Monday, November 13, 2006

Hey Everybody!

Most of you might already know that my Grandmother, Lois Wallen died last Wednesday. To those of you who knew, please know how much my family and I have felt your prayers. I had the privilege to preside over the funeral service that was held on Saturday morning. That was one of the coolest, yet hardest things I have ever done. Everyone was so incredibly supportive. I love my family and would do anything for any of them.

I have included the obituary from the Ypsilanti news paper that ran on Friday.

Before you read that, I would like to ask you all to continue praying for my Mom, Saundra. She is doing very well considering the circumstances. Also. Please pray for my Dad, Bill. His mother had a massive stroke last Tuesday and is not expected to live through this week. I am taking Dad & Mom to the Lansing Airport today so they can get to Atlanta before Mamaw Lawson (Lena) passes into Glory. I'll write more about her and the my plans to attend her funeral in a couple of days.


Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 79

Went to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 with her loving family at her side. She was born May 7, 1927, in Wheelwright, Kentucky, the daughter of Luther and Hester (Borders) Osborne. On November 30, 1946, she married Richard Wallen in Wheelwright, Kentucky and he preceded her in death on April 25, 1992. Lois was a member of Graceway Baptist Church where she was active in the WomensÂ’ Auxiliary and also a member of Forest Ave. Baptist Church . She will always be remembered for her love of family and gardening. Survivors include 5 children: Saundra (William) Lawson, Mike (Debbie) Wallen, Diane (David) Butler, Debby (Barry) Stanley and Theresa (Norm) Johnson; 10 grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren; l brother and 4 sisters; numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral service will be held Saturday, November 11, 2006 at 10:30 A.M. at the Janowiak Funeral Home, Geer-Logan Chapel with her grandson, Pastor Billy Lawson, of Willow Community Church, Lansing, MI officiating. Burial will follow in Knollwood Memorial Park, Canton, MI. Contributions in her memory may be made to Hospice of Michigan. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home where the family will receive friends Friday from 2-8 p.m.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006


It won't be long until my Grandmother will be with Jesus! "Lois" to many, "Mom" to five and "Mamaw" to so many I have lost track, is losing her battle with Altzheimer's. She was diagnosed several years ago, but has recently began to weaken to the point that we can tell that she will not be with us for much longer.

There is a part of me that is very sad about losing her to this disease, but there is this whole other part of me that is, frankly, not so sad. I know that sounds awful to some of you, but check this out: Mamaw is a Christian! She believes that God loves her so much that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that she will not parish but have eternal life. ... "Not Parish But Have Eternal Life." That means life without end. She believed that her eternal life began when she accepted the truth that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of all mankind, the great forgiver of all sin, the gateway to God, the only way to heaven and the anointed King who has authority over everything, even death. Yes, her body will eventually succumb to the disease of death and be buried in the ground, but her soul, that part of her that we all loved, will never die.

I had a wonderful opportunity to see Mamaw this last Saturday. She was awake and very much aware that a bunch of her family was with her in her room. She couldn't talk so she kept pointing at the children that came with us and they kept going to her in order for her to kiss them. It truly was beautiful! Every so often I would catch her staring at me. Once, my mom even noticed her doing that. I asked my mom what she thought Mamaw was seeing when she saw me. Mom said that I look an awful lot like Papaw, Mamaw's husband who died many years ago, and that she may be thinking of him. That didn't surprise me. I remembered a couple of years ago when Mamaw came to hear me preach and almost ran to me when the service was over. She grabbed me and told me that she loved me and was very proud of me. I thought that was just about the best compliment I could have ever received from someone I really respected! As I turned around to shake hands with a few other people, Mamaw reached out her hand and promptly patted me on my left butt cheek! When we got home I told Kimy what Mamaw did and she said that Mamaw had called me Richard a few times earlier that morning. Richard was my Grandfather's name.

Being identified as my Papaw was quite possibly the second best compliment I could get from someone I really respected. You see, Papaw was a Christian, too! Both he and Mamaw loved and served the same Jesus that do today. They set the greatest example of Jesus I could have ever had. I think my life is a living legacy to who they were and who Jesus is. I miss my Papaw and I will miss my Mamaw,too, but I have a tangible, real hope that I will see them again. If you would like to know more about the hope that we have in Jesus, just comment and ask me to share more. I will never get tiered of telling the same old stories that my Grandparents have told to me!

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

How did you spend Halloween?

We at Willow Community Church offered our community the first ever Trunk or Treat! I had never heard of that, so this was a new experience for me, too. We asked our Willow family to decorate the trunks of their cars and fill them with candy and goodies for the kids that would be tricker' treatin' in our neighborhood. We then had them park with their trunks exposed to the sidewalk. As families walked by, they took a piece of candy from each trunk. It was a blast! We saw well over 100 families walk by and most of them received some information about the church. This was an awesome time to reach out to our immediate community.

I personally didn't dress up or anything, but several people did. My mom, for instance, had a pair of angel wings and a halo over her winter coat (I really do hope to have a picture of that up sometime in the immediate future!). I saw a lot of older kids and several adults who were in festive garb, too. And you know what? I didn't notice anyone worshipping satan or attempting to sacrifice humans anywhere near the church (Kim, my wife, said I should have taken this line out.?.). But I did notice many, many people having a wonderful time in fellowship! Even a few guys I know that are not yet Christians seemed to have a good time. In fact, several of them asked about service times and children ministries.

Did you dress up? If so, what did you dress up as? If not, why?

Did you give out candy? If not, why?

Did you go to a party? If so, what kind of party was it?

Did you ignore the holiday all together? If so, why?

As you can tell, this topic fascinates me in some ways. Please comment on this blog and answer some of the above questions.