Thursday, April 08, 2010

“…And Thy Household”

Here is my lastest Ministerial Message for the local paper.  I hope you enjoy it.

Often, in past ministerial messages, I have told Biblical stories of people who really lived, thousands of years ago.  I like those true life stories because some of the best lessons we can learn can be learned through the lives of others.  Learning from others is not restricted to just Biblical people.  One of the best teachers in life I had, was my Grandfather, Albert Pariseau.  This past week he slipped into eternity.  I loved him dearly and I want to honor him today by telling you a little about this godly, wonderful man.  Albert, or Bert, as he was known, was always a giant of a man to me.  Not only in stature, as he was over 6’ 4” tall, but also in personality.  In trying to describe him on paper it seems almost impossible, but I will tell you a few things about his life that affected me deeply. One would be his commitment to integrity.  My Grandfather was of the generation that promises were made to be kept, that freedom and country is literally worth dying for, that life is what you make of it, so do the work to make it good.  For example, Albert went to war in the 1940s when he was just a kid.  He left his new bride and went to Europe as part of the national Canadian marching band and played in marches and parades and for troops in battle.  He was there to encourage and refresh the soldiers and he walked and played carrying a double Bb bass for THOUSANDS of kilometers in all weather.  I never ever heard him complain about doing that for his country. For him it was an honor.  His personal integrity and honesty were never doubted by anyone I knew.  He worked in a garage for his father-in-law when he came back to Canada, and raised a family in Winnipeg in the house he still owns today.  He never had lots of money, but was always quick to spend it on us as grandkids.  He married His wife Mae, almost 70 years ago, and never stopped loving her dearly.  I mean it… he loved her with a love that was unceasing.  He would always say to us whenever we got together and always out of the blue, “you kids have got the greatest grandmother in the world” and he meant it every time.  He also kept his lifelong commitment to love and serve the Lord with His whole heart.  I often remember getting up early when we came to visit them and finding him in his favorite chair reading the scripture and praying for his family and friends.  His favorite verse that he would quote often to me was from Acts 16: 31 "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved… and thy household".  He pleaded to the Lord for His family because he knew that God answers prayer.   He was a godly man who loved and honored the Lord with his whole life.  He left me a legacy of great integrity.  My Grandfather was also an artist and musician.  I could really go on about this. His love for music and concert bands never left and he played a horn up to just a few years ago in a local band. He also was a painter and had many oil paintings to his credit.  The artist in him, made him so creative.  One day at the cottage, which he built from the ground up, he found a piece of drift wood.  He painted it green and put eyes on it and mounted it at the entrance of his property as a sea monster.  The funny thing was that next to it was a chair he built out of old wagon wheels and from a distance the two together looked like a cannon!  He was given a hard time about that as it concerned a few of his neighbors.  He laughed a lot about it.  I guess that would be last thing I would tell you about would be his joyful heart.  He loved to laugh and laughed easily. He would tell the same jokes over and over and laugh as hard as if he had never heard them before.  His joyful heart was also directed to us as grandkids… he could not wait to have them come close and hug us and then off we would go to play games.  As I got older, he knew I loved to eat, as every teen does, so he would ALWAYS take me to these greasy spoon restaurants.  He had several that he loved…with  huge portions and lots of onions. What great fun it was to have him close!
You know, we all are teaching and leaving a legacy everyday we live that others are learning from.  What is your legacy that you are creating?  What lessons are you leaving your friends, your kids and grandkids?    Are you teaching them that a commitment to integrity, to promise keeping, to selflessness, to following God… that these things are of GREAT value?  Our lives are a great gift that God has given us.   The good news of Christ is that even if we have made a mess of what we have been given up to now, God is able to give you a new start and you can begin creating a NEW legacy that will be a blessing.  God loves to do that.  He is the God of fresh starts as Easter reminds us.   I am thankful that grandpa chose to leave me with such an amazing legacy. I hope we can do the same for those following us.  Albert “Bert” Pariseau, Deceased April 6th/10.  He was 89 years old.      

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