Goodbye grandpa.

On August 03, 2010, while lying in bed nursing a 102 degree fever, I received a call that my grandfather (who was in the hospital recovering from a minor operation) had stopped breathing on two separate occasions but they were able to resuscitate him both times.

When I arrived at the hospital he was on a ventilator (tube down his throat feeding him oxygen) in addition to a myriad of other tubes and wires, and loaded with a plethora of medications—all of which were keeping him alive.

The following day tests confirmed that his condition was only growing worse and that his organs were beginning to shut down. It was unanimous: his wife and family decided that there was no need to artificially prolong the inevitable.

The day I’ve always dreaded arrived on the evening of August 04, 2010. With his family by his side, my grandfather slipped into a Christless eternity, ending his life of eighty-three years on earth.

So much happened in those 36 hours that it felt like the whole ordeal was a week in duration. I went from being at home, sick in bed, to being by my grandfather’s side as he lay unconscious and dying–desperately trying to convey to him one last time to let go of his dead religion of works and cling to the only One that could save him. Sadly I knew at that point it was too late for that. He had eighty-three years on earth to seek after God, and he had a grandson that tried to share the Gospel with him on several occasions, but he rejected the free gift of God’s grace for the false hope of Rome again and again. Now he lay sedated, unconscious, and moments from death. There was not much more that I could do but mourn for what was about to happen.

This was the third time I had been at the bedside of a dying man in three years; my boss in 2007, and my wife’s stepfather in 2008. This last one, however, was the toughest to endure. My grandfather had been more like a father to me, helping my single mom raise me when my biological dad didn’t even stick around long enough for my birth. And not only was my grandfather the only father-figure in my life through my early years, but he was the only father-figure who showed me unconditional love–something my step-dad years later could never bring himself to do. My step-dad provided physically, but never emotionally. That’s something only my grandfather and I shared; the God-given bond that is supposed to be shared between a father and his son.

Although my grandfather and I grew apart later in life, and although we shared stark differences of opinions on such things as politics and religion, that bond that was formed as a child could never be severed. And in spite of thinking that it had evaporated at some point along the way, his death quickly revealed to me that it had been there all along.

My grandfather had a minor operation on Saturday, July 31st. He was recuperating for the next couple days and on Tuesday, August 03, 2010, he was scheduled to return home. My grandmother had arrived at the hospital that morning with his clothes for him to change into. While she was awaiting his discharge, the first Code Blue went out.

I certainly don’t blame the hospital for the infection that entered into my grandfather during the operation; I understand that things happen beyond their control, however, I was somewhat displeased in the way some matters were handled afterward.

For instance, as I sat by my grandfather’s bedside, one nurse could easily be heard referring to my grandfather as a train wreck. (There are more tactful ways of addressing things when family members are within earshot.) I also noticed how slow everything went in regards to doctors coming by to talk to the family, yet, when the decision was made to take my grandfather off life support, it was all “wrapped up” within an hour! Getting help and answers was at a snail’s pace, but when it came time to end my grandfather’s life, the hospital performed at break-neck speeds. The only thing that actually prolonged that process was waiting for the hospital’s priest to arrive for “last rites.”

Once he arrived he did his “magic;” attempting to reverse what my grandfather had become after eighty-three years. In just five minutes the priest (who knew not my grandfather, the life he led, his sin, his views of God, nor whether or not he even understood the Gospel), churned out a program of prayers, readings, and other rote babblings from one of his books of Rome as the family stood there thinking that this “holy man” and his traveling sideshow was somehow going be of some benefit to an unrepentant sinner who was about to fall into the hands of the living God . . . a “terrifying thing” according to Hebrews 10:31.

He went through his list of the deceased he petitioned to pray for my grandfather: the saints and Mary. He and some of the family recited the “Lord’s Prayer.” Oil was placed on my grandfather’s forehead and the sign of the cross was done over him. All of this was very impressive stuff to the biblically illiterate. However, to those who know better, none of this horse and pony show can save a man, and that is what makes this whole ordeal even more grueling. Those witnessing this five-minute fix at the end of my grandfather’s life, by a stranger with a white collar, are lulled further to sleep believing that all this religious stuff needs to be left to the professionals, and that we can live our lives as we see fit and in the end some nice man will peek his head into our room for a few minutes and make everything right between us and God. Somehow, this man will serve as “mediator” between us and the “man upstairs,” so no need to worry, no need to fret, in the end it will all be all right. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow the peddler of false assurance comes and will make everything good before we die. (And Rome thrives off that level of ignorance and blind dependency.) 

After the rote salvation-in-a-box type program was over, the priest was done. Before making his hasty exit, he said a few words to the family while wearing his deceptive little grin. I thought he was a little more chipper than he should have been considering the circumstances, but when he himself can’t even grasp the gravity of what was about to happen to my grandfather because he believes the lie he spreads, how could I expect anything more?

Before the peddler of false assurance left the room, the male nurse had already loaded a syringe with morphine and was waiting to get through the circle of family to inject my grandfather with what would be his final medication. This was to help him pass away more painlessly as they removed him from all the life-sustaining equipment.

I couldn’t believe how fast they were moving to get rid of my grandfather. Again, getting help and answers in the hospital is a long arduous process of hurry up and wait, but once it’s decided to end a man’s life, they couldn’t move fast enough.

After the life support was terminated it was only a few minutes before he breathed his last breath–succumbing to the wages of his sin. My world slipped away at that moment; the man I knew all of my life was gone; childhood memories flashed before me; an era had passed. There was never a time I existed that he hadn’t existed, until now.

After the family had left the room, I remained. I was incapable of leaving him. I kissed his cheek, I kissed his forehead, I held his hand, I asked God to have mercy on his soul, I lamented. I tried to leave several times but could not get my legs to carry me to the door. After a few minutes one of the doctors came in and introduced himself. He didn’t say much–mostly just looked at my grandfather. He asked if there was anything else we needed him for, so I directed him to the waiting room to inquire of the rest of the family. A few minutes later the impatient morphine-wielding nurse returned with his clip board. He said he thought I had left. I then expected him to leave us alone again but he did not. Instead he proceeded to begin his work while I stood by my grandfather’s side, which included checking my grandfather’s pupils for reaction to light. The more time I’ve had to ponder this, the more appalling the very notion of his callousness seems to me. A few more minutes to say goodbye to my grandfather without the nurse examining his body would have been appreciated.

Assisting him was another nurse who I had never seen before during the previous two days. However, she was the only one who showed any compassion whatsoever. She placed her hand on my back as I stood by my grandfather’s lifeless body and said that she was sorry for my loss. Considering the circumstances, that meant so much to me because no one else, not the doctor, not the male nurse, not the various other nurses who had been in and out of the room over the past two days, and no one from the nurse’s station that sat right outside his door, took a moment of their time to offer their condolences. It only compounded the tragedy of the situation to see how indifferent the hospital staff was.

Although I wasn’t with every family member at all times, I was still surprised that I never once heard anyone in my family utter the hollow phrase, “He’s in a better place now.” That seems to be one of the most common phrases heard at times like these and it’s grounded solely on pure conjecture with no basis of truth.

My grandmother did, however, pay homage to this platitude when she said that my grandfather’s son “will be there to meet him.” She was referring to my uncle who had passed away thirteen years earlier from cancer: A man who wanted nothing to do with God his entire life, and even refused my grandparents’ request to have a priest perform “last rites” for him. How soon we forget these uncomfortable realities about our loved ones’ and replace uncomfortable facts with sentimental images to ease our pain.

So, could my grandmother’s comment be true? Can two men who were at enmity with God their whole rebellious lives and rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ somehow be together for eternity in Heaven with the very God they wanted nothing to do with on earth? If this is possible then I might as well throw my Bible in the trash can, for it is full of lies. When what we feel supersedes the very written Word of God, then we have successfully created a god of our own imagination.

This is exactly what we’ve done. Man rejects the Words of God and replaces them with flowery sentiments of what they think and want God to be like. Thus, they end up with a god who winks at eighty-three years of wickedness, and ushers that rebellious man into Heaven anyway. And these people never once think through what implication this universalism means for their god’s character in regards to righteousness, justice, and why their god punished his own son upon a cruel Roman cross.

My grandmother told me something interesting on that Tuesday while we sat in the hospital room. She said that earlier my grandfather had awoken from his unconscious state and frantically said, “Get the worm out of me,” before falling unconscious again. It never dawned on me till later that night as I tried sleeping at the hotel how shocking that utterance was. Was my grandfather simply hallucinating due to his altered levels of consciousness from the medication, or did he actually see the worm that Scripture tells about that will not die? I perish the thought.

With all deaths, time will cover over the hurts like wind-blown sand, obscuring the realities of this most unnatural event. But even for those moments when one’s mortality is brought before them and they have no choice but to stare death in the face as it quickly approaches them, there will always be a grinning gentleman in a white collar readily available to sing you back into a spiritual sleep as you place your trust in his soft voice, never once noticing his words of assurance fall from a forked tongue.

May God grant repentance and forgiveness to my grandmother while she remains alive, and may God have mercy on my grandfather’s soul. I miss you terribly papa.

I love you, a bushel and a peck, a kiss on the cheek and a hug around the neck . . . too, grandpa.

__________________________________________________

I highly recommend the following related posts:

- The prequel to this post from last October which will put the above post into better perspective, The Peddler of False Assurance.

- Brother Michael’s own family loss in the post A Catholic Funeral – The Dead Burying the Dead.

- The sermon Paul Washer preached at his own mother’s funeral found on this post.

25 thoughts on “Goodbye grandpa.

  1. Pilgrim, my condolences to you on the loss of your grandfather I lost my mum 23rd of May from a brain tumour. Once the priest came and gave my mum last rites she thought she was ready to die. My mum hated everything I believed in and has told me I am going to burn in hell for leaving the catholic church. How many tears I’ve cried and how many prayers I prayed for her salvation. Mum really believed she was a good person and would never get past that point. Knowing where she is now is like a big stone in my stomach, just aching and aching, yet knowing that everything is in His hands. Blessings to you. Thanks

  2. Sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather. And it’s even more tragic that he was not a Christian.

    My father also died without Christ.

    Enough said.

  3. I am in tears as I read your printed words that reach out of a broken heart that only a child of God can know. As your sister, I will pray for you and ask the Lord to help you and carry you through this. I will be in your place not too far off. I have a 72 yr old dad who is slowly dying of cancer. It tears me apart as his daughter, yet on a spiritual level, I understand that as with your grandfather, he has had many opportunities in his life to hear the Lord – but my dad would not travel down the road with Him for more than a few feet and now it seems not ever. Forever is a very long time. He has chosen to not denounce his free masonry nor his spiritualism from years ago and told me the other day that he is finished with all that “Christian stuff’. I have been praying for him and my mum since I was 14 and I am now 45. I still do not give up hope. Right now I have asked the Lord for leading to speak with him, while I have time with him still or for someone else to speak with him – it does not matter who. Our God is Sovereign – that is what I cling to and it is His strength that carries me and will carry me for whatever lies ahead. The thought of having to help my mum prepare his funeral with all the platitudes you speak of above, should he decide to stay in his unrepentant state, fills me with a quiet horror but it is also where I have to trust the Lord knowing He will equip me at the time. I am the only Christian in my family by the Grace of God, yet through this illness, I have been able to share the Lord with my mum and who I am in the Lord and who He is in my life. She too has a hard heart, but God is the God of the impossible.

    Our beloved Lord deserves our worship and our whole lives after what He went through and great cost to bring us to our salvation – as Paris Reidhead said, “We are the reward for His suffering”. Surely then, above all else, He does deserve this reward?

    I praise our beloved Lord how you have shared your story – it has helped me in some specific way that I cannot exactly tell you, but just know it has.

    Bless you

  4. Pilgrim, Jude, Doreen, I am sorry for the loss of your loved ones. I pray that our still-living loved ones find the grace, mercy, and peace that is found at the cross of Jesus Christ.

    Pilgrim, the “traveling carnival show” priest and the cold-hearted staff must have made this whole thing seem surreal to you as you were attempting to warmly remember your papa and your lives together.

    What you saw was the raw wickedness of man’s heart (the male nurse). What you saw was the world mocking God and His Word. The timing could not have been worse.

    However, this, my brother, is why you do what you do here. You are (as John the Baptizer was) the voice of one crying in the wilderness…

    I pray that the Lord will continue to grant you a loud voice and a lion’s heart.

    Blessings,
    – Jeff H

  5. I’m so sorry Pilgrim, would it be that He would grant repentance to all.
    The worm thing you mentioned…
    About six months or so after my grandpa died, my grandma said she heard his voice on one of her books on tape calling for help. I have never gotten that out of my mind.
    I’m trying to witness to unsaved family, but many don’t think that they have a problem.

  6. This was hard to read without holding back the tears; my prayers are with you Pilgrim. To lose a loved one is painful, to know they slipped into a Christless eternity is horrific.
    I have seen the ‘rush’ to death when it comes to the elderly, it’s as if society wants to rid themselves of the aging generation. It is frightening.

    May the God of comfort get you through…

    Love you brother

    Lyn

  7. We have been so insulated from death in this country that we tend to forget this major reminder of sin that inhabits all humans. The callus manner in which professional “care givers” go about their jobs adds the detached sense of the reality that we all shall die – because Adam rebelled and because we each followed him.

    Pilgrim, may the Lord comfort you in this time of loss. He did me, when my father died in my 32nd year, when his only grand daughter was 6 months old.

    May we who claim Christ be obedient to His call, to proclaim His death until He comes again.

  8. I just recently started work as an RN at a nursing home. I pray that I do not become like the doctors/nurses you encountered, and that I would handle every call I check on with the courtesy and compassion it deserves. Although a hospital floor can be a very busy place to work (and there are times when multiple patients need help simultaneously), every patient–as well as that patient’s family–deserves respect, caring and dignity. Professionals must put aside feelings and frustrations and instead focus on what is needed by the patient and their family.

    Even more than that, we as Christians must continue to declare the Word of God, to teach all of its truths, and stand up to those who would dare adulterate that word and promulgate a heretical system like the one which sits on the seven hills of Rome.
    -There will be those who have been blinded by the pomp and ritual and ceremony and extravagance and religiosity that is displayed by Rome.
    -There will be some who will scream “Tolerance!!” and “Unity!!” and declare that we are the ones who have broken off from “The True Church®”.
    -There will be those who will claim that the leaders of the Romish system are “men of God” and even our “brothers in Christ”

    But we must never be swayed by their claims. We must love those trapped in Catholicism enough to do what we can to lead them out of it.

    Condolences, sympathy, and prayers, from myself and my wife as well.

  9. My dear brother Pilgrim, I love you. I don’t have the words, but my heart breaks for you. I pray that the Lord will comfort you during this time of great loss. I pray that He will grant you renewed strength in these last days before His return. As brother Jeff said, I pray that the Lord will continue to grant you a loud voice and a lion’s heart.

  10. I am so sorry for you for the loss of your grandfather/”father.” It is so sad to see people cling to a religious ritual than the true and living Word, Jesus Christ, especially at the end of life. I was raised Catholic and thank God often for taking me out of that hopeless religion. I think it is a part of hard-headed pride that keeps some of them in there (after all, they beat it into your brains daily as a child that they are the one, true, apostolic church and everyone else is going to hell. They wear that stupid little brown scapula thinking that if they die with that on, they will be saved.) I could go on about it but won’t. Just keep praying for God to show mercy and save your Catholic relatives and friends. I am also a nurse in a small hospital in a large town. I am so sorry that you had a cold-hearted nurse the day your grandpa died. I would have cried with you and prayed with you and for you. (Not that I am any better. But I have tasted the grace and tender mercies of our great God). I pray that He returns soon so that sin and death will be no more. I pray even now that God will take away your sadness and that you will have peace in knowing that He is Sovereign in all the trials of our lives.

  11. Dear Pilgrim,

    My heartfelt condolences, brother. Been there. Heartbreaking.

    First my grandparents on my dad’s side, then my grandparents on my mom’s side, then my dad and then my mom.

    All clung to Rome as they “succumbed to the wages of sin” into a “Christless eternity”. Such words. Such truth. I share in your righteous anger and heartbreak.

    Rome continues to hold their people hostage in their twisted sugar-candy coated works-based gospel.

    According to my usaved family, my mom and dad are continuing to spend their time together playing cards, laughing, dancing, drinking and singing in some “heavenly night club” like they used to do down here. Others say they have joined the rest of the family that have gone on before them and are “watching over us”.

    Ugh. I’ll leave it at that. All the more we should be out there reclaiming and proclaiming the gospel truth to everyone by whatever means the Lord’s Spirit leads us to.

    May God bless you, Pilgrim, as you bow down to worship Him and give Him glory for His sovereignty in all things and thank Him for lavishly bestowing His immeasureable grace upon you, securing you as His own, through Christ’s shed blood for you, for all eternity.

  12. Pilgrim,

    My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your grandfather. I remember the post you shared about your concern about his health, and your heartbreak and frustration as you tried to share the true Gospel message of salvation through grace alone. I’ve experienced the same with my family. I saw both of my parents go into a Christless eternity. I shared my faith with them, but they clung to their Catholic roots, even though my mom hadn’t been an active church member for years!

    I’m so thankful that God through his amazing grace delivered me out of the apostate Catholic system, and translated me into the kingdom of his dear Son! I’m praying that God will perform the same miracle in the hearts of my brother and sister. Praying that God will comfort you and carry you through the days ahead.

  13. My prayers are with you, Pilgrim, and those surviving family members of your grandfather who are without Christ. Believing His Spirit will show them the Truth, and bring them to salvation. He can use the most tragic circumstances to bring about the greatest glories.

  14. I am so sorry to hear that of your loss and the details that haunt you. I can’t help but think about his last words… “Get that worm out of me”. How do you know for sure that he was not asking the Lord then, in his current state of being, that he wasn’t talking to God and asking him to forgive him and to remove Satan and to cleanse him of his sins then? When sick and unconcieous then half way concieous things happen, realizations appears in different forms. There is hope in that. God loves your grandpa more than anyone of us could. He wants him to be with him more than you ever could. It is the first thing that came to my mind as I read your words. Please don’t despair. God knows our hearts. We know his words and we know what he says in his word…but only God knows how we really feel and the truth. Sometimes I find people that are non believers, strong against the Lord, deep down, do believe in Him and they just don’t talk about it. I don’t know your situation real close, noone but you and your grandpa and God know it. But I think, that maybe, whether your grandpa declared it publicly or not, he had to be thinking about it from the time the cancer was known of in his body. It’s part of the dying process. I pray that God will give you peace and rest as you trust in him.

    Christian Love, Leslie

    p.s hopes this makes some sense. I have to hurry and may have not got all of that out so clearly, please trust my sincereity and respect, but did not want to miss the opportunity to express my condolences.

  15. Oh, Pilgrim, my heart is broken for your sake and I am so sorry for your loss.

    My dad was like your grandpa in the best of ways. My real parents left me for my aunt and uncle to raise. Good thing because the people who became “mom” and “dad” were what made me to know what a real mom and dad were all about.

    My mom grew up in church but didn’t live the truth. She was my very best friend but now that I know Jesus, I don’t know where she might be–only that I found a book after her death where someone wrote of her conversion. I believe a one-time statement of conversion is not enough, that we must keep on and live for Him.

    My dad, too died in a nursing home where I had hospice brought in–wonderfully caring people. In their group was a pastor which I requested because my dad didn’t believe he would go to heaven. The preacher told me there was always hope. I couldn’t see it. He also said there was the Holy Spirit. One time I was coming in to see my dad and in his room was this preacher with a Bible in hand, preaching to my dad who could not converse or understand (he had Alzheimer’s). I became a Christian after my dad died so I was very concerned about his eternal life. But, I believe that through that preacher, perhaps the Holy Spirit was speaking to dad’s spirit. God knows all truth.

    May the Lord fill you with comfort and hope and blessings. May He strengthen you to find peace and to go forward in telling the truth to those you can– and may He open their ears to hear. Amen.

    P.S. My mom always sang “I love you, a bushel and a peck…” to me. I loved it so much I always threw a huge hug around her neck.

  16. Pilgrim,

    Having buried a lot of people, including family members, who knew not the Lord, I know it is difficult to say goodbye. This is especially true when you know you will never have another chance to give them the gospel, yet they willfully remained in their sins. As you said, may your grandmother know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ before she also passes into an eternity without Christ. Our prayers and thoughts are with you, dear friend.

    The Desert Pastor

  17. You and your family are in my prayers Pilgrim. You have my deepest condolences for the loss of your grandfather.

    Stay strong in the Lord my brother!

    ~ David T

  18. May the Lord grant you peace, brother.

    I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
    My help comes from the LORD,
    who made heaven and earth.
    He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
    Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

    The LORD is your keeper;
    the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
    The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

    The LORD will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
    The LORD will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

    – Psalm 121

  19. I am so sorry for your lose my friend. Losing a loved one to death is extremely hard nevermind losing a loved one to hell. My heart pains for you and my prayers are with you and your family. My dad is on his way out as well. Probably has 5 years max. Refuses to listen to anything I have to say, goes to church…good enough. I have tried to make head way with him, but he told me that he “gets that stuff at church, he doesn’t need to hear it from me as well”. It’s so very hard to see their flesh starting to smell like smoke and they refuse to listen…so very hard.

  20. My condolences. How overwhelmingly sad that must of been for you. I only pray that during that time between life and death that he reached out to the God who died for him.

  21. I’m very sorry for your great sorrow. I hope you can take some refuge in the knowledge that Jesus knows the heart and even though last rites were performed, it isn’t something your grandfather requested. The Holy Spirit has access where we may not.

    Can I ask how one would go about witnessing to a staunch Catholic? I assist a family where the elderly father has Alzheimers and the elderly mother was just recently diagnosed with ALS(Lou Gehrig’s disease) and doesn’t have much time as the disease is progressing very quickly. I’m at a loss as to how to talk with her. She isn’t able to talk much and is very, very difficult to understand. Any suggestions and ideas would be much appreciated.

  22. Pilgrim –
    Thanks for opening up your pained heart and sharing these very personal matters at the death of your beloved Grandfather. I grieve in heart for you as I do for all who have loved ones dead in a religion that tells them they are alive. Those living and those we have all buried. One day my friend, your tears will be no more; but until that day, keep running the race set before you and witnessing to our Lord and Saviour through the times of great joy and those of deep pain.

    Jeni – I certainly am not a well-spring of wisdom in all facets of witnessing to Roman Catholics, but I have grown up around them as I was raised in the religion. And sadly today most of my family, immediate and far, are still RCs.

    For witnessing I do not believe in “cookie-cutter” approaches, but rather praying that God lead one by the Spirit to say what needs to be said, and to not say what should not be said. This of course is based upon a firm foundation of our understanding the true gospel vs. the false of Romanism and being able to articulate the differences.

    With those who have a health condition that precludes their ability to converse well, I believe you will need that much more guidance of the Spirit. Thus, I encourage you to pray, and pray some more for the grace of God and the power of the Spirit. Often times we focus exclusively on gnosis (knowledge) and not on the accompaniment of the Spirit. Paul preached the gospel not in man’s wisdom but in spirit and in power.

    Speak to them where they are at; that is, if their mental faculties are weak, than become as one weak with them. To the Jew I became as a Jew says Paul; so must we become weak to those who are weak, simple to those who are simple.

    Love them and serve them for love covers a multitude of sins and as Christ loved us so we are commanded to love others; yea even our enemies. Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends.

    Converse with them; ask them questions instead of simply being “preachy.” Often times, asking people questions is a much more powerful means of teaching than our direct preaching of the truth. And ask probing questions – get them to think about death and reality. Get them to think about their religion. The hope of course being that their heart will be opened up for them to see their terminal condition; for unless one sees themselves as sick, they will not call for a physician. For Jesus came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

    Sow seeds of the word. Ask them if they would like you to read the Bible to them. Read without commentary – just cast out the seed of the word. For faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God and how shall they believe unless they hear? Possibly they will ask you questions; or you can ask them like Philip did with the Ethiopian Eunuch; understand ye what you read? His reply being most honest; how can I lest someone guide me. Prayerfully this will be their response in type.

    Focus on Jesus – for he says if I am lifted up I will draw all men unto me. Mary is important, purgatory is important as are the other Romanist doctrines, but honestly they are secondary. Focus on Jesus – lift him up. Exalt him. Share him. Teach about him. For if they see Christ, these other matters will be as dung.

    One more item is that you lead. You are the believer so be aware that the enemy and their flesh will try to take you down rabbit trails. Study the life and Jesus and his interaction with the Scribes, Pharisees and Lawyers and this will become evident. Here, Jesus did not “play” by their rules; neither should we. Of course we are babes in knowing how to do this and we need to do all things with grace and mercy, so I hope you understand my point. Just simply to be on guard for the enemy will want to get you off of Jesus and his gospel and on secondary issues.

    Be willing to turn the cheek if need be – very hard for us to do as we always want the last word, but be on watch for this as it may be better to receive a remonstrance with silence than a crafty come-back.

    Lastly – pray.

    Well – I hope my musing provide a modicum of help. I’m scattered brained right now and thus my thoughts may reflect this. If you want to dialog with me on this further, please feel free to reach out to Pilgrim or Desert Pastor who can put you in touch with me. I write this as I’m radically cutting back my time on the Internet.

    My prayers go with you –

    brother Michael

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