21 January 1947
“I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him;
the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me, ye can do nothing.”
“Christ in the Life”
“As ye have, therefore, received Jesus Christ the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” Colossians 2:6
I truly praise God for your letter and Daw’s talk last night, and for the verses that give real victory which I started on yesterday (Second setter now, I am- praise Him!). It all tied together so wonderfully to make a more victorious life evident in the future! In face last week in the midst of my studies I became so belated about my weaknesses I was of hindrance in that respect in way of my studying. I did learn many things of dynamic future spiritual value last week though! I think it did me a lot of good to have to “dig in” even if it was so scattered.
So many things have taken place since I last wrote I ponder on beginning but the most important was meeting Dawson Trottman and hearing him speak! If you read over the Log you recall that he is the organizer of the Navigator group. It was he that worked with the different members of the five first men who began this work. He is connected with the Wycliff translation group too now, and could he ever “go to town” on it. He has been down in Mexico where the first step was taken. Wycliff groups are in Peru and Venesuvela (?) and their next hop and prayer is Siberia! The idea of a “closed door” is their main objective. Mexico was closed but there have been nearly all of the Indian tongues understood so as it could be written in Scripture; incidentally, they began with the Aztec Indians there! I couldn’t begin to tell you al that he said- it was the quickest two hours I’d ever seen or heard of. He could talk about the field too for missions! He said, “Someone as me why I’m here and not over there!” Someone did, and he said he surely wanted to be a missionary and would have gone except his boy’s work wouldn’t let him loose. He says, more and more, his task is evident! He’s one of God’s appointed “go-getters” for missionaries! The Navigators out of Biola will turn out nearly five hundred men for foreign fields in around fifteen years, “should the Lord tarry!” He’s some kind of official of the American Missionary board and he says it really does his heart good to see them go. By the way, did you know there are more women and girl missionaries abroad than men? “Timid souls for soft pastor jobs at home!” He said it gently, of course, but he said in L.A. at one time recently there were 300 Presbyterian’s (ministers) jobless and the field was crying!
Old Daw’s is sure a “regular” guy too. Boy, if there was ever a more rustic, vivacious, husky, guy in the world, I don’t know of him! Oh yes, about him and Biola! Norm says he was never kicked out, he just had too many things on his hands and had to drop it! Wes must have gotten a bum steer, because Norm surely wouldn’t hand me one.
I got some mighty good pointers from Daws about personal work. Here I’d felt so miserable in not doing personal work like I should, and seeing other Christians hard at it humbled me that much more. Even though, if the Holy Spirit should call upon me when talking to someone, I should obey but otherwise, I’m yet so young in my new life, I wonder and watch and study, but am hardly expected to go out and win souls right here and now! Daws gave a good illustration- a soul winner’s method; He walked up to me, thumped me on the chest and said, “Are you a Christian?,” “Why aren’t you?,” “You know if you aren’t you’re going to do, don’t you?” That’s a common method! Even when a person’s saved, his inspiration is to go out immediately and win others which if the Spirit commands is fine but God hardly expects the individual to do that for he’s a mere babe and many of the promises of Salvation are yet unknown until he begins studying the Word and memorizing it. It surely made me alot more assured with victory and gave me a zeal to get going on my study. My excuse as being a babe can’t go on much longer, and isn’t a blind but a seclusion that in time my fruit in glorifying Him might increase. At the present it is all in living and letting the light of miraculous wonder of Christ Jesus shine out in me.
I’m miserably slow, please pardon me. I got up early this morning but it was so cold, my fingers were too numb to even hold and manipulate the pen! Jake Bass and his wife are down from the Navigator Home up there in Norfolk. The came down Monday morning to see Daws and then decided to stay over until Thursday. I don’t believe they are any kin to Sheridan’s Basse’s but Jake was a baker in the Navy and his wife and he knew Milton Cunningham quite well. They met him in Narragut when boot camp was up there, and still have correspondence with him. If you see him, tell him I saw them. Jake had been up in the Aleutians where Joe Stephens had been and knew many of the same fellows but at different times, and as Joe took Marge, Norm, Paul, and Jake and his wife to the Chicken Stuffer (for $1.50 you get all the chicken you can eat, with trimmings) they had quite a time together.
With one family out, Webers decided to play with their youngun and just about the time I could sit down and start to work they created music and played “horsey” with Johanna riding one, the other holding her on and there wasn’t much quiet! I didn’t especially care though because sleep hadn’t been very plentiful Saturday, Sunday (Daws came then but has gone to Chicago now.), or Monday nights, so, I got in my eight hours.
Winter never has really come yet. We have cold streaks and hot ones. Today seems like the cold waves have come again! Last year this time we needed three heavy wave blankets; Sunday night a sheet was too heavy, this morning I can sit on top of the radiator and still feel a numbness, if any sensation whatsoever! The sun’s shining too and not a cloud in the sky. That’s the main reason it’s cold. It’s damp and cloudy for a few days, maybe a few light rains, and bingo! It clears off and we freeze!
I tried my utmost to hit all the highspots last week of a normal education. I made a poor attempt and the more I studied, the less I knew because I began to realize what a maze of work I’d forgotten. Section four on the sample test mentioned abstract material; when I opened that test and began work, it was all abstract material. At any rate, it surely missed me. I have never seen vocabulary like that since the Pepsi Cola test. In fact, I think one was drafted from the other! Reading wasn’t bad, Physics was practical but so invalued I was stumped on memory. Math wasn’t hard but it took time, for me anyhow. The craziest thing I saw was the section four! It gave you pictures of lines slanting this and that way, mixed in a few circles and curves and in the answers gave two samples both from one or one form each and said, “what is the similarity?” That’s what I said, “Is there?” It all looked more like a telephone booth’s “doodle” pad!
What you said about studying really went home. I really have to study and not scatter it all over many subjects but concentrate on my Bible, how God speaks to me in it and then a side subject (now to finish my American History!) and a constant review on all the math I’ve had. You might say though that my major is on the Bible. It has to be. With that and prayer growth and Scripture memorization (on my forty second verse today, Praise the Lord!) I can live a more victorious life in Him. And the Lord leading, I’ll be able to win soul’s for Him. It surely is something to pray for and my experiences won’t depend upon so many other’s convictions even though at times they do help. The Lord will provide surely. You know, in these past two weeks when I felt so defeated, I was eager for a more diciple-like life but I thought about my faults so much I actually became self centered or a bit egotistical minded! I’ve been reading “In His Presence” lately and it surely makes prayer more enjoyable and personal.
All this NACP puzzles me. Nor the first two years I’d be just like a civilian in college, even taking some subjects of my own choice. Then would come Navy routine in flight school. It’s such an opportunity to witness and it doesn’t seem possible it might be for me. I will admit my previous ambitions have influenced me. I still intend to learn to fly the Lord willing, V-5 or not. The test was so hard, and the competition so high that if I do make it there will be no doubt in my mind as to whether it is for me or not. I’ll know it is. I know that it is in God’s hands and I’m thankful for it. A life in V-5 does seem strange but I think it is so strange anywhere you go- there’s always corruption and man’s lust.
Incidentally, the word is that the Jacksonville “Home” will be sold and Norfolk used as nearly headquarters within a few months. It’s hard to take but we’ll see if it’s the Lord’s will.
Class starts shortly so I’d best get busy. I pray the Lord’s wisdom and strength will be upon you always,
In Him, your son, Stephen