Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What Will A Day Bring Forth?

It has not occurred for a while, but in prior years, it had become a growing scourge on the nation. Perhaps the name most synonymous with it would be “Columbine” back in April of 1999. But it has happened again, and this time in Chardon, Ohio. On Monday morning a student gunman opened fire in a cafeteria. When the dust settled, several were wounded and one died on the scene. But since the gruesome encounter two more  students have died as well.

It appeared that the alleged shooter randomly targeted and attacked a group of students sitting together and that the one who was killed on the spot was gunned down while trying to duck under the cafeteria table. Others still remain in critical or serious condition.

Witnesses recognized the suspected shooter as Thomas T.J. Lane. He was not apparently a student at Chardon High School, but rather attended Lake Academy - an alternative school that serves students who may have been referred to the school because of academic or behavioral problems.

Chardon had no metal detectors, but current and past students said it had frequent security drills in case of a shooting. Many who were seeking safety during the rampage were sending countless messages inside and outside the school about what was happening during the deadly assault. One shocked survivor stated to WKYC-TV, "This is something that could never have been predicted."

The above comment echoes precisely the simple, but truly critical, words found in the wisdom books of the New and Old Testaments. Proverbs 27:1 warns, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Then James 4:13-14 uses a slightly different angle and more detailed language to project the same reality. “Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit ;  whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.' But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” Ignoring the possibility of life's unexpected end is beyond foolish and can be eternally devastating.

The pain of the grieving parents at Chardon High Scool in Ohio can’t even be imagined. To send a beloved child to school only to have their life senselessly snuffed out is simply unfathomable. We can only hope that those who had their young lives so brutally, and unexpectedly, ended were more spiritually prepared to meet their Creator than they were to look down the barrel of a deadly firearm. We pray that they knew Christ as personal Savior who alone can bring comfort in such cruel chaos to those left behind, while unleashing the incredible truth spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15:54-57.

“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory " "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?' The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

All that can be done now is to pray for the victims' families, the perpetrator himself and also his devastated family. And hopefully this horrific experience will refocus everyone involved to the stark reality that life is fragile – sometimes even for the young and healthy. And pray too, as in other similar events, that the gospel of salvation in Christ and eternal security will be boldly preached and will reach the fertile soil of hurting hearts now desperately seeking answers, closure and peace in a fallen and uncertain world!

Pray particularly that the truth of Jesus' own words below will reigh supreme for those for whom this tragedy may pry open the door of their hearts to hear the redemptive voice of God's Holy Spirit.

“Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.' " (John 11:25-26)

 Bill Breckenridge

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Miracle Of All Miracles

It was exactly 32 years today (February 22) that the so-called “Miracle on Ice” occurred in Lake Placid, New York. The Olympic contest between an amateur U.S. college level team and the  professional world-class Russian squad  is still seen as the most significant and single greatest upset in all of sports history.

It was more than a hockey game back then due to the timing. It took place at the height of the cold war. It seemed to represent the two sides who were using the Olympic games to try and show the world which way of life was really superior. Several years ago a movie was produced called simply, “Miracle”. The film accurately portrayed the event and showed the world climate that made this far more than just a hockey game. Unfortunately Herb Brooks, the master-mind coach of Team U.S.A., died before the movie was released. But at the very end of the movie the words were flashed on the screen, “Herb Brooks tragically died in a car accident and was able to not to see “Miracle”.
But he lived it.”

Interestingly, the actual term ‘miracle’ is only used a few times in our English Bibles despite how many the Lord performed Himself along with the many others seen throughout both the Old and New Testaments. But the single greatest miracle ever cannot even be compared to anything else on earth - whether that be in sports or any other realm. It is so far beyond any other unexplainable event that is should not even worthy to be mentioned in the same context.

The single greatest miracle is the salvation of a human soul. That event is shown in many biblical references but clearly seen in Colossians 1:13-14. Paul reveals there the miracle of all miracles stating,  “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

Those who have experienced the above transformation may love sports. Sometimes they love it a little too much to the point of it becoming life’s top priority. But the “Miracle on Ice” should remind all believers of the miracle that took place in the manger, on the cross, in the tomb, and then in their own hearts. And it should also serve to remind them that they are on a very special team – one where they are active players and are to be helping to point others to the most desperately needed miracle of all – forgiveness of sin and new life in Christ! That biblical command, and task, is expressed by the Apostle Paul in his second letter to the church at Corinth.

“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.”  (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Those in Christ through saving faith should be somewhat like what was said about Coach Brooks. They should not be sitting back and watching life go by like some movie. But they should be involved and committed fully to 'Living the ‘Miracle’ of salvation - a life that is, without question, proven to be vastly superior and one that is guaranteed to last forever!

Bill Breckenridge

Did Whitney Houston Really Lose It All?

She was one of the biggest and brightest stars ever in the entertainment world and equipped with a voice that could arguably rival any ever heard. But that voice was silenced totally when Whitney Houston was found dead on February 11, 2012 in her guest room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California.

The cause of death is officially uncertain or unpublished, but most are fairly certain that the tragedy had to do with drug and alcohol abuse and addition – something Houston had been struggling with for a good while at the time of her death.

According to the Wikipedia online dictionary, Whitney Elizabeth Houston, born August 9, 1963, was an American recording artist, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. She was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos world-wide. She released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi- platinum, platinum or gold certification.

Houston was also the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. She is the second artist behind Elton John, and the only female artist, to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Her 1985 debut album became the best-selling debut album by a female act at the time of its release. Her second studio album in 1987 became the first album by a female artist to debut a number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Hers was an amazingly impressive resume by any standard!

Whitney Houston’s death, at just age 48, was a tragedy. But it was equally a vivid reminder that fame and fortune do not buy peace and purpose in this life. Some of the more honest of the rich and famous will admit that their material wealth and notoriety have never brought them true happiness. Some might even reveal that, at times, it is even a hardship or a literal curse. The case involving Houston may be just one more high profile illustration of the reality of this exact problem. She truly had it all. But then she tragically and suddenly lost it all – or as the title asks, did she?

Some are unaware that Whitney was brought up in a Bible believing Baptist church where her singing talents were first noticed and nurtured. This may well have been her start that would ultimately lead to her eventual super stardom. But there was something that far over shadowed all of the glamour and the many impressive life achievements mentioned above.

During her four-hour long memorial service at the New Hope Baptist church in New Jersey, several evangelical Christian leaders spoke about Houston’s spiritual status. Those who knew her best, in this context, stated that Whitney was without question a born-again believer despite the sad circumstances seen in her later years. So it is probable that, although she lost all her earthly fame and fortune, that she is now in the presence of the Lord and the Savior – the One who forgives all sin for every true believer.

And if there is a primary spiritual lesson to be gleaned by the premature departure of Whitney Houston, it is that even those redeemed by faith in Christ, and who possess eternal life, must still be careful as they venture through life this side of heaven. Peter warned a young New Testament church in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Then too, Paul spoke of the tendency of taking sin too lightly and overestimating one’s own ability to avoid temptation. In 1 Corinthians chapter ten and verse 12 he declared, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

Until Christ returns for his redeemed Church, and puts an end to sin for them forever, Christians must remain firmly on their guard. They must attempt to remember the failure and fate of a Whitney Houston. And they must continue to firmly lean on the power of the Holy Spirit to avoid the destructive pitfalls of their soul’s enemy while they fully serve the One who sacrificed Himself to forgive and save them. (Ephesians 2:10)

“That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.” (2 Timothy 1:14)

 Bill Breckenridge

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Forgetting Valentine's Day?

It is sometimes called the 'The Greatest Gift'. The subject is 'love' - a concept that comes to the forefront of many cultures every February 14th on what is called Valentine's Day.

Its origins, according to Wikipedia, was a holiday observed to honor one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentinus. It was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It is celebrated in countries around the world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion where people express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards known as "valentines".

Several years ago, I made the fairly serious mistake of forgetting a Valentine's Day. It was not one of the banner days of my married life. I did however survive and live to write about it through a kind act of undeserved mercy. My 'salvation' came about through a little-known related holiday. It was actually devised just for me by my loving wife the day following my rookie's blunder. She called it simply, "Valentine's Amnesty Day". Little or no explanation is needed. After using this one time only 'get out of jail free' pass that year, the holiday was forever abolished – at least for me!

It has been said that "Love makes the world go around" and in many ways that rings true. That is the reality for those who freely give it and especially for those on the receiving end. But without question, the single purest form is perhaps best seen through the lens that focuses on the cruelest instrument of agony ever humanly devised.

It is the cross - the most feared symbol of pain and shame in all of human history. It was upon this brutal tool of suffering and death that God's Son voluntarily sacrificed Himself for sins of the world. His pre-planned experience there revealed the unique level of love in the heart of the Creator. This love was the catalyst that would provide a lost race a chance for spiritual amnesty from the horrific power and penalty of sin. Verses abound that enlighten and prove the point. But maybe none better than John 3:16-17 and Romans 5:7-8.

- "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

- "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

In Philippians chapter two we find described the incredible depth of Christ’s commitment to the redemptive plan of His Heavenly Father. Verse 8 reads, "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."

The Son did His incomprehensibly difficult part to absolute perfection. How hard was His task? We may never really know, but it was far beyond just physical pain. The finite mind can't grasp what it meant to a holy Savior to do what He did. But at least 2 Corinthians 5:21 gives us the foundation and clue as to why it was so unimaginable and spiritually horrific for Christ to experience. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

His actions connected to His divine love secured salvation for all who would ever trust in His work on Calvary’s cross. This was the wretched, but absolutely essential, place where the plague of human sin was met head on and fully defeated. That greatest of all victories occurred at the precise moment when the suffering Savior cried out, "It is finished". (John 19:30)

But once the great act of salvation is achieved in a life, how is God’s love then displayed to others in and outside of God’s family? How should God's newly infused spiritual life be evidenced externally by those having been justified through faith?

Fortunately the answer to that rather large question has been summed up in one rather small portion of Scripture. Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians is often called the "Great Love Chapter" of the Bible. Believers seeking to seriously follow Christ, and love as He did, need look no farther than this passage below. It is there that we discover how God defines true love. It is there that we see that it is an essential trait for all who know Him and represent Him in a lost and needy world. The great Apostle Paul, a man who was blessed of God with nearly limitless spiritual gifts, surprisingly wrote these words on this crucial topic:

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Verse 13 eventually concludes the subject declaring, "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

Oviously there will be some out there who will still find themselves some day in need of a "Valentine's Amnesty Day". Hopefully, when that sickening moment arrives, you will find the mercy and learn the painful lesson I did.

But do not, under any circumstances, miss the opportunity to accept and respond to the love of God in Christ. With salvation, the Bible offers no second chance. Regarding sin and its consequences, there is no alternative solution. To be saved and justified comes only through the cross - the ugliest symbol of the most beautiful love ever known to man. It was there that the Savior displayed what drove Him to procure spiritual amnesty for you and me! (Acts 4:12, John 14:6)

"And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)

Bill Breckenridge

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Two Most Amazing Sports Stories?

If I were to ask you what the two biggest sports stories occurring in the last six months, what would your answer be? For most, it would have to be the recent victory of New York's Giants over Tom Brady and the favored New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, and secondly the Cardinals win in the World Series. So the answer to the above question is relatively easy for most real and even casual fans.

But if I were to ask the same question with a slight twist, the answer might be vastly different. What would be the two most unexpected and major stories in this same time frame? What would be the two stories that have entertained, inspired, and created an amazing nationwide buzz in sporting and even non-sporting circles alike?

The answer to this question is not about some championship team’s heroic effort in a specific sport. It is instead over two individual players, both on mediocre teams, but who single-handedly created an unexpected and perhaps unparalleled stir like never before.

In football. it was Denver's Tim Tebow, the rookie quarterback who took a badly floundering team to the playoffs despite all the odds. Tebow came on the scene a few games into the season and seemingly pulled off miracle win after win. Had he been anyone else, it may have been written off as hard work, talent, good coaching and team work. But when it then became centered around a young man with a very outspoken Christian faith, that placed Jesus Christ first and football second, it created a firestorm of controversy. Most teams would not have even touched someone in the draft who would openly admit that anything superceded his allegiance to his franchise and earning every dollar of his contract with no outside ‘distractions’ - including God!

But somehow Tebow pulled off both and gained a monstrous following – one that defies logic. Of course, he has his share of detractors. But making the playoffs, and beating a highly favored Pittsburgh team in round one, silenced some of them - if only temporarily on the outside. Interest in his life, career, and his faith remain at a fever pitch.

Then there is another story, also about one young man who plays a different sport and has turned an entire league upside down despite never even being drafted by an NBA team. That is simply unheard of.

He is Jeremy Lin, who broke into the New York Knicks slumping lineup after two of their superstar players missed multiple games - one through injury and the other by the tragic death of a brother. But Lin literally 'exploded onto the court' and has lead the Knicks to a 5-0 run as of this writing, while averaging about 25+ points per game in the process. Not bad for a nobody from nowhere at only 6'3". The team is now wondering how this will all fit together when the others return and is even talking of becoming an overnight contender.

One sports writer stated this. “The problem is that as stories go, Jeremy Lin is bigger because he is a non-drafted Asian-American guard from Harvard who is playing as well as almost anybody in the NBA. How unlikely is this? Imagine the Kentucky Derby going to a three-legged horse.”

But like his newsworthy Christian brother in the NFL, Lin admits the constant struggle he faces. Deep inside he knows it is bigger than him. He stated, "There is so much temptation to hold on to my career even more now," Lin said. "To try to micromanage and dictate every little aspect. But that's not how I want to do things anymore. I'm thinking about how can I trust God more. How can I surrender more? How can I bring him more glory?"

The bottom line here is that maybe the biggest and certainly the most important sports stories in the past six months are not about the success of any particular teams. But they center on the unusual faith and testimony surrounding two very young and brave men. These resemble Paul the Apostle, and say with utmost confidence to anyone and everyone, “Nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

Today, Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin are successful, and famous athletes. They have used their God-given talent but have not forgotten to glorify God in the process. They serve Him first and make no bones about it! And they apparently consistently abide by the truth and promise found in Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

 Bill Breckenridge

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI - 'Facing The Giants'

It is by far the biggest sporting and TV event in the nation. For true fans of the sport, it is the ultimate contest with interest for some actually surpassing a day like Christmas. For the casual fan, it becomes larger than life too. And even for those who don’t know field goal from a grand slam, it is a reason to throw a party and watch the famed commercials that can run many millions for mere seconds.

This year’s game was a re-match between the Giants of New York and the Patriots of New England. The ‘Pats’ were slightly favored because of their legendary coach, quarterback, and the revenge angle from 2007 when New York pulled off what could appear to be a miraculous win with catches that will forever be a part of the NFL’s greatest memories.

Sunday’s game literally came down to the last few seconds when Brady’s typical genius got him close enough, with one minute remaining, to throw up one last “Hail Mary” pass that could have ended up in the hands of either team and thus deciding the outcome of the nail-biting affair. But as ‘fate’ would have it again, the Giants' defenders knocked the ball to the ground and became champions of their sport twice in the last four years at the expense of the talented New England squad.

Is God interested in the results of the Super Bowl or any game for that matter? That is a good question and some have reconsidered that possibility after watching outspoken Christian rookie quarterback, Tim Tebow, pull off what seemed like miracle after miracle for Denver’s Broncos this year. But God is surely interested in those who play in these games. The same holds true for those who sit at home in their favorite jersey. gorging themselves on junk food, and screaming until their voices give out.

A few ago, a church in Georgia produced a film titled, ‘Facing The Giants’. It was about a small Christian high school and their football team that had been on a long painful losing streak. The coach’s job was on the line and his personal life plagued by ongoing problems. His car was shot, his wife unable to have a child, and their finances a disaster.  Even their rented home 'stunk' from a dead animal that could not be located. It was in one of his many desperate moments that the bewildered coach read the Scriptures and turned to God, not for his usual time of complaining or questioning, but with a broken heart and true willingness to fully accept God’s will and to give the Lord his very best - no matter what life brought!

Upon explaining this to his team, and reminding them of the real purpose and importance of the Christian life, they one by one bought in to the new priority of their spiritually revitalized leader. Soon a major revival broke out on the small school campus originating in the locker room. And before long the  down-trodden team were  giving their individual best to God at home, in the class, and on the field. A winning streak ensued that ultimately led them to the championship game to face a literal team of ‘giants’ who were twice their size and twice in numbers. But through their faith and full dedication to each other and to God they won the final game. In the locker room, following the victory,  the overwhelmed coach went from player to player and quoted just one verse - Matthew 19:26. "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible ."

The same mindset is what helped King David face and kill a giant against all odds as described in 1 Samuel. 17. His play-book consisted of just one strategy spelled out in verses 45-47. “Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD's, and He will give you into our hands."

Each of us face ‘giants’ in this earthly life. And whether they be on the football field, in a career, a marriage, through finances, or even the loss of a loved one, giving God our problems along with giving Him our very best is the only way to gain the victory and also glorify Him! Jesus stated it simply in Matthew 11:28-30. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

 To hear the interview that Dave did with the producer and actor Pastor Alex Kendrick of “Facing the Giants” click here. And do get a copy if you have never seen the film and are in need of  spiritual help, inspiration, and direction. It may well change your life and give you a victory that dwarfs winning the Super Bowl two times or even two thousand times.

Bill Breckenridge

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Living Legacy Of a Serious Servant

The last blog entry here announced the sudden home-going of Rev. David Virkler on January 23rd, 2012. It was a glorious day in heaven and especially for him. But it was not so wonderful for those he left behind – despite the knowledge of where he now resides and what he is experiencing forever. That great reality and assurance is firmly based on passages in God’s word, like that seen in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

Dave left behind a faithful and dedicated wife who shared in, and often sacrificed for, his ministry. He also left, for a while, four fine Christian children along with five grandchildren and two children-in-law. Then, too, there were others to whom he was family. He was my own wife’s very special uncle and has been a part of her life since birth. And, of course, there remains even more extended family living at a distance now that will miss him as well.

Dave was saved at age 14. According to his Bible college roommate, my own father-in-law and Dave’s own brother-in-law, Dave had the anointing of God and superior spiritual gifts even before he entered Bible college in North Jersey. I’ve heard many times how he could preach at age 20 like he did at age 75. That is not typical. It is special. It is miraculous and comes only through a special gift of God bestowed upon a willing and gifted servant. Some are gifted but unwilling. But Dave was both from the start. He served as a pastor before feeling led of God to begin the ministry seen on the website link on this blog. The impact of 55 years of ministry cannot be known this side of heaven. But his example as a spiritual leader and role model can be easily seen without having to look very far.

Dave’s life verse was Acts 13:36. "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers.” Truer words were never spoken. He did this tirelessly, faithfully and with great distinction. He will be missed by many and especially by those who lived with him, were related to him and had the great opportunity to work alongside of him.

But there is one thing I would like to add and it was the conclusion of my short part of his service this past Saturday. It was an amazing service for an amazing man of God. I quoted his life verse as many have over the last week or so about him serving his generation. But that is far from the end of the story. Dave’s legacy extends far beyond the service to “his own generation”. It also reflects and extends to the words from the Apostle Paul to young Timothy, his young son in the faith. 2 Timothy 2:3 declares, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

Dave endured hardship along with many of God’s ‘soldier servants’. But his ministry legacy and impact continues to touch and change lives as long as those he taught and inspired do the same to the current generation and the next.

Dave’s was a life well lived for God. And again he continues to affect countless lives through his personal ministry and the professional outreach of Dedication Evangelism and the Word and The World broadcast. This is why we can say with complete confidence that Dave’s example was one worth imitating, just as Paul stated about his own life of total surrender and faithful service to his own generation. Because he followed God’s will and effectively used his talents and time for God’s glory, as did David Virkler, he was able to write with full confidence, “Therefore I urge you, imitate me.” (1 Corinthians 4:15-16)

Dave, we all  pray that we can somehow imitate your  ‘Dedication’ to ‘Evangelism'.  

“Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Mathew 25:23)

Your friend, family, and fellow-servant in this ministry.