Thursday, August 30, 2012

Doug Goodno: A Father in the Faith

Over the last few weeks I have been writing about a document I keep on the desktop of my computer entitled, “My Motivation.” It is designed to remind and inspire and focus me toward Christ-centered living, but it’s comprised of pictures rather than words. Nine of the fifteen pictures are of various men of God who inspire me for a number of reasons and play important roles in my life.

One man who has played a major role in my life but who doesn’t appear on my “Wall of Faith” is Doug Goodno. Why? Simply because I don’t have an electronic picture of him! But if I did, his would be the most prominent of them all. Doug was not the one who led me to Christ, or who first discipled me in Christ, but the Lord brought him into my life at a crucial time and, in many ways, he became a kind of father to me. I don’t think I could write a book about him, but I could certainly write a chapter of a book about him, and perhaps someday I will. But for the purposes of this devotional, let me just summarize several life-shaping lessons I learned from Doug.

First, Doug taught me to be a man of the Word. He was not the first to teach me this lesson, but Doug provided a most amazing example of what it looks like when the Word of Christ dwells richly in a man; when he reads it and also lives by it; when he does more than just check off the “I read my Bible today” box, but somehow, by the grace of the Spirit, really connects with Jesus by the Word. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for this example.

Second, Doug taught me to pray. The reason Doug’s life in the Word was so life-giving, was because he sought, by the grace of Christ, to connect with the God of the Word by prayer. He read the words from God each day, and then he prayed those words back to God. He slept only six hours per night, rising at 4:00 a.m. every morning just to be with Jesus, and he did this for over fifty years! The glory for this belongs to Jesus alone, and Doug would be the first to tell you that Jesus gave him the grace to live in this way. But I cannot tell you how grateful I am for an example in my life of a man who preferred Jesus to rest. I need more than six hours of sleep each night, but I pray that I would share in Doug’s overwhelming passion to be with his Savior day by day—just to be with him.

Third, Doug taught me to sing. Every morning he would sing a number of hymns to Jesus, and in this way he committed hundreds of them to memory. So many times when I would come to Doug with a praise or prayer request or concern of my heart, he would answer with Bible verses and hymns, by which I mean he would often quote lines, stanzas, and entire hymns from memory. Oh the glory of a mind saturated with the Word of Christ and heart overflowing with the praise of Christ!

Doug went to be with the Lord several years ago, but neither his passion for being with Christ nor his example have died, rather, they have come into fullness.

Longing to love Jesus more than all,
Pastor Charlie

2 comments:

  1. Mike Fetters1:20 PM

    Pastor Charlie,
    I led Doug to the Lord in San Bernardino, Cal. in 1981.
    Thanks for the encouragement!

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    1. Hi Mike, thanks for the comment. The Doug Goodno about whom I wrote came to the Lord in the early 50s if I remember right, so I think we have different people in mind. Thanks for taking the time to comment, though, I hope you have a blessed day!

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