A Faith That Dwelt First

February 29, 2016

2Tim. 1:5 says, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” When my mother died this past Friday I realized that I had little chance of catching up on her family’s history that I so desperately wanted to know. More about this in a minute.

I came to know the Lord literally on my grandmother’s knee. She walked me through the truth and I, probably about 6, turned from my sin and trusted the Savior. This to say, my spiritual roots are deep. My “sincere faith” first lived in my grandmother and parents.

Since my mother is now in glory, I started digging around on the internet to find out more about my family on my mother’s side. Indeed, the internet is a wonderful resource for such mining. I’ve been reminded of names and places I haven’t heard about in decades. 

I came across a letter written by my great-grandfather to his family and friends. At the time there must have been a letter called “The Dove Letter.” It is in that publication that he writes. This letter was written after the death of his 8 year old son, Wallace. It expresses truth that I’ve been reminded of because of my mom’s home going. It expresses the sentiments of my heart this morning. It is good to see the contours of my great-grandfather’s faith. 

SPRUCE HILL, MINN.
November 11, 1918

Dear brother P. Berglov and readers of “The Dove Letter”:
Grace and peace be with you!

Because the “Dove” comes into so many homes, among both my relatives and friends, I will send a few lines with the same. First I will give my text: Colossians 3:1-4: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set you affection on things above…etc.” Those verses I have read many times, both for myself and for others, but never have I seen them so clearly as I do now. God wants us not only to read and speak (the Word) but also to show it in life and conduct. God Himself either will or must have had to show me how fleeting (transitory) we ourselves are, as well as our possessions on earth, when I, with my family, some eight or nine of us, all came down sick with the influenza. Some of us got well almost right away, but some of us lay sick for almost three weeks. It cost us both time and money — and also our little son Wallace. He was somewhat older than 8 years of age and we had high hopes for him. We have lost him for the immediate present, but we have won him for the future time to come. By nature, he was like other small boys, but he prayed to God every night on his knees by his bed. When he was less than 8 1/2 years old he prayed in his own words before he went to bed, even if no one else did. I will write down the main idea of what he prayed, in the hope it might help some other small boy: “Help me so that I do not quarrel with my brothers and sisters, dear Jesus; help me so that I may come to you in heaven. You are coming soon, but we do not know when you are coming; You know that, dear Jesus.” And then he prayed for everyone he could remember. Never did we suspect that Jesus would come and take him home to Himself so soon. In an hour that you know not will the Son of Man come. Be ye therefore always ready. Down here, we stretch out our hands to say goodbye, but at Home we will meet, never to part again, when we are all around the Lamb Who has redeemed us to God by His blood. May we always be living in such a way that we can always pray: Come, Lord Jesus! For my own part, I am glad I can go to be with Jesus when He comes.

A brother in the Lord,
Carl Fredman

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4 Responses to “A Faith That Dwelt First”

  1. patrickgmac Says:

    What a treasure you found. Someday I will have to do a little research as well. My great grandfather was a pastor down in LA. I’m told he was quite a fire and brimstone preacher!

    I’m sorry to hear about your mom. When my dad passed away, it helped immensely to know that he was only gone in “the immediate present,” as your great grandfather puts it. Even so, I remember asking you why we cry anyway, and you assured me that we are expected to grieve even as Jesus did when Lazarus died. As hard as that is to comprehend, it helped. I hope you feel peace knowing you mom is in His loving arms. I’m sure you do.

    You and your family are in my prayers, Mark. Please tell them all I said hi.

    • Mark Says:

      Thank you. As Paul said, we grieve but our grief is not like the rest of men who have no hope. Death is so sad and final. I want a redo. You mentioned the only real truth that will bear us up in the awful face of death. Thanks for the encouragement brother!

  2. Cindy Says:

    Thanks for sharing. What a blessing to have such a wonderful family legacy. Praying that you receive comfort from the assurance that you will see your mom as well as your great grandfather one day.


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