Yesterday, Sunday, May 2nd, was our 29th wedding anniversary! We spent the occassion with a great group of loved ones. We picked up Grandma and Mama and then headed out to a small country church just south of Big Bow which is east of Johnson, Kansas. We did this so that we could "sneak up" on my Aunt Yvonne Pepper who did not know that she was going to be receiving a wonderful award that day for the many years' worth of work that she continuously and lovingly does for her Jesus Christ.
Their church, Bethel Church of the Nazerine, is a small church that recently went through an amazing renovation plus a very large addition was built that connects a quite large and beautiful fellowship hall, kitchen, restrooms, sitting area, offices, etc to it. Though there are only about 12 pews in the sanctuary, the love for Jesus Christ is bursting at the seams. Normally, there are only 30 church members present on Sunday but each of them is faithful to their Lord and come to church every Sunday unless there is an illness or they must leave town for some important purpose.
Shortly after church started, my beautiful aunt was called to the front of the church. I watched her get the news. She was TOTALLY caught off guard. She grasped my uncle's hand and quietly said something to the effect of not having any idea that anything was going on like this. (To back up, their one and only child, Allyn, had contacted our family a month ago to share the news that she was to be honored and wanted to invite all of us to attend this surprise celebration. Aunt Yvonne had simply no idea that we were going to be at church until she walked into the church and saw us standing there! Allyn and his family, Karen, Kyle and Kendra, had told her that there was a possibility that we might show up on Sunday. Allyn and Karen's family lives in Oklahoma City. They had told Uncle LaVere and Aunt Yvonne that they would be coming to Johnson to celebrate an early Mother's Day since they would be unable to be there on the actual holiday. Allyn had also mentioned that we might be there so that we could visit Allyn and his family.)
The pastor and a lady from the church presented Aunt Yvonne with a framed award for all that she does. They told all of us of the many beautiful things that Aunt Yvonne does every single day. Allyn eventually moved to the front of the church to give a message that pulled tear after tear from the eyes of everyone there that day. He mentioned that he was so thankful for having this opportunity to speak of the wonderous things that his parents have not only done for the church but for the things that they have done for him as parents. There is absolutely nothing that parents can give their children that is anything any more important that teaching them of Jesus Christ! He was so happy to be able to do this while both were still so very alive.
He mentioned that he was able to learn of the Lord at a very young and impressionable age through his parents. Believe me, there was NO dry eye in the place. After he gave a very moving talk, his lovely wife, Karen, stood up and sang the most beautiful song that was perfect for Aunt Yvonne. After church, all congregated in the brand new fellowship hall to enjoy each other and a delicious potluck dinner. Honestly, it was a beautiful day that I absolutely will NEVER forget!!!
I want to tell you of something that we discovered on the bathroom vanity when we later went to Uncle LaVere and Aunt Yvonne's house. Abigayle found it first and called my attention to it. It is such a small detail in physical size, a picture frame that is probably only 3" x 5" or 4" by 6", but is profound in the very few words that are printed on the paper inside the picture frame. I am going to do the same thing at our home now and thought that you might want to also do it as it is something that all of us need to be reminded of. Here it is:
There is no need for worry. I have everything under control.
This message only contains 15 words but put together, their message is so wonderful.
There is no need for a fancy picture frame or expensive paper to type or write the message on. The beauty of the message is all that really matters. Then place the frame anywhere in your house where you and others can read it each and every day to be reminded of God's power and love. Wouldn't it be a beautiful idea to make up other picture frames with this message in them to give to loved ones??? I think so! Of course, place your name or whomever the person's name is who you will be giving this tiny but amazing gift to.
And, oh-so-generous and loving Lord, thank you for blessing me with Uncle LaVere and Aunt Yvonne in my life...