A Writing Legacy

Just two years before my father Mark Bubeck died, I had the privilege of working with him to update his second book, now titled Warfare Praying. By then, he could no longer use the computer, so I asked him to write out a note to the reader to include in the front of the refreshed book.

Within a few days, he called me to read the note he wrote over the phone. I put him on speaker, and I typed as he read the powerful words in his deep voice.

He began . . . “Holy. Infinite. Eternal. Omnipotent. Almighty. These are ‘God’ words. They belong to Him alone and express truth about Him that will stand forever.”

Tears fell as I typed; I knew I’d never forget that moment.

A year later, when we had to move my dad into hospice care, I found the letter on a clipboard in his home. It was written in his beautiful handwriting—the same handwriting that penned lyrical poems for our birthdays, encouraging letters when we lived overseas, and powerful books that he wrote by hand.

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I never dreamed I’d find that handwritten note, especially just a few weeks before he died.

God is so kind.

I told that story at a workshop I taught at a writers’ conference just last weekend. The room was filled with women wanting to learn more about discipling their readers through the words that they write. My hope was to encourage them that their words matter, and that they may never know the full impact of their written words this side of heaven.

I ended the workshop by reading a poignant story from my dad’s book that beautifully illustrates how he used his gift of writing to teach deep spiritual truths from God’s Word in creative ways.

I am so grateful for my job as an acquiring editor at Moody Publishers. The door for this new career was partly opened because I worked with my dad on the editing—and wrote the new preface—for the updated version of his first book The Adversary. After joining Moody five years ago this week, our vice president said that he hopes the books we’re publishing today will still be impacting lives 100 years from now.

I am confident that my father’s books will be on that list.

(You can find Mark Bubeck’s books on warfare, prayer, and revival at moodypublishers.com by searching for his name at that site.)

What about you? I’d love to hear what books have had a deep impact on your life, or about any treasures you’ve found of loved ones after they’re gone. Please leave a comment or email me through this website.

13 Responses

  1. What a beautiful treasure and indeed — how good God is to have gifted you such a wonderful find in your father’s final days. I loved hearing your father’s words and I am so honored to be reading his book. I know the Holy Spirit is going to use it to bless me and help me. Thank you so much for your wisdom and insight. It was such a privilege to hear you speak and have a moment to talk with you!

  2. Your words and you reading your dad’s words in the workshop last weekend had a profound impact on me. The Lord used them deeply and I am a grateful. Thank you for sharing them with us!

  3. Thank you for sharing this, Judy. Your dad’s words, “Holy. Infinite. Eternal. Omnipotent. Almighty. These are ‘God’ words. They belong to Him alone and express truth about Him that will stand forever,” truly show a man who knew, loved, and revered His Creator. His life was well lived in the Lord. These are the treasures that we ponder in our heart as Mary did, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19). The legacy your dad left will never die or fade away, because it is the legacy of our Eternal God in him.

  4. Your words, and your fathers, were what my soul needed to be refreshed this last weekend. Thank you for sharing them, thank you for a reminder of why I wanted to get my words into the word in the first place.

    C.S. Lewis’ work has been impacting me since high school. I love to re-read his books – fiction and non-fiction alike.

  5. Thank you for your latest post about your father’s writings. There are too many books and authors to enumerate but top on my list that had life-changing impact would have to be Fearfully & Wonderfully Made and Hinds’ Feet on High Places. However, I do have a story of letters my mother wrote that were given to me 20 years after she died that have had an eternal impact on me. Mom was raised during the depression and vowed her children would never suffer want as she had. She married at 17 and two children later divorced my dad when I was only 6 months old. Leaving my brother and me with her parents in Oklahoma, she moved to New York City to find a job and a new father for her children. I didn’t know Mom until I was almost 6 and she came to take “her kiddos” home. Mom now had a husband with which she could work, build a business, and provide for us. However, I spent the next 11 years wanting to go home to Grandma, terrified of this stepdad and new grandparents and this foreign lifestyle. I was never close to Mom. She worked long hours to provide security for us. I didn’t want financial security for the future; I wanted love – her presence. The Lord graciously sent me a young man who loved me and I, too, married at 17, breaking my mother’s heart.
    Fast forward 15 years and Mom received word that cancer would take her life within 6 months. It only took 3. We had a very guarded, long distance relationship during those years while I was a stay-at-home mother to four children. But when word came of the diagnosis I traveled long miles to stay with her during the week, going home to my family on weekends. We tried to visit but thought we had nothing in common. I loved her but didn’t know her. She loved me but couldn’t make me understand her love. I was so concerned for her eternal soul and asked God to give her more time that she might love Him as I did. She totally rejected the Church and the “do-gooder” hypocrites with which I now associated. I stayed with her until the end.
    Life went on. I am my mother’s daughter; I looked like her. My dad gave me her clothes and I saw the mother I knew 15 years earlier every time I walked by the mirror. I grieved over my lose of both Mom and our failed relationship. But 20 years later, after we buried my husband’s mother, we made a “chance” stop by my uncle’s house on the way home and he said he had something I might like to have. It was an old, large envelope filled with letters from my mother, written to her parents during those 5 years in New York City. Uncle Bob had kept them for me after Grandma and Grandpa died. I read them out loud to my husband as we drove home, weeping uncontrollably all the way home. I fell in love with Mom and understood for the first time her sacrificial love for me and my brother. She sacrificed herself, her time with us, her own comforts, in order to show how much she loved us. Her motives may have been good, but I still had needed a momma that was seldom there. Why had she not told me about her childhood, her conflict with her parents, and her struggle through a failed marriage. I wanted to know her and felt cheated that I didn’t until now. “O, Momma, if only I had known; I would have shared my heart with you, too, and you could have helped me so much!”
    I also found in her letters the reason she rejected the Church. They had rejected her for divorcing her unfaithful husband. She was told she had lost any hope of salvation. So she went to the world that accepted her and worked hard to please them. Looking back over her life, she was the real “do-gooder” who never passed up an opportunity to pick up someone who was down. She once told me during those last days with her that her religion was to “do to others what you would have them to to you”- the words of Jesus! I’m so terribly sorry she couldn’t be part of a local church or carry the name Christian proudly. But I know she made a profession as a teenager and worked with the Salvation Army back in the 1940’s when they sang and preached on the streets. Mom’s letters changed my life: my memories of her; the way I talk to my own children; the way I see people living to please the world; the way I see the world through the eyes of the Church, the Bride of Christ. Those letters were put in a scrapbook by one of my daughters with memories she had me write down of my time living with my grandparents – what was going on in Mom’s life and what was going on in my life as we were separated. It was good to learn who she was and why she was living as she was. It allowed me not only to love her, but learn who I was and change some things before it was too late. Why don’t parents talk to their children! What an education!

  6. Dear Judy,
    I was on the phone one day with my father. He had called me, which was a rarity. He loves well, but he doesn’t initiate well. But I digress. He asked me if I wanted to read one of his favorite books from seminary. I nearly fell over in my chair. You see, he fell away from the Lord in seminary. He married my mom (who thought she was marrying g a missionary bound for the Middle East after seminar) halfway through seminary. During seminary, he doubted enough to leave Jesus and his promises. But here he was on the phone with me, inviting me into a sacred place, asking me if I wanted to read his favorite book from fifty or so years ago.

    The book he mailed to me was called The Herdsman. It is an out of print historical fiction story about Amos of the Bible. Little did I know that reading it would revive my dry writing well. And it gave me new hope that my dad would one day return to the well where living water is poured out for all who come to drink.

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