Our friend and brother in Christ, Gary Bailey, went to Heaven on Wednesday morning of this week. In his memory, we are re-posting the following article from our web archives in 2012 about how Gary used his gifts to advance God’s Kingdom. Thank you, Gary, for your faithfulness.
“ Take a large scroll and write on it with a man’s pen…” Isaiah 8:1
In this unusual scripture, orders were given to the prophet to write a prophecy to be read by all men. The prophet was to write on a large scroll with a man’s pen. He was to use the pen to make clear, ordinary letters that the humblest could read. The prophet’s words ‘a man’s pen’ serve as a focal point for this article.
Gary Bailey is a good friend with whom I often share morning coffee. He has a great heart for ministry. Although retired, he is very involved in serving the Lord. He participates in a jail ministry, is a Gideon, and is actively involved in his local church. Gary is also a Kentucky craftsman who creates beautiful writing pens in his workshop. He has turned his skills as a craftsman and his love for time in his workshop into a creative way to financially support mission projects. Using beautiful native wood and at times exotic wood, he handcrafts writing instruments that are exquisite.
For the last several years, as I began summer travels preaching camp meetings, revivals, and mission conferences, Gary would give me a display folder of these beautiful pens. In craft stores, these pens would normally sell for $25-$50. Gary gives all of the money donated by people who wish to have one of these beautiful one-of-a-kind writing instruments to our ministry. Many have commented that the pens make wonderful gifts for pastors, business associates, or for someone who ‘has everything’.
I believe the comments of Jesus in Mark 14 have real relevance here. Jesus spoke concerning Mary’s breaking the alabaster box and pouring the contents of very costly oil of spikenard on His head. When some of the indignant disciples criticized her, Jesus responded, “Leave her alone! She has done a beautiful thing for me. She has done what she could.”
Do you want to do something beautiful for the Savior? Like Mary, do what you can. Ask yourself, What can I do? Do I have talents, skills, or a craft, such as Gary’s, that I could put to use for the Lord’s work? Perhaps you have been overlooking how a hobby, craft, or a resource could be used for ministry.
Gary has been making pens to help write the Good News on the scrolls of men’s hearts. Thank you,Gary, for your example as you minister in the Lord’s name.
~ Brother Roy