THE MAKING OF A MODEL has been a passion, a burning in my soul since the early 1970s. With thousands of outstanding authors flooding the market with many of the issues covered here I have hesitated to take on the challenge of adding another. I am, however, unable to keep all of this to myself any longer.
I began life as every growing young Christian, full of promise and hope. Adequately trained to take on the challenges of life, I determined early on to give my best to model the Master about Whom I write. Great ambition notwithstanding, my journey has been a difficult and rocky road. Much about which I write is a reflection of my life.
But the journey has not been run in vain. The process has given me a relationship with Christ that has transformed my world. The Making of a Model is so much more; it is the story of my life.
I am, in short, an honest, for real, growing Christian. If you knew me well, you would not wonder why it is that I am in love with the Person of Jesus Christ. He has turned me around and in turn, has become a vital force in my life. As a direct result, everything about Him has become of vital interest to me. Jesus’ life, His theology, and His manner of relating to people have been the focus of my study. The Gospel of John, perhaps the most “Christian” of the Gospels, has become my favorite New Testament book. Indeed, I have been captivated by the Master.
And THAT … or should I say HE … is what this book is all about. Whether anyone ever reads what I have written, whether or not I am able to help others capture the dynamic of this Great Man, I want to go on record for my family and friends to herald the vital force He has become in my life.
Jesus Christ has far too often become little more than an object of debate. His life has been dissected, analyzed, explained … or simply ignored.
The life of this Man, however, is most meaningful, not when it is debated, but when it is lived. The Christ of Calvary is not to be discovered in the classroom (or, indeed, in a book). You find Him where you live, in the give and take of the mundane.
I know what I am writing about. I have seen both abominable failure and outstanding success; I have experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly. But my journey has not been run in vain. I am pleased to tell you I serve the God of second chances, the God Who has allowed me to live again. I have come face to face with a truth that has energized my life: I am becoming a living model of Jesus Christ.
Oh, I won’t model everything. There are depths of agony through which others have gone I will never experience. But believe me, I have seen enough. I have suffered through days of unimaginable despair, financial collapse, divorce, isolation, and loneliness. I have spent 14 years guiding my 18-wheeler coast to coast, separated from my family, forgotten by my peers, out of the ministry, and convinced that for me all that was important in life was over. But God had not abandoned me.
And don’t misunderstand. I am neither bragging nor complaining. This is no pity party. This is just to say, “Thank God, He was there all along; He never gave up on me!”
This, then, is why I write. The God of heaven has touched me where I hurt. In the Person of the Christ of Calvary, the Eternal One has visited my life and given me hope. By His grace, slowly but surely, I am becoming a living model of the Master!