- We say goodbye to our friend John who died this past weekend at age 76. His funeral was held at Maple Avenue Baptist, Georgetown, Ontario on Wednesday June 8, 2016.
- John finished well!
The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak .......where Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
"...Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand..." ~ Judges 6
- I love this encounter between Gideon and the angel of the LORD we find recorded in Judges 6. While Gideon was threshing wheat and encountered this angel, remarkably this angel addressed Gideon as "...mighty warrior". This passage may be humorous to some because here was Gideon fearfully hiding out from the enemy. Gideon's response (really it was an excuse) was that he came from a poor family and he was seemingly not a hero. However, the angel of the LORD saw Gideon quite differently! The angel saw the potential that Gideon was. Gideon, as we see later, rose to the occasion when he began to see himself as God saw him!
- The scene is framed in the words of this passage: "The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand". ~verse 14
- I met John last summer when he'd moved to Georgetown from BC, in the senior years of his life. I remember back to that first meeting when he first attended our bible study. He showed up causally-dressed in a jean jacket, jeans & running shoes flashing a crooked grin. I noticed that he had a determined look in his eye. It was sort of like he was saying, "...this ain't my first rodeo you know".
- As we got to know John, he shared decades worth of life-experience as a christian, a half-century as a husband to the same wife, a loving father and grandfather – all significant accomplishments!. He loved to pray and study the Word, He'd had serious heart surgery, and many other health concerns, He'd been presented with some real big challenges in his life as he related them to our bible study group. John however took all these challenges in stride, and with a big smile and determination to "...Go in the Strength you have!" .
- John spent many hours praying lovingly for all the members of his family; He continually reminded us of how important family & extended family were to him! He was determined to show God's love to them, and represent God well!
- In my study, I encourage all to participate at a personal-level by sharing faith and life-experience stories that correspond with and are appropriate to the text we are studying. My memory particularly goes back to when we passed through the book of James in our study; John seemed to just "come alive" as we discussed the theme "FAITH without WORKS is DEAD". John very much wanted to make sure his faith and life was congruent to this passage. I always very much enjoyed John's stories of faith and hearing how God was at work in his life, and his plans for the future. God was at the forefront of his life, always leading him, always teaching him!
- "...Go in the strength that you have!..." As this passage challenges the reader, John was living this passage out "Going in the strength that John had!
- I spent lots of time with John and discovered so many rich qualities in his life!
- John lived a life of faith, prayer and obedience; service and humility were natural outcomes of his time spent with God!
- John saw himself empowered by Christ as a Mighty Warrior! ...and he was all of that!
- John was determined not to allow his frailties to interfere with what God had given him to do. John was faithful to God & knew the scriptures and understood God's heart and power. He recently was inspired by a Brantford pastor who is making an impact on his community and John was determined to make his life count in the community that Christ had placed him in. In British Columbia, John worked with Dunamis Ministries. Locally, John had begun to be involved in Community Unity and had explained his plans to me of other ways of being involved to show Christ's Love to those around him and in his family.
- What is it that God wants YOU to do? What God wants you to do is to obey and trust Him each step of the way like John did. God is accomplishing His purposes on earth through men like John Anderson. It is a great man who is obedient to God's voice and plan for his life!
- Do you see yourself as God sees YOU?
- John, I'm going to miss you my friend! Thank-you for being a good example of someone who is living out your faith!
- 49 years ago, (March 1967), John and Jean stood in Queensway Cathedral and shared their marriage vows. They promised to be faithful to one another, "For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, 'til death do us part."
- Jean says, "In spite of all the challenges we have faced as a couple and a family, we are grateful to God that we did not give up on each other. We can look back after 49 years and rejoice that the Lord helped us to remain faithful to the vows we made almost a half century ago. I Corinthians is the secret to a successful marriage."