Have You Traced Your Spiritual Heritage?

What is your Spiritual Heritage?

If you were saved when hearing Billy Graham preach, you can trace your Spiritual heritage back to the man who is considered the greatest evangelist of the nineteenth century.

Billy Graham; how far back can he trace his Spiritual heritage? In 1854, there was a seventeen year old boy who worked as a shoe salesman in Detroit.

Edward Kimball, a Sunday School teacher, stopped by the shoe store where that boy worked, and led him to the Lord. That boy was D.L. Moody. What would have happened if this Sunday School teacher had not been concerned for the soul of that 17 year old?

D.L. Moody led J. Wilbur Chapman to the Lord during one of his evangelistic meetings. 

Billy Sunday was converted at a J. Wilbur Chapman evangelistic meeting.

Mordecai Ham was saved at a Billy Sunday meeting.

Billy Graham~Billy Graham was saved at a Mordecai Ham meeting.

I got curious about my Spiritual heritage and decided to trace it today. Wow, was I ever encouraged about a mother, grandmother and great grandmother who touched their child’s life with the love of Christ and by having a Godly home. Because of them, my life was forever changed centuries later.

At age twenty, I was saved at college when a young lady (named Susan Wang), in Campus Crusade for Christ, shared the Four Spiritual Laws with me.

Have you heard of Bill Bright? He was the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ and wrote the Four Spiritual Laws tract. 

I wonder where I would be today if not for Bill Bright, Campus

Bill Bright
Bill Bright

Crusade for Christ and The Four Spiritual Laws tract.

Over the years, I have heard some Christian leaders criticize Billy Graham and Bill Bright. I have concluded that this type of criticism makes God sad. I have even heard Christian leaders criticize the Four Spiritual Laws tract, but all I know was, “Once I was spiritually blind before I read that tract and after reading it, I could see!” Amen, I COULD SEE!  April 6, 1975, I was born again! Oh, and our son was gloriously saved as a child while watching the Jesus Film, which is another very effective evangelical tool produced by Bill Bright.

Bill Bright led thousands of souls worldwide to the Lord, including myself. I wanted to know who influenced Bill Bright. So, I started digging.

Henrietta Mears
Henrietta Mears

Bill Bright; where did his Christian heritage begin?  As a young man, Bill Bright was converted by the colorful hat lady, Christian youth leader, Henrietta Mears. Every time Henrietta taught the Bible, she gave an invitation to trust Jesus as Saviour. Henrietta Mear’s Sunday School class grew from 450 to more than 6000 in 1933. Under her influence, Bill Bright wrote a signed contract to God, “I am your slave.” Henrietta Mears led thousands to the Lord and gave young people the vision to be actively involved with the Great Commission. Henrietta influenced Bill Bright to have this goal: “Win the campus to Christ today, win the world to Christ tomorrow.”

Who influenced Henrietta Mears?

I was so encouraged to learn that Henrietta’s mother, Margaret Everts Mears was her driving force behind her early devotion to the Lord. Henrietta was saved at age seven. Her home life provided rich spiritual nourishment for her. The days in her home began with prayer, Bible reading and hymn singing. Isn’t this the way every Christian home should start their day?

Mothers and Grandmothers, be encouraged! Henrietta’s mother mentored Henrietta just as Henrietta’s grandmother mentored her mother.

Her grandfather on her mother’s side was Dr. W. W. Everts (1814-1890), Pastor of First Baptist Church of Chicago. While growing up, Henrietta heard preaching from G. Morgan Campbell and R. A. Torry. Henrietta could trace her spiritual heritage back to five generations on her mother’s side. It is written about Henrietta’s great grandmother, “She walked with the Lord and her voice was lifted continually to give praise to God.” Wouldn’t I love to have these same words said of me!

Dr. W.W. Everts, Henrietta’s grandfather said of his mother, Phoebe, “My mother, more than any other human being, determined my character and destiny.” After reading this quote, I asked myself, “What difference am I making for Jesus Christ?”

Billy Graham credited Henrietta Mears, “I doubt if any other woman outside my wife and mother has had such a marked influence on my life. She is certainly one of the greatest Christians I have ever known!”

When Bill Bright passed away, Billy Graham said, “”He has carried a burden on his heart as few men that I’ve ever known – a burden for the evangelization of the world. He is a man whose sincerity and integrity and devotion to our Lord have been an inspiration and a blessing to me ever since the early days of my ministry.”

I am grateful to Henrietta’s godly mother, grandmother and great grandmother for investing spiritually in their child. Henrietta, in turn invested

LSU~Right before I was saved, I walked across this parade ground in the front praying, "God, how can I know for sure I will go to heaven?" I am thankful for Susie Wang sharing the Four Spiritual Laws with me!
LSU~At age 20, right before I was saved, I walked across this parade ground (in the forefront of the photo) praying, “God, how can I know for sure I will go to heaven?” I am thankful for Susie Wang sharing the Four Spiritual Laws with me! I am thankful to God for my Spiritual heritage. One touched life touched another, and another…and then touched mine!

spiritually in the life of Bill Bright. Bill Bright, through Campus Crusade for Christ and the Four Spiritual Laws led me to the Lord. Even though they are all in heaven, they touched my life, and I will never be the same.

Have you taken the time to look up your Spiritual ancestors? I learned so much about Henrietta Mears today. She is such an encouragement. Would you like to share your Spiritual heritage?  

Building His Kids a Club House

Dwayne, our son-in-law drew up plans and built a club house for his growing family.

At the beginning of the project, I told our seven year old grandson, “Bryant, not many Dads build a club house for their children. What a special thing your Dad is doing for you!”

Smiling from ear to ear, Bryant, politely replied, “I know! The lady at the store, where Dad bought the lumber, told me the same thing.” 🙂

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Building a Clubhouse

Kids Club House

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Kids Club House

Kids Club House

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What a good Daddy! Reminds me of the Scripture about how a father loves his children and gives them good things.  “…how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7:11

My Marriage is My Mirror

In the photo, I am styling my daughter’s hair on her wedding day. A wedding day is a happy day!

The Word of God is my mirror that lets me see myself. When I read God’s Word, I see myself falling very short of God’s holiness. I have the desire to be holy as He is holy. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

My marriage is also my mirror that lets me see myself.  I never realized how selfish I was until I got married.  Have you learned new things about yourself after getting married?

Years ago, I was visiting a friend who said with frustration, “I would be a good Christian, if it were not for my family!”

We laughed together as she realized what she was saying. Seriously though, have we ever thought something similar to this?

Leave and Cleave
Leave and Cleave

In my Quiet Time today, I read these profound words of Jesus: “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” Matthew 19:5

For what cause? The preceding Scripture has the answer; “he which made them at the beginning made them male and female.”

God’s plan from the beginning: 1 man + 1 woman = 1 Marriage for a lifetime!

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:6

We must commit our marriage to God. You might say, “I did this already.”  Well, today, let us recommit our marriage to God. We need to take our marriage vows to the ultimate extreme by taking them seriously! Wedding vows are the greatest promises to God we make! Let us not only commit our marriage to God, let us commit ourselves to our marriage.

Mirror mirror on the wall…It is easy to ignore our own reflection in the mirror of marriage and blame our husband.

My marriage is my mirror!
My marriage is my mirror!

It is easy to say, “Well, if he wouldn’t ________, then I wouldn’t ________.”

A long time ago, a movie’s famous line was, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  What? Amazing how such worldly words became famous. I think we can say in truth that “Pride means never having to say you’re sorry.”

In a marriage, “Love means having to say you’re sorry…over and over again!”

Both spouses need to learn these hard to say, but important words: “I was wrong for ___________ and I am sorry.  Will you forgive me?”

Love means having to say you're sorry...over and over again!
Love means having to say you’re sorry…over and over again!

I will be honest with you. I had to ask my husband for forgiveness today. I am writing this post for myself too. My preacher says, “I am preaching with one finger pointing at you, but with most fingers pointing back at me.” My marriage is my mirror.  Your marriage is your mirror. What is our marriage mirror reflecting?

I wanted to share my Bible notes with you.  These notes spoke to my heart, so maybe someone reading this post will be helped too.  This is why I write: If I can be of any help to one person, it is worth it. I pray abundant blessings to each of you reading these words. You may think you are just an ordinary person with just an ordinary marriage. God wants to use the ordinary for His good purpose. God transforms lives and marriages.

1. Keep a humble heart to stay sweet in your marriage. Hardness is never attractive.

Laugh Together
Laugh Together

2. Commit to growing together in your relationship with God. Pray together, minister together, go to church together and laugh together.  Yes, good-hearted laughter is a gift to us from God.

3. Commit to treating each other with respect and affection. One good marriage consists of two forgivers. Both my husband and I keep short accounts as we both seek forgiveness from one another when offended.

If our husband is at fault, two wrongs don’t make a right. How many times should we forgive our husband? How many times has God forgiven you and me? How many times has God been patient, merciful and tender towards you and me? That is the number of times we forgive our husband.

4.  Marriage was made to compliment each other; not duplicate each other.  If changes need to be made in your spouse, instead of trying to change him by your own means (and look mean in his eyes), pray for God to make the necessary changes in your spouse.

5. God’s original plan was that 2 lives merge together to become 1. Husbands and wives do not live separate lives.

6.  Marriage does not cause my problems. Marriage, like a mirror, reveals the real “me.”

If you see an ugly reflection in your mirror of marriage that needs His healing touch, run to God to get encouraged, instead of from Him. “I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.” Psalm 3:4
God is for marriage! God invented marriage, so tell Him all about your reflection in the marriage mirror. You will get a God hug, because He loves you with an everlasting love! After you tell the Lord all about it, remember to forgive yourself too! Live guilt free. What does God say about your confessed sin? “I remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12. Isn’t that beautiful? God does not forget our sin, He chooses to remember our sin no more.

mirror mirror on the wall~Things can change as fast as the blink of an eye, so keep short accounts. Forgive him fast. Seek forgiveness fast. Love your husband.

It’s a new day! Let us make the most of it! Mirror mirror on the wall, this marriage is the best of all.

Roasted Okra

Because we are not fans of slimy boiled okra, this delicious roasted okra recipe was a big hit with all of us. My husband grew okra in his garden this summer and shared his produce  with our daughter, Melinda, when she came up for a visit. Melinda was so excited about this quick and easy roasted okra recipe, she passed it on to me, so I will pass it on to you…mmmm!

Roasted Okra

Ingredients:

  • 20 okra pods
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut off tips of okra on the big side. Discard tips.
  3. On a foil lined cookie sheet, arrange okra closely together.
  4. Dip fingers in the olive oil and coat each okra.
  5. Sprinkle Salt and Pepper to taste.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

If God Has A Brag Book, I Want To Be In It

I have not had time to write many posts lately with the move to our new home, our new grandbaby, and with family coming to visit, so I thought I would repost some of my favorite posts.  I love this one. It may be my all-time favorite post, because I so want God to brag on me! I would like for Him to say, “Well done, Linda” everyday. Even when I fail each day, and allow God to pick me up, I think he says, “Well done, Linda!” God is a God of mercy and compassion. He cheers each of us on each day, so we will finish well. If you are reading this post, picture God cheering you on, because He is!

baby bookI have a baby book for each of our children.  I brag about their tiny footprints, their cute little baby pictures, and their adorable toddler and childhood photos. In each baby book I have recorded their milestones; their “firsts.”

 

  • First time baby slept through the night (I really loved this one)
  • First smile (I loved this one too)
  • First laugh (and this one too…well, I loved all the firsts)
  • First time to sit up
  • First word
  • First tooth
  • First crawl
  • First food
  • First step
  • First birthday

I also recorded special moments that were dear to my heart and special hopes and prayers for our children in their detailed baby books. Each child brought so much joy to my heart. Kids say the most adorable things.  I recorded many of those cutesy things they said in their baby book, and would get their books out and read to them when they were older.  Back in the day, we had a tape recorder.  We were playing the tape recorder when our toddler son, Brandon, put his ear close to the tape recorder and said in baby talk, “There’s people in there.” 🙂

Mothers love bragging, I mean, talking about their children to others.  And…unless you have time on your hands, you don’t want to ask a Grandmother about her grandchildren. Grandma’s are so proud of their grandchildren and may even bring out Grandma’s Brag Book to show you their pictures and brag on them.

I started wondering if God has a Brag Book on His children. You know, God bragged on Job, so He just might have a brag book on his faithful children. In the Bible, this is God bragging: “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 2:3) To me, this sounds like God is bragging.

Look at Psalm 139:14,15: God was bragging on each of us as He created us. Picture God creating you as He says, “You are:

  1. “fearfully made” which shows the extreme value God places on your
    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

    life.

  2. “wonderfully made” which proves your uniqueness.
  3. “curiously wrought in the womb” which in the Hebrew means  needlepoint and embroidery, demonstrating God’s attention given to every detail of your being. Isn’t that exciting?

God took intricate measures to create each one of us within the womb with utmost delicate care. Because the Bible says so, we know God wrote these details of creating each of us in a book just like a proud parent does. “And in thy book all my members were written…were fashioned.” (Psalm 189:16) God is our Abba Father, our Daddy, our Creator. Verse 17 says His thoughts toward each of us are precious and more than the grains of sand.

If God has a Brag Book about His faithful children, I believe He enjoys:

  • Remembering our Spiritual “Born Again” Birthday.  I know my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and your name is too if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour. You and I came to the Lord in childlike faith trusting Him to save us. I do know for a fact there is a celebration that goes on in heaven when a person is saved. It’s a Born Again Party! “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:7) I like to picture the day of my salvation and how all heaven rejoiced.
  • Remembering those steps of faith we took that seemed like the impossible. Then how we rejoiced in thanksgiving when we saw God work it out for good. (Romans 8:28,29)
  • Remembering how we, like little children, felt helpless and put our entire trust in Him.  Remembering how the going got difficult, but we trusted God to keep us going. (Proverbs 3:5,6) Like a loving Father, He carried us!
  • Remembering how we never quit on God, but kept doing what we knew pleased Him. (Galatians 6:9)
  • Remembering all of the Daily Quiet Times where we were alone in the presence of the Lord being fed like a baby desiring nourishment from His Word.
  • Remembering how we often cried out to the Lord like a child needing help in our sweet time of prayer. Remembering how thankful we were with His incredible answers to our prayers.
  • Remembering how we daily totally surrendered and said, “Take my life and let it be consecrated, LORD to Thee.”
  • Remembering how we obeyed and shared the plan of salvation to I want to be in God's Brag Book ~~others~ Remembering our beautiful feet. (Romans 10:15)
  • Remembering how we gave to others and served in the name of Jesus.
  • Remembering how we encouraged others and used our talents for the Lord.
  • Remembering how we diligently did the will of God and how we sought to please God with our lives.

I think God would have these precious thoughts about you and me recorded in His Brag Book.  I can picture our Abba Father taking His Brag Book out and saying of you and me, “Look at my faithful servant…”

“Heavenly Father, if You have a Brag Book, I want to be in it. I desire to live to make You smile.”

“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” Malachi 3:16