As I approach my eighty-third year, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reflection about my life, and I’m enjoying the process very much.  Memories can be the treasure or the curse of old age and thank God; mine are bringing me much joy.  After fifty-five years of ministry in seventy-five countries, the memories even bring a sense of awe.

I’ve been privileged to attend many grand events, some of which some would be considered elegant and exclusive.  Of course, I remember them, but the memories I cherish are the interactions I’ve had with thousands of people.  I view them as divine appointments or encounters, in which God gave me favor with an individual.  That is the only reason why many of these people, even in the first meeting, considered me a safe place to process their life.  That doesn’t happen without a high degree of trust, which normally takes time, but God can make it happen quickly.

The memories that are etched most distinctly in my mind are those that were very consequential in my life or the other person’s life.  These are the memorable conservations that I want to write about.  My purpose is to accurately relate what took place, even through some of the conversations will cause people to ask, “But what happened after that?”  I have become very comfortable with how God works and often my only role is to respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit at that moment and leave the results to Him.  These conversations will obviously be an abridged version of each experience.  Many of them involve confidential personal information which I will take to my grave.  There are others, however, that I believe I can speak about if I omit the names of the people.  In some encounters where the details might help someone recognize whom I am talking about, I have changed the names and/or the locations.

These conversations may or may not be interesting to a wider audience, but I am writing them because Mary Ann, my dear wife for sixty-five years has lovingly urged me to do so.  She has also been my primary ministry partner for more than fifty years.  After all these years of refusing to write about these encounters, I now feel an obligation to leave a record for my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  There are now ten great-grandchildren with more to come.  But even more importantly they will have children that I will never meet.  We want them to know that their grandparents loved Jesus and people.  Mary Ann and I are eager to leave a spiritual legacy for our growing family, including those who will be born after we are gone.  It will not only include these conversations but also papers about our spiritual convictions and our values on a multitude of issues.  Those papers will be posted to my web page at