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The Journey of No Return


Only a few years will pass before I go on the journey of no return. My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me. Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility. – Job 16:22 – 17:2

One month from today, I will reach my proverbial three-score and ten years. I do not know if “by reason of strength” I will reach the four-score years or not. The genes are right, as my father will turn eighty-nine the day after I reach seventy. A little over a month later, my mother will be ninety-one.

I do not consider myself broken in spirit – except before the Lord when I consider my sins. I can certainly sympathize with David when he wrote, “Remember not the sins of my youth” (Psalm 25:7). I can also add, “the sins of my middle age and the sins of my old age.”

Nevertheless, I wonder what my remaining years hold for me. In some ways, I see myself as being at the peak of my usefulness. In other ways, I am definitely “over the hill.” Certainly, my most effective service in the years that remain before that “journey of no return” will not be in trying to recapture my youth. It will be, rather, in trying to share some of what I have learned along the way in my first seventy years.

That is one reason I began this blog. I have always thought that I would like to publish – someday. Someday, however, never seemed to come. To break into the publishing world requires a real “break” – and I was not willing to do what was needed to try to get that break. Some of the series of articles appearing on this blog are some of my earlier efforts, usually prepared for a class. The series on discipleship as well as the one on leadership were written several years ago. I have taught on sound doctrine a number of times, but did not preserve anything but power point outlines, so this is newly written material, with the first post on 1/8.

I have several things I want to write about if I can get it done. Some of these will come out in the course of time without being set apart as a series of articles. Some will be single articles. One of these things is my own personal evolution as a preacher – from one who resisted the thought of salvation by grace apart from works (I previously maintained Paul was speaking in Ephesians 2:8 of the works of the Law of Moses). This evolution also involved significant changes in how I read Scripture, another way of saying Hermeneutics. I have written some already on how the Bible uses Truth and how we can understand truth, plus several other posts that touch on this matter.

I want to explore the nature of faith and repentance, as well as what it means to walk in the light. I want to discuss missions, both at home and abroad. I believe we have made a lot of mistakes in how we do missions that have resulted in much heart-ache, disillusionment, and poor stewardship. I also believe that some of what I have learned by experience on the mission could be applied at home – but is not in the majority of congregations.

Hopefully I will be able to write on these and other matters at time goes by – and that you and many more will find these musings of a rapidly aging servant of God of interest and, more importantly, of value.

Please feel free to make comments. If nothing else, comments help me to realize that real people are reading these jottings – and thus helps to counter the discouragement that can creep into our hearts even in the best of times. Without comments, all I have to judge the effectiveness of what I am writing is through the blog statistics provided by wordpress.com. I would much rather hear from real people.

Also, if you think these are of any value, tell others about this site – or better yet, post a link on your own web page. I shall be happy to return the favor without passing judgment on how “worthy” you and your ideas may be.

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4 Responses

  1. Jerry,
    I truly appreciate your thoughts, and Sheryl & I are very fortunate to have shared a significant portion of our years being influenced by you from the time of our conversion till now. From bringing us to Christ in the beginning & then several years of bible studies, then being reunited at Northeast and working with you at the Care Center, you have influence me more than you can imagine. Three people have made me the man I am today, Jesus, my mother and you. I thank you for your love for God and your desire to help others come to know Him that they may grow in their love for Him and grow in their faith as I have experienced in my 2 score and fifteen years.
    Tony Coccia

  2. Tony,

    You and Sheryl are 2 of my favorite people too. I thank you for your kind comments, though I doubt I deserve as much credit as you are giving me. It is nice to be appreciated. How long has it been now? 25 years or so that we’ve been friends?

    Jerry

  3. It has been at least 25 years – I was back in High School then! You may remember me being on a TV show with Mark Frost and some other teenagers from the area…Tony’s name came up during our discussions.

    • Lynda C,

      I remember that occasion. I did not remember that Tony was mentioned in any way. I believe I first met him in the summer of 1984 – which would make it just over 25 years ago.

      Dad

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