Tag Archives: old nature

I Will Remember Him That Way–Elegy for My Mentor

I thought of my spiritual mentor who passed away some nine years ago now.  Without him and his love and patience, I would not have come out of the depraved selfish existence I led in my old life.  I wrote this elegy upon hearing of his death.  I want to share it with you.

I Will Remember Him That Way

I will remember him, but not for his last days on earth.

I will recall three decades ago, when the world was mad

and senseless and cruel,

When a young man and woman so in need of love

and patience

And so full of fear and loss and alienation, with cynicism

in full rotten bloom—

I’ll remember him that day, that warm April East Texas

spring day

When the joy emanating from his countenance hit me right

in the chest

As I strutted in with a smirk that said,

Okay, show me what you got,

Because I’ve just about given up the search for truth,

although I talk about it all the time,

And I know that my old self is my nemesis, my master, my

ruin,

And I can’t get rid of it by myself, because my self is my

very problem,

And I know that it has to die, and I’ve looked three years in

books from India,

And books from China, and books from Persia,

And none of the sages of the East could tell me how to put

my self to death,

And live to tell about it,

And I knew that I would waste my time

In looking to the christian buildings which cannot hold

moms and dads together in love—

So as a last futile foray for the truth before I give up

And sink into the numbness of nothingness,

I was thinking, Okay, show me what you got.

And he did, as I remember the joy and the love that swept

down on me,

As he spoke of a certain writer named Paul who spoke of

an old man Adam

Who was now put to death with the Lamb in a Roman 6

finality

And who could be raised to walk in a newness of life.

“You mean that my old self, my old ego, can die?”

I asked out loud that April morning in the cedar cabin in the

East Texas woods.

“That’s exactly what Paul is saying.”

And so I had finally found my sign that I had searched for.

I’ll remember him that way,

As the joyous messenger of my joy in God.

I’ll remember how he let me keep sleeping till noon the first

time we spent the night,

Under his breakfast table in the tarpaper shack,

For I was bidden to come and rest, and he let me rest.

I’ll recall the joy and deliverance from tobacco, drugs, alcohol,

and cursing.

I’ll remember him that way.

I’ll remember the countless times I robbed him of his rest,

And he would smile,

Knowing I was special in the hands of God.

I’ll remember him that way.

I’ll remember a man who believed in me like no one had done

before.

I’ll remember the days of Pepsi and popcorn,

And winter mornings, wood burning stove, kettle on top,

Cool mornings full of hot tea and scriptures,

When riches meant nothing and material possessions held no

power over us,

As we sat laughing into the gentle breezy piney woods evenings,

Secure at last that, yes, there is a God with a plan and purpose,

And all was as it should be here on earth at this moment.

I’ll remember him that way.

I’ll remember Tom as the mentor of my youth,

Who awakened me to greater things than my old self,

Who showed me how to speak to tens of thousands

about the Kingdom.

I’ll remember him as the one who helped me

along the road to God,

Who patiently in those early days,

taught me all the Truth he knew.

And so I ask, What more can any one man do?

I’ll remember him that way.

I’ll not let those early days be blotted out of my memory

By judging him on his last days on earth—

No matter how much it hurt—

I’ll leave all judgements of him to God and to bitter little hearts

Who can’t remember him in the early days.

But I’ll remember him that way.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under apostles' doctrine, crucified with Christ, death of self, old self, repentance, truth

The Fall of Tiger Woods–From a Biblical Perspective

Tiger Woods and his fall from grace has been a shocking revelation to everyone.  How does one go from demi-god to goat in a few days?  From a squeaky clean cultural icon to the butt of late night jokes?

Many are asking, Why?  Why, Tiger, did you do it?  You are worth a billion dollars.  You have a beautiful wife and gorgeous kids.  You own mansions in every corner of the world.  You who are so high up on the pedestal of man’s adoration–what could have possessed you to do such things?

Many excuses have been offered by the press.  He had lived a sheltered life.  Golf was his only world, and he didn’t have a normal childhood.  His “dating life” growing up was skewered because of his early celebrity.

Please.  Enough of man’s sappy wisdom.  What is the raw straight truth as to why he did it?

The Scriptures of truth speak of a corrupt spiritual condition we are all born with [1].  We are born with an old sinful nature.  And this old heart is incorrigible.  You can dress it up nice every Sunday morning, change  the music that it listens to and the books that it reads, but if still alive and given the chance, it will sin.  It cannot change itself.  Try as we might, we cannot effect a lasting change for our old sinful nature.  It has to be stopped, but we in our own power cannot change ourselves [2].

And when you add riches to this old nature, self-deception increases dramatically.  In the mind of man, riches give power, and power gives license to do, they think, whatever they want to do.  They think, “I have money and power and fame.  I’m somebody special, and I am above the law”, especially the moral law of the universe placed there by the Creator.  The “deceitfulness of riches” has tainted the rich man’s mind, deceiving him into thinking that he alone decides what is right or wrong personally for himself [ 3 ].

Like the kings of old, who did whatever came into their mind because they had the power, Tiger Woods has succumbed to the same temptations.  Like a classic tragedy worthy of the name, Tiger’s tragic flaw has been exposed, and it is his downfall, even as we speak.  And so we all can fall, if we are not sober and vigilant, always on guard against our formidable adversary, the devil [4].  And this enemy does not have a forked tail and horns; he has a forked tongue that lies to us in our thoughts and will lead us away from everything that we love or should love–especially our Maker.

Tiger’s sin?  He confessed already his “infidelity,”  which is a cleaned-up synonym for adultery.  Committing adultery is breaking one of the Ten Commandments, and breaking those is sin [5].   And there is a reason why God commanded us to not do this act.  For sin will bring reproach and eventually destroy a person.  “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” [6].

Sin is a spiritual condition that we are born in, but we are not destined to remain in it!  That’s the good news.  Christ’s whole message for us in the personal realm is that He came to eradicate sin out of our lives [7 ].  He did this at the cross by taking our sin upon Himself as the sacrificial Lamb of God, and dying.  And when He died that day roughly 2,000 years ago, our sins, along with our old sinful nature, died with Him!

And when we believe that He rose from the grave, we then receive a new heart, a sinless heart, a new spiritual nature, a new life–in Him.  And He then gives us His Spirit, and by faith in His power, He keeps us from falling.  We are now “raised to walk in a newness of life”.  The old sinful life is gone, “for he that is dead is freed from sin” [8].

But this will only happen when a person is sick and tired of the sinful life they have been living.  And this usually happens when they hit rock bottom.  When a person gets to the putrid bottom of the spiritual gutter, and they have had enough of the swine-pens of sin, then they can finally hit the Rock of our salvation.

Riches, however, prevent one from hitting rock bottom.  That’s why Christ said, “How difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” [9].  Why?  Because his riches tell him that it really isn’t that bad.  Yeah, you made some mistakes, but nobody’s perfect, right?  Look at me.  I’ve still got my money.  I’ll patch it up.  Hey, life is good.  Minor bump in the road.  That’s all.

And so,to the rich, this truth about how to really repent from sin and sinning becomes so much nonsense and foolishness.  Yet Tiger needs this message today.  I’m sending it out into the blogosphere.  Do you think he’ll ever get it?

Do you think anyone will get it?  I do.  Because of our destiny in Him.              Kenneth Wayne Hancock

  1. Romans 5: 12
  2. Romans 7: 17-20
  3. Matt. 13: 22
  4. I Peter 5: 8
  5. I John 3: 4-5
  6. Proverbs 14: 34
  7. Romans 6: 6
  8. Romans 6: 4-18
  9. Matt. 19: 23

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Filed under cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, old self, sin