Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Epic Story

Today we're focusing on how God's hand has been in our lives. Lynn, today's Thankful Thursday hostess said: "We are living, out loud, the grandest drama ever. Real-life far exceeds anything Hollywood will ever dream up. Living for Jesus Christ is exhilarating, challenging, difficult, rewarding, awesome, and certainly NEVER boring. Jeremiah 1:5 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Our destiny is not left to chance. Our lives are vital. We are all players in this grand drama, penned before time began. I am thankful I serve the Master Author. What is He writing in your life today?"

It's interesting that this was the topic chosen today since I had been doing a little geneaology research. It just so happens that a lady at church and I were talking about orchards. I mentioned that my great grandfather had an orchard in this part of the country. Turns out that her mom visited that very orchard many times and she had seen my relatives! She didn't know their first names but knew where they lived.

This fueled my curiosity because although I had heard my great grandmother mentioned many times along with my great uncles and aunts, no one had said much about my great grandfather. So, being a child of modern technology, I just typed in his name and the town he lived in and I found his obituary. I found out that he passed away before my father was ever born, which explained why Dad said little about him.

However, what was so exciting to me is that I found evidence that he was a Christian. Back in the day, an obituary could tell much more than just the statistical information that is so often written today. Read the following:

"In the year 1883 God's Holy Spirit opened
his heart that he attended unto the things spoken from the Lord. Saying the time fulfilled the kingdom of God's at hand repent ye and believe the gospel having given himself to the Lord now gives himself to the Lord's people casting his lot with them in the Missionary Baptist Church at ..." (location of church

Isn't that awesome? You won't find that published in a newspaper today!

After listing all the family, the obit ends with this gem:

"He, with his companion assumed the burdens of
life energetically and industriously undergoing the hardships so common with those who are homebuilders. Under constant strain of storms of life and toil and strife he tires on lifes weary road. Affliction seizes his battles for freedom for more than two years he at last succumbs to death on March 15, 1928 at the age of 70 yrs, 9 mths, 1 day. This ends the history of one of God's noble men, a loving companion, a good father and neighbor. He has gone and many relatives and friends will miss him. But the thorn strewn paths [nor?] again shall pierce his
glory guided feet as he humbly vies around God's throne and his dear name repeat."

To me, this relates with our topic of God working in our lives. My great grandfather was a man of faith, who I'm sure prayed for his offspring to be likewise. This post would be way too long if I listed all the twists and turns that our family has taken through out the years. Despite all that has happened, I was raised in church. The Word says that no one can come to the Father unless the Spirit draws him. It's no accident that the Lord had His hand on me. I've often wondered why the Lord chose to bless me when so many that I grew up with never had any Christian influence at all.

"Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God
is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands." Deuteronomy 7:9

This truly is an epic story. Epic means "extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope." This story extends beyond a generation. God is working in my life, just as He first worked with my great grandfather and on down to me and my children. Who know what He has in store for my grandchildren!

To read how God is working in other people's lives, visit Lynn's blog here.


Jennifer said...

That was an amazing find on your great grandfather! To know that he was a godly man, who loved the Lord, yet before then, you knew little about!

I am so thankful that God knew me before I was formed in my mother's womb and has a plan for my life. That is truly amazing to me!

I loved this post today, my friend! Our lives and what we stood for will live on long after we are gone.

Happy TT!

PS. I put your book in the mail yesterday...should be there in 2-3 days. I hope you enjoy it!

Laurie Ann said...

I love it! Thanks so much for sharing that. Happy Thankful Thursday!


Great post!

Blessings to you.

Denise said...

Awesome post.

Debra said...

Wow! What an amazing story! I just loved it! Thank you for sharing that with us today!

Blessings to you!

Toknowhim said...

Cool discovery... Thanks for visiting my blog today... Blessings

Blessed Mama said...

What a blessing to be a part of such a rich history of faith! The Lord is so good!

BoufMom9 said...

What a fantastic post! I loved how beautifully written and spiritually filled your grandfather's obit was! You are so right... not in the papers today!

Thank you so very much for sharing!

Lynn said...

Oh Jerri,

This is just simply awesome. How very neat to read this about your Great grandfather. Girl, I look forward to meeting him on the streets of gold one day... you too.

Thank you for sharing this. I am inspired indeed. Hugs.. See you next week.

Theresa said...

That is so awesome. I love it when we find out good things about our ancestors.

Your family has been blessed by the work your great grandfather did. The Lord has given the generations that followed the blessings that he promises his beloved servants. By you being a devoted follower you are refilling the blessing bucket for your generations to come.

How amazing to track that!!

Rina said...

Wow, that is so amazing. Won't it be interesting if our grandchildren and great grandchildren end up reading our BLOGS?