Moses wrote in Exodus 17:14, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua…”
We have heard someone share a nugget of their life in a story, the story made us say “WOW!” and we said, “You should write a book!” Very few people ever do, though.
One person who started on this journey was Janet O’Conner. She married Rev. Virgil T. “Jack” Stout on August 29, 1937 in Altoona, Pennsylvania and served as a pastor’s wife for many years. Pastor Stout went home to be with the Lord on June 27, 1974. Eleven years later, Janet married Clifford O’Conner on September 15, 1985 and he preceded her in death on December 30, 1993. On July 4, 2011, it was Janet’s turn to enter her heavenly home at the age of 95.
Mrs. O’Conner always had a unique story to share when you visited with her. The stories revolved around how God met a particular need, led in a unique direction, or some other miraculous way in which God provided. One day, I encouraged her to write those memories down. And, she actually did it! It’s not often that someone takes my advice/suggestions! What came next surprised me.
A few weeks later at church, she handed me her hand-written manuscript and pictures to go along with the stories. She asked if I would put it together for her kids. Several days were spent compiling this into a small booklet. Eventually, we made two little booklets. Interwoven through the years of her life was the evidence of God’s continuing amazing grace in the life of a woman who genuinely walked with the Lord.
In the previous blog entry, I talked about God’s amazing grace as it pertained to salvation. However, that’s just the beginning. Grace didn’t accomplish salvation and then dry up! God continues to pour out amazing grace on His children, showing us favor, mercy, and blessing that we do not deserve any more than we deserved salvation and forgiveness. But, that’s what grace IS and that’s what grace DOES.
Currently, I’m reading the autobiography of Lowell Lytle, the man who portrays Capt. E.J. Smith of the ill-fated Titanic at exhibits in Pigeon Forge, Branson, Orlando, and other places. Lytle is a born again Christian with a powerful testimony and countless stories of God’s continuing amazing grace that have been in his 80+ years of life. I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Lytle a few weeks ago. His voice and witness is strong and he gives God the glory for the adventure of life and the faithfulness of continuing grace. Even in the public venue of the Titanic exhibits, he boldly testifies of God’s continuing grace in his life.
If you’re saved – a born again believer in Jesus – you have stories, too. Let’s call them God stories, the stories of His continuing amazing grace. Those stories need to be written down, not so that they can become a best-seller but so that they can be a blessing and a reminder to future generations of the power of God.
Telling them is a start. But, if you are like me, you begin to forget the things you heard shortly after hearing them. If you see them, though, the mind retains the stories a whole lot longer. And, that which is written can be readily referenced at any time.
With that said, I want to start blogging some of MY stories. I want to share how God has shown me and my family absolutely amazing grace through the years. It’s fun for me to relive it and retell it. I hope that it will encourage you to share your stories, too.