Monday, December 21, 2009

My father-inlaw, Morrie Snook

Morrie Snook has been my father-in-law for over 32 years. I have come to know, respect, and love him. He was man of principle and dedication to the Lord his God. It was very important that each of his children came to a saving faith in Jesus. Then when his grandchildren came along, he spent time and effort witnessing to them, desiring that they come to know God in a personal way as well.

He worked hard all his life, providing for his family. He never was rich in earthly possessions, his wealth was laid up in Heaven. Actually, when you think about it, when one realizes the end is near, all the toys he has been able to accumulate don't seem to be nearly as necessary as they may have been earlier.

Last Saturday, after being notified of their father and grandfather's soon homegoing, they came from South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, as well as Ohio to be with Dad and Grandpa in his final hours. As I looked at the crowd around his bed, I realized how rich he was. Laying there in a hospital bed without the trappings that we consider so important, he had wealth far more desirable, and of much greater worth. No longer was there the desire to sell the insurance policies he had sold for so many years. Now the only things that were important were the souls he and his wife had brought into this world and the grandchildren that gathered around his bed. Now the his greatest concern was that he would see these loved ones again, not while hurting from the results of diabetes, with the dementia fogging his mind, and his hearing impaired as it was; but with a new body that would never grow old and that would never know pain.

Yes, Morrie was a rich man, and I trust that he will see those souls he prayed for and labored over. His youngest grandchild accepted Jesus as his Savior the day before his death. So as the angels rejoiced over another soul's salvation, Morrie slipped from this vale of sorrows into the arms of his blessed Redeemer.

This past Friday evening, December 18, Morrie Snook left this world and experienced I Corinthians 15:52-54, his corruptible put on incorruption and his mortal put on immortality. We do not bury Morrie, we bury the shell that contained him. We also have that blessed hope; we shall see him again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I want to get back to a topic I promised to return to: Forgiveness.
There isn't much new to add to what we already know about forgiveness when someone wrongs us. Of course the carnal thing to do is to get even. But what Jesus taught us through precept and then by His example was a spirit of willingness to forgive. There is an important distinction between just forgiving others when they do not seek to be forgiven, and having a willingness to forgive others whether they seek to be forgiven or not. When He was on the cross and said, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,' Jesus did not mean every person should receive the forgiveness of sins, because everyone was not forgiven. And because of that I believe Jesus had the attitude that everyone who really was sorry they had wronged God would receive forgiveness. And those who refused to repent of their rebellion would not receive forgiveness, but were still under eternal judgment.
The great principle of forgiveness is brought out in Matt. 18:21-35. In response to Peter's question, 'How often should I forgive others?' Jesus gives a parable which beautifully illustrates the godly concept of forgiveness. And He speaks of people who owe others money. I am sure He did this because it is easy for us to relate to money.
So the question I posed a couple months ago had to do with one company forgiving another of its debt. I can't speak for others, and there may be extenuating circumstances, but under ordinary conditions, I believe that the spirit of forgiveness should be extended. Okay, before you jump all over me, let me explain. First of all, the company failing to pay its bill should be totally unable to pay. There are companies that we do business with that have a hard time paying their bills timely and we have those who are paying bills as they are able. However if a company is really in dire straits financially and the CEO were to ask me to forgive the debt, I am probably obligated to do so. However, in order to responsibly discharge my duty to God's company, Grace Plastics, I should ask the debtor to prove his claim. If he is not willing to open his books to me, and prove his company (and himself personally) is destitute, I have an obligation to God to run Grace Plastics in a fiscally prudent manner, and refuse his request.
It all comes back to the underlying principle: everything which I call mine in this world, is really not mine. It all belongs to God, and as He blesses, we try to operate the company as He would. I believe this is a very balanced approach to a difficult subject. If God tests me along these lines, I hope I will have the grace and faith to obey Him and then watch Him supply as He always does. I would appreciate any and all comments, criticisms, and questions.