Merry Christmas! As we come to the end of 2018, I have just walked through one of my most unique ministry experiences. Since God called me to preach in 1990, many times I have prayed for the sick. Marvin’s story is unlike any other though. The family has given me permission to share. I think you will be encouraged by it. Marvin Revell died on November 21 at age 83, but his story began on September 30. On that I day I received an urgent call to come to the hospital. Marvin’s son, Dean, told me “They found internal bleeding and can’t get it stopped. There’s nothing they can do. We don’t know how long he has.” Dean is the Father-in-Law of our granddaughter, Jessica. When I arrived, I visited with the family learning more about Marvin’s condition. All his family had been contacted and people were planning to get there as soon as they could to see him before he died. I sat next to Marvin as he lay on his hospital bed. His skin had lost natural color and was as white as could be. His finger nails were yellow. His face was gaunt looking as he had experienced much weight loss. He was unresponsive. His eyes were closed, and his head would occasionally shift back and forth like he was uncomfortable or just restless. Even so, I began to talk with him. Up to that point, I had only met him once before. “Hi Marvin. I’m Clint Decker a minister in Clay Center. I’ve been told you’ve been going to church since you were a boy. That’s great to hear, but in a little while you might be entering eternity, and I want to be sure you are prepared to go.” In my time with him I read from Psalm 23, Psalm 46, John 11, explained the gospel, then prayed for him, praying for his healing and for him to turn to Jesus with all his heart. After I finished praying . . . – READ MORE FROM CLINT DECKER’S LETTER
In the spring of 1997 I was pastoring the Osawatomie Wesleyan Church in Osawatomie, Kansas, just 30 minutes outside the suburbs of Kansas City. One day I received a call from Pastor Dave Redmond. He was a friend and prayerfully contacted me to ask if I would be interested in coming on his staff to be the Assistant and Youth Pastor at the church he led. We set a time when I would come and interview with the church leadership and see the town. When the day came, I climbed in my little red Toyota Corolla and headed west. As I drove along I-70 I saw exit 313 to Manhattan, so I turned off and drove north a few miles on Highway 177 until I reached the city. It was a beautiful town, but I was just passing through on my way to Clay Center. I continued north out of Manhattan driving on Highway 24. As the miles passed I started to become concerned. All I could see were sprawling fields of crop land and pastures for cattle that sat underneath wide-open skies. I also saw old farm houses and new homes that dotted the landscape. In nearly 30 minutes I passed through only one tiny town that did not even have a stop light. As I drove on I remember saying to myself, “Where is this place? It’s out in the middle of nowhere.” Soon, in the distance I saw something that looked like a water tower. I thought, “Ah, the sign of a town!”. . .(Click on the thumbnail picture to read the full newsletter as it shares the vision for rural ministry and upcoming ministry activities this fall and winter.)
HOPE FOR TODAY
When Clint Decker’ father passed away in November 2017, he had no regrets. Nothing went through his mind that he wished he would have said or done that he did not. He loved him. But his dad’s death culminated a long 26 year journey of forgiveness. In Clint’s February column, he open’s up and tells his story about how he learned to love his dad and accept him as he was, and not as Clint wanted him to be. [Click on the picture to read the February column]
“Where is God in your new year?” That’s the title of my January column. It’s so easy in our fast paced, tech-savvy, do it yourself world that we can easily side step God. Well of course, He can always be the window dressing, like the cross on our wall or Bible sitting somewhere in the house. But to truly make Him the center, where we revolve around Him rather than Him around us, that will make a whole different 2019. Read my column and tell me what you think. Click on the picture to read the full column.