He writes: “I know you will receive hundreds of cards, notes, and spoken words of encouragement and condolence during these days. It may take you many, many hours (days?) to read them all, and that alone is a testament to the impact that you and Carlin have had on 1000s of people’s lives—to the Glory of God.
I may not see you at the service today, as there will be many who will want to talk with you, so I thought I’d write a couple of thoughts. I could say so much about the impact Carlin had on my life as a younger leader, but , so I don’t bore you, I thought I’d just comment on three key ways Carlin influenced me to follow more earnestly after Jesus:
1) BBC, first year preaching class! I credit Carlin’s passion for the Word as the reason I chose to pursue the pulpit. Yes, there was and is “God’s call” but that general call to ministry was directed to the pulpit and the local church by a Bible School prof who passionately loved and modeled preaching and the local church. I still remember his consistent challenge based on II Timothy 4:2—“Preach the WORD, boys! Preach the WORD!”
2) His mentoring from a distance. I recall in the early years of our ministry that once or twice a year, the phone would ring and it would be Carlin’s unscheduled check-up call! To encourage, to counsel, to listen, and to pray. Always saying, “Just keep showing up, man! Just keep showing up!” Only God know how timely those calls always were.
3) A man of prayer and devotion. Perhaps most important was Carlin’s modeling of a burden, commitment, and passion for prayer and immersion in the Word. He would say, “I figured someone around here had better be dedicated to prayer and to the study of the Word—and that it better be me!”
How good of the Heavenly Father to give me a godly older brother to mentor me along this journey of ministry. I cried the day I learned that Carlin had stepped through the veil into eternity. But I know he was warmly welcomed as he arrived where we will all shortly follow!
Marcia, thank you for sharing Carlin with so many of us. May Jesus wrap his arms of comfort around you.
Love in Christ,
I think of I Cor. 15:58 which says, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
Oh, Father my his tribe increase.
Bless you, Mark!