Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What Goes Around...

Check back here every Wednesday for a few thoughts on the craft. Here are today's:

Wednesday's Writing on Writing...
It’s Amazing how time speeds as you grow older. When my parents used to talk about “twenty years ago,” it seemed a different era. Now “thirty years ago” rolls easily off my tongue and seems like yesterday.

Yesterday, while emailing my old friend Sammy Tippit (left), I was reminded of when Sammy (left) and I met in 1972. He was a 25-year-old street preacher in Chicago and I was a 23-year-old editor of a Sunday school paper. I did a story about his having been arrested for passing out tracts in front of strip clubs and interfering with traffic (in other words, impeding business).

Sammy was acquitted, of course, but I clearly recall being overwhelmed by the sold-out nature of this young man. He had become a believer in Christ while a gifted university student, then simply surrendered his entire life to God.

Sammy would go anywhere and do anything to spread the news of salvation. He became the subject of my very first book and remains my spiritual hero. Thirty-seven years later, Sammy and I have raised families, enjoy long-term marriages, and are grandparents many times over. We have been friends this whole time, and for the past twenty or so years I’ve also served on the board of his international ministry.

Sammy has lost none of his devotion and fervor. He still goes anywhere preaching Christ, actually preferring the hard places. He visits several continents every year, flying thousands of miles and seeking no fame. Those who hear him preach say that he could enjoy a huge
constituency if only he would preach in the States about half the time each year.

But Sammy goes where God points him.

My relationship with Sammy is just one of the benefits of a life of writing. Here are we two dingalings more recently.

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