I am approaching a huge milestone in my life – my 50th birthday as a ‘new creature’. I was a young girl attending a one room school house church in a small fishing community when I was confronted with the ‘good news’ – the best news really – that anyone could possibly know. The gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the news that transforms darkness in our heart into eternal life.
It happened through a Sunday School teacher telling the class about the future when Jesus Christ will come again and take all of us who have decided to follow Him, back to our ‘forever home’ in Heaven. In my young mind – I had not made that decision and what would happen as a result? The teacher told me that I am separated from God forever – and even at my tender age, I knew that was a very, very long time. I didn’t want to that for my life and I decided that same day to become a follower of Jesus.
It was a timely decision considering I made it during Easter season. Understanding why Jesus had to die and that He rose again was a step of faith for me and I was overjoyed that I chose to believe Him and that He sacrificed Himself for me!
I didn’t get to this place as believer by myself – nor have I grown in my faith as a solo act – there were many ‘thought leaders’ who are unsung heroes of the faith that impacted my life and taught me faithfully. Pastors, teachers, youth leaders all prepared, taught, spoke truth, prayed and lead by example. I was most encouraged to live my faith through the years in order to glorify God, whom I love more now than ever.
Frank and Lorraine Smith – faithfully drove to our village weekly to bring strong Bible teaching to those of us who did not know. This was the foundation for my ability to access the Word of God. They will be richly rewarded for their faithfulness. I loved everything about Sunday School. I did not love having to since a duet at Christmas with their son.
Douglas and Hazel Fraser – who faithfully pastored and lead our city church family for so long were incredible teachers. The amazing charts depicting Daniel, the Tabernacle, the Feast and more were works of art worthy of a museum. The thorough teaching of the Word created a foundation of Bible knowledge like no other for a young person who paid attention. I felt better prepared when my beloved went to seminary than most first year seminary students. We loved the Frasers so much that if either child was a son – they would have born the name Fraser as a tribute to this dynamic duo.
George and Sharon Dow and Wayne and Lois Hunter – the youth leaders who embodied a passion for teaching truth and balancing the youthful need for fun. I never wanted to miss our Bible study sessions or opportunities to serve with our group.
These were the thought leaders of my spiritual life who helped to create my hunger for spiritual matters. While I had other pastors and have listened to many Bible teachers in my life – when I reflect upon my foundational teaching – these are the ones who have established me in the Word.
As a way to celebrate this incredible milestone – I am reading the Bible through in a new plan that has been a real blessing to me. While I am almost 25 percent of the way through this goal, I am certain that my teachers would rejoice and be glad that my heart’s desire is firmly planted in the Word of God for now and always.