Christmas Letter 2012

As I face this Christmas season, I am reminded of my experience as a 13-year-old boy in the “old toy truck”.  My parents had purchased a large used bread delivery truck.  They used this walk-in van in their small distribution business. It had the distinction to be their business vehicle after the converted “hearse” (yes, literally), and before the red Volkswagen van.  Every Saturday morning, I went with my father to our small warehouse and filled the old truck with inexpensive toys and coloring books.  I distinctly remember that there was little air flow in the old truck, whether on the cold mornings or on hot afternoons.

During the week, I painted displays in our family’s garage.  I learned how to work hard and how to build a business.  Dad then delivered these products throughout the following week to supermarkets around our state.  In the summers, I spent some of those long days with him.  We surveyed the displays in the stores and then went out into the large truck to get the toys that were needed to fill them. My job was simply to have the right items that were needed in the proper quantities to serve our customers.  I took my job very seriously and learned the basics of distribution, pricing, and sales. These were skills which would later help me run our large distribution firm.

As a son, I carefully observed my father and did exactly what was required so that he could accomplish his mission.  It was in these critical years that my dad sold his 5 & 10 cent variety stores which were losing money, transitioned into distribution to the grocery trade, and later into distribution to Army and Air Force exchanges.  Within just fourteen years, God allowed him to pay off all of his debts, invest in real estate, and semi-retire at age fifty to work with Billy Graham for next twenty-five years.  Dad attributes his success to my mother, who became his “buyer” and gave stability to the hard working optimistic entrepreneur.  He was a great salesman, who listened to his customers and was always learning what the customer needed.  Dad ran a low cost operation and the “old toy truck” symbolized this perfectly.

Two thousand years ago, another son joined His father on a mission of hope.  God the Father asked His Son, Jesus, to take the form of a helpless baby to go to very world that He had created. Jesus was tasked to model His Father’s love to the people, to equip a small band of disciples, and then to die on an old rugged cross.  Just as the “old toy truck” was a bridge in my father’s life from the tough times to times of business success, that old cross is the bridge for us to take from a life of meaningless searching to a life of peace and joy.  Through the risen Christ, each of us can be transformed into a new creature.  As you see your children and grand-children playing with toys this Christmas, just remember the old toy truck.  A father and a son were embarked on a mission to make a living and grow a business, and years ago a Father and Son embarked on a mission to provide hope for all those who would accept the gift of eternal life.  Do not let the wrappings, toys, and trinkets of the season cloud the precious gift of God’s Son to all who will receive it with joy!  May you personally experience His presence this season and throughout the New Year!

Kent and Davidene Humphreys

About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

One Response to Christmas Letter 2012

  1. Jim White says:

    Kent and Davidene,

    Thanks for your Christmas message and your ministry. You continue to be inspiration to Susn and me and to so many. God’s Richest Blessings to You and Yours and The Best of Health to You Both in the New Year!

    Jim and Susan

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