Category Archives: Remembering

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

 

As the landing wheels of our airplane hit the ground at Midway Airport, John’s phone started to blow up with texts. Billy Graham had just died. John’s team began scrambling to provide tech support for a press conference at Wheaton College. You can see it here: https://www.wheaton.edu/billy-graham/

On the way home from the airport, I read aloud a Christianity Today article about this remarkable man. You can read it and several other articles here: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/billy-graham/died-billy-graham-obituary.html

That evening, NBC news played a clip of an interview with Rev. Graham in which he said, “I would like to be remembered as a person who was faithful to God and faithful to my call and did it with integrity and with love.“  I would say that he succeeded in that goal, wouldn’t you? Remarkable! https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/billy-graham-america-s-pastor-dead-age-99-n701276

“I want to be remembered as a man of integrity.”-2

All of this reading and reflecting on the life of Rev. Billy Graham has made me think about how intentionally he lived his life and how he kept his eyes on Jesus. How I long to do the same! I’ve found myself turning Rev. Graham’s words into a prayer: “Dear God, help me to be faithful to you and faithful to my call and do it with integrity and love.” Join me in this prayer?

Grateful for you! Cheering you on in this connected life with all its bumps.

 

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Remembering Mom

Every year at this time, I think of Mom and her birthday on April 28. I do wish I could take her breakfast in bed.  And I wish I could hear her voice, see her broad smile.

Instead, I sit at my desk and look at the china mug she brought me from Oxford, and the painting on my office wall of an older woman teaching a younger woman to knit—something I gave her years ago, perhaps for her birthday. And I finger gently one book—a book sitting permanently on the filing cabinet in my office.

This book, worn and tattered, belonged to my great-grandmother. My mom called her Gam. Because Gam died during Mom’s college years, I only know Gam through Mom’s stories about her and this book I have. Mom told me that Gam loved to encourage people, loved to cook, and loved to go to church (often taking her grand-daughter with her).

I often “stole” Gam’s book from Mom on trips home during college and beyond. Especially when I felt disconnected from God and confused about life.

Why?

Because generations ago a wise, kind woman read this book, cherished this book, and depended on this book to see her through hard and sad times.

So, today I reach for Gam’s book, her Bible, written in the King’s English.

As I open the pages, little tidbits of weathered paper flutter to the floor, bits of poetry and devotional sayings she had clipped from church bulletins and newspapers and used as bookmarks in her Bible. A pressed flower stills sits  peacefully between Jeremiah 29 and Jeremiah 30. All of it beckons me to linger, to read, to remember.

“My life is but a weaving
  Between my Lord and me.
At times He weaveth sorrow,
  And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
  And I the under side.” 

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“I know a peace
Where there is no peace,
A calm where the wild winds blow,
A secret place
Where face to face
With the Master I may go.”

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“The grave itself is but a covered bridge.
Leading from light to light through a brief darkness.” April 2, 1953 

Oh, the comfort of those words. Especially on this day.

And then I land on some particular, perspective-setting words in Psalm 90:1-2, bookmarked in Gam’s Bible by more yellowed clippings. I leave you with these words. May they bring you comfort today as they did me.

“LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.“