June 28, 2012

Banquet

by William D. Linley (David) (author's profile)

Transcription

Linley

BANQUET MAY 2 (OPEN)

Hello volunteers of Graham

My name is David Linley and I work here in the Chapel.

I have the honor to share a few words with you about Graham's volunteer of the year Andy Ritchie.

Each one of you have such heart and passion to help guide so many of us out of a dark, desperate and discouraging place.

To find healing, redemption and hope for a better future.

We know you face frustrations, red tape and even insult to be with us.

And we thank you.

Allow me to share a few examples of my personal observations of Andy...

Have you ever passed judgement on a person because of your first impression?

It's not very Christian is it.

I confess that when I first met Andy I thought, "This guy can't be a prison preacher!"

"Wearing a v-neck sweater, glasses, pleated trousers and a calm voice...He looks like a rocket scientist."

A few weeks later, after hearing some great teaching, I learned Andy is a navy veteran. Being a fellow veteran, I asked what he did.

Andy says, "Oh...not much. I spent a lot of time in the Soviet Union inspecting...nuclear...ballistic...missiles...

So Andy is in fact a rocket scientist AND preacher!

What other godly characteristics do we see in Andy...

Maybe in the way he looks you in the eye as he shakes your hand as we leave, often greeting you by name...

Or how he remembers your prayer requests weeks later and asks you for an update...

What about the detail and in-depth study notes he provides for us...

But here's the thing that made the greatest impact on me personally.

The example of a godly man that gave me courage to be a better father, not a prison statistic.

Last year Andy shared openly about the longing and heartache for his own son who had left home.

Being judgemental again, I thought, "What could you possibly know about the pain I feel for my own children."

Your son left home at 18 for 4 or 5 months"?

The answer - 15 years.

Then God steps in...

A few months go by... and Andy tells us his son contacted him.

Andy prayed for 15 years...

Andy never gave up...

Andy never lost hope...

In God's promises

This is what a godly man and father does...

Thank you, Andy.

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Deblegs Posted 9 years, 5 months ago. ✓ Mailed 9 years, 5 months ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I worked on the transcription for your post.

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