Update from Lud, beginning 2024

January 2nd, 2024
What’s in your “bucket list” for 2024?
Maybe we should also ask ourselves, “What’s in God’s ‘bucket list’ for me in 2024”?

Paul addressed this in his letter to the Colossian Church, when he wrote out his prayer for them: “We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding…in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10). In another place Paul added a further dimension: “We constantly pray for you…that by his power God may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith” (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

For prayer: I am planning to continue having a vesper service here once a month – next one will be on January 14. I shared a copy of my book, Walking as He walked, with each resident here – pray that God will use it to draw people closer to Him. Work is being done on my website to improve its usefulness. Translation of my program into Portuguese is being done – pray for someone to do the audio.

HERE IS A NOTE from one who receives my monthly Updates. Pray that her “bucket list” request be fulfilled:

Dear Lud, I heartily agree with those who say your emails are encouraging and enjoyable! I love the stories of God giving you opportunities to share the gospel, and they have made me more bold in my witness. I especially loved your story of being in the hospital with Covid, and how God used you to meditate, pray for and witness to so many people there! I pray now in every setting I’m in that God will help me to say a word about what a faithful God I have, and I’m surprised how easily I can find something to say to strangers about how Jesus has cared for me so well. I wish and pray for the ability to “seal the deal” the way you do, but God continues to use you in your older years, and maybe He will help me become better at actually seeing people be saved in response. Blessings, Liz

HERE IS WHAT I SENT TO HER to help her fulfill her desire.
Hi Liz,
Thanks for your email. It was an encouragement to me.
Regarding your sharing the gospel: I’m glad you are finding it easier to share, but have a hard time closing the deal. There are three things that might help. 1. Pray for God to open hearts and the Holy Spirit’s enabling power. 2. Write out your testimony on one sheet of paper.. One third about your life before you trusted Christ. One third about how you trusted in Him. This is where you want to be clear enough about the steps you took that after hearing your testimony, they would know how to do it. Last third, what difference has it made in your life since you made that decision. Then learn it so that you can on the spur of the moment share it. If you know it well, you can shorten it if necessary or extend it if you have time. 3. Always have a tract or pamphlet with you that explains the gospel clearly. Below is one that I use often. If there is an interest in the one you’re talking to, you can take it out and actually read it with them. It has a prayer in it, and I often read the prayer and then ask if they would like to pray it. They can just read it as their prayer. If they don’t feel comfortable doing that, leave the pamphlet with them so they can read it over, think about it, and maybe pray later on their own.
Hope this is helpful.

Update from Lud, Christmas ’23

December 8th, 2023

As we approach Christmas, I want you to know how much your friendship and prayers have encouraged me this year. It has been quite a journey: In the hospital with pneumonia in January, traveled to North Carolina and entered my new two room apartment in February, sold my house in Novelty in March, and started my “new normal” life here. It’s been quite a journey! I’ve worked at learning my new neighbor’s
names, shared some of my books with residents, prayed with two as they accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, and led three Sunday afternoon “Vesper” services. Please pray that God will bless as I lead the next Vesper service on December 17. Also, that I might bloom where I have been planted by the Lord “for the display of His splendor” (Isaiah 61:3)
Fifty years ago, we as a family of six, did a special Christmas project, sending New Testaments to 250 people, the only ones listed in the telephone directory of Sikkim, a small Himalayan country northeast of India. It now is a province of India. Mur typed the addresses, and the rest of us packaged, stamped and sent out the NTs from Novelty, OH.
Three months later we started receiving letters from some who received the NTs. Mr. Lingdong, was a believer and elder in a church in the capital of Gangtok. I corresponded with him for a number of decades, sending literature to help with the ministry of his church. Another fascinating experience involved a group of young troublemakers who were planning to kidnap the wife of the Prince of Sikkim the day after the NTs arrived. They resented her, a socialite from Cleveland, OH. When the young leader of this group got home his father showed him the NT that came to their home that day. He started reading it and was so fascinated that he read it all night. When he didn’t show up to lead the planned kidnapping the group came to his home to find out why? He told them not to bother him and kept on reading. While this was happening, the Prince found out about the planned kidnapping and whisked his wife and son out of the country to safety. I don’t know the rest of the story. Sorry. But God promises that when His Word goes forth it will not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Update from Lud, Christmas ’23

December 8th, 2023

Update from Lud, November ’23

November 15th, 2023

I’m increasingly getting into the swing of doing ministry in my new setting. The two Vesper services here at Countryside Village (half hour service on Sunday afternoon) in September and October went well. We had 15 and 20 in attendance. The next services will be Sunday, November 19 and Sunday, December 17. Please pray that God will bless those who come out. Then ask God to guide me about whether to continue these services in the New Year. Bible Broadcasting Network is starting work on producing my program in Portuguese, to be broadcast in Brazil. We have work being done to enhance this website. And we are distributing more of my books. May all of this translate into many lives being impacted for Christ during this holiday season, and beyond.
Here are three recent emails from listeners:
Dear Mr. Golz, I love your few minutes with me every morning! I love your perspective and the way you relate life in 2023 with biblical times and people. Please don’t ever stop! Have a blessed day my friend! Your Sister in Christ, Dawn, Dwight, Il
Hi Lud, I listen to your Getting God’s Message program on BBN every weekday morning. Thank you so much. It’s been an incredible blessing to me. On today’s program, you mentioned a book entitled “Light in the Night,” I think. I was wondering how I could obtain a copy. Please let me know. Thank you so much! Megan

Hello Pastor Golz, Every day I read your post and enjoy what you share. Thank you for taking your time to post the material. I read your posting for today regarding Paul’s vision in Acts 16 verse 9.
You indicated in the post that you’ve written a book titled: Light in the Night for Living in the Day.
This particular passage is significant to me in a personal way. Thank you, Wendy

I thought I’d share an old Serendipitous Encounter this month:
I was 17, and a Sr. in High School. That January I came back to Christ. I stopped going in my wayward direction, the first step in repentance. About half a year later I started in a new direction, the second part of repentance. I began going to YFC rallies every Saturday night and soon joined their choir. One night the featured testimony was from a couple of bodybuilders who first demonstrated lifting weights and then gave their testimonies. I thought to myself and then prayed to God, “If You can use these dumb guys, surely You can use me!” Now, I can’t say that was a proper prayer, but God answered it before the rally was over. The YFC Director led a service at the Skid Row Mission in town every Sunday. After the rally God prompted me to ask the Director if I could go the next day and share my testimony. He was delighted. When I got there, I thought my audience would be homeless guys and/or drunkards. They were there, but there was a choir there also with the front row full of teenage girls. I got up, and embarrassingly said, “I’m glad I’m saved,” and sat down. The director got up quickly and said, “You might not think that was much of a testimony. But what Lud said is the most important thing anyone could say. Thank you Lud for sharing.”
Apparently, I was dumber than the bodybuilders. I found out, after they came to trust in Jesus Christ, a mature Christian started mentoring them in how to share their faith. I took a bus for about an hour each way every Sunday to join them in those sessions at their gym. After each session they would go out and stop people to share the gospel with them. I went along and watched how they did it.
Shortly after that our church was having some evangelistic services. A man saw one of our church men walking down the street with a Bible under his arm and followed him to the church. They got into a conversation and sat down in a pew. I was going to a preservice prayer meeting, but when I saw the two men talking, I went over and joined the conversation. The stranger’s frumpy clothes wreaked with the smell of alcohol. I sensed the man from the church didn’t know what to do next and excused himself. I continued the conversation. Soon people were beginning to sit down in the pews, so I suggested we go down to the basement to continue our conversation. When we got alone, I asked him point blank, “Do you believe Jesus can save you?” He nodded yes. So, I said, “Then get on your knees and ask Him to save you.” He did just that, and when he got up, he smiled and to my surprise started singing some choruses he had learned as a child over sixty years ago. He was drunk when I met him. He was sober when he got up from kneeling and praying.
Salvation and having your life changed is a miracle. He was in his 70’s, had wasted most of his life as an alcoholic, but now was going back to work as a prospector in the forests of the interior of British Columbia. We corresponded for about half a year sharing what we were learning from our Bible reading, until I left home for college. He continued walking with Jesus. This whole journey was filled with serendipitous encounters that led to my first experience of participating with God in bringing a man to faith in Jesus Christ.

Update from Lud, October ’23

October 20th, 2023
Update from Lud, October, ‘23
In my last update I asked for prayer while I traveled on September 28th flying to Chicago to spend a few days with Greg and Jeff’s families. We had a great time together watching grandson Benjamine play in an Ultimate Frisbee tournament, as well as enjoying good food and fellowship. From there Greg and I flew to Vancouver, Canada, to visit with my family and friends for the first time in six years. We had wonderful times, in many different settings, getting updated on what has been happening in their lives and sharing what’s been happening in my life. The food was spectacular. As scheduled, I spoke at a Sr’s luncheon in the church where I grew up. I shared how I left from there 69 years ago, and some of what God has done in my life and through my life over the years since then. I based my thoughts on Paul’s prayer recorded in 2nd Thessalonians 1:11-12.
I went there to thank that church for being the seedbed for God to start His work in my life, and for their prayers over the years. I explained how I’ve learned to let God know daily that I’m available, that I know I’m on assignment 24/7 and that I’m His ambassador, confident that He has my back in all I attempt to do for Him. I encouraged them to make that their daily mindset prayer. From there I flew back to my new home in NC. We had the first Vesper Service here in my Sr community on September 24. It went well, with 15 in attendance. Please pray for the second service planned for October 29. Some who couldn’t come to the first service are planning to come to the second. Pray for God’s guidance and blessing as I continue this trial of doing a service each month for the rest of this year. What to do after that is in God’s hands.

In my last Update I promised to share the rest of the Serendipitous Encounter with MM Mathew on the flight in India some years ago. Remember we prayed together as he received Jesus as his Savior, just before the plane landed. When I got home from the trip, I wrote to him, and some months later got a response. (If for some reason you didn’t get to read that account, I’ve included it at the end, below. You might want to read that first)*
Shortly after getting back in Africa to teach, MM started looking for other Christians so they might pray together. That led to a small Bible study group. Gradually he began growing and wanting to get a better understanding of the Bible so he could share his faith with others. He wrote, “My fellowship with other believers is both satisfying and enriching the mind. I am very much delighted to tell you that whenever I get a chance to lead the Bible study, I prepare the lesson using your cassettes or your book, A Daily Guide to Knowing God. Without these tools I would not have been able to do anything. I am very much indebted to you for my Christian growth.” He also distributed to others, books and cassettes I sent him.
When he later moved to Nigeria, he found a strong Evangelical church with services a couple of times a week. He wrote, “I attend regularly and participate actively in both. I am happy to say that I am maturing steadily in my faith, and it gives me much pleasure to share my faith with those around me.”
Over a decade after we first met, he was able to finally get a teaching/principal job back in India, in Darjeeling, in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. From there he finally ended up becoming the principal of a large Christian school in Trivandrum, with a student body of over 2500 students. “It is a matter of great joy to be in a Christian institution, with a beautiful chapel where we have daily evening services,” he wrote.
Over 25 years after we met, he wrote, “My school work is going on well. Our school was the winner of the National Computer Literacy Excellence Award which was instituted for the first time by the Government of India. I had the privilege of receiving this award from the President of India. Our school is a member of an Association which has over 700 member schools all over India. I was unanimously elected the vice-president of this Association for a year and then the President for the next year. Please join me in thanking God for all these blessings.”
What a privilege was mine, to mentor him by correspondence over those years. A few years after that update from him, we met in person for only the second time in over 25 years, this time with our wives. They hosted us for a few days of reminiscing and touring where they then lived. Now you know “The rest of my story!” Or, I believe it would be best to say, “THE REST OF GOD’S STORY!!!”