Sunday, September 14, 2014
This last weekend we had a cousin reunion with Mary's cousins. Since having this special time together, I have been thinking of some things that I wish to share with our grandchildren. Most of the cousins are now in their 70s. They all grew up within about a mile of each other. They are kind, considerate and are walking with the Lord. They are very special people now spread out over the US. As I was growing up in NW Iowa, I found the Lord as my Savior and sought Him about my future and my future mate. I now can see how God in heaven had His eye on me and a gal named Mary NW of Salina, KS, who was also being raised in a Christian family. God in His greatness knows how to put the right people together. I confess my prayer and thoughts were only concerning the girl God had planned for my wife. I now see the importance of what goes far beyond just that person. In bringing Mary and me together, He was bringing two families together. I want to share the importance and blessing of that. We now had two sets of parents that were praying for us. Though 3 of the parents are in heaven, we still have Mary's mom that not only prays for us but also for our children and grandchildren. We hear her audibly praying in the morning. What a blessing that is. (In my praying for a mate, I had not thought about that.) Then there is the uncles, aunts and cousins that are of special influence and prayer. I was so impressed with their interest in needs in our family and commitment to pray. (I had not thought about that.) Then there is the blessing of "Christian Heritage". In Exodus 20:6 in the New Living Translation: "But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations." (I had not thought about that.) I also had not thought about six children and who they would marry and then 24 grandchildren and great- grandchildren to come. Those things do not escape our Father's attention. I now realize that God saw my heart and prayer and a girl in Kansas that was blessed in a Christian family and graciously brought us together. Observing Mary's mom, siblings and cousins this past weekend has caused me to praise God for bringing two families together and the ongoing blessing that it is. I challenge our grandchildren to think about these things as you approach that all important decision of marriage. God knows who you need and how He wishes to bless you. Mary and I are praying for that all important decision in your life.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
I want to pass on a Father's Day message concerning my father and the faithfulness of Our Heavenly Father to bless obedience. On June 15, 1952 (which was Father's Day), I was saved as well as my sister, Roberta. The night we were saved our mom and dad rededicated their lives to the Lord. With this new spiritual life in our family, our folks knew we needed to go to a church where the gospel was being preached. That meant leaving my dad's family church where the gospel was not taught. I know that was a major decision for my dad. It was met with great disapproval from his family. They settled on the Meriden Evangelical Free Church some 17 miles from home. Dad became very involved in this new church. At a special prayer meeting for men, one of the men of that community told Dad about a farm that would be sold within a mile from the church. The folks bought that farm, which was one of the best farms if not the best in that county. After they purchased the farm they learned that there were many who wanted that farm. It is clear to me that God reserved it for us for the obedience of my folks. It indeed was a wonderful farm and has been such a great blessing to our family. The Lord said "I WILL HONOR THOSE WHO HONOR ME" and He certainly did. That decision to be part of a church that honored God's word opened the door to many family blessings. Thank you, Dad for that step of obedience. Thank you Heavenly Father for the blessing.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Six or seven months ago I lost a very special ring. I had no idea when it happened, but I realized it when we came back from Cape Cod in October. I assumed it may have slipped off my finger in Massachusetts. It is special and inscribed with "All My Love, Mary". I asked the Lord to please take care of it and return it, if it pleased Him. Mary and I were planting pansies at the church before Easter. I raked off the mulch and tossed it on the mulch area at the church. A bit later Mary looked down and there it was. Thank you, Lord. V. R. Edman, the president of Wheaton College, when I attended there had a pastor Johnson, who as a boy in Sweden was very poor. He had borrowed a fish hook from a neighbor and was fishing in a small lake near home. He hooked a large fish and it broke the line. He was heart broken because it wasn't his hook. He dropped a net in that spot and pleaded with God to get the hook back. The next morning he went back to the spot and found a fish caught in the net. There was that hook in the fish's mouth. He retrieved the hook and the fish gave a flap and back into the lake, but he had the hook. Pastor Johnson said this was how he learned to trust God. God cares about the small important things in our lives. Learn to ask Him and trust Him. God delights to show His power in small things.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
One of the things I would like to pass on to you grandchildren is the importance of memorizing Scripture. When I was young I was in a church that left the idea that Scripture memory was for little children and not something for young people and adults. That is so wrong. It was the influence of the Navigators that started me to memorize passages from the Bible. There have been other ministries that have fortified it in my life. It is so important to hide God's word in your heart. When you do, it gives the Holy Spirit the freedom to remind you of Bible verses in a time of need. It will help you to think God's thoughts and meditate on Scripture. Scripture will keep you from sin and cleanse you when you get into sin. It will be used to guide you in life's many decisions. If you will memorize Scripture and meditate on it and do what it says, God has promised to bless your life. I really want your life to be blessed. Please get involved in memorizing passages from the Bible. I will be praying that God will show you how important that is. I would be glad to help you get started if you are not doing it already.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Today I am thanking the Lord for a decision that I made on June 15, 1952. I was early very interested in spiritual things. I wasn't hearing much at the church we were attending, but I did get a lot of input from HCJB, the short wave Christian station from Quito, Ecuador. My mom thought we needed to hear more Bible, so she saw to it that we attended evangelistic meetings in Sioux City, IA. sixty miles from home. On this date in 1952 we attended a meeting in the memorial auditorium in Sioux City. Dr. Bob Cook was the evangelist. I don't remember much about the message, but I knew I wanted to be saved. I remember thinking, if I go forward I may not be able to find my parents in this large crowd, but I remember thinking, I don't care because I wanted to accept Jesus as my Savior. If I remember right, I was the first one forward. A dear lady dealt with me and led me in prayer to receive Christ. My sister, Roberta, also responded to the invitation for salvation. Our parents also ended up in the prayer room, rededicating their lives to Christ, so I didn't lose them after all. It left me so grateful that now I was a Christian and would one day go home to heaven. I have been blessed to never doubt my salvation over these sixty years. I pause today and thank the Lord for His faithful care of me since that day.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
We just finished another "Camp Gramma" with 22 grandchildren and 12 adults. Our grand children always look forward to "cousin time" and we are thankful for that. We were together for 72 hours at our home. Things really went well, but as usual when it was over we learned of some bumps along the way. My desire would always be for things to flow perfectly, but I have learned that is not realistic with the fallen creatures that we are. My response to learning about some bumps tends to be regret, but then God showed me that this time together is to be used to expose some of the flaws that need to be worked on and brought to God in prayer. David asked God to show him those flaws in his heart so they could be corrected. "Camp Gramma" went well and there were some flaws exposed that now we can pray about and work on. God's ways are far above my ways!
We had the blessing of having this time with our grandchildren May 25-28 at our home this year. We had 22 grandchildren with all their parents except Roger and DeeDee. Our theme was "Guard Your Heart". I have been impressed from Scripture and from observation how important the heart is. We talked with them about how God is always looking at our heart. We talked about how hearts can be led away from the Lord and how they can become hardened. Our theme verse was Proverbs 4:23, "Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life." It was a special time to celebrate our 45th anniversary and thank God for His protection of our family through the years. We also had the special joy of baptizing Meryn on Saturday night. It was hot and windy, but we all survived. We are grateful for this time with family. These are precious kids and we want to do all we can to encourage them on to walk with the Lord.