October 1, 2015

Grace Extended

About thirty years ago, an FBI agent showed up at the office where I was employed to ask questions of me. There was no small talk. He was a tall, stoic man—all business. The questions he asked were for him to learn as much as he could about a young man who attended our Dallas, Oregon, church where I was a minister. The young man’s name was Mike Friesen. He was applying to join the Air National Guard and would eventually need top secret security clearance. The interview of me was part of the application process, and I knew some things about the applicant that were worth sharing.

The Friesen family had moved to Dallas a couple of years earlier when Brother Mike’s father was asked to assume the pastorate of our church there. He soon became a principle piano accompanist for small vocal groups which at times included my wife. Debbie would often tell me of the challenges she and her peers placed upon Brother Mike, asking him to change keys or to help them hammer out their parts, all in the last few minutes before entering into a church service. He handled himself in the same manner he would later fly F-4s and F-15s—unflappable and with great poise.

Brother Mike learned the truth of the Gospel while being reared in a God-fearing home. He witnessed first-hand how God’s grace was extended to his parents, who lived consistent Christian lives before him and his two brothers. One truth he learned was that Jesus was going to return one day. When he was just eight years old, he had a dream that the Lord came back for His saints. In his dream, all the saved went up to meet the Lord but he was left behind. He forgot all about the dream . . . until he lay down to sleep again the next night. Suddenly, fear gripped his heart. He jumped out of bed and asked his parents to pray with him that he would be saved. Within moments, he experienced the grace of God as he prayed through, with tears, to salvation.

I shared some of these details with the FBI agent that day. He didn’t smile or disclose his thoughts about what he was hearing. However, he heard about salvation through Brother Mike’s story, and we can conclude that God’s grace was being extended to that man. We pray that you too will experience God’s grace as you read the truths in this issue of Higher Way magazine.

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