Tuesday, January 23, 2018

My Dad, Barnabas

Denver Haught, age 81, died November 29, 2016 from Parkinson’s disease.  He was known to Christians around West Virginia, having preached in many congregations in Tyler County, including Burt and Sistersville, as well as Sandyville, Romney and West Ripley. 

For a large portion of my life, he was just my dad - someone I loved, trusted, and admired but also shared with members of the churches where he worked.  It wasn’t until many years later that I realized the relationships he had with so many Christians, and the affect he had on their lives.  The apostles named Joses Barnabas, meaning Son of Encouragement (Acts 4:36), and I know that my father was a Barnabas to many Christians. 

Looking back, I see Dad as being a Barnabas in the church.  He was always encouraging people!  As he visited friends and family, Dad encouraged them to become Christians, return to the church or to just be faithful in their service and attendance.  I remember hearing about how he went to high school and family reunions, and spoke to many of his classmates about the church.  He faithfully attended gospel meetings, sings, lectureships and the like, and Dad encouraged preachers with his handshake and kind word.   His attendance alone, especially in later years as his health deteriorated, was an encouragement.  Dad never liked to miss out on an opportunity to be with other Christians!  He encouraged many to make preaching the Word their profession and was filled with joy when that happened.  He made you feel good with his smile, his hug and his words.  Of course, encouragement isn’t all feel-good stuff!  Strong words were said when needed, but always seasoned with much love. 
If anyone was sick or in the hospital, Dad would visit.  If someone missed a service, Dad would call.  He performed many funerals and also many weddings.  While cleaning his office, I found a large bag full of funeral calling cards – so many with his name as the officiant.  He was loved and respected by many.

Dad was a Barnabas in his family.  He & mom (Dorotha) celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary June 3, 2016.  Mom was the most important person in his life.  He depended upon her for so much!  Many knew that he suffered from macular degeneration, and was unable to drive.  Mom was always there to take him where he wanted and needed to go.  There are 4 children, all who are serving God faithfully where we live, Debra & Chris Tallman in Parkersburg, David & Debra in Middlebourne, Doug & Linda and Deirdra & Timothy in Virginia.  We were taught that the Lord comes first!

While he has been gone a year now, there isn’t a day that I don’t think of him and miss his voice, his advice and his smile.  The Bible mentions Barnabas in just a few places, but 2000 years later, we have books written about him and sermons preached of him.  I know for me, and my family, we will never forget dad and how he lived his life and I pray others don’t forget the encouragement received from my Dad, Barnabas.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Be Light

Just a thought ... 

  • If I do not look different than the world, how do they know I am different?
  • If I do not behave differently than the world, how do they know I am different?  
  • If a city set on a hill cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14) my Christian light must show.
  • My Christian light must show in how I present myself on a daily basis.
  • My Christian light must show on special occasions.
  • My Christian light must show in how I speak.
  • My Christian light must show in what I write (emails, social media, etc.)  
Matthew 5:13-15  “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.  “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

How is your light shining this week? 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Guest Blogger! "Standing in the Breach" West Virginia School of Preaching Graduation Ceremony

Last Friday night, the majority of our family attended the West Virginia School of Preaching graduation ceremony.  Our parents, Denver & Dorotha Haught, were honored for their many years of service in the church.  My brother Doug Haught, of Albana, GA, spoke these words and I thought I would share them on my blog.  He also had some personal comments on our father which I have left off.  

What an honor to have this heritage in the Lord, and also for us to be in attendance of this event.  

Standing in the Breach

Ezekiel 22.  The text falls into three sections dealing with the impurity of Jerusalem and the people of Judah. 

The first section (vv. 1-16) is an indictment of the city with her sins of bloodshed, idolatry, adultery, and oppression. It includes a judgment from God that exile and dispersion were inevitable. 

The second section (vv. 17-22) speaks of the refiner's furnace (or God's judgment) being used to purify the city.  As a fire burns the dross from the ore, so God's punishment would consume the wicked. 

The third section (vv. 23-31) reveals the evil doing of the whole population of Judah, including leaders, priests, princes, and prophets.  No righteous souls were found to spare the city.  The doom of Jerusalem was sealed. 

The repetition of words like "blood" and "bloodshed" is noticeable in this chapter.  Her judgment was obviously related to her being "the bloody city."  

What I want to focus on is that last section, and particularly verse 30.  "And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none."

Having looked at four classes of people in verse 29, God declared that he had examined everyone and yet found "no one" living righteously.  The ills of the society were being left unattended because no one was willing to build up the wall that had been broken down; none would stand in the breach and represent the people with righteousness. 

Judah had no champions to represent her to the Lord or try to dissuade the people from their wickedness. 
We need men and women today who will stand in the breach and dissuade the people from their wickedness.

1.  We must stand in the breach and declare right is right and wrong is wrong. 

Isaiah 5:20 "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"  The evil of man will never end, but we must not become like the evil that is around us.  Romans 12: 21 "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." 

2. We need to fill the breach between "Thus says the Lord" and "Thus says man."   

Pride leads us to do a lot of things that we want to do.  In 2 Chronicles 26:1-15 Uzziah becomes a great king.  He did what was right in the sight of the Lord with all of his heart. And so God blessed him.  He made war against the Philistines and broke down the wall of Gath.  He even settled the people in the land of the Philistines.  He built towers and cut out many cisterns, he had large herds and had fertile lands full of  produce.   The army had 2,600 men of valor and 307, 500 under his command.  He built towers on the corners of Jerusalem that could shoot arrows and throw great stones.  However,  when he grew strong and his pride overwhelmed his desire to please God, he decided that he was going to make a sacrifice to God. The "thus says the Lord" no longer mattered to him, and he rushed into the temple to burn incense. 
81 priests rush in to stop Uzziah.  They were willing to stand in the breach and defy their king.  And because Uzziah would not relent God made him a leper.  And the king was separated with the lepers, and he died and was buried with the lepers.  We need to fill the breach between "thus says the Lord" and "thus says man."

3. We need to fill the breach between fear and courage.

Matthew 10:28-31 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."  Do not be fearful.  I John "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 
Do not be fearful.  We need to fill the breach between fear and courage.

4.  Stand in the breach as Jesus has stood in the breach for you. 

Job asks the question, "How can a man be righteous before God?"  Job 9:2
And Paul answers that question in Romans 5:1-5.  He says it's Jesus.  And that God's love has been poured into us.  So how can I not stand in the breach? 

My father has been standing in the breach for over 52 years.  But he has not stood alone, my mother has been by his side through this journey.  Which of us could live such a life without someone to stand with us? 
I still hear my father's voice when I preach.  His mannerisms have been passed down, his way of saying things.  I hope his care and concern have passed on.  While my father can no longer stand as he stood, others are there to take his place. I stand today in the breach.  I am a champion of the Lord.  There is no better life than this.  

When there was a need, dad stood in the breech.
When there was no one else to do what needed done, dad stood in the breech.
When no one else would say what needed said, dad stood in the breech.

The need is still there.  The evil one is still prowling.  Will you also stand in the breech?
Will you do what needs to be done?
Will you say what needs to be said?