September 1, 2009

Thank You, Rocky Branch

In 1994 I sold books door to door with a Thomas Nelson college internship program. My two roommates and I lived in Morganton, North Carolina for twelve weeks, working up to 13 hours a day, six days a week. Sunday sales meetings were always in another town, but I managed to find a surrogate family one sunday or two, and at least one wednesday I ditched work, at the Walker Road Baptist Church.

The head pastor's name was Dr. Rocky Branch. I spent many late weeknight hours in his study and probably many more in his kitchen. His wife Janis made me a birthday cake. Over thirteen weeks, Rocky and Janis nurtured me through what I think may remain the most difficult experience I have ever gone through. Essentially, I'd had some juvenile vision about learning sacrifice and becoming a better christian by working eighty hours a week and it was driving me crazy.

One night I will never forget, Rocky said words that I had never heard before. To this day, I have never heard them again. I don't know if he read them or if God gave these words directly to Rocky. I can't imagine why I have yet to hear them anywhere else, but they are words I have dwelled on every day this summer, and I want to acknowledge and thank Rocky for saying them to me: "There's only one reason to die on a cross. Because it pleases the Father."

3 comments:

A. Amos Love said...

Bill - A little sugar goes a long way; Yes?

Lord, thank you for the Rocky Branches in our life.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; (and us?)
Isa 53:10

He that spared not his own Son, (are we sons?)
but delivered him up for us all,
Ro 8:32

And he that taketh not his cross,
and followeth after me,
is not worthy of me.
Mt 10:38

Whosoever will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mark 8:34

And whosoever doth not bear his cross,
and come after me,
cannot be my disciple.
Lu 14:27

Love, Joy and Peace...

Bill said...

That's some good sugar, Amos.
:-)

Anonymous said...

My husband found this last night. I don't comment often, but I thought I should for this. We met Rocky and Janice this summer. They had VBS at a church near us, Clear Creek Baptist, outside of Charlotte. They had classes for our 3 year old up to adult, which was taught by Pastor Rocky.I learned so much from this and was interested in reading the Bible again. We got to go each night. We have attended this church Sunday and Wednesday night since then. It has meant alot to me. Janice helps with classes for the children, she has been so good to our boys.
I bought a Bible from a college student door to door salesman. This was "out in the country" of Stanly County, NC. It was the early 1990's, because I was out of high school at the time. I'm glad I kept this Bible. I did not read it very often before the VBS classes this summer.
Thank you, Rocky, Janice, and the Bible salesman!

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