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Called by Name

1923800_20980323557_8421_n[1]Dad’s been gone for 6 years now, but I still remember how he used to say my name when he called me on the phone.

When I saw him day to day, I don’t ever remember him calling me “Roger.” It was always the shortened nickname, the same name he used when referring to his brother, his only sibling whom I’m named after, who was killed in World War 2. Dad always called me “Rog”.

But when he would call me on the phone, I think he felt he needed an extra syllable to get my attention. It was a sweet sound, Dad’s greeting, for it always began somewhat melodically.

“Hello,” I would answer.

“Ro-og” He would greet me, elongating the nickname, preserving the familiarity, saying hello.

“Hey Dad!”

I wonder if I ever noticed then, but I certainly thought of it after he was gone.

To this day, no one in the world says my name like that. I would love to hear that sound again. Someday I will.

The most moving scene in all of Scripture

Mary stands weeping outside the tomb. Her pain is deep; her hope is gone. On top of all that has happened, now it appears that someone has stolen the body of her Lord.

She peers into the grave, and there are two strange figures sitting where Jesus’s body had lain.

They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”  John 20:13 (ESV)

And then she turns around…and Jesus stands before her…but she is clueless. She thinks He is just the gardener, that this meddling man may be responsible for relocating the body. She has no category in her mind for resurrection.

“Tell me where you have lain him, and I will take him away.” And then, apparently, she turns away from him, perhaps not expecting an answer.

And then…”Mary”.

Or if you prefer, “Ro-og”. That’s how I imagine it, anyway, as if one day I picked up the phone and Dad was on the line…again. “Ro-og”. Can you also imagine…the one you loved so much, saying your name again?

And she knows. Nobody said her name like that. Nobody said her name like Jesus.

And so she turned around, “Rabboni!”

And one day, so shall He say your name. And one day, so shall those you love who have died in Him…say your name. Such is the reality of resurrection.

For Monday, November 2: John 21

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Don Knowlton’s Beautiful Feet

More than once when I was in college, I received a check from a friend of my parents named Wally Qualley. Yep, that was his name. I don’t remember anything about this man who sent me at least a couple of checks for about $500 each, except that I had a sense he was wealthy, and wanted to help out the son of old friends. Kinda cool.

Well, one day, some many years later, my dad asked me to read a letter he had written…to Wally. Dad had come to Christ during my college days, and after a time, the Lord put Wally Qualley on his heart. As far as my father knew, his old friend didn’t know Christ, and If possible, Dad wanted to “make an introduction”.

Dad’s letter to Wally captures the spirit of one of the most beautiful passages in Paul’s letter to the Romans. It is found in chapter 10, where the apostle writes…

But how are they to call him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him “of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14, 15

In the spirit of my father’s beautiful feet, I include here the full text of his letter…

June 17, 1997

Dear Wally,

You have been on my mind for the last several days – I know you are hurting and lonely. If you will bear with me for a few paragraphs, I have a short story to tell you.

Sometime in the early to middle 80’s, Eleen and I became disenchanted with our church. She was more discerning than I by far. We had been growing apart for sometime and I believe we were searching for spiritual answers. We watched religious programs, visited churches and generally immersed ourselves in seeking. Eleen and Roger were way ahead of me in coming to the Lord, but with both of their help, I came to the Lord Jesus Christ on March 16, 1986. Eleen gave me a rather abrupt wake up call shortly before that time with the admonition to me saying, “You know what’s right.” (And I did know what’s right.) We have grown much closer together since that time.

Wally, the good news stated in the Bible is that, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

I believe that we are all sinners and need to confess these sins. Christ died on the cross for all of our sins and was resurrected three days later to sit at the right hand of God.

Wally, I spent the first 62 years of my life thinking I was a Christian only to find out that I wasn’t.

You have been a good friend over the years, and I would be remiss in not telling you about Jesus. This has to do with where you spend eternity, and it’s never too late to decide. You have to take action and ask Jesus into your heart. If you have a Bible, I would refer you to several verses. Romans 10:9, Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:13.

I’ve probably done a poor job of explaining the love of God and salvation but it’s true and there for the asking. Please give serious consideration, you’ll never be sorry.

Love,

Don

Sometime ago I told about Dad’s letter in a sermon, and then recently, a friend told me that she had written a “Wally Qualley” letter to someone she loved. Maybe Dad (and my friend) are the forefront of a trend.

So get on the wave…who is your Wally Qualley?

 

If you’re interested (and want to indulge me!), here’s the article I wrote about about how one of the greatest men I have ever known, my dad, came to Christ.

For Friday, April 3rd: Romans 11

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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