By Rick Kern
Try as we might, we can’t stop the world, the flesh, and the devil from unleashing their fury like a fierce storm against God’s people. And like the unnatural disaster that they are, we see them coming as the winds howl their warning, the skies grow dark and forbidding, and reality gets right in our face! Walking with the Lord is so much more than attending church, having our quiet time, going to Bible study, and tithing… There is a storm bearing down on humanity, a storm like many before it and like many that will follow — it is simply called Christianity.
Reverend Guy Goodell, Ph.D., pastor of Greater Glens Falls Bible Baptist Church of Hudson Falls, New York, is seasoned warrior who has labored some six-plus decades in the ministry. Pastor Guy has been around more than a few spiritual corners and has not only weathered many a storm but helped others weather theirs.
“The most challenging things in my case, would be dealing with problems in people’s lives — helping them deal with problems when they don’t want to apply a biblical principle to their problem,” observes Goodell. “They want God to perform a miracle, take away the problem or take them out of the problem, but they don’t want to apply the principles to the situation.”
It is a struggle that can be framed in terms of light against darkness, truth against pretense, and religion against relationship. Any way you cut it, the “good fight” that is described in 1 Timothy 6:12, is still a fight! And contending for the faith as Jude urged us to do in Jude 1:3 is still contending!
Christians are charged with taking up spiritual arms against rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). It is not a pretend storm nor is it a pretend war; it is not a war of words, a blustery public relations campaign, or fierce gales of theological hot air that a wicked wolf huffs and puffs to blow a church down. For though it may not be against flesh and blood it is a very costly and very real spiritual conflict — a war of attrition relentlessly waged in heavenly places with unthinkable casualties.
And while a meaningful walk with the Lord can be extreme in a world that is at enmity with God, Pastor Guy has the heart of a shepherd which has inspired him to write his latest book, “What to Do When Your Storm Strikes.”
Framed around the 27th Chapter of Acts, Goodell has identified a dozen powerful and proven principles that believers can count on in a crisis. “What to Do When Your Storm Strikes” is published by Westbow Press, the self-publishing division of industry giant Harper-Collins.
“The Apostle Paul had a trip to Rome and he was on board of this ship while they had a two-week typhoon, it’s recorded in Acts 27,” says Goodell. Continuing he explains, “So what I did is I went through the 27th Chapter of Acts and I pulled out 12 principles that will always work in any crisis that you face.”
Goodell brings the lesson home with an intense, intimate narrative. “What I did then is I integrated a story in there about a young couple that I knew in one of my churches and they prayed for years for children. They had been married quite a while and hadn’t had any and then the woman became pregnant and they delivered twins. But just a couple of weeks after the twins were born, they died and the doctor rules it S.I.D.S. or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and couldn’t figure out why…”
It was shattering — a storm of storms and they came to Pastor Guy with broken hearts. And somehow in a way that could only be God, the first part of Isaiah 61:3 found a way to become alive in their lives, “and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Goodell spoke into their lives as they weathered this heartbreaking storm. “I counseled this young couple and they ended up creating an orphanage ministry,” he reflected. “They started taking in children and they actually turned a bad experience in their lives, painful experience, into something really productive and I integrated that with the principles in the book itself.”
For those who are willing, there are always ways to make life’s crises work for you as opposed to against you. Maybe it is better put that there are always ways to make crises work for God rather than against Him as we deny ourselves take up the cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23).
And with over 60-plus years in the ministry, experiencing God’s faithfulness has enabled Goodell to grasp and rely on passages such as, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33). And, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” (Acts 14:22 b). Or even more daunting, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword,” (Matthew 10:34). Is a given — a promise we are ill at ease in claiming! We will have trouble, we will go through hardship, and we will face that sword… Certainly, Pastor Guy has penned a book whose time has come because the storm will strike; it is not a question of if, but when! That being the reality, doesn’t the voice of experience become a critical asset when tasked with taking a spiritual beachhead? Especially when the author transparently applied those values to his own life?
“All of the principles that are listed in the book are principles that I actually implemented in my own life. It’s just that I never really thought about putting it into a packaged form before, to where I could just simply hand it to people,” says Goodell. Initially the principles found their way into a booklet and from there they became a sermon series. Ultimately the messages matured and became a book at the suggestion of Goodell’s wife. “I spent about six months just going over and over Acts, Chapter 27, reviewing the principles that I had from the brochure. I then moved into integrating that story about this young couple and the loss of their children and how the worst possible crisis that you face may actually be something that God is getting ready to use for something greater in your life.”
Pastor Guy G. Goodell is a man with a mandate! He has pastored for decades and has preached everywhere from prisons to street corners. He has founded churches and fought for Christian education rights all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where he emerged victorious. Goodell has also conducted over 200 seminars for various Christian educators’ conventions, helped establish churches and training centers in Haiti. Additionally, he has established Bible colleges and seminaries in Romania and several former Soviet Union countries.
All this on top of multiple articles for countless news outlets and Christian publishing groups, the authorship of numerous books, and the creation and leadership of the Strength for Living Counseling Center through his local church. And as if all this wasn’t enough, he shepherds Greater Glens Falls Bible Baptist Church, located in Hudson Falls, New York, while recently making a commitment to author one book a year until the Lord takes him home.
For more information about purchasing “What to Do When Your Storm Strikes” or Greater Glens Falls Bible Baptist Church visit www.ggfbbc.org or call (518)-747-5830.