Is Anybody Else Here?

  One of the scariest times that can occur to anyone is to suddenly realize, dream or even think you are totally alone. As a young kid, I had a paper route for the Fort Worth Star Telegram newspaper. I delivered afternoons Monday thru Saturday and the morning edition on Sundays. I would have to be at the newspaper office of my hometown between 2 and 3 am on Sunday mornings. If there were no moon, it would be almost pitch dark. Coleman at that time was scarce with street lights. It is not easy to navigate a bicycle in pitch dark with a bike headlight but that was necessary at that time. I am sure it happened often, but I remember one of those mornings particularly. I had to place each paper on the front porch just right, Mr. Driscoll's direct order. So I would make my way to each porch and do my duty, all alone out in the night. And even if the community was full of houses; all of them were dark and as far as I was concerned empty. There was no one else. Occasionally Mr. Driscoll would find me to reload my saddlebags, but otherwise no human sightings or hearings that early in the morning. So on this particular morning, A weird feeling suddenly drifted over me. I was alone. I had at other times felt like someone was following me. That was scary too! But, the alone feeling was overwhelming.  Of course, now, I realize that if I had yelled out or more likely screamed out, every house would have lit up like Christmas trees. I didn't then.

  Now I have filled up almost half a column setting a premise. I want to compare that experience somewhat with the feeling that sometimes overwhelms me in my convictions and platform of my faith. I am a student of the Word of God. I have a job and a lot of responsibilities, but uppermost I am a student of the Word of God.  Because I am a student of the Word of God, I am also a committed follower of Jesus Christ. I have spent  50 years from entering Bible College to Pastoring several Churches. I have been half way around this world and back, serving the Lord full time. I have stood before a single individual and preached the Gospel (many times) and I have stood before 5000 people, once, (Temple Baptist Church, Detroit) and presented my ministry of the Gospel to Ethiopia.

  In all of this there are times, usually when I have been questioned or doubted about what I believe and teach, that a small part of me once again asks, "Is anyone else here?" I have long ago gotten tired of going back to see if I made some mistake or misjudgment in what I believe, because each time I did I still came up with the same answer. I have long ago realized that there is never going to be a ground swell of others who believe what I believe. I am consistently disappointed to watch others who once said they stood where I stand, fall back and give in to the mores and morass of liberal thought and practice.

  I have not built this belief base on verses and passages that I  or someone else has put together to form a proof of what I believe. I cannot  point to any individual who is my mentor or idol in this matter. I have been abandoned by my peers and alma mater. I find myself groping in a viable darkness of world opinion to the point of being overwhelmed. Is anyone else out there?

  Thank God! I have a Church that for the most part stands with me and more importantly allows me the freedom to preach the whole counsel of God.  Thank God! I have found a good number of men here in Missouri, from big cities and small communities, who stand exactly where I stand, and believe exactly what I believe. These are Godly men who have a real Bible, and they believe it is the preserved Word of God. They are men who do not interpret this word for their convenience or according to the whims of a 21st century society. 

  They too, have long ago decided that if they have to stand alone, so be it.


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