If I was the type to create Super Apostles then John Chapman would be right at the top of my list. But he’d doubtless hate that. I love Chappo, and he frequently tops the list of “things I love about growing up in a ministry household”… Chappo is a family friend, which is splendiforous (a Chappoism).
Gordo has been posting the transcript of an interview between Chappo and Kel Richards over on his blog (part one, part two). It’s heartwarming and encouraging stuff to read the reflections of a wise saint who has lived his life pursuing God’s glory and telling people about Jesus. I highly commend them to you. Here’s a sample, where he talks about being/getting old…
“John: When you get old, you don’t become a different person. You’re the same person who was always there, only it takes you longer to do things. Why I thought I’d be able to catch up I’ve no idea. See, when you become old, you don’t become different.
One of the nice parts about living in this [retirement] village is, collectively, we’ve got an enormous amount of knowledge. If you want to know how to do something, there’s somebody here to teach you. And, that’s the nice part about living with a hundred and twenty, hundred and fifty people. Amongst us all, we’ve got a massive amount of skills. You want to learn to use the computer, the computer club’ll spend time, and they’ve got it, to do with you. If you want to play chess and board games, there’s someone who’ll play with you in the living, in the sitting room.
Kel: So if old age is just like the rest of life, then older people, even though death is approaching, don’t give any extra thought to God.
John: Don Howard* used to tell a story of a man he visited in Burwood East. And he urged this man to turn to Christ, he was fit and well. And he said Don I don’t need God.
Don said I visited him in hospital where he was lapsing in and out of consciousness. And Don said you don’t have a lot of time left, you should turn to Christ. And he said you don’t think a fit man like me is about to die do you?
Now you see, if you’ve spent a lifetime of saying no, why would you suddenly say yes? There’s no more new information to have. I’m a sinner; Christ died for me; I need to repent; I need to trust him. If I don’t believe that when I’m seventeen, there’s odds on I won’t believe it at 37.”
*Don Howard is my grandfather.