They were living examples of true Christians. I never heard them take the Lord's name in vain. The worst thing my father ever said was, "Phooey!" which he said frequently, always in jest. I never heard them shout at each other. I never heard them seriously argue. I never saw any unkindness in them. I never saw any hypocrisy.
They were who they purported to be, a pastor and wife with two children. My brother and I could not have had better parents, better examples of Christians - people who have the spirit of Christ evident in every moment of their lives.
They were happy, joyful people ... content with whatever life handed them. When life handed them lemons they immediately went to the Lord in prayer. We had many miracles in our lives. God always took care of us. We were a family of praise for all the care He exhibited in our lives.
They thought they were simple people. They had no pretense of any kind. They never knew that they were heroes. They stood ten feet tall and never even knew it. Giants of the faith.
They were rich - in the things that counted. After I was grown they would talk about how tough things were financially when we were children, how at times they didn't know where the next meal was coming from at times. And yet the meal always did come. They were poor when they were young in the ministry ... poor in the world's eyes. I was always amazed when they talked about those times because I had no idea. As far as I was concerned we had everything. I had a perfect childhood.
I came to realize as an adult to what extremes the Lord has blessed me. It's not possible to explain how the blessings of a Christian heritage impact one's life in every single area. I am so thankful and grateful for it. I often wonder why the Lord has been so good to me. Every day is Thanksgiving for me. My Christian heritage goes back for generations. I was born into this world with the blessings of the fathers bestowed upon me.
Lest there be any confusion, I still had to answer God's call, respond personally to that call, repent and ask him to be the Lord of my life. That call is in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Everyone is invited to answer that call!
Mother and Daddy lived with us for a number of years in their old age. My mother would never admit being 'old' until she had passed 90 years of age! She was young at heart. What a smile she had. Every time I walked into the room she always seemed so thrilled to see me. As did Daddy. We were so very close - once I grew up ... yes, I went through my 'difficult' times. We were best friends. We talked about things of substance - religion, philosophy, politics. They never knew how intelligent they were. And so, so wise.
I don't want to give the impression that all of us have not had bad times. Our family has had troubles and even great tragedies in our lives. We do, after all, live here on earth :-) We can't escape that. But what is different is the supernatural assistance we have in dealing with them.
I never did really ever cry when Daddy went to be with the Lord in 2002, or when Mother followed him in 2008. It was all so perfectly right, even the timing. I knew where they were going and knew that I would see them again. It was a stunning story of peace and joy. Do you begin to see what I mean about how the Lord has blessed me? He brought me through those times in a truly supernatural way, as if I were actually floating above the circumstances. And those were not the only times. Walking with the Lord changes everything.
And do you know the most astonishing thing of all? My only son and my only grandson are walking in the very paths of my parents. I see that same integrity, honesty and love for the Lord in their lives, that same faith being lived out in this life. They are real Christians. They, too, are walking the walk - and talking the talk. It's the thrill of my life. It's a beautiful thing....
But, there is something even better. I am a child of the King himself ...