September 2, 2006

Someone who made a difference in my life

The first time I heard Edwin Louis Cole speak was in December 2001 at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York. It was a men's ministry seminar where approximately 2,000 men had come to hear him speak. His message was clear and direct, aimed at helping each man understand that they were to reflect Christ within themselves to others, as God reflected Himself in Jesus Christ.

The anniversary of his departure from life here on earth, into Heaven was four years ago this past Sunday.

I was blessed to have been able to see him preach in person that day, the single message that God called him to tell the world, that Manhood and Christlikeness are synonymous.

There are a number of families that have been changed because of the change in these men as husbands, fathers and single men, how to be Maximized in their Manhood for God. 1, 2, 3 YES!!!!

Reflections on Ed Cole’s Special Day by Joann Cole Webster

“And then he died” is the most oft-repeated phrase in the book of Genesis. Ed Cole, a spiritual father to both you and me, taught us that the first five books of the Bible are the stories of seven men. What was Moses telling us as he wrote and recorded the lives of the great fathers of the faith?

Dad died on August 27, 2002, at 3:15 pm in Grapevine, Texas, surrounded by his family who counted his final breaths with tears, singing and joy. In the months following, each member of the family and our worldwide circle of adopted brothers and sisters dealt with the absence of his presence in our own ways.

My sister Lois was deeply affected and remained so for many months. She would dream most nights of a living, loving mother and father, then awaken each morning to the reality that it was a dream, and they were gone.

One day as she was driving, the song “I Can Only Imagine” came on the radio. In December 2000, when Mom left, Mercy Me had just come out with this song, and we used it as the theme of Mom’s video tribute.

Lois became lost in the beautiful words — “I can only imagine...what my eyes will see when your face is before me...” Suddenly she received an open vision from the Lord. She saw Dad entering Heaven and seeing Jesus for the first time. With tears of joy, Dad fell to his knees and worshipped, saying, “This is wonderful! Oh, how wonderful.” Then, as he had done so often, he said, “Nancy, come over here — did you see?” Then Lois saw Mom walking toward him and gently answering, “Of course, Edwin, I was here first, remember?”

“And then he died” is earth’s prelude to the most wonderful appointment of every life.

Recently, in speaking with the great evangelist Reinhard Bonnke about my father’s life and death, I related Lois’ vision and how it had helped to heal her. He told me of his own father’s absence then grew quiet. After sitting quietly for a few minutes, he said, “It’s an appointment. Death is an appointment.”

Words sprang to my mind — “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” [Psalm 116:15]. Scripture after scripture reeled off where the Lord repeated that our days are numbered. Any question that may have lingered about Dad’s sudden departure dissolved.

God had longed for that appointment day with Dad since He placed Dad on the planet and told him to “Go, be fruitful and multiply.” Dad had simply filled his space on this earth so fully — expanding his life through God’s magnificent work of grace which launched the men’s movement and changed the world — that it almost seemed wrong for him to leave. Today there is scarcely a global Christian leader that my family talks with who wasn’t affected by the Lord’s ministry through Dad.

Interrupting my quiet reflection, Evangelist Bonnke’s voice came again. “We’re born, Joann, and then it’s a countdown, isn’t it?”

What a challenge! One day, God will record in His book for each of us, “And then he died.” It is our honor to exercise our power of choice2 with our helper, the Holy Spirit, and write the pages of a life that leads to that final sentence.

Please join the extended Cole family to celebrate the anniversaries of Dad’s divine appointment on August 27, and the day he was birthed on September 10. The ministry continues — 50,000 men in Indonesia — 13,000 in Peru — Latvia — Ukraine — India — Uganda — hundreds of churches in the States. What a wonderful legacy we share and can share with a world of men still in desperate need of the message God entrusted to you and to me — “Manhood and Christlikeness are synonymous.”

1 Find it in Absolute Answers.
2 The best of Dad on the power of choice is in Real Man.

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