“One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.”
Psalm 145:3 ESV
A ‘launching pad’ is the initial and ongoing input into a life that help shape and steer that life until its completion.
We receive continuous input from the people around us, the kinds of news we watch, the advertising we pay attention to and from those we hold as heroes around us. But none can match the initial ‘primers of our pumps’ and there are none more potentially powerful to get us off in the right direction than our parents and grandparents.
I realize the many don’t share the gifts I was given in my life. When my first great-granddaughter arrives shortly, she will be the start of the 6th generation of Christ-followers in our family.
Some of you may be the very first in your family. But for the ‘leg up’ I was given, you have the exciting opportunity of providing the same blessing in those who follow you.
Now to my father… DeVore Walterman.
He was a man of great internal strength as well as unusual compassion and he was right at home directing Teen Challenge drug rehab programs in both Chicago and San Francisco. He could and did come down hard on the dishonest and slackers, while affording all the grace and help the sincere required.
He started the National Council for Prevention of Drug Abuse and conducted educational programs for young people throughout the United States and many places globally, including three years working with the Department of Defense with U.S. soldiers fighting in Viet Nam.
Yet the compassionate heart and love of people made him a wonderful pastor. He would sometimes put the needs of his congregation temporarily ahead of his family. He drew some criticism for it.
He loved God’s Word and was obedient to preach it fearlessly. I have his teaching/preaching Bible with browned tear stains scattered throughout it from obvious precious times he had with his Lord.
Key lessons from my Dad: religion without relationship does nobody any good – the fear of man can be overcome by the favor of God – tears (if given enough time) can ultimately bring triumph – God’s will is always worth finding – no ministry is as important as bringing your own family with you into eternity.
My second father, Joanie’s Dad, came into my life years later. He was a survivor from the Great Depression and grew up on a farm in North Dakota. He was a fantastic father and protector. It made asking him for his daughter’s hand in marriage a little scary. He was a no-nonsense, ‘do it yourself-er’, three pack a day smoker who decided to quit. He laid his partially empty pack on his desk at work and never touched another cigarette until he died. His lessons: Integrity and perseverance and a flawless work ethic.
I have been blessed!