The Old Cowboy this morning has been pondering the fact that I have learned a lot from folks that are over eighty years old. A couple of the lessons I have learned are worth repeating here, In his musings the Apostle Paul tells us of the the influence the great Jewish Rabbin Gamaliel had on his life in Acts 22:3-ff and then we read of the people’s respect for Gamaliel in Acts 5:34-39. Paul’s education as most know started in Tarsus, the capital city of Cilicia in Asia Minor. It is interesting to me that the city was a great trade center and the home of a great university.
Many who read my musing today have spent time around a great university, and have been influenced by great teachers. Several have in one way or another influenced me and how I finally grew up. There have been teachers and great examples like Dr. Clyde Woods at Freed-Hardeman University, who still teaches, and his upper division Greek class will keep you up at night. Many of the books in my library traveled from his hand to mine. I have learned a huge number of things about the early church at the feet of Dr. Evrett Ferguson who for years taught at Abilene Christian University and is still writing books. Sitting on my desk right now is Dr. Stafford North’s book on Revelation and his book on how to construct a sermon. Stafford still teaches at Oklahoma Christian University and for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver Colorado. Some of my most enjoyable times these days come from sitting for a few hours talking about church and Bible things with Bill and Patty Kinney here in Omaha. Bill preached in Texas and Oklahoma and was an elder for many years here in Omaha and he still preaches a good sermon. I mention all of these people today partly to say thank you. The lessons learned from each of these 80 plus year old individulas include, keep working, don’t quit, there is more to do, the job is not finished.
Country music legend George Jones recorded a song entitled “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.” Yep I am aware that song is about country music legends, however the lesson still stands for this post. We do in the brotherhood have a wagon load of other outstanding teachers and great examples. Allow me to encourage you to take the time to say thank you to these great teachers, encourage them and support their efforts any way possible. Then step back and take the time to do the same for our young students and young first time preachers. Take them by the hand and help them through the rigors and disappointments they will encounter along the way.
I would like to add a little comment to the end of this post today. The Old Cowboy posts and comments to this point have been true stories right out of my experiences and past, and some of the thoughts that have crossed my mind during the experiences.