by Precarious Yates
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.” – Matthew 24:45-46
There are few things more difficult for human beings than to remain consistent over a decade.
How about several decades?
How about nearly six decades?
Fifty-nine years ago today, a 14 year old boy made a decision.
Because of struggles with dyslexia, this young man had a difficult time at school. Home life wasn’t great for him either.
On this particular day, a traveling preacher showed up at his school and spoke to the teen boys there about Jesus. That preacher’s name was Billy Graham. And the boy who made the decision that day was Peter Rodgers, my dad.
This decision ignited my dad’s dream to become a preacher himself.
He soon picked up his bible. Since he struggled with dyslexia and hardly knew how to read, he took on the task of memorizing scripture.
He spent his summers mowing lawns. As he paced up and down the grass, he practiced each portion of scripture he’d memorized until he finished the letter of Philippians. Then Romans. Then the rest of the New Testament. After that, he moved on to the Psalms.
He not only went to college and seminary, but after he married he went to both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. (Thanks, Dad! Because of this I’m a citizen of both the US and the UK!)
He not only overcame his struggle with dyslexia, he remained faithful throughout his years of working as an Episcopal preacher and in the field of textual criticism. For those who are not familiar with textual criticism, these scholars study the original documents of the New Testament and figure out what words were original and what may have been added in later centuries. One recognizable name in this field is Bart Erhman, who insisted that many of the words we attribute to Jesus in the bible may never have been said by Jesus. It’s popular today to be “objective”, in other words nonbeliever in this field of textual criticism.
Conversely, my dad often says, “The Bible we have is the Bible God meant for us to have.” His has been a consistent scholarly voice proclaiming the trustworthiness and reliability of scripture.
He is as convinced today of Christ’s saving power as he was nearly sixty years ago.
For almost forty years, I have personally witnessed a man who has faithfully preached the gospel, led people to Christ, and discipled hundreds. Some of my earliest memories are of looking for him first thing in the morning and finding him on his knees, praying.
When I was twenty and I finally came to my senses and gave my life to Christ, my dad was one of the first people I told.
He encouraged me to read the word for myself and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, discover who God is, what God says and what He means when He says it. My dad encouraged my pursuit of learning Hebrew and he taught me Greek so I could search matters out on my own.
Over the years, I’ve been impressed by how much of the bible my dad has memorized in its original language. He can also tell you which manuscript has what variations, and where that manuscript was discovered or preserved. But more impressive than all of this is a man who has remained faithful to his God throughout many (and there have been very many) trials and tests of his faith.
The legacy he leaves his children is one of faithfulness, and I have been so grateful to God for it!
Have you had someone in your life who has demonstrated faithfulness to God? How has that person’s faithfulness impacted you? And how has this person’s faithfulness shown you God’s faithfulness?
My dad demonstrated God’s faithfulness to me when I was in the hospital and too sad to speak. He held my hand and sang me Psalm 121. This simple act drew me from a dark pit of sadness and reminded me of God’s love.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. – Psalms 121
(You can find out more about Peter Rodgers and his books on textual criticism at https://m.facebook.com/revpeterrodgers/ )
God bless you!
About the Author:
Precarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their one mastiff and four Pyrenees dogs, three sheep and nine chickens. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms and reading. She holds a masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.