Dr. Richard Strauss served as Emmanuel Faith’s lead pastor from 1972 to 1993. He had a doctorate from Dallas Theological Seminary and was lovingly referred to by many in our congregation as “Doc Strauss” or simply “Doc.” He had a deep passion for the Bible and an exceptional gift for expository preaching. From the very first time my wife and I heard Doc preach, we felt that God was calling us to make Emmanuel Faith our church home. In addition to delivering insightful sermons each week, Doc authored numerous books filled with practical guidance for the Christian life. He was a pastor who loved his flock. We loved him too.

One Sunday in September 1989, Doc Strauss announced from the pulpit that he had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Despite extensive medical treatments over the next four years, he continued to preach faithfully to his flock, eventually becoming so weak he had to sit on a stool to preach. One of the most memorable moments for our congregation came when Doc Strauss said “I’ve taught you how to live, now I’m going to teach you how to die.” And that’s truly what he did. Pastor Strauss entered heaven on September 11, 1993. He gave us a real-life example of what the Apostle Paul wrote about in Philippians 1:20, “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”

Philippians 1:20 should inspire each of us to seek to glorify Jesus Christ in our own life, even during the most difficult times in our journey. We might like to think it’s easier to exalt Christ when things are going well in our life, but in reality we can glorify him even during the most difficult of circumstances. The trials in your life may be times when you have the greatest opportunity to exalt Christ, especially if other people can observe peace and joy in your heart as you walk through a trial with the Lord at your side.

I pray that in every stage of your life, and whatever circumstances you may encounter, you will remain steadfast in your faith and filled with inner joy so that your walk will be a witness to others and bring much glory to our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Pastor Dave Korinek

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