Onward with the Cross

Jurdon and Rhoda

The boy Jurdon and Rhoda

This is the Old Fool’s 89th. birthday and today I am more aware of lent than I have ever been. I’ve read that lent is a time for house(life) cleaning.  And I am not adept at cleaning anything, let alone a life.

I believe that everything that needs to be done has been done to deal with the sins of my childhood, sins of my youth, my middle aged sins and sins of my old age. Instead of worrying about my sins I should keep on loving others the way God loves me, and perfect my love for the weak, the poor, and the outcast throughout my life.

According to the understanding of my youth, I explained to Jurdon, a little boy who once lived with us, that when Jesus comes we would go up in the air to meet him.  “Will you hold me?” he asked.  “Yes, I will hold you,” I promised.


Jurdon as he was a few years ago when Rachel and I visited him

Today I received a card from Jurdon that read:

“Dad, I’ve learned a lot from you…

“That happiness is found in the little things.
“That strength doesn’t always look like we expect it to.
“That believing in someone is the best gift you can give.

“You’ve been there all along, teaching me these lessons
in your own quiet way and demonstrating how powerful
the lifelong love and example of one person can be.

“I owe a lot to you, Dad.  And I love you very much.
Happy Birthday”

Jurdon’s words  bless me, as do the words of appreciation from family members and friends.

But words don’t relieve me of the obligation of lent, for as Jesus walked toward Jerusalem for the last time,  he asked his disciples to take up the cross and follow him. They followed him humbly, into danger. They followed him as he told parables, confused authorities as he turned their questions back on them.

prayer for peacePeace on earth is the responsibility of God’s people. Peace will come when all Christians give up guns, drones, and all manner of weapons and act out the way of the cross daily.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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6 Responses to Onward with the Cross

  1. Arvid Martin says:

    From one Franklin County, PA fellow to another; Happy Birthday.

    I appreciate your focus on love and peace, and lead the way by example.

    Thanks for your positive influence on my life.

    Arvid Martin

  2. Happy Birthday, Martin. You have been blessed with a good life as you have also been a blessing to so many. Shalom. Myron A.

  3. Sam Troyer says:

    A belated happy birthday Martin. You have lived a good long life. The first time I remember talking to you was in Sarasota. God is good – Sam

  4. Jewel H. Shenk says:

    I am grateful for the many points of wisdom you have taught me. I thank God for your life and your willingness to look at things from new perspectives even as you head toward 90 yrs. I hope I can be as open to change and new understanding as I age as well. You have mentored it well.
    Jewel [Oh, and happy birthday.]

  5. Merle Cordell says:

    Happy birthday, Martin. I’ve been 89 for nine months and is isn’t so bad – – a few more aches and pains, a few joints a little more stiff, the pace getting slower, but best of all, heaven is closer. The Lord has been good and I am thankful for my blessings. May you continue to receive His mercy and grace.

    Your Christian Brother,

  6. SaraAlice Zimmerly says:

    Martin, I hope you have a pleasant year as you walk along with Jesus in it. It’s the only way to fly. :)Happy, happy birthday. SaraAlice

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