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Adapting the Good News Book

My long-time friend (well, it hasn't been so long ... maybe 65 years), Don Mason, a remarkably gifted man who has excelled in many areas of life, has written me from time to time to describe a chain of events with a bittersweet ending.

Don and Margie live in a retirement complex where lawn maintainance is done by an outside contractor. Don, forever and everywhere friendly, got acquainted with the crew leader, Jeff, who often sat in his truck watching the men work. Occasionally they would chat. Last summer Don noticed that Jake, Jeff's son, was the driver/leader. Jake said that Jeff had lung cancer--stage 4!

Don got the phone number and began calling Jeff each week. Jake had said that the family did not go to church. Due to Jeff's condition and other circumstances, Don was able to visit in person only once. But there was another way to connect Don to Jeff and Jeff to God.

The phone, of course. And a copy of the Good News Book. The Good News Book is designed as a tool--an object lesson--for one person to use in leading another to life with God. It doesn't make sense to a person to pick up and read; it's not written that way. But augmented by Don's explanations and by the Holy Spirit, it worked out just fine.

Don called once a week, and he led Jeff through the Good News Book one page at a time. Jeff's condition got worse. When talking on the phone became impossible, Don began a series of letters; eventually 19 of them. Jeff made a genuine commitment of faith. On a Sunday morning last February Jeff died peacefully while asleep at his home. Things have never been better for him--hallelujah!

When the letters began other family members (probably curious about what the stranger, Don, was up to) also read them. As Don puts it, "When the whole family read every letter it cued me that the Lord wanted to touch each member of the family instead of through the phone where only one could hear."

Since Jeff's promotion to heaven, a nephew has called Don to say that four of them have started a Bible study every week: two of Jeff's sons and two nephews. PTL! It started by Don being friendly to a "yard guy" sitting in a truck and the good things havn't ended yet.

Ask yourself this unpopular question: What task won't be done unless I do it?

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