Two Dear Old Faces

20170725_121037Pastor William Toyer and his wife Joan. 

 

I recently saw a picture of my former pastor and his wife from the church that I had attended as a child. It was at that very same church that I first came to know the Lord and was baptized.  Now, I know that God is the only one who can save, but there is a special place in my heart for my former pastor and his wife who willingly served God and preached the truth that I so desperately needed to hear all those years ago. Seeing their faces so many years later was the inspiration for this poem.

 

I saw a picture today of two dear old faces, more aged than years before for time had left it’s traces.

Yet, when I look at those faces I will forever see, the much younger faces of my memory.

A memory very precious to my heart where it’s stored, for it was through their dedication and obedience that I came to know the Lord.

Many years have passed since I’d seen them back then, but I know some day up in heaven we will meet once again.

Until then my prayer for them both will be, that God will bless them and their family.

Yes, may He bless them both in their remaining days, for teaching and guiding us in all of God’s ways.

Thank you dear Pastor for preaching the truth, the truth that saved me back in my youth.

I’m still standing in that truth this very day, and the gratitude that fills my heart is more than words can say.

Yes, two dear old faces so precious to me!

 

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ODE TO MY GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE 

 

By Rebecca Berschwinger

 

I went for a ride the other day with my husband and son. We took a ride out to my grandparents old house where the visit really touched upon my heart. My grandparents are no longer with us, nor is my mom and several great aunts and uncles, but oh how the memories from those moments with them at that house live on, which is what inspired me to write the following poem.

 

Drove to my Grandmother’s old house; opened the car door and got out, and walked around the place where my fondest childhood memories were lived out.

I looked around and gave a heavy sigh, deep down inside I wanted to cry.

For what was once a lively and friendly home, now stood silent, broken down, abandoned, alone.

I peered through the dirty windows to see what I was able,  and there I saw the dining room where we all as a family had sat at the table.

Grandmother and Grandfather, Mom and Dad, cousins,  uncles and aunts; sounds of songs and laughter echoed through my mind as I gave a final glance.

Funny how much bigger that room seemed back then. I found myself wishing I could go back and relive those moments once again.

Those moments when precious loved ones now gone still lived, to hear their voices, see their faces, oh, what I would give!

I saw the stairs as I peered through the old front door, funny how much taller and longer they seemed years before.

The living room with the red carpet where I received the news that my little sister had been born, was now just a dirty empty shell, the carpet stripped, looking oh so forlorn.

And the little kitchen where the delicious foods Grandmother so lovingly prepared, now sits dirty, empty and bare.

I remember when we went there all the delicious treats; I always asked for fruits and vegetables, my brother for sweets.

The big willow tree out back with its long droopy branches touching the ground that my brother and I loved to play under has since then been cut down.

Then there’s the old well out front and barely visible now in the concrete, are the outlines of what we’re once my little baby feet.

After I had looked all around I shed more than a tear, for the treasured memories there that I hold oh so dear.

The foundation has caved in, is crumbling, soon that dear old house will be gone, but the wonderful memories stored in my heart will forever live on.

So thank you dear old house, to our family you’ve certainly been a treasure. Because for years you gave our family a place to make memories beyond measure!

 

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Lessons From a Wildflower Part One

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I’m always amazed by the way God speaks to me and reveals Himself through His creation!  I was strolling through the long grass in my unmowed yard the other day, looking heavenward, talking with God and fretting about my current circumstances.

I happened to glance down at my feet and noticed a small yellow wildflower, so I bent over and snatched that little yellow wildflower from its life giving stem and twirled it around between my fingers, closely studying it as I did so. I was awestruck by its beauty, delicacy and intricacy!

My gaze then shifted to the rest of the unmowed yard and my eyes were suddenly opened to many more wildflowers; pinks, purples, whites……all just as beautiful ,delicate and intricate as the little yellow one that first caught my attention.

I began to walk around and snap pictures of them with my phone. “Wow!  You made these Lord!”, I exclaimed. It struck me at that moment of how often when I think of God,  I think of Him in terms of His power and grandeur; His bigness.

Yes, God is a big, big, God in terms of His power and might. He created and rules over heaven and earth!  There is nothing too big for Him!  Yet, God is also a gentle, caring God of even the smallest of things. That’s His other side that I sometimes neglect to meditate upon.

Through those tiny flowers in the grass I’m reminded of what a glorious God, a creative artistic Father in heaven He is and I’m so amazed, so thankful.

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Lessons From a Wildflower Part Two

​God has so many ways of speaking to us through His creation. In my last post about the wildflowers I spoke of God’s gentle, delicate side that can be clearly seen through something as unnoticed as a wildflower.

Unnoticed.  How many times had I looked across or walked across my yard and never once noticed those beautiful, intricate wildflowers that God so lovingly created, tucked away amongst the trillions of blades of grass?

After having paused to study those wildflowers more closely and being so awestruck by their beauty, intricacy and fragility,  I began, with sadness, to think about the realities of their existence.

Those purposefully, gloriously designed, beautiful wildflowers are not only trampled on by my feet on a daily basis, but will end up in the next day or so being cut down by the swift whirling blades of our lawnmower.

“How sad!”, I thought. “Their beauty has only such a short time to be displayed, if they’re  even noticed at all.  Yet God took such great care in lovingly designing them anyway.”

But God notices them. He even knows how many leaves and petals each flower possesses and when one of them falls to the ground!

I think that we can sometimes feel a lot like those short lived yet gloriously created wildflowers. Feeling unnoticed, trampled on underfoot by the careless deeds of others, the weight of the world coming at us like the whirling sharp blades of a lawnmower cutting us down when we least expect it.

If God takes such great care in creating those beautiful wildflowers and watching over them even though they may live their brief lives virtually unnoticed, how much more us?

God created us to be so much more than a wildflower. To Him, each of us surpasses the beauty of His beautiful wildflowers. He loves us that much more too!

When the world gets me down, as it so often can, I  remember the wildflowers and the great care God took in making them. The great care He  took in making you and I doesn’t even begin to compare. We are so much more to Him!

“Consider the lillies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one if these.  But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown in the furnace, how much more will He clothe You? ” Luke 12:27,28

“Indeed the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not fear, you are more valuable than many sparrows. ”  Luke 12:7

 

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What Every Christian Grandparent Should Want for Their Grandchildren

We grandparents are often known for spoiling our grandchildren. We buy them clothes and fun toys, take them to fun places and fill their tummies with yummy treats.

There’s nothing wrong with treating our grandchildren with material things from time to time. The problem comes when we do all these things, yet leave their precious souls naked and un-fed.

When I look into the beautiful eyes of my grandchild, I see a precious,  eternal soul. A soul that’s going to spend eternity in either one of two places; heaven or hell.  I know that’s not what people want to hear but it’s a stark reality!

The worldly thinking is that everyone goes to heaven when they die. That’s wishful thinking and it’s far from the truth. It’s not biblical. God, in His infallible Word has made that abundantly clear!

In light of that, I’d like to share some of  the things that I want for my grandchildren and plan on teaching them by word and deed, all of which, God willing, will help to  instill in them  a healthy fear of the Lord.

I want my grandchildren to know from early on that they are sinners, and that while I think that they are absolutely wonderful,  they are sinners in need of Jesus along with the rest of mankind. That their hearts are not naturally inclined toward God.

I want to tell them of what Jesus did for them and that unless they repent and surrender their lives to Christ they are destined for hell.

I want them to know that God is good, especially to those who are His.

I want them to know upfront, that as a Christian,  life will sometimes be quite difficult and that the world may hate them  and persecute them , but it can’t touch their soul which rests safely in their Heavenly Father’s hands. That no matter how hard things may seem, God is always with them. He is on their side.

They should know that they can’t have one foot in the world and the other in God’s kingdom. God won’t accept half-heartedness.

They need to know the difference between the truth of God’s word and the lies that the world is telling them.

I want to help to equip them to be able to stand strong in their faith and to be able to defend it; to live it out, even if that means they are criticized or unpopular because of it.

I want them to have joy in Christ even if they have nothing else and for them to know what it is to truly walk with the Lord every minute of every day.

I want them to have a love and a thorough knowledge of God’s word and to not be ashamed of the gospel or Christ even though the world will try it’s best to shame them for their beliefs.

They should be shown the importance of church and corporate worship. That church isn’t a place or a building, but a family of God’s people, the bride of Christ and that it’s important to belong to a solid, bible believing church because we can’t live out our faith alone.

I want to inspire in them a love for the lost and the hurting, whether inside or outside of the church. I want to teach them to be giving and to know that everything they have including money and possessions belong to the Lord.

I also want them to learn about the importance of forgiveness and to be willing to forgive just as Christ has willingly forgiven them. They need to know the damage of harboring unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment in their hearts and that harboring grudges is equivalent to drinking poison and hoping that your offender is the one to die.

I intend to be there to help my children to raise their children and to be for them a light in a dark world, as long as God enables me to do so, keeping in mind the need to honor and respect my children’s role as the parents.

Finally, I will be their prayer warrior, praying with them and for them.

So while it may be fun to bestow upon our grandchildren creature comforts  from time to time, if we leave out sharing and living out our Christian faith with them and ministering to and nurturing their precious souls,  it’s a travesty; for what good is it for them to gain the whole world, yet lose their souls?

 

 

 

 

A Prayer for our Children or Grandchildren Based on Colossians 1:9-11

20161019_170824Father, I ask that you fill my children with the knowledge of Your perfect will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that they may walk in a manner worthy of You Lord.

May they be fully pleasing to You, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You.

Please strengthen them with all power, according to Your glorious might for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to You Father.

May they be qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Please God,  deliver them from the domain of darkness and transfer them to the kingdom of Your beloved Son, in whom we have redemption,  the forgiveness of sins.

In Jesus name,  amen.