Who Wrote It? Pastor Jimmy Lin on "Embracing Life Changes"

By Josh DeGroot

June 30, 2016

Have you ever finished reading your daily Today devotion and wondered what inspired the author’s thoughts and reflections? If so, our “Who Wrote It” feature is just for you. Listen to this podcast interview and follow along with the transcript below to learn more about this month’s author and what he hopes you might take away from this series.

Josh DeGroot - Welcome to the Today devotional’s Who Wrote It, where we get to know our Today authors and understand the inspiration behind their writing. I am Josh DeGroot; joining me now is Rev. Jimmy Lin, who has recently retired from 25 years here at Back to God Ministries International as the Chinese ministry leader; and he has also written July’s Today devotional. What about retirement has surprised you the most, sir?

Jimmy Lin - I think what surprised me most is that I am still very busy. Most people think that retirement…or maybe I thought that retirement would mean lots of free time; but still, I find myself to be quite busy most of the time. Just take for example the first six months; of course, one of the busiest is to write this Today. Writing in English takes me more time than writing in Chinese…

Josh DeGroot - Sure.

Jimmy Lin - And then I also had quite a bit of preaching that seemed to line up in the second half of the year; and then we went to Hong Kong and China for about three weeks to visit friends and relatives. So we were busy…my wife and I were busy until the end of the year; and we thought that, well, going into 2016 will be better, but then there is still preaching lining up and then we had our fourth grandson coming…

Josh DeGroot - Congratulations.

Jimmy Lin - Yes, thank you; and so, while trying to go over there to help them a little bit and all these things end up that, well, it is still busy, but I still enjoy it because one of the major difference is that I don’t have to wake up at 6:30 and go to work on time…

Josh DeGroot - Beautiful, yes.

Jimmy Lin - Now I have a bit more control of what I want to do, although there are still a lot of things to do, but I have a bit more control.

Josh DeGroot - Well, you said one of your first acts was to write these Today’s, and the theme seems to me that we need to trust God to lead us day by day through all of life’s changes; and you even talk about a scene in Forest Gump, where he is forced to let go and his son grows up and attends school. What has been the hardest part for you to let go, not just in retirement, but in all of your personal experiences where you felt like you needed to let go?

Jimmy Lin - One of the hardest things to let go is your kids; although my two sons are over 30 now, but in my eyes they are still little kids; and sometimes you want to help them and guide them, and sometimes you may not agree with their decisions, and you just have to trust God that God is guiding them. Of course, in our own lives and in ministry, too…just talking about ministry…in the past 25 years when I was involved with Back to God, there have been a lot of changes in the media ministry, and there are a lot of things that I have to make adjustments; and going to ventures and directions that I have no confidence or have very little knowledge in the beginning; and we just have to say, well, we trust that God is guiding us in that direction and we will trust him all the way; and that is the way I feel my life has been going on.

Josh DeGroot - Now that you are retired, and you look back at the work you have done, do you feel like you have done a good job with always putting your faith in God’s plan?

Jimmy Lin - I can’t say that I have always done a good job, but I have tried my best to put my faith in God’s plan; and God has used different people…I mean, Christians, believers, and even non-believers to work together to make things, as I look back, in my life…personal life, family life, church life, and the ministry…there are so many things that fit together that I have to say this is God’s plan, and I have to look back and say, well, I have maybe not enough faith, but God has used people and helped me to increase my faith looking to the future.

Josh DeGroot - This month has been a nice reflection of your time after retirement, and your journey along the way; 25 years at Back to God Ministries; what is your favorite part about this Today devotional and what it can do, and what do you think it does best?

Jimmy Lin - I think the Today devotional, as I look back, because the Chinese ministry translates some of the devotionals…most of the devotionals…from Today, so we know what different authors have been writing; and as I wrote myself for this particular devotional, it gave me a time and a chance to reflect on my life; looking back on not just retirement, but from birth until now; and it forced me to reflect on God’s faithfulness; and I think that is the important thing for each devotional to point people back to God; that is the most important thing.

Josh DeGroot - He is the voice of a retired man, and here we are putting him back to work; can you believe it? You have been listening to Jimmy Lin, the writer of July’s Today devotions. Read them, study them, listen to them. Rev. Lin, thanks for being here, and enjoy your retirement.

Jimmy Lin - Thank you.

Josh DeGroot - I am Josh DeGroot; thanks for listening, and remember to visit todaydevotional.com.

About the author — Josh DeGroot

Josh DeGroot is a graduate of Columbia College in Chicago. Josh began as a sound engineer with Back to God Ministries International in July 2008. In addition to the "Who Wrote It?" interviews for Today, Josh works on almost every audio project produced by Back to God in the US. He also writes and produces episodes for our sister ministry, the children's program, Kids Corner. Josh lives in Alsip, IL with his wife. They are expecting their first child.

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