A note from Lois Babcock:
This is the last of The Old Preacher’s blogs, but certainly not the last of the Old Preacher! Allan was welcomed into eternity by his Lord Sunday, October 28. We are grieving for ourselves, but not for Allan. He has seen Christ and he has gained. Since I don’t know who receives this blog, if you would like to learn more about this Christ-Follower and the life he committed to The Gospel, please go to his obituary page.
And if you would like to leave a condolence message sharing how Allan blessed you, please scroll down on the obituary page and you’ll find a place to do it. Our family would enjoy hearing from you.
Because you followed Allan’s blog, you know of his fight with Primary Lateral Sclerosis. He never gave into this dreadful disease and he never stopped striving to overcome its crippling symptoms as it attacked his nervous system. Daily Allan prayed for healing, and many others prayed as well. But the healing did not come. We cannot figure out God’s plans—but we can trust the sovereignty of God. Some live to 95, others die at 36 leaving young children, some are martyred doing God’s work. There’s cancer, murder, accidents, natural disasters. Let’s not see evil in God’s ways. God appoints when we are to die. Jesus died at God’s timing, even though it was evil. Nothing or no one can end our lives. Only God. On February 27, 2016 Allan wrote, “Death is the corridor to Jesus.” For Allan death was not an end, but a beginning!
Allan’s last sermon as pastor of SonRise Community Church (in 2014) was from the same Scripture passage he shared to challenge his fellow college students in his commencement address (1970). Allan loved all of God’s Word, and didn’t have a life verse. But, on two significant life-changing occasions, he chose to speak on the Scripture below. These verses defined his life. Following is the text from his 2014 written sermon. (Allan’s comments explaining Paul’s writing are in parenthesis.) We offer it as the final words posted on The Old Preacher, with the prayer that you will be encouraged to live out the title: CHASE HARD AFTER CHRIST!
“But whatever was to my profit (my Jewish religious heritage and my religious observances) I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss (what I’ve achieved, whatever I’ve valued) compared to the surpassing greatness (worth) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting (not paying attention to) what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:7-14
My family and I are mourning our loss. Allan leaves a huge hole in our lives. However, we are celebrating God’s grace and mercy. Allan lived Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Our prayer is that you will do the same. You can—
CHASE HARD AFTER CHRIST!