Before the month of Remembering draws to a close, I want to do some reminiscing and remembering of my own.
I remember my Sunday School teacher from before I even went to school, all the way back in Germany ~ Esther Laser – she was my aunt. My uncle was the Sunday School Superintendent. They had no children of their own but they loved other people's children as their own.
The pastor I had in my youth after we had moved to Canada and settled in Winnipeg, MB was Rev. Waldemar Laser. I remember a lot of his sermons, which were foundational to my faith. He and his wonderful wife Else Laser were excellent role models for us all. They were another uncle and aunt.
When I was about 17, I stayed all summer with an older couple to take care of them after they had a car accident and needed help. They were real saints - sincere, dedicated, committed Christians who had a special way of reaching out to others. Always joy and laughter in their house!
People of influence I remember were my parents who always took us to church and Sunday School; my grandparents - caring, godly, fun-loving people; extended family - a list too long to mention; older and also God-sent younger friends who truly care and amazing fathers and mothers in Christ who would stop everything they were doing to pray with you.
These are some of the saints who helped bring me to where I am today in my faith-journey. No one has written their biography! There will never be any special days of commemoration set aside to honor and remember them. No, they are just ordinary folks like you and me! Through their words, their example, their witness and faithfulness to show the grace of God, their encouragement, their love, they are my treasures and unforgettable.
Who are the saints you remember who brought you to this place in your journey of faith? We set aside one Sunday a year to remember and to thank God for all those saints down through the ages whose names may not be recorded in the church history books. The names of these people are, however, written in the Book of Life. God knows them by name! And, if you think about it and remember – they are written in our hearts and minds. What made them saints is that they were ordinary people who allowed the Light of Jesus Christ to shine through them.
What makes the difference in how we remember someone? We all have people we'd rather forget! So, it makes sense to me that if we want to be remembered as people of influence, that we need to allow the Holy Spirit to develop those same qualities and characteristics in all of us that were in Christ Jesus.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Gal. 5:22,23
- Loving ~ not just to those who are nice to us ~ even our enemies
- Joyful ~ even in the saddest of circumstances
- Peaceful ~ peace-loving, peace-making, having peace of mind that surpasses all understanding
- Patient ~ not irritated when things aren’t going the way you want them to, tolerant, without complaining
- Kind ~ compassionate, considerate, caring, generous ~ without expectations, thoughtful of others
- Goodness ~ believing the best, honest, decent, people of integrity, genuine
- Faithful ~ even if others are unfaithful, loyal and true, trustworthy, dependable
- Gentleness ~ not harshness, not loud, not angry ~ but tender, calm,
- Self-controlled ~ strong in mind and will but not trying to control circumstances and others