Thursday, October 9, 2008
What a very busy week this last week has been with the adjusting still to a newborn in the home, missions conference going on at church, teaching in the academy and college, and the “care of the church” that is daily. I finally sat down today to begin writing a post for the blog. It was then I received a phone call.
Apparently my grandfather, Travis Hudson, is not doing well. His health is failing him. I had my “idea” for my blog for this week, but I will save it for another time as I wish to just write a little about my grandfather.
Proverbs 13:20-22 reads, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed. A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”
These verses, I believe, epitomize my grandfather….
Born to family in the hollars of Hazard, Kentucky, my grandfather was raised to be a country boy. I have sat and enjoyed hours of stories of how my grandfather grew up with frogs, sling shots, snakes, swinging bridges, craw dads and creeks. After getting saved, my grandfather realized the call of God upon His life to preach. He then, with a purpose to please the Lord with His life, sought the Lord’s direction for Him.
In 1949, a small mission work, the West Moraine Baptist Mission, called as its pastor Travis Hudson. Many souls saved later, many stories of the power of God later, many miracles and testimonies of God’s grace later…my grandfather continues to this day to be co-pastor of the Moraine Heights Baptist Church. 59 years preaching and pastoring at the same church…what an example.
My grandfather has given to me so many ensamples from which to pattern my life. Nearly every Tuesday, while growing up, I went fishing with my grandfather. He not only taught me how to fish, but he showed me how to live. Honestly, friendly, with conviction he walked his life. I have never met a greater soul winner than my grandfather. Nearly everyone we ever came in contact with, he always brought the conversation to the Lord and faith in Him.
Now I know that everyone is a sinner, and this includes my grandfather; but I have never seen or known of my grandfather ever sinning. I know he has, but with all honesty I never have seen it. He practices what he preaches. I grew up a member of his church, and any good traits I may have as a pastor I learned from him who also taught my father.
As a pastor, he loved people. Nearly every pastor says the same (as do I), but in him something is different. He loves and they love him. That to me is a sign of genuine love, for concerning Christ “We love him because He first loved us.” My grandfather did things the old fashion way. He loved people, he spent time with people, he prayed for his people countless hours, he wept with and for people, he sacrificed for people, he preached standards and holiness in dress and music and life, he spent and continues to spend hours knocking doors inviting folks to church and more importantly to Christ.
Recently I went up to see my grandfather and he wanted to show me something at his church. When we got in the car, there were VBS flyers in the seat. He had been out passing them out inviting children to ride the bus to VBS….he is 80, can not read what is printed on those papers, and doesn’t have the strength he once had...but he doesn’t quit.
My grandfather was always thinking…thinking of ways to get people revived and excited about the Lord. Some ideas were gems, some we will leave at ideas…but he believed in them all and never quit.
He has been stubborn in his thinking. If he is right, he is right. When it is based on the Book, you stand for it. I have never been to his house that he has not shared with me what he has been studying the Bible. I went yesterday to his house so he could see Hope and Alex and Grace could see Papa and Mama Hudson. He shared with me yesterday how he had been studying that before most great men in the Bible died, they gathered their children and grandchildren around them and prayed for God’s blessing, prospering, protection, guidance, and deliverance. He told me and my sister that he desired for us to come back soon and allow him to have that prayer with us. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
He has been my counselor since becoming a pastor. There have been many times I have gone to him and ask him how to handle a matter when Scripture was somewhat silent on it. His counsel has been “You never help people do wrong, but you always help people do right.” This counsel has been precious to me and perfect for so many situations.
I cannot begin to write about the times of prayer we have shared. Be them in his living room, in his office at work, or around a table before a meal; I never have prayed with a man withs such compassion and broken heart. Those are powerful prayers. I have never heard anyone pray for the salvation of souls like my grandfather. Tears running down a wrinkled face is only the beginning. His prayers come from a broken and humble heart...how I desire that heart.
He has been wise with his finances and able to help others and family when in need. The Lord has unusually blessed him in this wisdom. Why? Our text reveals that answer: Proverbs 13:20-22 reads, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed. A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”
With always a joke, with always a word of counsel, with always a smile on his worn and tired face…there is a man I call Papa. A man I love and thank God for. A man I owe my ministry to. A man of God, the old fashion type… the real ones.
“The person who did the finding did the rejoicing.” –Travis Hudson
No wonder he has such joy!