July 1, 2012

Food for the Soul

I know something about coming hungry to the Phillips’ table (see Earl Phillips’ sermon). My first visit to their home was on Mother’s Day 1974, when Brother Earl was serving as pastor of our Dallas, Oregon, Apostolic Faith Church. The evening before, I had telephoned him from my apartment thirty miles away in Corvallis where I was attending Oregon State University, requesting directions to the church. He provided them, and also included an invitation to visit their home after the service for Sunday dinner. I accepted.

Previously un-churched and recently converted, my spiritual birth—which had taken place two months prior to my visit to the Phillips’ home—was accompanied by a desperate hunger for knowing how to serve God. Former sinful habits and appetites had instantly vanished from my life when I prayed through to salvation. But what should come next? How does one begin to live for the Lord? I was hopeful that divine help would come through going to church that day, and it did.

While details of the Mother’s Day menu at the Phillips’ home escape my memory, I have never forgotten that the young woman I would later marry helped serve that meal! Debbie was living in the Phillips’ home at the time, and we were married in the Dallas church two years later. It is also clear in my mind how God began to satisfy my hunger for Him. Attending church that Mother’s Day was the next step in a valuable practice of frequent church attendance that has continued ever since. Over the years, our two children learned the value of being in church as regularly as possible, and now our five grandchildren are being taught the same lesson.

Two months after my first church visit to Dallas, God sanctified me at Portland camp meeting, and the following January He filled me with the Holy Ghost in our Roseburg, Oregon, church. From then until now, there has never been a doubt in my mind that God will satisfy the longing of a hungry soul without regard for the lack of previous knowledge of Him. The key is to cultivate our natural, God-given spiritual appetites through prayer, reading the Bible, and attending church regularly.

We pray that the articles you find in this Higher Way magazine will feed your soul and encourage you to hunger for more of God.

apostolic faith magazine