W. E. McCumber served the Church of the Nazarene for over 69 years as preacher, college professor, revivalist, conference speaker, radio speaker, writer and magazine editor. On December 18 he suffered a massive stroke and never recovered. He was a wonderful, loving father and husband and he will be greatly missed. I have been asked to continue this webpage in his memory, so please visit often as content is added from the volumes of work he produced. The McCumber family would like to express their gratitude for the outpouring of love, concern and sympathy during this very difficult time.
As the family gathered to take care of final arrangements for my dad, we began to reflect on his life and the influence he had on so many people. Going through his things was exceptionally tough as the memories brought tears, laughter and the emotional roller coaster that comes to those who have lost someone dear. We exchanged stories and memories of Dad and were comforted by the experience. We were overwhelmed with the volume of writing we encountered - articles, devotionals, studies, poems and manuscripts. There were hundreds of disks, mountains of written material and a few unfinished projects. I pictured Dad at his computer, creating something new- always writing, always reading. He was such a humble man, never boasting of his work but producing things he hoped would help those in their journey through life. I was amazed at the manuscripts that I knew would never be published. It seemed such a waste of talent to write something others would never see. The last few months of his life were filled with new endeavors and he wrote and preached until he died. So many of his poems were about the woman he loved for over 68 years, my mother, the inspiration for his work, his accomplishments, his very life. They were a team for the ages. We will surely miss him, but I am thankful for the memories, for his dedication to the God he loved, for his example as a father and husband and for the creative genius that produced the wonderful, inspiring writing from a man who was totally sold out to the Lord. What a heritage I have, what a Savior I serve.
About This Website
This site will feature devotionals, Bible studies, personal stories and insights, poems and other compositions. Content will be added frequently from Brother Bill's writings. You are welcome to use this material for your personal enjoyment and reflection. Your comments and suggestions are welcome and should be directed to the Web Editor. This web page is maintained by his son, Bruce L McCumber, and is lovingly dedicated to his memory.
A Recent Article
I have long been a lover of poetry. One of my favorite English poets is
William Wordsworth. For years, before some unfriendly force
scrambled the files of my memory, I could and did recite a few of his
poems that spoke to my heart.
His name intrigued me, always raising in my peculiar mind the question, “What are words worth?” Answering from the royalties I have received for my own published writings, and from my present salary as a preacher, I would be compelled to candidly admit that my words were not worth much. But “money isn’t everything,” and it can be a poor indication of the worth of what a man or woman speaks and writes. I doubt that Abe Lincoln ever made a dollar from his Gettysburg Address, but its true value lies in its influence as a political statement and as a model speech.
During the gilded era of the United States, one of industry’s moguls was B. H. Harriman. He chafed under the restraints imposed on his greed by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and sought ways to by-pass its effect. He once sent to lawyer John Johnson a proposal to merge some railroads. Johnson was to read it and tell Harriman whether or not he could escape prosecution as a violator of the Anti-Trust legislation. John read it and wired a terse report: “Merger possible; conviction certain.” With those four words Johnson submitted a bill for $100,000 dollars! His words were worth a lot.
The value of words depends upon the character of the speaker, the importance of the subject, and the effect of those words upon others. What do you think the words of Jesus are worth? Well, I quickly searched the Gospels looking for His phrase, “my words.” Here is what I found:
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35).
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels (Mark 8:38).
I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete (Luke 6:47-49).
As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day (John 12:47).
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you (John 15:7).
The words of Jesus are eternal, saving, judging and the “open sesame” to the treasures of divine blessings. In short, His words are forever priceless.
Meet X & O
"Self-preservation," says an old adage, "is the first
law of nature." When facing a "you or me" threat, "me"
will be saved and "you" will be sacrificed most of the time.
Exceptions provide those rare instances of genuine heroism that many applaud
but few emulate.
Jesus might have spared himself and doomed us by avoiding the cross. The devil sorely tempted Him to take this self-saving route, but Jesus steadfastly refused. He came to die for our sins, and no measure of shame and agony would compel Him to abort that mission.
Paul wrote, "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:7-8). Christ became the target of the death we deserved. With broken body and spilled blood He placed a barricade across the road to hell.
We live because He died. The truth is that simple, that glorious.