Heroes Across Pacific Magazine


By Bill Ellis

SCOTT DEPOT, WV (ANS) -- Minutes before Kitty and I were to leave for morning worship to hear Dr. Kenneth Toler preach another superb sermon, we received a call informing us the service had been canceled because of too much snow.

We then traveled to Christ Fellowship without any difficulty. Dick Davis directed the choir and congregation in singing some of the great hymns, accompanied by his talented wife, Sally, at the piano. After 35 minutes of music, Dr. Rodney Taylor entered the pulpit to skillfully exposit the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua. What happened in that chapter is a most intriguing and exciting story.

It is the narrative of how God used the harlot, Rahab, to save the nation of Israel. She hid two Israelite spies at her house, the house of a prostitute. Read her story and find out how important she was in God’s plan. She became an ancestress of David and of Jesus. Michael Bowers and Dick Davis followed this masterful sermon with a thrilling vocal duet.

I kept thinking about a verse I once read in what is believed to be the oldest book of the Bible. Here’s its question: “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?” (Job 38:22). On that beautiful snowy Sunday morning we had a worship experience we will long remember.

Earlier, I mentioned to a friend that we were going to an organ concert that afternoon at the Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church in nearby Hurricane. I began by telling him that widely acclaimed organist, David Hegarty, who works primarily in San Francisco and New York, would be the guest artist. Of course, I had to tell him about their magnificent Harrah Symphonic Organ which has the largest draw knob console in the world.

The organ is a six manual and pedal organ with 456 draw knobs, 2600 actual pipes and more than 20,000 digital pipe notes. The digital reproduction of sound in this tremendous instrument is supported by 148 speaker systems and has 10,400 watts of power. After telling him about this fantastic instrument he exclaimed, “A treasure in our own backyard!”

Don’t dig up the backyard looking for a chest of gold your great grandfather may have hidden years ago, but think about what and who is just beyond your backyard fence. It could be a treasure of men and women who are in their eighties or nineties whom you have not discovered.

You may find a great preacher-missionary like Robert Morgan or Clair Shultz and his wife, Retha; a military general like Charles Ralph Fox; or seminary dean Gene Newberry; a college president named Robert H. Reardon or talented editors like Harold Phillips and Arlo Newell; or maybe a world-wide broadcaster and author like R. Eugene Sterner; a university dean named Robert Nicholson or missions statesmen like Bob and Fran Clark or educators like Leslie Ratzlaff and Charles Bates.

Right in our own backyards, or just across the street, live some of the greatest people in the world. To our shame, they are not in the spotlight very often these days. They may feel forgotten and unnoticed. Find them, learn about them, and thank them for doing so much to make the world a better place in which to live.

The book from which I heard such a splendid sermon on a snowy Sunday morning states: “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave” (Matthew 20:26-27 NLT). There are great treasures close to where you live. Dig until you find these valuable leaders and learn from them.

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist, and convention and conference speaker on every continent. He is the writer of more than 1600 columns and widely known as a motivator utilizing enjoyment of life and just plain fun and laughter while speaking to high school, university and professional sports teams as well as to business and professional groups of all kinds. His keen understanding of human problems make him a favorite speaker for youth, parent, and senior adult meetings. He is accompanied by Kitty, his wife, favorite singer, editor and publisher.

BILL ELLIS, P.O.Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560 or by calling: 304-757-6089.

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