Friday, February 20, 2009

Sitting with a GIANT

Tuesday morning after breakfast, I (along with my pastor, Tommy Oglesby, and our youth minister, Kevin Welborn) received a special blessing by getting to sit and chat with a fellow who I consider a giant. He has preached and pastored for over 50 years. He has authored several books, produced many Bible study series, conducted seminars and conferences all over the country, served as president of the SBC, and so much more could be said about this person. His name is Jerry Vines. To me, he is a legend, a celebrity, and certainly, a hero of the faith.

Indulge me for a moment to make a side comment.

Men like Jerry Vines, Adrian Rogers, W. A. Criswell, and Jerry Fallwell are rare blessings from God. God uses men like them to shape whole denominations and to stand as beacons in the night giving direction and rallying other men of God to stand with them. Three of those four have already gone home to be with the Lord. Let us treasure the treasures that God has bestowed on us by giving men like Jerry Vines to our generation. Americans honor athletic talent, Hollywood celebrities, and even the infamous. I believe we should reconsider who we call heroes and revere a life given to eternal things.

Ok, back to my story.

Needless to say, spending time with Bro. Jerry thrilled my soul. He told us about what he is doing and the plans he has for his ministry. He asked our opinions on stuff. Did you catch that? Jerry Vines asked for MY opinion. Amazing. For half an hour we all chatted. My week was made in 30 minutes.

We were all in Euless, Texas, for an SBTC Empower Conference. We heard great preachers including Jerry Vines, of course, and also Emir and Ergun Caner, and others. Ricky Skaggs performed as did the Booth Brothers. We had a great time. Breakfast was the icing on the cake.

Later in the day as I reflected on time spent with a man I consider a giant of God, a thought struck me. We are all giants to someone. We may not know who that is but I believe we are heroes to other folks. Dads and Moms should be heroes to their kids. Church leaders are often admired by congregants. A stranger may witness an act of kindness we do and be moved. The possibilities are enormous. The impact can be immeasurable and eternal.

Paul and Peter told us to be sober minded. For me, that means I must daily live in awareness of my influence on those whom I encounter. Let my little story of meeting Jerry Vines be a reminder to you that someone (or maybe many) is watching you. They are encouraged by your example and are thrilled spending time with you. I say that not to swell your ego but to point out that you are a Jerry Vines to someone. Do not dismiss that or take it lightly. Someone's eternity may hang in the balance.

Because He lives,