“Listen to your father and mother. What you learn from them will stand you
in good stead; it will gain you many honors.” Proverbs 1:8,9 TLB
I’d love to introduce you to the four men who helped launch my life and ministry. At the end of this devotional I will tell you exactly why I want you to meet them. First, today, meet my two grandfathers.
My paternal grandfather was Harry Walterman – of German descent. He stood five feet and five inches, but was tall using every other scale. He was stern (I never heard him laugh out loud until I was 19) and although small in stature he was a man of strength and determination, which was good because he was raising four sons!
Grandpa Harry had a huge heart for God and evangelism. Worship was important to him. He worked in downtown Chicago at the Railway Express Agency but arrived an hour and a half before work began to pass out Gospel tracts at the Union Station to commuters coming in on the trains.
He conducted personal ‘street meetings’ in Skid Row. No team event, just my 120-pound grandpa ordering disorderly drunks to sit on the curb while he shared the Gospel with them! A prized journal I now have includes the names of 686 missionaries from all over the world. He systematically and regularly prayed for these now departed proclaimers of the Gospel.
My maternal grandfather was of Norwegian descent and weighed at least twice as much as Grandpa Harry. As stern as Grandpa Walterman was, Grandpa Paul Nybakken was all about tenderness and emotions (he could get teary eyed, reading the label on a jar of peanut butter!).
Grandpa Paul loved being with people and was father to three boys and three girls, my Mom being one of those fortunate enough to be raised in his home. He was a carpenter for Sears, Roebuck and Co. and with his brother Ray, built display cabinets in the on-site workshop at the store.
Everyone who knew him loved him and the warmth his presence offered them. Everyone was important.
I’ve had valuable blood passed down to me!! Much of my personality and character traits have come through their lives. That’s the way God intended his Kingdom to operate. I may be answering prayers that the two of them made. The ‘synergy of the ages’ often has succeeding generations using their lives to fulfill promises made by a previous generation.
- My love for missions comes from both of them.
- The emphasis on prayer in my life (yes, I, too have a lengthy daily prayer list) also came from both of them.
- A bit of ‘no nonsense’ from Grandpa Harry has helped put some sturdiness into my life, and Grandpa Paul’s love of people is certainly part of my DNA.
Passing the baton to the next generation is critical.
Next week you’ll my father and father-in-law – two who had immeasurable impacts on my life.