The Power of the Pen
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 fifty years ago. It was for a little paper that a friend and I started, not long after my conversion to Christ when I was a senior in high school. We called it “The Flame of Truth”; we hoped to teach some of our schoolmates. The article dealt with the theme of the relationship of 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 “writer” as such. I certainly did not have a fondness for public speaking. Once, under duress, I entered 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. I could not have begun to accomplish such, however, had it not been for the generosity of the East Main Street congregation in Stockton, California; these delightful folks allowed me to attempt the cultivation of my skills, and to work so profusely through this mode of instruction.
I have written more than a score of books and several dozen tracts, not to mention hundreds of articles in the more than forty years of publishing the Christian Courier. To that now has been added a library of more than 1,200 articles on our web site.
As some may know, recently I again was jolted with the discovery of a tumor on one of my kidneys. This is the third time around with this type of ailment. I don’t know which cliche is more appropriate, “third time is a charm,” or, “three strikes and you’re out.” I choose to believe the former, and I humbly solicit the prayers of my Christian kinsmen. Tests are on-going.
I have talked with the Lord daily about this situation. I earnestly have asked for more quality time, believing that I still have something to contribute to teaching the lost, helping educate Christians, encouraging young preachers, etc. I have promised him that I will do my very best to work harder, produce even more, if he will grant me the opportunity.
A few weeks ago I started a new book. It is to be a commentary on Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus. Elders and preachers especially need to understand these New Testament documents. Of course I will be enriched more than anyone. I am my own eager student!
I must thank each precious soul who has helped in the support of this work; for your encouragement as I write, and for your patience as I spread my time thin. Truly, you are fellow-workers with me in this enterprise. I love you and appreciate you far more than I can say.