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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Parents - our road map to God

My parents are still my best friends. My Dad is 78 and my mom is 81. They both have been in the ministry for their entire marriage of 59 years.

My mother started preaching when she was 8 years old. My grandmother (who was also a minister) and mom built 6 churches in the south. I've heard wonderful stories about revivals, camp meetings and brush arbors. A Brush Arbor was when the town didn't have a large meeting hall and yet knew that an evangelist was coming to town. They cut down several trees to clear a landing. For benches, they split trees in half and set them on top of the stumps. A sturdy tree trunk became the pulpit. Branches from the felled trees were used to build a roof and the sawdust became the floor.

For hours tired and weary people in small little towns sat under star filled skies, sang Amazing Grace and listened to fiery preachers explain the full gospel.  Children fell asleep on homemade quilts nestled in a pile of sawdust while older kids drew pictures in the sand, teased friends with sticky balls of pine sap and received a pinch from mom when their giggles were too loud.

My Dad had a normal life of school and barefoot walks down to the creek. He was around 12 when he gave his heart to God and promised he would do anything God asked. At 17 he thumbed his way to Bible College and became a minister. Just one year later my parents eloped and set out to let America know that Jesus was a Savior they could depend on. Dad built three churches, traveled the globe as a missionary and is a published writer. He was a missionary pilot for two years and dropped gospels into some of the remotest mountain villages of Mexico.

Is it any wonder that at 6 years old I cried for several hours after a Sunday evening service? Mother tenderly cradled me and kept asking why I was crying so. "I just want to be sure all my sins are gone. I want so badly to be a Christian."

My journey has been a wonderful one with Christ walking beside me. He's my best friend and as my favorite Gaither song states -

Jesus, you're the center of my joy
All that's good and perfect comes from you;
You're the heart of my contentment,
Hope for all I do,
Jesus you're the center of my joy.

That's why in 2006 I also become a minister. I found that I couldn't live even one day without praising my God and doing all I could to help other people.

My parents are here for the holidays. Yesterday I was tired and a little worn out. A tear slipped down my face. Dad put his hand on mine and said, "You know one on earth is as close to God as a loving mom. You have participated in the creation of a human life. Men stand in awe of that process and the love that continues throughout your life. You are amazing creatures!"

I thought of my post about how a child sees the face of God first through the face of a parent. I smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "No Dad, both parents are important. You both provided for my human birth, but you also led me to my spiritual birth. Nothing compares with the creation of a willing heart that will accept Christ."

God loves you,

1 comment:

Alice said...

This post was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Thanks for sharing. Say "Hello" to your lovely parents for me.