December 3, 2017

This year I witnessed an amazing thing, the passing of my grandfather. This might seem like a rather strange statement, but as our family has learned to live our lives without him, I have had time to think about the amazing man he was.

During his final days, he was in the VA Hospital and we were able to stay with him around the clock. There were times that he would tell us his stories of his adventures; trying to be a movie star, his WWII stories (which I had never heard before), some of his favorite jokes, singing songs he wrote, and most of all, his passion for his Savior.

You see when he was young, he became an evangelist and traveled the Southwest, preaching revival after revival. At his height, he was booked for years in advance. He later pastored a number of churches in Oklahoma. While I was talking to him one day in the hospital about his ministry, I asked him how many people did he feel like he impacted. He said that he had no idea, he didn’t keep track of it.

Well I would have to say he impacted a multitude of people. While we sat in the hospital people would stream in to share a prayer, a memory they had of him, and what he meant to them. When a friend would walk in, my grandpa’s face would light up and he was quick to offer a handshake or a hug.

At his memorial service the room was so full that we had to set up overflow seating because so many people came to show their respects. It was amazing to hear the various stories of what he meant to those who were there. Each one having a special memory of what he meant to them, the special way he would go out of his way to be there for them.

During the Advent season, it is easy to become distracted among the chaos. My prayer is to become more like my grandpa, making an impact on those around me. Being a better father, husband, friend, co-worker, and most of all, to become more passionate about my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Brent Manning, Director of Communications