Area Fellowship News
Old Friends of Norman’s
While discussing the various Zerubbabel ministries highlighted in this column, we thought it would be great fun to get in touch with some of The Intercessor readers whose lives were directly impacted by personally knowing Norman Grubb. The following comments were taken from notes I jotted down as I visited over the phone with a few of Norman’s old friends. 1 trust you will be as blessed as I was.
Bus Williams-Albuquerque, NM
Bus and his wife, Marge, met Norman in 1945, just before they joined the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade (WEC) during the time Norman was the mission’s General Secretary. Bus considered Norman a "dear friend." But, more than a friend, Norman was a positive spiritual influence to Bus and Marge, personally.
Along with leading the mission, Norman developed a personal ministry, sharing the truths of our union with Christ with the hungry hearts that God brought his way, two of whom were Bus and Marge. As a direct result of Norman’s ministry, they saw for them-selves some of the deep truths in scripture: the difference between law and grace (a place where many Christians remain bogged down), love as a result of the indwelling Spirit, and the true rest in the Lord.
Vicky Ott-Baltimore, MD
Vicky’s first words about Norman were "He loved people." Her ending words, "I really miss him." Vicky was only 16 or 17 years old when she first met Norman, yet she already hungered for the things about which he spoke. Her father, Peter Vroom, a minister, first met Norman through the WEC, and thus their friendship began.
Vicky remembers one of Norman’s talks entitled "Going from wrong per-son to right person" which drew her to him to find the answer for herself. Disillusioned with her inability to make life work, she asked many questions-which Norman never tired of answering. Norman encouraged her to see herself the way God saw her. He emphasized God’s love for her and that she was exactly the way God made her to be.
Vicky was in a desperate struggle with "legalistic Christianity," and said Norman’s teaching from the Scriptures literally saved her life. Other than her father, he was the prime influence in Vicky’s life.
Cliff Reed-Ontario, NY
Norman’s influence in Cliff’s life continues today: He was in the middle of leading a Bible Study in his home when I called. But in the beginning, Norman was the last person Cliff would have wanted to influence him!
Of course, God had other plans for Cliff and his wife, Ava. In 1973, after reading Norman’s books, Ava began urging Cliff to invite him to their home. Cliff, executive director of a Bible camp in Pennsylvania, thought Norman was teaching heresy. Ava prevailed, however, and Norman was invited for a week of teaching. Circumstances intervened and it turned out that Ava had to be out of town during Norman’s visit. But during that week Cliff’s heart changed; by the end, Cliff recalls that he wanted to follow Norman around, catching all he could. Norman became his spiritual father.
Ironically, years later at a conference Cliff was attending, Norman became ill and had to be taken to the hospital and asked Cliff to fill in his speaking slot. In Cliff’s humble description, "It was the last of the 9th, bases were loaded, Babe Ruth was up to bat next, and instead they brought in the water boy."
So what does Cliff share at his Bible study today? Christ, our life, of course.
Iris Taylor-Toronto, Canada
The following is the beautifully written account Iris sent to me following our telephone conversation.
I first read Norman Grubb’s books in 1963, 37 years ago, at a time of desperate need. I hungrily read my Bible to confirm his amazing statement of "Christ in you." This truth was revealed to me in a very compelling way as I was visiting my young husband, dying in hospital. To reach his room I had to walk through a bridge with glass walls and roof connecting two buildings. It was a snowy, dull day and I walked deep in thought about the new concept I had been reading about. Wondering how it worked, I suddenly realised that, even though the sky around me was grey, I was surrounded by a golden light. It was as though I was walking in a ball of sunshine which traveled along with me. It was clear to me that the light was in me, through me, around me and I was in it. There was no way I could remove myself from its presence.
"Oh! This is how it works," I whispered in awe. "God needs me as his means of working in this world. I carry Him everywhere."
The next breathtaking thought was that if I walked into any room in that hospital and touched a suffering patient, it was Christ touching them. I had yet to read Norman’s teaching on our being vessels. You can imagine what a thrill I felt when I later read his words on our being truly the temple of Christ, and then to read God’s promise, "I will walk in them and dwell in them."
So began a very lonely journey, for although I met Norman in 1964 when I arranged for him to speak at a World Vision Conference in Canada, I did not have the opportunity to speak to him alone until 1981. For those 18 years I was alone in my "knowing." Needless to say, having had it revealed in such a magnificent way, the truth of "Christ in me" was so real that I rarely doubted. In fact, I felt special…to have [this] knowledge of the most wonderful secret in the world. But I could not find fellow believers.
This changed when I heard Norman visited Toronto. Apparently he had been visiting my hometown for years, but I had not known this. From then on I had the opportunity to listen to Norman on many occasions. The highlight was a week spent in Jackson, Mississippi where a few fortunate people were able to listen to him daily for a week.
Norman was the most loving, honest and direct person I have ever met. He answered the same question over and over again, so patiently, as we struggled to accept his teachings which caused a tremendous battle within as we faced Satan’s accusations of "That’s blasphemy," or, "It’s too good to be true." He answered [my questions] with love, with understanding, with no accusations. He had the ability to make each person know that they were important to him-that he really cared. His letters were written with love, humility and such thankfulness for the help he received from those around him. With his wonderful sense of humour, particularly in his relationship with his Lord, he very often seemed to teach with a twinkle in his eye. He looked for, and found, Jesus in everyone and it was so very easy to see Jesus in him.
Recently, I was asked, "Who had the most profound effect on your spiritual life?" It was very easy to answer; his name is so often on my lips as I repeat "Norman used to say…" I miss him!
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 16 No 1
- Zerubbabel Focus: Teleconferencing Overseas
- How Acquire Faith?
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- Our Second Despair
- Faith Lessons
- Area Fellowship News
- The Process of Faith
- The Blessings of Discipline
- Tape Talk
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- The Delusion of Self-sufficiency
- Many Problems, One Solution–The British Fall Conference
- Wisconsin Fellowship Weekend: Three Perspectives
- Here Am I!
- Bible Study: Faith
- Questions & Answers
- Intercession In Action
- It Remains Tough
- On Faith and Discipline…
- Words to Live By…