Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Grateful for the Life and Ministry of Don Miller

I first met Don Miller when I was a seminary student and he touched my life. He was a spiritual giant in my mind. I invited him to lead prayer conferences where I served as pastor on multiple occasions. He and TW Hunt were the two greatest men of prayer I have ever known. I was blessed to get to know both of them. Don faithfully prayed for me daily for over 30 years. What a gift!

This past Wednesday, Don Miller, at the age of 93, stepped into Heaven. Yesterday morning, I drove down to Fort Worth from Shawnee, Oklahoma (where Fern and I are helping to take care of our 2 year old grandson and our new born grandson) to attend Dons funeral.

The service was simple and unique. It began with a 10 minute montage of Don's life, actually Don and Libby's life. Libby has been a wonderful partner in ministry for Don.The music was simple consisting of several classic hymns especially on prayer. The highlight of the service was each of the four children sharing their remembrances of their dad. It was justifiably heavy on family and focused on their precious memories of Don as a man of God.

Here, for me, are some bits of wisdom from the life of Don Miller for me. Don said, "When you find yourself in the darkness, simply pray, 'What now, Lord? 'Now listen for God's answer." "When you read your Bible, look for God on every page? What is God telling you about Himself?"

He often prayed, "Lord, make me humble, make me real, and make me honest."

For Don, prayer was war. It was taking back from Satan what he had stolen from God. It was the passion of Don's life to see another awakening. He wanted to see the people of our nation turn to God.

He often said that Matthew 26:41 was the greatest prayer package in the world. Moreover, he encouraged people to meditate on Matthew 26:36-46. Let this soak into the depths of your soul!

A final thought of Don's shared during his funeral was his belief that the local church is the hope of the world. Whatever God will do in the world, he will do through the local church.

These are a few of the spiritual nuggets from Don that will live with me the rest of my days. My prayer now is, "Lord, raise up more men of God like Don Miller, men mighty in prayer."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Letter to My Grandson, Henry, on the Occasion of his Second Birthday

Dear Henry,

Today marks your second birthday. Even though you have been in our family for just two short years, we hardly remember a time when you were not here. You have been an incredible source of joy for your parents, grandparents and all who have come to know you and love you.

Proverbs 17:6 tells us that "children's children are the crown of old men." That simply means that I (we) think you are incredible in every way. For me, it has been special to watch you grow, although we have not been as close to you this past year as your first.

Our family has seen some major changes. Fern (Mimi) and I have returned to Virginia where we both are teaching as adjunct professors at Liberty University. And your family moved from Missouri to Oklahoma when your Dad joined the faculty at Oklahoma Baptist University. The most difficult part of that transition has been not getting to see you and play with you every day and get wonderful hugs.

In the past year you have grown remarkably. Although all of us wish that you might have packed on a few more pounds and slept a little more, your physical growth has not been the most exciting even though youve learned to walk, talk, and play this year. To watch you grow in your language skills, your relationship skills, your love for being read to, and your zest for life is the part that we have been most astounded by! You are growing up right on schedule as God planned for you and for that, we are grateful.

Even though we do not get to see you daily, please know, however, that we think of you and pray for you every single day.

Now, along with giving you an incredible Mom and Dad who take great care of you, God is going to give you a little brother very soon. You do not really know what that means now, but God is getting ready to make you a big brother. That is an awesome thing! When this new little guy arrives, he will grow to become your best friend. It is really special to have a brother or a sister. Your Dad has Uncle Patrick, and your Mom has Aunt Hilary. They each are very special relationships. And now, you get to have that very special relationship as well.

Henry, you are loved more than words can describe. All of us in your family want to see you continue to grow and develop, and become everything God intended when He first created you.

You are growing up in a world that can be scary and wicked in too many places. It seems that darkness is really dark, but light is really light. My prayer for you is that you embrace God's light and that you let it shine through your life. Scripture tells us that Jesus came to be the light of the world and that He came to bring light and life to everyone. Of course you do not know what this means now, but in time you will.

I pray that God's hand of protection, guidance, and blessing will be upon you all the days of your life and that you will completely fulfill the will of God for your life. I am confident that God created you for a purpose and we pray that as time passes you will grow to embrace that purpose and live your life to the fullest. I believe in you and look forward to seeing God do great things in your life. As you launch into the "Terrific Twos," we are excited to see what life brings your way.

We all love you more than you will ever know.

With much love and gratitude to God for you,

Your Granddaddy (GaGa)

Dr. Jerry Sutton