Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott

JOYFULLY Vol 14 No 5

February 5, 2015

Dear Friend,

I remember vividly after preaching a sermon based on Philippians 4:6, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice,” of going home and learning of my father’s brain cancer. I found myself singing that simple worship song, “Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again I say rejoice,” while weeping at the same time – and realizing the two were utterly appropriate at the same time. 

I feel that way again.

A great many of us are grieving the death of Steve Hayner, President of Columbia Theological Seminary, and quite plainly one of the most authentically real Christians any of us have ever known.  Our prayers for his wife, Sharol, and their family and friends continue.

When I served with Jim Tozer as an associate pastor on his staff for fifteen years, I was taken with the way Jim always signed his letters, “Joyfully, Jim.”  

Wanting to emulate Jim without being a copycat, I began to sign all of my letters and later my emails “With joy,  Stan.” Others who knew Jim followed suit in various ways.

Years later when enjoying the novels of Patrick O’Brian and his stories of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin who sailed for the Royal Navy in the years following 1800, I noticed they often took leave of one another saying, “Joy to you,” an expression I have loved and used ever since.

Over the many years I have known Steve Hayner he always signed his letters and emails, “Joyfully, Steve.”  I don’t know what inspired him to do that but I do know it was the genuine expression of who he was on this earth and who he is now, face to face with Lord who loves him.

"Although you have not seen him [Jesus], you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” I Peter 1:8-9*

Joy to you - E. Stanley Ott
Copyright 2015 E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the NRSV