I recognize that the title of this article is considerably obsolete. No one much uses the pen anymore in literary construction. But it is far more poetic to say, “the pen is mightier than the sword,” than to suggest that “the word processor is more influential than the missile.”
I have always loved to read. When my sisters and I were young my mother read to us almost nightly — from the Bible, poetry, and good pieces of fictional literature. I suppose that is where I developed my love for writing. I am not a formally trained journalist (those may be the worst kind). My articles come from my studies and from my heart.
My first article for publication was written more than a half-century ago. It was for a little paper that a friend and I started not long after my conversion to Christ. I was a senior in high school. We called it The Flame of Truth. We hoped to teach our schoolmates.
My article dealt with the theme of the relationship between science and the Bible. I knew very little about the Bible and even less about science. But I meant well, and I was attempting to teach about the Scriptures in a way I thought would be helpful.
I think I became a gospel preacher so that I could teach by writing because no church employs a “gospel writer” as such. I certainly did not have a fondness for public speaking. Once I was compelled to enter a speech contest. I came in last!
Over the years, words have flowed from my soul onto thousands of pages and into the lives of countless people in many nations. I have at least assisted in numerous conversions as a result of the paper trail that lies behind me.
However, I could not have begun to accomplish such had it not been for the generosity of the East Main Street congregation in Stockton, California. Those delightful folks allowed me to cultivate my skills and to work profusely through this mode of instruction.
I have written more than a score of books and dozens of tracts, not to mention hundreds of articles in the more than fifty years of publishing the Christian Courier. To that now has been added a library of more than 1,500 articles on our web site.
Over my life, I was diagnosed with cancer five times. I am now in the decline of my life on earth and I long for my future home in heaven. But through the years, many prayers from family and Christians across the nation sustained me through my personal health challenges. I promised the Lord in those difficult days of kidney and thyroid cancers that I will do my very best to work harder, produce even more if he will grant me the opportunity.
I believe the Lord granted those prayers. I was allowed more quality time to contribute to teaching the lost, helping educate Christians, encouraging young preachers.
In my final work years, I was able to complete a commentary on Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus. Elders and preachers especially need to understand these New Testament documents. Of course, I was enriched more than anyone. I was always my own eager student!
I was also able to complete a one-volume commentary on the entire New Testament. Not long after, still itching to work, I began and completed manuscripts for a four-volume Old Testament commentary. Both of these projects were designed to help the average Christian have a better understanding of the greatest publication known to man.
I must thank each precious soul who has helped in the support of this work. Your encouragement and your patience was a treasure that has kept me working for over fifty years. Truly, you are fellow-workers with me in this enterprise. I love you and appreciate you far more than I can say.
The power of the pen is this. You can influence people you will never meet in this lifetime. That is both exciting and sobering. It carries great responsibility and great rewards. My work is now done. I look forward to meeting you in eternity.