Over two years ago, I told you about a woman I called “a female Chuck Norris.” My wife, Gena, and I were very, very saddened to hear we wouldn’t be seeing her on this earth any longer, yet we rejoiced that she finally overcame her four-year war with cancer and “is with Jesus,” as her famous-author husband, Randy Alcorn, explained to CBN News.
Let me share with you about these remarkable and special friends of ours, and how I believe Nanci’s life can encourage yours right now, especially during this Easter season. I want to share with you some powerful wisdom she shared before she departed to Heaven.
As I mentioned in my first column about her, I admire many amazing women and heroines who were a part of history, especially the American Revolution, some known and some not-so-known: those like Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Lucy (“Lady”) Knox, Sybil Ludington, Catherin Barry, Esther Reed, Margaret Corbin and Nancy Hart. All these women were incredible patriots and warriors.
Gena and I also have many modern female leaders we admire, too: like former first ladies Barbara and Laura Bush, Texas first ladies Anita Perry and Cecilia Abbott, Dr. Alveda King, Lili Baehr, Elizabeth Ridenour, Tania Beck, to name a very few. In addition to these, we also know and respect many great women who have served in our military, local law enforcement and first responder agencies.
We also are so grateful and blessed to know many women of great charitable influence, those that are faithful donors and serve as instructors and managers of our KickStart Kids Foundation. We love and respect them all for the different and giving qualities they embody and shine to us and others.
We also admire the many great women in our families. And I might be a bit biased, but there are very few women I would put on par with my Gena and my 101-year-old mom. Nanci Alcorn is someone who makes the cut.
Gena and I have many special friends around the country and world. Among them are those who have had a great spiritual impact and influence on us. A couple at the very top of that heap are Randy and Nanci Alcorn.
You undoubtedly have heard of Randy as he is one of the top 10 Christian authors in the U.S. and world. He is a New York Times bestselling author, who has written over 58 books, including “Heaven,” “Happiness,” “If God is Good,” “The Treasure Principle,” “Courageous,” “Giving is the Good Life” and the Gold Medallion winner “Safely Home.” His books have been translated into over 70 languages and have sold over 11 million copies. He is also the founder of Eternal Perspectives Ministries (epm.org).
But behind all of Randy’s success and service is his best friend and faithful wife for decades. If it’s true that behind every great man is a great woman – and I believe it is – Nanci is and will always be that great female behind Randy. From their youth, she has stood by her man. I can say with certainty, when it comes to wives, Randy and I definitely “married up”! Right, Randy?
The Alcorns have been good friends of ours for more than two decades, and we’ve spent some wonderful times together from Texas to California. They’ve both been gigantic encouragers and Christian models and mentors to us. We love and thank God for their friendship, devotion and even patience with our often ultra-busy lives that rarely allow us enough time with our friends, let alone family.
It was like a sock in the gut when we received word that Nanci had died. We were so sad for the Alcorn family and Nanci’s numerous friends, including us. However, as Randy has said, we were so happy for her, that her cancer battle was over, and that she was finally healed 100% in Heaven. Nanci firmly believed that is what waited for her, and that’s why she was more than fine with, even anticipating, leaving this fallen planet.
She often wrote in her journal of her struggles and longings for her Savior and Heaven. Randy shared some of her journal entries with all of us, and I’d like to share just two to give you a sample of her amazing soul:
John Newton [said]: “We have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, his arm over us, his ear open to our prayer – his grace sufficient, his promise unchangeable.”
That promise, found in Romans 8:27–30, is:
*The Holy Spirit prays for me according to the will of God
*God always works to cause everything to result in my best interest
*God works “everything” to conform me to the image of his son.
*God called me; he justified me; and he will glorify me.
*God is in control. I am not. God knows my future. I do not. God always has my best interest in mind. I can trust that.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne [said]: “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.”
Another of Nanci’s journal entries offered this passion and insight:
My Savior ministered to me greatly this morning with this truth: I will be ready to die when my time comes because my Shepherd will give me his joy, peace, and readiness. It will not be me working up enough faith and trust, my God will fight the battle for me! It will be his perfect ministering Spirit who will carry me peacefully – jubilantly into God’s arms.
[Charles] Spurgeon [wrote]: “What if we should soon be called to the heavenly realm? Certainly, there would be nothing to deplore in such a summons, but everything to rejoice in. Living or dying we are the Lord’s. If we live, Jesus will be with us; if we die, we will be with Jesus.”
Now, do you see why I call Nanci “a female Chuck Norris”?
For women, in particular, struggling through tough times, we also want to encourage you read the mega-helpful book Nanci and Randy co-authored: “Help for Women under Stress: Preserving Your Sanity.”
If you want to be further blessed and encouraged by Nanci, mark your calendar on Sunday, May 15, at 3:30 p.m. That is when Nanci’s Celebration of Life will be held at the Good Shepherd Community Church, 28986 SE Haley Rd, Boring, OR 97009. A livestream will be available at http://memorial.gshep.us/ so you can watch online from all over the country and around the world, and the video also be available at that web address after the service.
The board of Eternal Perspective Ministries has also set up a fund in Nanci’s memory. One-hundred percent of everything donated will be shared between a few ministries that were near and dear to her heart: a ministry in Cuba, persecuted Christians (currently with special concern for Nigeria) and the Logos Hope Ship (Operation Mobilization).
To donate online click here (select the “Nanci Alcorn Memorial Fund”). If you wish to send a check, you can make it payable to Eternal Perspective Ministries and send to: 39065 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 100, Sandy, OR 97055. Be sure to write “Nanci Alcorn Memorial Fund” in the notation area. You might want to include a separate encouraging note to Randy and his girls when you do. He’s done so much for this world. It’s the least we can do in return.
Speaking of encouragement, over the weekend our pastor comforted us with the words of Psalm 116:15, which say, “Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Pastor said the reason death is “precious” to God is that death is birth to Him, a departure from our limited “dark womb” on earth into a far-greater, glorious and abundant life in the expanse of Heaven. Life that is truly life!
In just one week, Christians around the world are again going to celebrate during Holy Week the very key that opened the door to Heaven for all who believe: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus said to friends who also experienced the passing of a loved one, “I am the Resurrection and the Life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he [or she] dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Nanci answered that question with a resounding, “Yes!”
Because of her faith, she has peace with God and, on last Monday, we believe one of God’s chariots, accompanied by a parade of angels, pulled up to her earthly home and escorted her spirit to her heavenly home.
Randy, Angela, Karina and the rest of the Alcorn family, we are so sorry for your earthly loss, and we join countless people around our country in praying God would grant you daily strength and peace until you are reunited again with her in your heavenly home.
Nanci, dear friend, rest in peace and enjoy the fruits of Heaven. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were welcomed with open arms by the words of your Savior, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!”
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