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Posts Tagged ‘Lehigh Valley PA’

On behalf of our family, and the Montco Bible Fellowship family, extend loving condolences to you Mrs. Ruth Hackman, and to your children Rose, Becky, Jenny, Joe, and Libby, and to each of their families.  May our God, the God of all comfort and all sufficiency, be more than you need Him to be during this difficult time.

As a customer of Hackman’s Bible Book Store for many years I would like to share some of my experiences with you.

To begin, let me say that I find it helpful when I can associate the memory of a dear friend with portions of God’s Word.  In the case of my friend, Mr. Hackman, Acts 13:36 is the portion that reminds me of him:

“For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and as laid with his fathers and saw corruption.” (Acts 13:36 ESV)

The portion “…served the purpose of God in his on generation…” reminds me of what I learned as a customer of Hackman’s Bible Book Store during the dash between 1973 (when I first met Mr. J. Walter Hackman) and 2012,  (when I said “good-bye” to him,  for now).

My wife and I first met Mr. Hackman in the spring of 1973, at Hackman’s Bible Book store.  He and I worked next door to one another; I was the pharmacist next door, and he was the owner of Hackman’s Bible Book Store.

Immediately, we discovered that we shared three common passions.  Love for God, love for His people, and love for “good” books.  Books share messages that meet needs and desires, and also speak to human hearts in ways that spoken words cannot.

For the next 39 years Mr. Hackman treated me and all his customers like true friends.  Today, because of his legacy, it is still a treat to go to Hackman’s Bible Book Store and to be treated as one of their special guests.

To me the text “he had served the purpose of God in his own generation” speaks of his impact.

His impact on me, through the lessons he shared, and the lessons I learned – not sitting in the pew, but as a customer standing in the aisle, are cherished memories.  Listening to, and observing this man of God in action was a gift.

His philosophy: Service is the rent he loved to pay for his stay here on earth- has always been my customer experience.

If you’ve ever been to Hackman’s Bible Book Store more than once, you know that you’re their favorite customer.  That was the impact of his ministry and life – the two were inseparable for Mr. Hackman.  Mr. Hackman taught so much without preaching, which has become powerful lesson for me, as I pastor God’s people.

He made a difference in my life and in the lives of countless others over the decades.  He showed all of his customers by how he served, that Hackman’s Bible Book Store was a ministry first, and then a business.

His service had a life changing impact on the many that he came in contact with.

Observing him in action was better than any education I could have received.  From short visits to his store I learned more than any university or seminary could offer.  The lessons were short teaching moments; to the point, and of high impact.

Mr. Hackman had the gift of offering the right book for the right ailment.  It was his Rx for what you had.

He had the joy of being used by God to transform lives without a pulpit or a missionary passport.

Also, Mr. Hackman was a keen student of people; he saw and treated all people as true image bearers of God.

He taught me that even though the “un-churched community” was diversified by culture, race, language, it was unified by common needs.  This community of discouraged, lost, and struggling people needed to find the Way, the Truth, and the Life in the person of Jesus Christ.

He also helped me appreciate that the “Church Community” (diversified by denominations, worship styles, and favorite traditions) shared common needs.  Whether they called themselves Baptists, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Methodist, Mennonites, Reformed, etc., they all shared the same spiritual problems of the heart – worry, lust, greed, anger, to name a few.  He tactfully offered solutions for these problems through books, Sunday school tools, Bible study materials, or understandable Bible translations.  With great skill Mr. Hackman pulled these remedies from his shelves, very much like a pharmacist would do with remedies from his shelves.

Mr. Hackman also had a unique way of combining wisdom, humor, and practical advice.  Some examples:

  •   “Why pray when you can worry?” was a memorable quote from him, which gives an accurate picture of too many lives.
  •  When Peterson’s “The Message” first came out many critics were against it.  During a private debate over this “new translation” in his store, Mr. Hackman didn’t chose sides, but said to me “Got a Minute?  Read this verse.”  It was John 1:14.  “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood…”  Since then this translation has been used in many sermons, mine and those of others effectively.  Truly, he was ahead of his time.
  •   Dale Carnegies’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” was a book which Mr. Hackman said and I quote “This should be in every church pew alongside the Bible and hymnal.”  He believed it would make a difference for the Christian community, for those living in it and for those outside looking at it.

To Mrs. Ruth Hackman, his treasured wife, and to his legacy of five beloved children and their families, I close with this thought from the text in Acts:

As with David, he (Mr. Hackman) fell asleep in the land of the dying, to awake in the land of the living with His Lord.

I say goodnight to a long time friend, and not goodbye.

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 Yesterday was Joe’s birthday and we wanted to take the time here to wish him a happy birthday, and to thank him for all the wonderful things he does, every day.

Our Facebook friends were also wonderful, as usual, and sent many well-wishes Joe’s way.

Our last men’s bible study on Courageous will be tonight at 7pm.  Some members have expressed interest in being able to continue to chat with other fathers about the issues they face every day.  We’ve set up a discussion board, and you can join by going to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hackmansbiblebookstore) and clicking on the “discussions” tab on the left of the page.

Our next upcoming event is “ROMANS 12: The Christian Life” Bible Study Fellowship led by Ron Ridenour.  We will be holding them Feb. 1,8,15, & 22 at 10am.  We would love to hear what you think about our new event center!

If you’re already thinking about Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to check out our engraveable gifts.  We have a great selection, and the items will be engraved while you wait.  Also, we are starting a really exciting giveaway on our Facebook page, so stay tuned!

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