gonna go well for you all trying to be nice and No, no.

[00:55:05] I know my way around. I know where I’m going. And, and she wouldn’t listen to us. And off she went and I thought we, she, we did our, so finally we start, we better talk to these other ladies. And finally we start talking to two or three of them and they said, wait a minute, they called her Clara. Um, we need to talk.

[00:55:22] And, and we took about finally conv. that’s the way life is. life is hard. , it’s steep and sometimes it’s easy to lose the trail. and sometimes, we don’t know where we’re going. doesn’t it just make sense? Not only is it biblical, doesn’t it make sense that we talk to somebody who’s been down that trail before?

[00:55:45] I, look back and I say, how, how foolish so often I was and still am. Yeah. Um, pick up, pick up the phone, go visit, make those, stops [00:56:00] pray a lot. But Lord uses means to answer those prayers and brings people into your life and say, you know, I wouldn’t say that.

[00:56:12] or do that to my wife. that wouldn’t be real wise and some biblical reasons why, I’m thankful I didn’t go down that trail or I did, and only by the grace of God I came back alive.

[00:56:25] Yeah. And. Uh, Kevin and I were talking, uh, a couple weekends ago, just about That’s a resource.

[00:56:33] Yeah. Like why? As specifically as men, why can’t we say, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. Help me , you know, and, and there’s a whole session. Yeah. There’s multiple pastors and you just come in and say, I don’t know. Yeah. This doesn’t seem to be going well. Can you help me? And he expressed that so often in the ministry.

[00:56:56] People come too late. Yeah. Yeah. They [00:57:00] come Yeah. A year late. Yeah. They should have come a year ago. Yeah. They should have, when you start to feel like it’s not going well

[00:57:08] before you’re at the edge of the cliff.

[00:57:10] Yeah. And, and you can tell, and that’s why I feel like is, is the benefit of being close as a church.

[00:57:16] You know, a lot of times I feel like people, as soon as they get to the point where you start to see who they really are, they get pretty uncomfortable and then they leave. That’s exactly where you want to be. Yeah, exactly. Where they see you Yeah. And they know you. Yeah. And they can say, I kind of, I can read through this.

[00:57:31] This is what’s going on. And it’s too late.

[00:57:34] You know, I, I remember a long time, um, reading a, , Franklin Graham’s book, the son of Billy Graham, uh, who runs Samaritan’s Purse. he wrote a book on his rebellious life, A Rebel with a cause, I think it was, it’s called mm-hmm. . And he talks about, uh, he was with a, uh, a godly man, a man who ran, uh, world Vision, a guy by the name of Nice Tim Bob White or something.

[00:57:55] He flew a plane, you know, and, and he’d taken him some pretty rough [00:58:00] areas. And these mm-hmm. say to Young Franklin. This, this is a God moment cuz we’re only gonna make it outta here if God will. So. Mm-hmm. , this is a God moment, you know? And, and sometimes we we’re in God moments we’re only unless the grace of God, you know, we we’re not gonna make it.

[00:58:16] And, and it’s not that we foolish put ourselves in deep water and you can’t swim and, and, and things like that. But, but, but sometimes God’s gracious province is moving us there where we, we sometimes have to simply say, I don’t know. I’m not able. And that’s humbling. And , we don’t use that word and we surely don’t teach it and, and, and practice it very well.

[00:58:46] Even among Christians, even in the church. Mm-hmm. , I remember just after I had my heart attack and some people, nice people visit me and, and some old friendships renewed like my friend Will Shepherd, married Valerie. . And, [00:59:00] and he came visit with me and he, he was playing a church, uh, down at Southport. Uh, and, uh, it wasn’t going well.

[00:59:07] And, and Walt said to me, bill, I need help. Uh, okay. He came visit me and he said, I, I need some counsel. And on pla church planning, and, you know, and, and there I lay, lay in bed and I, I said, you know, Walt, you should have come to me 30 years ago when I knew everything. , . You know, we, we think we, we were, you know, that’s, I think our, our greatest problem is, is ourselves.

[00:59:29] We deceive ourselves better than we deceive anybody else. Mm-hmm. And we don’t even know that. We don’t know. And that’s a problem. That’s a problem. We don’t even know. We don’t know. And we need to be taught that, uh, that, you know, maybe I’m wrong. Mm-hmm. , you know, I, you mentioned about don’t knowing and, and admitting that that’s, that’s humbling.

[00:59:51] Mm-hmm. , I come to tell people I can. I can answer any question in the Bible. I’ve, I’ve and a [01:00:00] lot of us with the answer, I don’t know. I don’t know if I knew the mind of God, it’d have to be God. Right. And we mm-hmm. , we get this idea Someday I’m gonna know it all. I think the more we we know, the more we learn.

[01:00:13] We don’t know mm-hmm. . And so we, we, we need to teach and model humility, not just as a, you know, that’s a nice, nice little spiritual fruit to put on our badges. No, it’s, it’s a practice every day. We don’t know what a day will bring. Mm-hmm. , uh, you know, we think we can. And, and, and the proverb says, you fool, you don’t even know what a day will bring.

[01:00:40] Mm-hmm.

[01:00:41] It’s a pretty good way to end it. Yeah.

[01:00:43] You fool. You fool . Yeah. , , I talk about, you know, favorite hymns and favorite verses. Uh uh, nobody has, uh, you know, psm, uh, I mean Proverbs 31, 1 as their favorite, uh, verse, you know, it starts off with you stupid person.

[01:00:59] You [01:01:00] know, there’s nobody stupider than ever lived , you know, and, and you know, that’s, yeah. One of the farmers says how many dozens of times, you know, the stupid man is the one who doesn’t take rebuke, the one who doesn’t take counsel that doesn’t listen. Mm-hmm. . Bunch of stupid men who need to repent, need to, uh, ask God’s forgiveness and be renewed in our dependence upon him and, and, and, and to rely upon the means, gracious means supplies.

[01:01:34] Amen. Amen. ,

[01:01:36] Thanks again for listening to the episode. With pastor Bivins. If you got any value out of this, share it with a friend. And as I said, at the beginning of this interview, look around in your immediate. Physical geographic church circles for an older man. That may have some wisdom that will. [01:02:00] Help you avoid some consequences for your lack of wisdom or your ignorance.

[01:02:04] Right now. Were investing that time with somebody who has traveled the path before you. I will make the path easier for you. We’ll build you up. We’ll allow them to continue. To provide value to you and enable you to do things better in your life for the glory of God, for the betterment of yourself, your family, and your local community.

[01:02:31] Also wanted to mention real quick. I will be in. Battleground Washington in. May. The fifth and 6th of May. The traditional fatherhood intensive will be held on April 5th and sixth.

[01:02:47] Out there at Croi. Wiley’s church. I’ll be there. Rory groves there’ll be there. So any of y’all in the Midwest or any of y’all that are game to travel that want to hang out with me. Rory Grove CR Wiley [01:03:00] at their church, and there’s going to be a barbecue afterwards on Saturday night. So we’ll be there talking about purpose.

[01:03:07] Provision and protection. No surprises. I’ll be speaking on. Protection. And so we’ll be doing a hour, we’ll be talking on a theology of violence and also how to become more dangerous so mark your calendars, fifth and six.

[01:03:23] Of may. And. Look for the link to go live. We kind of have a splash page up right now, fatherhood intensive.com and that will redirect to the event page. As soon as that is live, we’re looking to have that event bright live by Sunday night and looking forward to seeing. Some of y’all there. As always have good one.