24 Inches

January 2010

How great is the gap between a grandfather and his grandchildren? I was surprised to discover that it is much less than I thought.

Susie and I spent Christmas with four of our six wonderful grandchildren. I often wondered how they perceived the old guy in the chair reading the paper with the television volume set too high.

Whenever one of them would pass my way, I would reach out for a hug or a high five only to be ignored too often. At first I thought the age gap was the problem and resigned myself to playing the role of the old-guy-to-be-ignored. Then I discovered the big secret.

 The real problem was the 24 inch gap separating me in the chair from the little guys on the floor. When I slipped off the chair onto the floor, I became part of their world. They tempted me with books and toys which turned into tickles, hugs and so much more. All of a sudden, I became something to crawl over or use as a cushion. I loved it.

On the other hand, I must admit it was much more comfortable sitting in my favorite chair which has molded to my body through the years. I thought that reading the same book eight times in a row was a little overkill. Just when I finished preparing a toy for them to use, they demanded another one. I soon began to feel the roles had been reversed. Where was the respect and accommodation for the old guy in the chair (who paid for most of the toys)?

Then, it hit me. This is exactly what Jesus did to close the eternal gap between God and me. He left the glory of heaven for humility on earth, waits patiently for me to understand the Book, endures my flipping from one worthless priority to another and waits for me to grant the respect he deserves. Yet, he was still willing to joyfully slip out of his chair and sit on my floor.

Does God expect less from me? While I claim that I want to make a difference in the lives of others, I remain in my chair. My family and friends look up and wonder why I won’t come down and play with them. Am I too old or just too selfish? As I sit in my comfortable chair, someone else wins the battle for their souls.

Thankfully, I am current on the news.

Your turn! Can you suggest ways we can slip out of our chairs onto their floor? Think about it and jot your ideas blow . . . I would love to hear from you. Click and respond below.

I Told You So

December 17, 2009

I told you so.  I wonder if we might hear (or think) those words when we get to heaven.  God used a lot of people and made a great effort to provide and preserve his holy words, yet, we causally take them for granted.  Do we really believe that all of the Bible is true?  We think we do. 

Some wonder why the shepherds were honored to be the first visitors to see baby Jesus.  I think the reason is obvious.  They were simple enough to believe that if God speaks it must be true.  

The language of Luke 2 says it all…Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about…When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about the child…The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  Should they have expected anything less? 

Do we really believe the Bible if we don’t follow it like these shepherds?  On his last night on earth, Jesus told his disciples that if they loved him they would obey his commands.  Paul said that faith comes by hearing the Word of God, but we try to have a godly life while blatantly ignoring many clear teachings.  Who is fooling whom?  I haven’t even mentioned what James said about hearing and doing. 

Would it be more honest to say that we believe 50, 75 or 90 percent?  My conviction is that ignoring or disobeying the Scriptures makes a statement that I do not trust it fully.  Do I really believe what God says about topics like giving, lust, gossip, serving, evangelism, hell, bitterness, peace, humility, honoring leadership, or you name it?  My actions reveal the level of trust in my heart. 

Religious liberals are criticized for their cut and paste approach to the Bible, but are we Bible thumpers any better?  Unlike them, I carry around the excessive pages in my Good Book instead of tearing them out. 

If the secret of unbelief were revealed, it might seriously damage the booksellers who push their new books and translations our way.  Since statistics on Bible believing people are heading south, it appears that increased scholarship and knowledge is not fulfilling what we hoped. 

My humble suggestion is that we talk less and live more.  It has been said that people don’t care what we know until they know that we care.  Paul preached that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  Are we losing the race in our nation because we fail to walk the talk?  Folks can turn on their TV and hear the Way, but maybe their thirst for life change will come when they see the Way in us first?  Let’s give our obedience a chance to catch up with our knowledge. 

I sure don’t want those shepherds coming up to me in heaven saying, “I told you so.”  Their simple obedience made such a splash that people around the world still talk about it once a year.  What could God do through you and me to change our world if we would just trust and obey?

What would you suggest that would help us move beyond knowledge to vibrant obedience?  Obviously, we need your advice.

Mother's Fragrance

November 23, 2009  

Have you ever had your best laid plans changed at the last moment?  For several months I have pondered what to write as my first attempt at blogging.  Since this website encourages people to read the Bible, I was going to address the serious gap between Bible knowledge and personal obedience.  But, my mother had much better plans. 

Since the home going of my father, she has lived in either assisted care or a nursing home.  Serious infections brought her to hospital this past week for a nine day ordeal resulting in the end of her 87 year journey on earth.  As I watched her die, I realized that she was simply and faithfully finishing the race the Lord had laid out for her.  At her bedside, I wrote these words for her obituary: 

Georgetta Salsgiver Gannett

June 21, 1922 - November 10, 2009

 One day heaven will reveal the impact of her life of faith and sacrifice.  Early she trusted Christ as her Savior and served the Lord faithfully alongside her beloved husband, Dr. Alden Gannett, former President of Southeastern Bible College.  Together they loved their family, mentored a multitude of students and Christian workers, ministered around the world and invested their lives to make an eternal difference.

Their marriage was a metaphor of grace.  Georgetta was willing to make any sacrifice to facilitate Alden’s ministry for the gospel and faithfully served as his love, secretary and best friend.  Her humility has made the bells of heaven ring for joy. 

Georgetta had a gift to make everyone feel special.  Her personal sacrifices honored others above herself.  She saw the best in everyone, celebrated life with humor, exemplified a servant spirit and, in her final years, taught us how to suffer well. 

She blessed her family with unconditional love and acceptance.  Her prayers and godly counsel encouraged spiritual devotion in those she loved.  Like the wise woman of Proverbs 31, her children stand and bless her.  The fragrance of her love is a legacy her family will treasure forever.


Mother’s memorial service was a true celebration.  Hundreds attended as a living testimony to her devotion to the Lord and her love for people.  Why was she such a remarkable woman who will not be easily forgotten? 

The answer is simple and profound—she trusted God and his Word.  It is not surprising that her favorite hymn was Trust and Obey.  She wrapped her life around God’s Truth instead of expecting him to accommodate her desires or decisions.  When God spoke, she jumped with childlike obedience and anticipation.  Deep in her heart, she knew that he had only the best in store for her.

Like my Father, she is a key underlying factor which motivated me to produce this website to help people like you know and obey the Lord better.  Her joy in life and death is something we can all discover by simply reading and obeying the Bible.  My prayer is that the Lord will use her legacy to surprise you with that joy as you walk with him.

You can download Mother’s memorial service by clicking here.   


Tell us how your parents influenced your life!





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