II Timothy 1:1-5
Sunday Morning Sermon
September 12, 1999
Fair Avenue Baptist Church
Text: II Tim. 1:5
VERSE 5 tells us about Timothy’s grandmother, Lois. She was a godly woman and was very instrumental in the development of Timothy.
My mom’s name is Lois, a good Bible name.
I love my mom.
She has been a good grandmother.
She has been a good mother.
Please keep my mother in your prayers.
She is carrying some heavy, heavy burdens.
Today is Grandparents Day and we have recognized the grandparents and some of their grandchildren. Grandparents are a blessing.
I am a very fortunate man because when I was born I had two great-grandparents and all four grandparents.
My wife only knew one grandparent, Mrs. Howell’s mother. But, they seldom saw one another and my wife’s grandmother died when my wife was a little girl.
For all practical purposes, my wife really didn’t have grandparents.
When we married, all my grandparents were alive and mostly healthy. We enjoyed many times with my grandparents.
We would visit with them as often as we could.
We would have a great time sitting around talking and reminiscing.
My wife loved it. She had never really experienced the grandparent thing and my grandparents loved her like she was one of the family.
We used to play canasta and pinochle and “42” dominoes with my Grandmother and Granddaddy.
We would play for hours at a time - take a short break to eat - and play again.
There were times when I was jealous because they paid more attention to her than they did me. She loved having grandparents. My grandparents became her grandparents and you would have never know the difference between their blood-grandchildren and my wife.
She loved having grandparents.
I was able to enjoy my great-grandfather, my dad’s grandfather - Grandpa Morgan, as we called him. He was a giant of a man, or least he seemed to be that way to me when I was five or six years old. He was only about 6’2” or 6’3” but he seemed seven feet tall to me.
He taught me how to drink coffee out of a cup and saucer - the old fashioned way.
I can still see the house on Josephine Street in Sweetwater, Texas - in the kitchen - drinking coffee and eating bacon and toast.
He liked to eat bacon - the kind of bacon with more fat than meat - just dripping with grease.
He was a pleasant old man and I love my great-grandfather - Grandpa Morgan.
I was able to somewhat enjoy my great-grandmother on my mother’s grandmother - Grandma Roberts.
She was bedridden the time I remember her but she was the sweetest woman in the world. I never heard her complain about anything.
There she was, bedridden, crippled, lying in a bed in an unair conditioned apartment in a government project - in Sweetwater, West Texas - in the summer time.
My memories of my great-grandparents are good memories.
But the best memory of my great-grandparents was that they lived a good life and set a good example and never influenced me to go anything against the Word of God or my parents.
My great-grandparents never went against my parent’s upbringing.
They were good people,
I was a lucky little boy growing up in the late 50’s and early 60’s with my great-grandparents.
Parallel to that was the time I spent with my grandparents.
Grandpa Morgan lived with my dad’s parents, so when I saw Grandpa Morgan, I got to see my Grandmother and Granddaddy - that’s what we called them.
Grandma Roberts lived with my mom’s parents, so when I saw Grandma Roberts, I got to see my Mamaw and Papaw - that’s what we called them.
When I was five years old, just about the time I started remembering things clearly, we moved a long ways away from my grandparents.
We were living in Big Springs, Texas, while my grandparents lived in Sweetwater, just a little over an hour away.
When I was real little, we spent a lot of time seeing my Grandmother and Granddaddy and my Mamaw and Papaw.
But, in 1961, just a few months before my fifth
birthday, we moved to Ft. Worth for my dad to start seminary.
From that time even until now I only saw my grandparents a few times a year, though I do see my grandmother five or six times a year now.
I was a very lucky boy because my parents sacrificed and made sure that we boys got to see our grandparents.
I got to spend time with my grandparents every summer for two or three weeks.
We saw them every Thanksgiving and every Christmas plus the summer vacation.
I have nothing but good memories of my grandparents and my great-grandparents.
In 1963, both of my great-grandparents died, about two or three months apart.
In 1979, just a few days after Rachael’s first birthday, my Papaw passed away, my mom’s dad.
In 1986, just about a month after we moved to Gainesville, my Mamaw passed away, my mother’s mom.
In 1997, just over two years ago, my Granddaddy passed away, my dad’s father.
Only my grandmother is left. She will be 88 years old this coming February. She has been a constant encouragement to me all my life.
Grandparents are fun,
Grandparents are special,
Grandparents are wonderful.
My grandparents never tried to influence me to do wrong,
My grandfathers never did try to get me to smoke or drink or cuss or look at dirty pictures,
My grandparents never went against the upbringing of my parents,
My grandparents were positive influences in my life.
However, I’m afraid that most grandparents never get to enjoy being grandparents anymore, but that’s another message.
Most grandparents today are glorified baby-sitters and taxi drivers.
Instead of kids going home from school to moms, they go to grandma’s.
Instead of mom picking the kids up and running errands, grandma gets to do it.
Grandparents are normally, unpaid and under appreciated baby-sitters instead of grandparents.
Most children in this church this morning will never experience the “wonderfulness” of grandparents like I was able to do.
But, that’s another message.
I want to talk about a grandparent.
I want to talk about my mother’s mom,
Mary Vandalia Roberts Webb.
I can still hear my great-grandmother calling out to my Mamaw, “Vandalia, Vandalia, could you bring me a glass of water, please.”
My Mamaw was the best person I’ve ever known or met.
I’m soon to turn 44 years old and I’ve never met anyone as sweet and kind and patience as my Mamaw.
A true servant’s heart,
Faithful to God’s house.
I remember walking from the Circle Drive Projects to the Westside Baptist Church in Sweetwater, Texas.
We walked about three or four blocks south on an old dirt road, then east about two or three blocks on another old dirt road, then back south three blocks, finally on a paved road, up the steps to the Westside Baptist Church.
The Westside Baptist Church of Sweetwater, Texas. No air-conditioning, just ceiling fans, and lots of ladies fanning and men wiping their foreheads with their handkerchiefs.
The auditorium of the First Baptist Church of Throckmorton, Texas, reminded me of the old Westside Baptist Church. It no longer exists today. All that remains are portions of the concrete slab.
I remember a Mamaw who wore simple clothes to church because she was so poor, but sang with the feeling and expression that reminded me of angels.
I remember a Mamaw that carried her purse and Bible with her on that walk to church on Sunday morning and Sunday night and Wednesday night.
I remember a Mamaw that read her Bible in church with the preacher - and read her Bible in her lap every morning and every afternoon and every evening.
I remember a Mamaw that walked with me every day to my first Vacation Bible School back in the summer of 1960. We went down into the basement for Vacation Bible School.
I can still see it vividly in my mind today, just like it was yesterday.
She was the best Christian I’ve ever known, bar none.
I wish you could have known her. I wish she could have come up here and met you. You would have loved her, too. She was just a blessing to be around.
Hardships, you bet.
Hardtimes, you bet.
Anyone born in 1908 had some hard times, some really hard times and hardships.
She lost a young child in 1932, a little baby boy named Lloyd, who died of pneumonia, at six week of age.
Never owned a home, all but the last 10-12 years of her life she lived in government projects.
Never drove a car - that’s right - she never drove a car in her life. They never owned a car until 1968 when my Mamaw was 60 years old, and then my Papaw wrecked it, and again, no car.
Never had much but a hard life,
Never had much of anything.
But, she lived the most joyful and sweet and precious life that a saint of God could possibly live.
I never heard her complain.
I never heard her sound discouraged.
I never heard an unkind word.
I never heard a bitter spirit.
I never heard anything negative.
I never heard anything except the goodness of God and the wonderfulness of salvation and knowing God.
I never saw her in a pair of britches,
I never saw her in a pair of shorts,
Let me repeat that,
I never saw my Mamaw in a pair of britches,
I never saw my Mamaw in a pair of shorts,
Just simple dresses that went well below her knees,
A godly woman.
I can still see her in the kitchen,
fixin’ supper, that’s right, fixin’ supper,
that’s a Southern term, Bro. Ridge.
She’d be humming “Amazing Grace”, or “What A Friend We Have In Jesus,”
singing some old hymn,
putting supper on the table,
saying the blessing,
messing over us like a mother hen,
I can still see it, I still feel it, and I miss it.
We could use some more grandmothers like my Mamaw.
I would have to put her on the same level as Timothy’s grandmother, Lois, where the word of God describes her with this statement, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother, Lois...”
There was no fake in my Mamaw,
There was no hypocrisy in my Mamaw,
There was nothing fake about Mamaw,
She was a woman of faith,
Real, genuine, godly faith.
And, it showed in her life.
And, it showed in her family.
Leta, the oldest child, became a Baptist preacher’s wife and my Uncle Jeff pastored for over 40 years.
Leta, now turned 71 this past Friday, Sept. 10,
Just like her mother.
Still going to church even though my Uncle Jeff has severe Alzheimer’s. She’s been faithful to church all her life.
I saw my Aunt Leta last month at my great-aunt Lily’s funeral and she gave me some books because she thought I would like to have some of my Uncle Jeff’s books.
Thinking of others - just like her mother.
Lee Roy, the next child, has been a faithful member of the Baptist church all his life and is currently a deacon and, at 69 years old, is involved in his church’s Nursing Home Ministry. He has been faithful to church his whole life.
He’s always telling me about his latest Nursing Home story.
He was one of the kindest and gentle and loving men you will ever meet. His wife, Lila, did you catch that, Lee Roy and Lila, are two precious folks that you’d love to meet - just like his mother.
Sounds like black folk - Lee Roy and Lila - doesn’t it?
My mother came next and became a preacher’s wife when she was only 27 years old. My dad pastored for 32 years.
My mom was a good mother,
She is still a good mother.
She taught us the Bible,
She made us memorize Scripture,
She lived by godly principles,
She loves the Lord,
She is a brilliant woman,
She knows her Bible,
She was a good mother,
She’s been faithful to church her entire life,
Just like her mother.
Lawrence, number four, 65 years old now,
is an ordained Baptist preacher who is currently teaching at Anderson College, a private Baptist College in Anderson, South Carolina.
He is a very quiet, meek, and humble man. I haven’t got to see him much in my life, but he is a joy to be around - just like his mother.
Leonard, number five, 60 years old, is an ordained Baptist deacon and a very prominent member of the First Baptist Church of Hutchins, Texas. He’s been faithful to church his entire life.
My uncle Leonard has been here before. In fact, he was here last October for our 34th Anniversary services with Bro. Blakely. Some of you remember him -- he’s a great guy.
He is a kind,
you’ve met him,
he’s a wonderful guy,
just like his mother.
The last of the bunch, Lewis, is just a few years older than I am. He just had his 48th birthday.
He is an ordained Baptist deacon and has been faithful to church his entire life. He’s very active in his church.
all faithful in church,
all involved in their churches,
all faithfully serving.
Where did it start?
How did it happen?
It started with their mother,
a woman of faith,
a woman who was real,
a woman who was no hypocrite,
a woman who was honest,
a woman who truly loved God,
a woman of Biblical principles,
a woman of faith and practice,
a godly lady every woman here could copy without question,
a lady who could be an example for every grandmother,
and every father here this morning.
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”
What kind of grandmother are you?
What kind of grandmother are you going to be when those grandkids come?