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Friday, March 31, 2006
"You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name" (Psalm 61:5).
The next several days will be a time of reminiscing. This Saturday a small group will gather in a country cemetery in rural Southwest Missouri for a service in memory of Mom. I suppose this service is especially for my mom's baby sister, my Aunt Frances, the only surviving member of her generation. She recently wrote and shared with me that she is now an "only child."
We have our geographical roots in tiny Harwood Missouri, which is about 100 miles down a main highway south of Kansas City and then about 20 miles of paved county roads to a gravel road turnoff to a mere overgrown path where my MaMa and PaPa's house was (it burned down after they died). However most of our activities were at "the farm" as we called it, which was in the family for over 100 years. The farm is pictured above.
Harwood was founded about 130 years ago by stout, hardworking German immigrants who were starting their lives over in America as farmers. As children we regularly went to Harwood to see MaMa and PaPa and a whole bunch of relatives. PaPa was named George W. Steincross. The W stands for Washington. His immigrant dad, Godfrey Wilhelm, wanted to make sure his son had an American name! My PaPa left a powerful heritage of integrity and hard work, holding his large family together through the great depression.
Harwood began dying when Mom was little, as most of the immigrant's children moved off to the cities for more opportunity. She was in the last graduating class of Harwood High School in 1938. I am not sure what to expect when I get there this Saturday but I do know a group of the town's ladies are excited about preparing a meal for the Steincross family following the service in the Harwood Community Building.
George W.'s descendants have done well in America. We've had a great heritage and the reminiscing will surely take us back to some wonderful memories.
I recall the little church where Mom learned the Bible and where we went as children when we visited. My little sister and I were taught in a front corner behind a curtain. It must have been a big deal when Georgia Mae's kids visited as I remember only about ten really old people (mostly ladies) went to the church at that time. The Christian faith was held by my MaMa and passed down through her. She is in part where I received the heritage of those who fear God's name.
Everyone of us has received a heritage. We who love and fear the Lord likely have several components to our heritage. Perhaps it is a heritage that reveals tremendous sacrifice and commitment. It may or may not include our family roots, as there are surely those reading this who are a first generation Christian in their own family. Your Christian heritage is thus not necessarily from your family.
We are all also leaving a heritage in one way or another. Let us determine to leave a godly heritage as those who faithfully follow God in our generation. What will your kids and grandkids be reminiscing about when you go on?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen C. Weber
Brooksyne's Prayer: Jesus, the pleasures, possessions, and positions from this world will never surpass the greatness of having a personal relationship with You. I have the supreme opportunity to pass on to my children a godly heritage that will never pass away with time. Everything I strive for that is derived from this world has a temporary shelf life, but the eternal treasures I pass on to those who follow will have everlasting consequence. Help me to be faithful to entrust to others the eternal truths I glean from my regular communion with You.
Yesterday my brother and I visited with the widowed wife of our very first pastor after we had become born-again Christians. She is 87 and lives by herself, is still driving and is still involved in service for Christ! She and her husband were great examples of demonstrating love to the flock. Here's a photo of "Sister Howard" and me. She and her husband are a part of my spiritual Christian heritage. She has a powerful testimony of dealing with and overcoming bitterness that I will share in several weeks.
This Saturday, April 1 at 12:00 noon we will have a special graveside Memorial Service for my Mom (Georgia Mae Weber). It will be at the Green Lawn Cemetery near Schell City, Missouri. All her Midwest family and friends are invited to attend. A meal will follow in the Harwood Community Building in Harwood. For more information, directions to the cemetery, and to contact me please see this special page.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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