Charles Stanley - The Influence of a Godly Life
Andy Stanley: So, first thing's first. Happy birthday. This weekend you turn eighty-five. So, here's the question everybody asks people on their birthday. So, how does it feel? So, how does it feel to be eighty-five years old?
Dr. Stanley: Not a bit of difference than when I was eighty, or seventy-five, or seventy. I feel fantastic.
Andy: No difference at all?
Dr. Stanley: No.
Andy: Well, one of the things that all of you need to know is that at eighty-five my dad is still the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Atlanta and I have a funny story to tell about that in a minute and is you're also serving, functioning every week as the president of In Touch Ministries. And whereas most people have retired from a single career years ago you are still maintaining two very, very important positions. But the question that everybody wants to know is how long are you going to do this? And I say it that way because that's how people ask me. They watch you on television. They're like, you know, he's just been doing this. And nobody's in a rush for you to stop doing anything but that's kind of the question is like, how long is he going to do this? So, dad, how long are you going to keep going?
Dr. Stanley: Well, I'm going to keep doing it until God tells me to do something else and right now I have no reason to think that I wouldn't keep going. And somebody says, well how long? As long as God gives me the strength, the energy, and the message.
Andy: Yeah, and you have some pretty strong opinions about retirement anyway. Do you want to share those?
Dr. Stanley: Well, retirement's not in the Bible except for the priests. And after he served from twenty-five to fifty, then he had to retire at fifty and what a retirement. Just twenty-five years of work and then he could assist the other priest in doing what they were doing. There's nothing in the Bible about us retiring. And I think God intends for us to live as long as possible, and to be fruitful as long as we possibly can, and to be energetic. And God wants our life to count to the last day and that's my prayer.
Andy: And the thing is even if you were to retire you wouldn't become inactive. You would still be doing something productive because you've always been productive. And so, the fact you've been able to not only continue to be productive, but continue to work and to continue to function in these incredible organizations that in one case you helped found really is inspiring to a whole lot of people who in their minds sixty-five just kind of, sort of like an end. And to be eighty-five and to still be doing what you're doing really is inspiring to a lot of folks. But not too long ago my dad called me and he said, Andy, you know, I would like to find a pastor who's a little... you remember this? You said, Andy, I would like to find a pastor who's a little bit further ahead of me and ask them some questions. Remember that? And I said, Dad, I hate to break it to you. There aren't any. There are no pastors that are ahead of you that are still, you know, the lead pastor in a local church. And you sort of said, yeah, I thought that might be the case. But then I said, but if you were to find one what would you ask them? Do you remember what you said?
Dr. Stanley: Not really.
Andy: Yeah well, I'll never forget it because as a pastor it was very discouraging to me. You said, I would ask that person does it ever get any...
Dr. Stanley: Easier.
Andy: Easier? Easier, that's right. Does it ever get easier? I'm thinking, okay, you're about to be eighty-five and it's still hard work and you were talking specifically about sermon preparation. And you just wondered is it ever going to get easier? And the thing it reminded me of that I think most folks don't know about you is that as many sermons as you've preached, as many, you know, thousands of sermons that you've preached every time you're getting close to Sunday, you sit down and basically start from scratch. And that never gets easier does it?
Dr. Stanley: Never gets easier.
Andy: In fact, you usually start when on? When do you start preparing?
Dr. Stanley: Sunday afternoon before next Sunday. I come home on Sunday afternoon, and after I take a little nap, I get in the study, and I just start asking God to show me what's next, or maybe I already know. But I want to study that particular passage of Scripture. And I'm just as excited on Sunday afternoon as I was on Sunday morning because I'm always learning something and God's doing something in my life. So, you know, I'm profiting from it all the time and I wouldn't want it any other way. And when I think about whether it's easy or hard, or not, the hard part isn't the preaching of it. Probably the hardest part is asking God to show me what's next. In other words, the question you have to always ask is what is the need? In other words, you can get up and spin out something but the question is, what's the need? What do people need to hear? What is God trying to say? And I think this is the part that's important. This makes you keep your heart clean, pure, committed to the Lord. So you can be sure that you're listening to Him, that you hear Him for yourself, first of all, and then for somebody else.
Andy: And you've never taken your foot off the gas when it comes to ministry. And if you were to see his study at home you would think you were walking into the office of a forty-five or fifty-five year old CEO. I mean, his calendar, his Post-it-Notes, your Bibles, your files. I mean, it's a war room for somebody who is actively day-by-day still in the game, and still preparing fresh things, and still responsible for two very large organizations. One of the stories I grew up with was when you were in Seminary. And you had grown up around a specific type of preaching but you didn't necessarily want to emulate that type of preaching. And then while you were in Seminary you drove from Fort Worth over to Dallas and went to First Baptist Church Dallas and everything got clearer for you on that Sunday morning. Do you mind sharing that story?
Dr. Stanley: Yeah, I had heard Dr. Criswell preach on a wide tape. That's before we had these plastic tapes. And I thought I want to hear this man preach so my wife and I were just friends at that point and she had a car and I didn't. I asked if she'd take me to Dallas and let's listen to this man preach. So, we did. It made such an indelible impression on my mind and heart because I came from Virginia where a lot of people were liberal and the preaching was rather dry, frankly. And so, when Dr. Criswell opened the Bible, he opened it to Romans chapter five, verse one and two. He said the title of this message is "This Grace Wherein We Stand," and then he started. I can hardly tell you this without weeping the kind of effect it had on me. I thought, my response was, God, I knew there was a man somewhere who could preach like this. Because he inspired me, motivated me, and I would say even to this day of all the pastors I've heard, and I've heard a lot of them, that W. Criswell was probably, not probably, he was one of the greatest. And he inspired me more than anybody in all of my life when it came to preaching. He was true to God's Word. He had power. He was enthusiastic. He was excited about it. And I knew that he believed every Word he was preaching. And so, when I think about the people who've affected my life my grandfather, spiritually. But W. Criswell, when it came to preaching. I'll never forget that first message and the awesome indelible impact it had on my life.
Andy: And he would never have imagined that sitting out there in that big congregation, it was big back then, was a young seminary student who would one day preach to far more people in far more languages in far more locations than he could ever dream of. But God used him to give you a vision for your future. And the thing is, Dad, as I think about me and my generation of pastors and leaders that's what you've done for us. It's the very same thing. whether it's Louie Giglio or there's dozens of young men and young women in ministry today. And if they were to be interviewed and if they were to be asked, you know, what was the moment where the veil kind of lifted and the, you know, we were able to see our future in a way that perhaps we hadn't seen it before? There're thousands of people in ministry your name would be the first name that was mentioned. Your name would be a part of their story. So how interesting that what Dr. Criswell did for you, you through the years have had an opportunity to do for thousands and thousands. And not just church leaders, but a lot of pastors and a lot of church leaders. So, this is where we've got off the birthday subject. Let's talk about birthdays.
Andy: Now these days when people wonder what to get you for your birthday the category everybody knows the category. It's photography equipment. Your passion in life beyond preaching is photography. And you've been able to use your photography for ministry. It's not just a hobby but you've been able to blend your hobby in with ministry. Can you tell us a little about how you got interested and again how you view photography as it relates to ministry because this is a big part of what you do and who you are.
Dr. Stanley: Well, what got me started was I was going to Haiti on a mission trip. And...
Andy: This was how long ago?
Dr. Stanley: Nineteen sixty...
Dr. Stanley: Three.
Andy: Yeah, sixty-three.
Dr. Stanley: Nineteen sixty-three. I was going to Haiti on a mission trip. There were seventeen pastors and so my wife said, Well, you should take my camera with you. I said, well and she had the finest camera you could buy in those days. She says, here's what you do because I didn't know what to do with it. She said, just set it on the speed is one twenty-five. The aperture is sixteen and just leave it there. And I shot every picture that way. I came home with these awesome, fantastic photos that surprised me to death. That got me started.
Andy: And then, since then, it's become a big part of your ministry. And I think a lot of your television audience doesn't know but sometimes on Sunday mornings in church before you begin your sermon you'll show a picture and then attach a devotional to that or, you know, why that picture means so much to you. Is that something you can tell us a little bit about or how that got started? Because it's a very powerful image when you, again, combine photography with words.
Dr. Stanley: Well, the way it got started was I was preaching on Isaiah chapter forty and when the Bible says, We'll mount up with wings as eagles and I'd been to Alaska, and I had watched this eagle for a little while. And so, when he swooped down one time and picked up a fish with his claws and put it behind him and kept going, then I happened to have gotten him, just at the right moment. So, one Sunday I was preaching on Isaiah forty so I showed that. So, people said why don't you show us some of those other pictures? You've been going all over the place. We haven't seen those. So, I just started showing them week after week and I had a little story for each one of them. And then, one of the things I remember probably most is one Sunday I showed a photo of a wrecked sailboat. And I was on a little island. It was a mile around. And I came up on this old sailboat that was damaged and some guys were working on it and I thought, maybe I'll shoot that. Then I thought, nah, it's an old sailboat. I'm not going to do that. I walked around it the next day and I thought, yes, I am. So, I took time to photograph the sailboat. And I didn't think anything else about it and I got home. We were showing photos of other places we'd been and so the next week I was sitting in a restaurant and this lady walked over. She was a waitress and she sat down. She said, could I sit here with y'all? I said, yes ma'am. She said, well, I want to tell you something. She said, last Sunday you showed this photo of this sailboat and she said I was sitting in the second row right on the end. I came to church totally discouraged. I had no hope of anything in my life. And as far as I was concerned it was about to be all over and I just happened to drop in on that Sunday. She didn't usually come to church. She said, when you made this statement at the end of your sermon and you showed that picture you made this statement, that when you saw them working on the boat you knew that one of these days that sailboat would sail again. She says when you said, sail again, the Spirit of God got all over me. She said, God straightened me out sitting right there on the pew and, all of a sudden, I saw myself not as a wreck but as a sailboat. And I was going to get out and make things happen in my life. She says that one photo absolutely changed my life. So that's one of the things that motivates me. I'm always looking for something. And one other quick story if I might.
Andy: It's your birthday. You can tell as many stories as you want.
Dr. Stanley: Well, you all have seen this picture but maybe not heard the story. I was down in Charleston and so I wanted to walk down to the beach. And I got down to the beach and it was all trees up and down the beach. And so, I walked a little ways and all of a sudden I saw this tree out in the ocean probably at least seventy-five feet or more. And it was a big tree but no leaves, not too many limbs on it. And I stood there and thought to myself how is it growing in salt water? And I thought about all the storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, you name it, and all of a sudden this phrase hit me. Still standing. Its roots were so deep and its body was so strong that all the storms with all the power that's found in a hurricane, that tree is still standing. And I thought, God, that's what you do to us. When we're rooted and grounded in You and our life is committed to You no matter what's to come our way we still stand.
Dr. Stanley: So, there's lots of lessons to learn, you know?
Andy: Well, through the years many of us have listened to many, many, many, many sermons. And so, what I thought we could do since it's your birthday is sort of get out of sermon mode a little bit and get into advice mode a little bit. So, what I want to do for our last few minutes is I'd like for you to give advice to three groups of people. We're going to start with folks in their twenties, your grandkid's age. folks in their thirties and forties raising kids, busy, working on career. And then, ask the question what advice would you give to people in their sixties and seventies? So,many of you know some of you perhaps don't, but you have six grandkids, four grandsons, two granddaughters. And I have been privy to the advice that you've given them one-on-one from time to time. And then I remember one time in Dallas you got everybody together and you had all the grandkids around the dining room table and you actually stood at the end of the table and you didn't preach a sermon but you were standing, you were in your position of authority and your just imparted extraordinary wisdom to, you know, my three kids and to Becky, my sister's, three kids. So, if you were going to speak to this generation of twenty-something year olds and early thirty year olds, based on what you've seen and what you've experienced what would you say to that group?
Dr. Stanley: Well, I would say, first of all, you need to know what your purpose in life's all about. In other words, don't just float through life from one job or occupation to the other. But ask yourself the question, you know, what does God want to do with my life? And I think a lot of people live without purpose. And if you live without purpose you manage to get along but you're never satisfied. You never feel complete. You're always wondering what's going to happen next and if I'm going to get married or not get married. And what's the next job going to be? And so, there's no sense of direction. So, I would say you need to major on asking God to give you direction for your life not just for the next job, but Lord where do you want me to head in my life? What do You want me to accomplish? And God's willing to answer that prayer because He desires that you fulfill His purpose for creating you. So, I would say that to the younger group first of all. To maybe the group thereafter I would say if you're raising children and so forth, I'd say, first of all, you've got to be honest. If you're children find that you're dishonest you're in trouble. So, you've got to be honest. You've got to have a sense of purpose that you convey to them. You've got to have a relationship to the Lord if you want them to have a relationship to the Lord. They've got to see that. And you have to be careful what you say and how you say it. And you've got to be careful about who your friends are. And so, honesty before our children I think is very, very, very important. When you who are their parents when they lose confidence in you their life gets shattered up to a point. And then somebody else has to get them back on key or they're going to wreck and ruin their life. So, I'd say parents have to be very, very careful about being honest, true. If you say something, you mean it. And then when you get sixty or seventy I think, what's the next chapter in my life? Or what's the next challenge in my life? What do I want to accomplish now? The idea of sitting around and saying, thank God they don't usually say that. They'll say I thank you. Well, I fumble around and say, well I'm going to retire. And I've said it enough times that people know I don't believe in that. And Scripture's on my side. You should live out your life to the last day doing something that is wise, godly, and profitable for you and the people who know you.
Andy: And when you say retire, it's not, you're not just talking about from a career, but you're talking more about just disengaging from life, and disengaging with any kind of sense of purpose, because there are a lot of people who get to the end of a career and some businesses or industries there's a time when you have to retire.
Dr. Stanley: Right.
Andy: But you've-a-just seen too many people who once they're job ended, it's like their life ended. And their purpose ended, and, you know, what's the discouraging? One of the things, and you touched on this if I could go back to it. When I was growing up, the thing that you raised me around was that God has a plan for your life, you don't want to miss it. God has a plan for your life, you don't want to miss it. When you think about the message you gave our kids, your grandkids, and the message that this generation of twenty-something year olds. For me, that was so powerful that when I must have been, I was driving, so I must have been Tenth or Eleventh grade, maybe eleventh grade. And my first quiet time journal, that I still have. My first entry was this, and I still have this. It said, if I ever have a son, I'm going to tell him that God has a plan for his life. This has served me well, or something along those lines. That was my first journal entry. So, the first time I ever thought about writing a prayer, or having a quiet time, that was the very first thing that came to mind as an eleventh grader, the idea of having a purpose in life, and that God had something for me. And that I didn't want to be messing around and miss it. That was so instructive. And then, in addition to that, the other thing that you and mom did is you gave us extraordinary freedom. You gave us so much freedom. When I think back, it kinda scares me how much freedom you gave us, but it was so powerful. That's why I wanted to bring it up for parents who are listening. You essentially said: God has a plan for your life, you're accountable to God, now I'm not going to have a bunch of extra rules because you're accountable to God. And those two things together were such a powerful combination in our lives. And I'm so grateful for that, and it certainly has been instructive to me as a parent. But every once in a while, when I'll be tempted to kinda pull back a little bit, I would remember that. I would think, no, if you're going to send your kids into the world with a sense of purpose, along with purpose there is a freedom that comes with that. And one without the other creates an unnecessary tension in the home. And, that was just so powerful. I just didn't want the audience, especially parents, to miss it. And then one other thing. Talking about, you know, families, people in their thirties and forties raising kids. One of the big tensions, as you know, is the tension between work and home. There's a lot to do at work, but there's a lot to do at home. There's a lot to do at work. And we've both seen, especially in pastor's families. Pastors who married the church, and just relegate, you know, child rearing to a wife or I don't have time for that, or I'm doing God's work. And to your credit, and to my benefit, you never did that. And I don't know how you did so well with that. You didn't grow up with a father. Your father died when you were seventeen months old?
Dr. Stanley: Nine months.
Andy: Nine months old, and yet, so didn't have a role model, but somehow you knew with all the busyness and the craziness of ministry, and all the pressure, and having two organizations. I just want the world to know in those crazy, busiest times you never missed a ballgame. You never missed a special event, and here's the thing that's overwhelming, especially now that I'm a parent. You remember the summer that we took a five-week vacation? Five weeks. Five weeks. We pulled a travel trailer, what eight, an eighteen foot?
Dr. Stanley: Right.
Andy: An eighteen-foot travel trailer from Georgia all...
Dr. Stanley: California.
Andy: To California, all over the country five weeks. Can you imagine having to be alone with your kids for five weeks in an eighteen foot trailer? I'm telling you. So, I mean, it was, you know, it was fabulous as a kid, but now as a parent I'm like, who has time for that? But that was the priority you gave me, and gave Becky, and gave our family. And so, I just didn't want to rush by without your audience knowing that back story. And I think it's one of the reasons that I'm here, and it certainly has contributed to our relationship. So I just wanted to say thanks for all. You got a lot of those things right, you got all of those things right.
Dr. Stanley: You know, I can still remember before you were even able to think, of when you'd go to bed at night.
Andy: So about fifteen years old? Somewhere about fifteen or fourteen.
Dr. Stanley: In other words, when you're in the bed, I'd kneel down by the bed every night, and I would always say this: God has a will for your life. You didn't even know what I was saying. And then you grew up a little bit and I would always say: Andy, remember God has a will for your life. I preached that into you before you understood what it meant, until you did understand what it meant, and we would talk about it because I knew that if you settle that issue, whatever it was, I had no idea you'd be a preacher. In fact, maybe God delivered you that you're not going to be one, but anyway. I just drilled that into your head and to Becky. God has a will for your life, and He'll show you what the will is if you'll listen to Him. And so, that was my primary lesson I wanted you to get. And if you got that one, then I would be happy.
Andy: Well, we got it, and I still pray. I tell our churches all the time when I talk about my growing-up-years and my personal, devotional life. I always say, I still pray. At this season in my life, God, show me Your plan for my life. Show me Your will for my life. Because that's not a young person's prayer, that's a lifetime prayer. And there are so many transitions in life where there's which school do I go to? Who do I marry? What do I do with my kids in this season? And you know, career, we're all, you know, we never outgrow their prayer, do we?
Dr. Stanley: No, and, you know, to me, your prayer life is the most important thing in your life. That's not right, nothing else gonna be right. And I remember, I had a study out in the backyard in Miami. I remember being down praying one day and I felt something, didn't know what it was. And so, I'm kneeling down stretched on this concrete floor and I look over and here's Andy. He sneaked in, and he was just looking at me and wondering what was going.
Dr. Stanley: What was going on. And I think I didn't do it for him, I think parents need to hear and, but their children need to hear them pray. And God working in their life. And I think, I look back and, you know, I just did what I would have wanted a father to do to me, and what I felt like you needed and deserved. And I think we make a big deal out of raising children. Well, it 'pends on who you starting with. You start with God, and you do what God tells you to do. There's no way for you to live in a household with true, godly parents who live it out, talk it out, act it out without having an awesome, eternal effect on the life of the children. And so, if I had done something different than I had said to you, you wouldn't have believed me. And yet, I know you were listening, and I trust him. I'll tell you how much I trusted Andy. My wife and I were going to New Zealand for about a month to preach and this, that, and the other. And so, Andy got his driver's license the day before we left. But you know what? I look back and think, was I crazy?
Andy: He was crazy. That was a crazy decision because I remember, I still remember. We were in mom's Catalina, a big four-door beige Catalina. And we're at Hartsfield at the airport. I'm sixteen. I had just gotten my license, and I took you all to the airport and dropped you off, and you left the country and there I am, sixteen at Hartsfield, and I'm going to drive all the way back through Atlanta to Tucker, Georgia. And again, it's one of those moments now as a parent I'm thinking, what were they thinking? And there was just this extraordinary trust. And I've heard you say, Andy, we never lost a minute of sleep. How do you say, you just, you just didn't worry.
Dr. Stanley: I never lost a minute of sleep over where you were, what you were doing, and.
Andy: But you should have. That's what's so amazing. But again.
Dr. Stanley: Well, look how you turned out.
Andy: Yea, yea, we got there eventually, but the point in all of that, that I really hope that you're hearing. Is there really was, because of what you said, you started, you know, engaging us with that message that God has a plan for our lives. And with that, is ultimately you're accountable to God. You're not accountable to me, you're not accountable to your mom. We're going to raise you, but you're going to spend more of your life accountable to God as an individual than you'll ever spend with us, so we're just going to start this as early as possible. On this same topic, dad. Trust is a stewardship, and it's a powerful, powerful thing. It's a weight, and you handed that to me at a young age when I turned sixteen. After you got back from that trip, actually as soon as you got back from the trip you said, "Well, you gotta go get a job". And I said, "How do you do that"? And you said, "You just drive around and find a job. Here's the keys, go find a job". So, I went and started working at the grocery store cleaning the meat department at night, and.
Dr. Stanley: That's right.
Andy: So, with that freedom came, you know, responsibility, and so, I've always worked hard. I don't want to miss this. Recently we were having a similar conversation, and I said dad, what brings you the most joy? And I thought for sure you would just point at me, but you didn't. I said what brings you the most joy? And I, you know, I could have, you know, I had several things I thought you might say, and I loved your answer. You said, "What brings you the most joy is your personal relationship with Jesus Christ".
Dr. Stanley: That's right.
Andy: And I'd love for you to talk about that for just a bit because that's not a thing, and that's something that's been a treasured part of your Christian experience since you were a young man and here all these years later, you know, what brings you the most joy? And it's still that.
Dr. Stanley: Well, you know, when I was a kid and I'll start off with being a teenager, and delivering newspapers. We lived in a very small house and so, I'd grew up in the Pentecostal Church, Holiness Church where you prayed out loud. So, I had to find me a place to pray out loud, so the church was about a block up the street from me. And I went downstairs in the basement area and went back in the classroom you had to go through about three doors to get in that classroom. And I thought, well, I can get in here and pray as loud as I want to. And so, in my high school years and junior high school years, that's where I prayed. And that sort of got me in good habit of praying. And being able to say it as loud as I wanted to. And I would look back and then I delivered newspapers so I got up at 5:30 every morning, and so nobody on the street but me in a small town. So, I'd start praying soon as I walked out the door and I'd pray all over the streets, and God protected me several times from different things. One of which is: I delivered newspapers in the afternoon and the morning, and I would go up and down one of the main thoroughfares through Danville so that cars coming in every way and I did that about four or five years and I think back how many times God protected me from walking out in front of a car. And, I remember this one day I did walk out in front of one and this screeching halt. And so, when it sorta settled down, this lady, I knew who she was, Ms. Finch. She lived right where I was delivering papers. And she said, Charles Stanley, don't get killed in front of my house! And so, I look back and realized how God really did protect me from just thinking of how many times I crossed the street in four years of delivering newspapers, and. So, you know, because I prayed all the way. I didn't pray all the way in the afternoon, there's too many distractions. But to me, that's the most important thing. And when I come home on Sunday afternoon as Andy asked, I'm praying and asking God to give me direction and I've walked through the house. And I pray out loud. It's not because I think God can't hear, but that's just the way I feel. In other words, I want to express it, and I would say to anybody, and I wanted Andy and Becky, I didn't say to them, well, you need to pray, I wanted them to catch it by watching and seeing what God would do in their life. And I do think that's the most important one thing we can do. And mixing it, of course, with reading the Word of God, because it's like the compass. You know, and that compass is never wrong! That compass is always right, the Word of God. And so, if I'm asking God about something, then I'm going to be praying and to me, the wonderful thing about your personal prayer life is, and I'm not boasting of that. God knows I'm not, but just to think that I can talk to the Heavenly Father. He's personally interested in you. He knows all about you. He knows the past, present, and future. He knows how long you're going to live. He knows what He equipped you to do best, and He's there to listen to you talk to Him, and receive from Him. And somebody says, Have you ever heard God speak? Multitudes of times. Out loud? No, He doesn't need to speak out loud to me. I just want Him to hear what I have to say, and respond, and I think at very critical times in my life when prayer saved me doing the right thing.
Andy: And I, you know, you mentioned the house that First Baptist Church in Miami built outside in our backyard that cinderblock house, and I would go out to get him for dinner and I would close the back door. And it wasn't very far, I mean, you know, I was a little boy, but how far was that house, that little house from the back of our house?
Dr. Stanley: Thirty feet, maybe.
Andy: Was it that? Yea, thirty-forty feet, maybe. And about halfway there I could hear him praying. I would hear his voice. Couldn't understand, but I would hear his voice. Open that door to the shed side before the office side, and he would be stretched out praying, so I just, I grew up with that. And to this day I pray on my knees in the mornings, and there's something about that posture
Dr. Stanley: Absolutely.
Andy: That is so powerful that I learned from you. And when I talk to pastors, I love to talk about their personal devotional life, because a lot of pastors don't have one, unfortunately. And it's so funny when I talk about praying on my knees, I can see the looks on the faces like, either I don't know what they're thinking why would you do that? Why is that important? Does it really matter? And we are physical people, and our physical posture says something to us, and it says something to our minds and our brains. There's a physiological thing about being on your knees because in our human experience it is the posture of submission. And I'm absolutely convinced there's something to that. And you taught me that. And you taught me that morning prayer time is where we get re-centered. It's, you know, it's you begin the day with Thy will be done. I don't know what it is, I want to know Your will, but at the end of the day whether I know it or not, Thy will be done. One last question, dad. What do you want to come to mind when people think about you? If you're about to leave public life and people lined up to thank you, what would you want to hear? Because I think that says a lot about what you value most and what you value about your life. So, your legacy, what you would want people to thank you for, what you want to be remembered for.
Dr. Stanley: Well, I have to be careful how I answer that. I would want them to thank me for the godly life I desired to live, and the truth that I've taught them all these years. In other words, you know, I don't like talking about myself, necessarily. I, naturally, I want everybody to remember that the key principle is obey God, leave all the consequences to Him. And that I'm genuine, and I really and truly want God to work in people's lives, and I don't have any, to my knowledge, I don't have any selfish ambitions. I don't want to be, I never tried to be well known or worldwide known, all that stuff. But God's done a lot in my life that I would never have dreamed of, that I'm very, very grateful for.
Andy: And I think knowing you and having seen you in so many different environments, I think that's the word. I think you're the most surprised by your success. You're the most surprised by the breadth of the ministry, and so consequently you are the most grateful for all that God has done. And we are extraordinarily grateful for you, happy birthday. Would you wish him?