On Sunday, our Big Pop went home to be with Jesus.
Big Pop was a man of God. He loved the Lord with all of His heart, mind and soul and loved His family so very much.
The way that he lived and was loved by everyone is a true testament of who Big Pop was. He was kind, selfless, patient, joyful, giving, a hard worker, a true servant who loved everyone no matter who they were.
I am so thankful for his example. And I am blessed to have been a part of his life. It’s an honor to call him my Big Pop.
During the viewing yesterday, they had his Bible out on one of the table displays. I wasn’t prepared for the way that God would speak to me as I picked up his Bible and held it in my hands.
You see, this was no ordinary Bible. It was Big Pop’s Bible and there was no denying that.
It’s engraved with his name and clearly it was used. You wouldn’t think an old Bible that is falling apart would be beautiful, but it sure is.
Inside of the Bible, there were notes written by Big Pop. These notes included dates which I assume are dates where he read certain passages. They also included things like when he had surgery or when he was diagnosed with cancer. He also wrote the date when Joseph preached his first sermon years ago.
If someone was sick, he wrote it in the margin with the date. He also included dates of wars, doctor’s appointments, presidential election results and who was playing in that year’s Super Bowl. He even wrote the date when Uncle Donnie got a new truck and when our nephew was saved. He was so very proud of his family.
He wrote it all down. The good, the bad, the highs and the lows.
It was all written down in his Bible. And I have no doubt that not only did he sit and read God’s Word, but as he wrote things down he talked to God about them.
This Bible sat on the table beside his chair and he read it every single day. There are even notes written from just a couple of weeks ago. He was so very sick and didn’t have much strength, but up until the end of his life he stayed in God’s Word.
As I held his Bible, I could feel God’s presence. I could feel the prayers and the love in Big Pop’s heart. And it challenged me. It made me ask myself the question, “what will my Bible look like when I’m gone?”
Will my children hold it in their hands as they share it with their grandchildren? Will they see that God was my priority? Will they see that I thought of them and prayed for them every single day?
Is my Bible on my table collecting dust or is it being read every single day?
Most importantly, will my Bible give them comfort knowing that I am in heaven? Because as I read Big Pop’s writing, there is no doubt of where he is now. And that bring me comfort. This Bible brings me joy knowing that Big Pop is right where he knew he would be.
Big Pop knew God and He knew what His future held. He strived each day to know God more that day than he did the day before. There’s no telling how many times he read certain passages.
This morning in my reading, I read Micah 6:6-8 and it made me think of Big Pop.
With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
So often, we want to work our way to salvation and God’s love. We think, only if we could do more or be better that God would love us more. But in this passage, God answers what is required of us. And it’s a simple message.
Do Justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly with God.
“These qualities of the heart that lead to a God-pleasing life have stood the test of time because they reflect the heart of God Himself.” (Louie Giglio)
Big pops walked a life that was pleasing to God. His heart reflected God’s heart. He did justice, loved kindness and walked humbly with His God every single day.
At the front of the Bible, this is what he wrote, “When I die, will I have made a difference? What will I leave behind?”
Oh Big pop, what a BIG difference you made in the lives of everyone that you encountered. You are leaving behind a beautiful legacy of love, strength and faith that we are all so very thankful for. We are honored to have been your grandchildren and we are so thankful for the life you lived.
God’s word is a comfort to us during the best of times and during the worst of times. Big Pop believed that.
I encourage you to start reading your Bible daily. Even if it’s one verse. Open the Word and allow God to speak to you each day. God’s Word is powerful. His Word is alive and active. Hebrews 4:12 says,
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
I hope you can be encouraged today by Big Pop to seek God during the good and bad times. To sit and spend time in His Word daily and allow God’s Word to work in your heart.
In one of the pages Big Pop wrote, “Love God. Love People.” And without a doubt, that’s what Big Pop did.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:36-39
We love you, Big Pop!