My wife, Avis, and I are at the age of retirement in a life that has been filled with God’s blessing and presence. We both have a godly heritage, both graduated from NBBI in 1968, married and entered the pastorate – church planting in Maine. After 14 years and the birth of three sons there, God placed us on the staff at NBBI. How thankful we are for His goodness and grace! Then came the time for a decision – retire or not; I guess I prefer the term “retreading.”
I am constantly amazed at the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians and to his many references to what we would call “keeping on going on.” After his initial stating of his confidence in God to carry through in our lives what He has started at salvation (Philippians 1:6), Several times Paul expresses his own personal desire to know Christ more intimately and to finish well.
First of all, in Philippians 1:20-21 he says, “…Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” This is from the pen of a person determined to do well and to finish well.
Paul records in 3:8, “…that I may win Christ, and be found in Him,… .” Here he is, within five years of the end of his life, a prolific author, teacher, missionary, and servant and his greatest desire still is to know Christ more intimately. In fact those very words are found in Philippians 3:10; “That I may know Him,… .”
We have decided that the best term for our retirement is – “a slight change in direction.” We will set aside the Lazy Boy recliner for now and continue to travel and serve in any way we can as long as our Lord gives us the strength. I would prefer to be able to concur with Paul’s statements in his last letter as he challenges Timothy. “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; … .”
We want to publicly thank the Lord for His grace and guidance and to thank the staff at NBBI for their continued friendship and care.
Post by: Robert Booker, Retired NBBI Faculty