After all, what did a father have to pass on to his children but his own personal reaction to the world? Of what use was experience if one could not pass on at least a little of what one had learned.”
–Louis L’Amour (North to the Rails)
“Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones. Let me rejoice in the joy of your people; let me praise you with those who are your heritage.”
–Psalm 106:5 (NLT)
I wasn’t sure what to write about today; even thought about skipping it. Thanksgiving is next week, already! With that is our annual camping trip so I don’t know how many Echoes I’ll get out. So I put the coffee on, sat down to look out the window, and noticed it was foggy. Then it came to me; today is my Grandma’s birthday. She just might have been the strongest person I’ve ever known. She would make Arnold and the Hulk seem trivial. No, she wasn’t muscle-bound by any means unless you are talking about spiritual muscle. Talk about fortitude, determination, and love for God–those were just a few of her strengths.
Grandma was born in Poker Bend, Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to an Irishman, Samuel Rupe, and a Choctaw woman, Mary (Polly) Brown. Her mother died when she was very young. The family moved during the Depression (1936) to Colorado. Grandpa was a coal-miner and worked the mines around Superior and Louisville.
I’m not sure if Grandma ever hit the 5 foot mark or not. She might have on a good day and if she stretched. But she had tremendous love for the Lord, family, and friends. Just a few things I remember about her: 1) she could cook! Very few times I would come home from school when she didn’t have something baked and ready, 2) she would read her Bible. I would watch her sit on her little bed (she always slept in the dining room, next to the kitchen) and open her Bible and read. 3) she took care of her family. 4) when a crisis would come, and she didn’t think she could take it anymore she had her saying, “Lord, help us through the jungles!”
“Faith of our fathers! living still
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word.
They say that with each generation faith, commitment, and conviction dwindles. When I look at the life of my Grandma, and her strength; then look and see the whiny babies (call them snowflakes, twinkies, cupcakes) and how they howl at the sky; well, I just would like to slap them silly! Guess, that might not be the right term for they are already silly. This is better, slap the snot out of them.
I’m thankful for a heritage of faith. My Grandma and Aunt, the church I grew up in had tremendous people of faith, my Pentecostal heritage. We are finally at the point in America where people of faith are going to be tested like never before. Mark my words, especially if the liberals get back in power. There will be a whirlwind.
“Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
Were still in heart and conscience free:
How sweet would be their children’s fate,
If they, like them, could die for thee!”
Grandma always had poor circulation. Later in life she would sit in her rocker and groan from the pain in her legs. I would talk, pray, and say that the pain is so bad, but I know I can handle it. My heavenly Father promised me He wouldn’t give me more than I can handle, so I know I can handle it. This was not only true of pain, but of life situations that came her way.
“Faith of our fathers! we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife;
And preach thee, too, as love knows how,
By kindly words and virtuous life!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!”
Jesus said that when He returned will He find faith on the earth. This Thanksgiving, all in America have been blessed by the faith of those who went before–be thankful for that. I wonder how many have strayed and wandered from the faith of their grandparents? How many have compromised faith, or diluted faith? Take some time to remember the grand heritage of faith and of our country!