Friday, October 26, 2012

Just As I (Wish I Could Say) I Am

For the last several years, I have been privileged to be the song leader for various seminars held at 'The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove.'  In addition, I have been blessed to play at special 'Christmas at the Cove' programs hosted by Cliff Barrows, with George Beverly Shea providing cameo performances.  I have been blessed by the opportunity to partner with these amazing men, along with their impressive wives.  My wife, Jennifer, and I even had the joy of meeting and ministering with Dr. Billy and his estimable bride, Ruth, who has since gone on to her eternal reward.

'The Cove' is the gift of the Graham's to the body of believers, dedicated to train people in the scriptures in order to share their faith with a needy and sin-sick world.  It also serves as a place of rest and refuge for the family of God, where everyone is treated royally, like children of a king, (which indeed they are)!  The hallways are filled with pictures depicting the life of Billy Graham, from past to present; display cases show mementos from their years of ministry; the decor reflects Ruth Graham's desire to make everyone who visits feel as if they are in their family home.

Should you ever decide to go there, you'll be fed with the finest of food; not only the culinary delights, but also the sumptuous servings of the Word of God, in which is our true delight!  All this will be experienced in the most beautiful of settings, the rolling hills of Asheville, North Carolina!

I have so enjoyed my continuing sojourn with the good folks at The Cove. It is, indeed, as close to heaven as one can find on earth!

There is only one problem I have when I am there.  I find myself surrounded by the evidences of Dr. Billy's 'life well lived!'  It is awe-inspiring to trace the history of what God has done with and through him these many years. One can only marvel to observe what can be done with and through a person wholly given to the Lord and His Gospel!  (And that is only the 'witness' of The Cove; there is a whole library in Charlotte testifying to the life of this ambassador for our Messiah, his family, and his ministry partners!)

My problem?  I can't help looking at my life in the light of what I see there...and it's sometimes painful to consider!  (As we say where I come from:  Oy vey!  That's Yiddish for, 'woe is me!')

The good news is that Dr. Graham never takes credit for his historic life; he always gives glory to God, exhorting people to think on what God--not he--has done.  Even his autobiography bears the title, 'Just As I Am,' taken from the hymn by Charlotte Elliott that says:

'Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me.'

With this title, Billy Graham is communicating to all of us that it is only the sacrifice of the savior, Yeshua (Jesus), that has made us acceptable to the Lord.  None of us can glory in ourselves; only in Him who has saved us and sanctified us and 'delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love!'  (Colossians 1:13)

Still...I can't help wondering if my life could have been...and could be... more fruitful, more effective for God, if only...(fill in the blank)!

Will my biography be titled: 'Just As I (Wish I Could Say) I Am?

That remains to be seen!  These day I lean hard on the promise that states: 'He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ)!'  (Phillipians 1:6)

However, I thought I would simply share some of my thoughts with you, my friends, with whom I have not communicated for a long while!  (Sorry!)  With these musings, I hope to 'nudge' myself into sharing some more in the days ahead!

Pray for Dr, Graham and his family; the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Cove; and would you please pray for me!

Jenny and I, along with our daughter, Misha, would covet your prayers, and we thank you for your faithful interest in what we are doing.

In the meantime, I will meditate on a 'hymn' from our CD, 'Hope of Glory':

'Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.'   Psalm 90:12

'Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Yeshua from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Messiah Jesus, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen.'  (Hey, that scripture is sung on 'Hope of Glory' as well!)

Please forgive the shameless plug!!

Thanks for listening!!

Just As We Are,
           Marty (and Jenny) Goetz


  1. Marty, Jennifer and Misha,

    You definitely have my prayers. My husband, Paul, and I are Hebraic Christians. We first became aware of your music a few months ago when a friend sent us a link to the you-tube video for "Prince of Peace". Now I frequently play that song and others you have done, when I need an uplifting from the Ruach HaKodesh. Just this morning I sought out the version of "Chanukah" that you did in Toronto [with the explanation of how we Gentiles have one day of Christmas, but Jews have eight days of Hanukkah] because I wanted to send it to another Hebraic Christian couple who are looking for music for their Hanukkah celebration.

    But I feel compelled to write because of your reference to comparing your own life and ministry to that of Dr Graham and wondering how you measure up. Please don't do that, Marty. God didn't call you to be a Billy Graham. He called you to be a Marty Goetz.

    I just finished reading "The Fisherman" by Larry Huntsperger. He wrote it as a first-person account of following Yeshua, as told by Simon Peter. It's a novel but, because he wrote it in the first-person, it makes one feel as though Peter is sitting right there, talking about his Master.

    On pages 249 and 250, 'Peter' says:
    I heard the sound of someone approaching from behind and turned to see John coming our way. Because Jesus was offering glimpses into the future, I couldn't resist the urge to ask, "Lord, and what about this man?"
    The Master's gentle rebuke brought with it two truths that have served me well ever since. "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!"
    First of all, Jesus wanted me to know that no man ever has either the right or the ability to understand God's dealings with anyone but himself. No man is ever told another man's story. No man can ever have the faith to live another man's calling. The implications of Jesus' words were obvious. He would lead John in the path that fit him perfectly, just as he would me. But the only path I am qualified to live, and the only one I can relate to with trust and understanding, is my own.
    In the years since I heard the Master speak these words, I have seen countless men and women living and dying in circumstances that would have shaken my faith to the core. Yet I have seen them face their callings with boldness and confident assurance in the love and living reality of their Lord. And each time when I have found myself tempted to question the Lord's dealings with others, I have heard his words once again in my mind: "What is that to you? You follow me!" He provides each of us with the faith we need for just one calling in life - the calling he has given to us alone.

    Then on page 251, he concludes:
    Each true child of God lives in the reality of the presence of Christ in exactly the same way as I do. And each of us shares his same simple calling to "Follow me!" He will not lead you where he has led me, but he will lead you just the same, in the path that fits perfectly with his life within you and his purposes for you.

    That concept got a grip on me. And I wanted to share it, in the hope that you can soar to new heights spiritually, knowing that God has you exactly where He wants you, even through the bungled lasik surgery. Remember, He sifts every circumstance of our lives through His hands before He decides whether to allow it or prevent it. Because He allowed it, there is a purpose that He has to use it for His glory.

    I went through cancer treatment this year. It wasn't something we wanted for me but God allowed it, so He has a purpose for it to be used somehow for His glory. It is my responsibility now to pray, "Show me how to use my circumstances to bring glory to You and, ultimately, to be Light so that others may see You in me and come into Your kingdom."

    Be blessed, my brother. Shalom! And may you and your family have a wonderful Hanukkah season!

    1. Happy Hanukkah! Anne's posting is a joy to read, and I would like to add another perspective. My impression of the considerations of Dr. Graham's lifetime of ministry when seen by Marty Goetz was an encouragement to my faith. The Goetz family have a humility, and I think to myself, 'How does this famous man feel as I do?' Marty Goetz is HIGHLY thought of in my little circle of friends. I have given away a half dozen of his CDs as gifts. When I listen to I Call You Friend, I boldly ask G-d: "Can You imagine one day when he sings to You in the Kingdom to come!?!" Well, come to think of it, maybe He's inviting me to imagine such a joyous occasion. BTW, your wife Jennifer did a great job with the recent newsletter. Is it better for you folks if I purchase CDs from your website instead of Amazon?

  2. Dear Marty,
    I first heard/saw you at Castle Hills First Baptist in San Antonio 1990s, again there, then 2008 in Boerne. I have your CDs and wearing them out! Last year I gave my VHS Enchanted Evening to someone at my church that was presenting the Passover traditions. YOU have touched SO many lives! Ironically your last post was on my birthday 2012. I was also getting ready for a mastectomy that Monday. I pulled out your music again(psalms) and it pulled me through the months. Marty, your worshipping by singing the psalms is like the angels singing! God loves your service! And we all do too. I'm cancer free now and better in many ways than I was before the diagnosis. THANK YOU so much for pulling me through!! Love barb