Arthur C. Dixon has been preaching, teaching and counselling from the Word of God since he was accepted by his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, at the age of sixteen. His ministry has spanned more than sixty years and has taken him across the globe, from Indonesian villages to North American penitentiaries. For 25 years he was director of Shantymen International, a Christian mission that sought to reach people isolated by emotional, geographical, and social barriers. Since retiring from administration, he has continued to preach, teach, and counsel. He is the author of To Trust Again: Healing Wounded Love, as well as of numerous papers on subjects ranging from the writings of C. S. Lewis to biblical eschatology.
Arthur has two mottos in life: “Have Bible, will travel” and “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Meg Sharpe, B.Sc. (Meg4811) began ministering with Arthur when he hired her as managing editor of The Shantyman, the evangelistic publication of Shantymen International. She came into the Kingdom “the way I was born in the flesh–bum first”, like C. S. Lewis, a most “dejected and reluctant convert” who has never since stopped wondering at the grace that didn’t let her have her own way:
“I hated the God who allowed me to be raped by a man I trusted, and carved up at knifepoint on my eighteenth birthday.”
And since then?
“You either go mad, or kill yourself, or you come to understand that God is, that He must be, sovereign. Not the author of sin; but all wickedness, all pain and sorrow and suffering, must have a purpose in His plan for redemptive history. Because what’s the alternative? That suffering has no purpose? That is absolutely, unimaginably, unbearable to contemplate. Because who among us doesn’t know pain? The alternative to acknowledging God, as Jean-Paul Sartre so rightly pointed out, leaves philosophy with only one sensible question. Why don’t we all commit suicide? Well, there’s a lot more to life than that. Take it from someone who’s been there.”
She has co-written, ghost-written, or edited more than a dozen books on subjects ranging from parenting to marriage to cooking to a children’s novel, Slave, Brave and Free (with Cal Bombay) as well as numerous papers for the C.S. Lewis Society, various Christian publications, and sundry assorted bits and pieces, including politically correct restaurant reviews, and she hopes a soon-to-be-produced politically incorrect cookbook/travelogue related to her time in Provence and on the Côte d’Azur, especially in her old home, La Sarrazine, which overlooks the Mediterranean from the ancient ramparts of Antibes.
“This comes from the life verse Arthur gave me years ago, Jeremiah 48:11.
“Moab has been at ease from his youth
and has settled on his dregs;
he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel,
nor has he gone into exile;
so his taste remains in him,
and his scent is not changed.”
Arthur wrote in his book, To Trust Again: Healing Wounded Love, and he said to me,
“This is one of the most unusual and yet beautiful illustrations given to us by the Holy Spirit in the Word of God. The prophet Jeremiah was proclaiming the severe shortcomings of the tribe of Moab.
In winemaking, the young wine must be racked off its lees, clarified and then left alone if it is to develop the deep rich aromas and complex flavours of maturity.
Moab, the prophet was saying, still smelled of Moab, still tasted of Moab. There was not the fragrance and savour of maturity.
A study in the Old Testament shows us that God’s people were chastened, poured from one jar to another, sent into exile, because of their sin. God began with their sinful failure, and in his chastening brought about a beautiful smell, a beautiful taste. Just so, our loving heavenly Father can take our failures and work in and through them to rid us of all the earthly, carnal flavours and smells in our lives. He can decant us, and lay us aside, so that one day he can raise that glass to his face and find not our smell, but the aroma of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“And so I am Meg4811, still being poured from vessel to vessel, still praying that one day I will be a sweet-smelling savour to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
A Testimonial Talk: “What Kind of God Is This?” or “Why meg4811?”