Thursday, November 1, 2012

Paul & Macon Newby & Elisabeth Elliot: The Difference One Person Can Make!

Happy November 1st to you! You know what today is? It's All Saints' Day! 

All Saint's Day is a great day to call up, text, email, or jot a handwritten note (remember those? ) to whoever has encouraged you in your faith in Christ. It may be your grandmother, your Sunday school teacher, or simply a friend. I want to tell you about three people that I was blessed with today: Macon & Paul Newby and Elisabeth Elliot. Listen to this one min clip:
I was 26 years old, and a 3-week old pilgrim in my new "yielded life" to God. I still didn't know Christ—that would come 2 months later—but I had finally asked God to take control of the wheel of my life (I was not doing such a hot job.) 

I had left my husband and ended up wondering if the answers to my questions would be found in church—but still had several misconceptions about what it meant to be a Christian—that was the state I was in when I met the Newbys (I had grown up walking to church which was located right behind our back yard! Hi to any Derbyshire friends that might be reading this:-).

I had gone with some new friends to get pizza after the Friday night worship for singles at our church (they were all committed Christians—these friends were praying for me for they knew I had left my husbandbut they totally accepted me. One of them you met in an earlier blog, Nancy, who went on to marry and give birth to quintuplets!)

Paul and Macon just "happened" to be eating pizza at the same restaurant. Someone in my group introduced them to me. In the next couple weeks, Paul and Macon reached out to "disciple" me or teach me Biblical principles for living as a new Christian which they continued to do over many meals and conversations in their home.

How long did they take me under their wing? 

One and a half years.

They later went on to have four children—but then I had them all to myself! Paul went on to become an Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Yes, that is one and the same Paul Newby who is running for re-election as we speak! How fast do you think I voted for this man of integrity who is a man of God?
My marital separation would end up being 2 years, and all I was learning from my mentors—combined with my becoming a Christian that summer—to learning about Christ and His ways in my new church from David Horner in the pulpit—to my fellow classmates in the Sunday class—supplemented by the great radio Christian teachers of our day like Chuck Swindoll and Charles Stanley—I was growing in my Bible knowledge, but more importantly—in my practical life application of God's word in my life. In a word—I was learning to trust God.

Do you understand why I now want to be that older woman (Macon is about my age but had walked with the Lord for years when I met her) in others' lives to guide us to Christ and point us all in trusting Him in every area of our lives? I want to do it here, and in person one on one.

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:48)

He wants to make a tangible difference in our lives!

My story of being mentored doesn't end there! Just a few short years later, after we had reconciled and I my first child was now two and I was expecting baby number two—I stumbled on a Christian radio program as I sat in the parking lot for my prenatal appointment. I was listening so closely to the words of a woman who spoke in a clear, no-nonsense way on life's daily issues. 

I was drawn to keep listening to the program and in time I wrote the woman. We began a writing program which turned into a friendship. She ended up asking me to come on her program and share all I was learning practically in my marriage and home life. She eventually came to my home several times. I have over 35 letters from her. Her name is Elisabeth Elliot. 

Many of you know who author and speaker Elisabeth Elliot is. She has endured much in her life and is now in her eighties. She's no longer able to speak and write. I want to sprinkle into your life truth-giving words—just as she and Paul and Macon Newby did for me.
I treasure Elisabeth Elliot's letters in this pretty box my sister, Sus, made me.
I'll be sharing out of them in future blogs.
So you see—much has been given me because of the willingness of more mature Christians to write or share their life with me so that I could grow in the grace of Jesus Christ.

"Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." (Hebrews 13:7)

Walk by Faith,

1 comment:

  1. Dear Juana,

    I literally stumbled onto your blog. I have been so blessed to find another sister-in-Christ that has been mentored by Elisabeth Elliot as I have been. I, too, recently received a letter from Lars (on Elisabeth's behalf) that was so precious. I cried over receiving that letter, as I really did not expect a response. They are such gracious servants. You echo her teachings, and I look forward to the encouragement your posts now bring me. Thank you for sharing. Holly


Thank you for your comment!