July 20

Written by Bill Grandi on July 20th, 2023

A blogging friend of mine, Pam Williams, is an insightful and engaging writer, as well as a pastor’s wife. She and her husband, Dick, “retired” from full-time ministry. Dick and Pam are close to my age and several years ago he decided to retire from being a full-time pastor in the Methodist church. So he thought. He has recently been asked to serve as the interim pastor of First United Methodist Church in Mercersburg, PA. You can read all about it here.  Pam is a long-time blogger…longer than me (my first blog was 2/08). Her most recent post (you can read it here) is called “Examples to Follow” and it really made me travel back through time. Please take a moment and read her short post then come back here to see my  time travel thoughts.

In my comment to her I wrote about 3 specific people:

My mother. She was primarily the one who told me and taught me about Jesus. I’m sure-although I can’t remember 🙂 – that she sang to me as she fed me and rocked me. She strived to live out her favorite song “Make Me a Blessing” from the hymn book. It was her faith that helped her survive my dad walking out after 25 years of marriage. She wasn’t perfect, just perfectly forgiven (to borrow a line from a Petra song).  It was her faith that kept her going when both her parents passed away and it was her faith that was real during her battle with a rare form of cancer that brought her to see Jesus in 2004.

My grandfather. Many were the walks to church on a Sunday, Wednesday or a Friday night (prayer meeting) when i was young. Those 3 miles were “open mic” nights when I would ask and he would listen and then answer.

Pastor Ralph White. Pastor White was a Timothy of the church I grew up in and at the retirement of our pastor after 35 years, he came to the church in Duquesne, PA, He was the pastor for about 3 1/2 years when he moved on to more fruitful and accepting territory (Johnstown, PA). He brought a renewed faith in my young heart and put a spark there to consider full-time ministry. I’m in the ministry largely because of his influence on my life.

There are more people…too numerous to mention. When one is 70 years old he has a lot of years and people to consider. I’m forever grateful for the people God brought into my life-past, present, and future.

Who has influenced you and your walk with Jesus? If they are still alive, have you thanked them?


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Pam says:

    Bill, thank you so very much for your kind words. I may have been blogging longer, but you blog much more frequently and your faithful posts have often given me much to mull over. Just glad God led us to each other through this platform! The Internet does have its benefits!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I thank you back Pam. I’m honored you take the time to read and comment. And, in this I will agree: the internet does have its benefits.

  2. gail says:

    My oldest brother Gary, when I went through my divorce now 24 years ago, I was devastated, my ex had an affair and even though I forgave him and wanted to still stay married, he left anyway. Gary had already left the Catholic church years earlier, he came and read to me out of the Bible, we prayed together, and talked about God, so many things I did not know since I had never read the Bible. He encouraged me, and eventually I was saved. To this day, we still talk at least three days a week conversations about God, something we are studying in the Bible, christian books we are reading, or our different Bible studies we are in. Gary and I are really close and we love to talk about God together.

    My Bible study on thursday nights, with the ladies I study with, have helped me deepen my relationship with God.

    My pray warrior sisters, have taught me to be stronger, bolder, and more attentive in my prayers.

    This blog of yours Bill, it makes me stop and really think about how I relate to God, where He is in my life, it challenges me to look at my life as a christian.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks for the very thoughtful and thorough comment Gail. Of course, I knew about the divorce, but not details. I would love to meet your brother some day. He seems like an exceptional person, especially one who loved his sister enough to share Jesus and loves her enough to continue doing so (only for a different reason). Your prayer warrior sisters are a mainstay to you I have learned from past conversations. And thanks for the kind words. I’m glad I can be a small part of your life and help you to grow.

  3. I enjoyed Pam’s post, Bill, and I’m thankful that you shared it here! I did visit, of course, but did not see a way to subscribe. Any advice?
    I wish I could say I had many influences in my early life that opened up my eyes to letting Jesus in, but aside from some relatives on my dad’s side of the family, I had very little encouragement. I’m still amazed to this day how Jesus found me and lifted me out of the pit I didn’t even know I was in.
    Blessings, Bill!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I’m glad you are a testimony to the pursuit of God. When all seems bleak, He shows up and draws you to Him. Now you are a great testimony to His love and grace. I’m glad I know you. There is no way to subscribe Martha. I use Feedly and it comes that way but I also think you might be able to send her an email and tell her to include you. Not sure about that. She has no place to comment so you have to email her and she will acknowledge it. Sorry I can’t help you any more than that.

  4. Cheryl says:

    Such wonderful recollections of special people who touched your life, Pastor Bill. I love to think back on my people, too, and sad to say, most of the ones who most impacted my young life with Jesus are already gone to be with Him. My Papaw, who pastored our church for around 40 years, my Mom and Daddy, my Mimmie, and others, as you said, too many to mention. God has been so good to me, and as the Bible says, “I have a goodly heritage.” I will never be able to praise Him enough.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It sounds like you do have a godly heritage. That is good since it leaves with something to show and remember. It is also tough because it leaves you with something to show and remember. 🙂