Friday, March 1, 2019

Dr.John's Stories and Prayers: Valiant Men

Dr.John's Stories and Prayers: Valiant Men: I Samuel 10: 26 NKJV " And Saul also went home  to Gibeah; and valiant  men  went with him, whose hearts God had touched." Once ...

Valiant Men

I Samuel 10: 26 NKJV "And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched."

Once Samuel announced God's appointment of Saul as king of Israel, some dramatic things began to happen, just as Samuel had prophesied. 

In the midst of the opening days and weeks of Saul's kingship. God began to show up. "The Spirit of God came upon Saul" (I Samuel 10:6), and he called the people of Israel to holy warfare.

Saul met up with a group of prophets (I Samuel 10) and was filled with the Spirit of God. The transformation of Saul's being filled with the Spirit was so dramatic, that a man fearful of public speaking became a prophet! 

Valiant men gathered around King Saul, attracted to the charisma of the Spirit of God that was upon him. Saul, along with these courageous warriors, went to war against the godless and idolatrous Ammonites, and were victorious.

A valiant person is brave, courageous, and fearless in the face of danger. When I think of valiant men and women, I think of courageous people of faith who faced the danger of impossible odds with a reckless abandonment of themselves to a mighty God whose purpose seemed to call them to an impossible task.

I think of Dr. Becky Luman. I first met Becky when she was a student at Mount Carmel High School in 1969. My parents were teachers and dorm supervisors at Mount Carmel. Becky was a preacher's kid from Pennsylvania who enrolled as a dorm student. She was appointed to her student work assignment as our family housemaid. I followed her life and career. In 1989 she was employed full-time at Wesley Biblical Seminary. She advanced from secretary to the president to a full-time member of the faculty. 

In 2013, Dr. Luman valiantly accepted a role as a member of a presidential search committee at WBS. I was the candidate. In the midst of organizational chaos and despair, Dr. Luman saw hope for a future. The search committee recommended me to the Board of Trustees and I was hired as the president. This valiant woman led a charge of faith, hope, and victory, and now she is completing her 30th year at WBS. 

In 1998, Rev. Rob Pocai became one of my students and advisees at Kentucky Mountain Bible College. In February 1999, he surrendered his all to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and was dramatically and remarkably filled with the Holy Spirit. In 2013, Rob was pastoring a church in Kentucky. He was living in his dream home. Life was comfortable for Rob, Holly, and their daughter, Isabella. 

I will never forget calling Rob on May 4, 2013. Weeping as I spoke, I said, "Rob, the WBS Board of Trustees has interviewed me for the presidency of WBS. If this happens, I need you on my team."

It did happen, and Rob, called by God, joined the team. This valiant man of courage and faith left everything comfortable behind to become a leader at Wesley Biblical Seminary. 

Valiant people make a mighty difference. Valiant people like Dr. Matt Friedeman, Dr. Steve Blakemore, Dr. Rick Boyd, Dr. Gary Cockerill, Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer, and Peggy Price, filled with the Spirit of God stepped forward at Wesley Biblical Seminary to advance a mission for the authority of Scripture and the call to holiness. 

Today, Wesley Biblical Seminary is impacting students from 18 states and 11 nations. Governance and fiduciary crises are behind us. We are moving into a new campus in Ridgeland, Mississippi. We are approaching record enrollment. And we have had a front row seat to some of the greatest miracles of our lives. 

"Valiant men when with him, whose hearts God had touched." I am thankful for valiant men and women of courage, faith, and resolve who have blessed my life.