Pop Pop Epistle #45 -About the Gettysburg Address


Dear Grandkids,

You have probably noticed that I enjoy using some lessons from history to pass on some of my Pop Pop wisdom. I hope that you will grow to love history as you get older. There is so much that history can teach us. For instance…

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 2.19.33 PMIt was 155 years ago today that Abraham Lincoln gave what many believe to be “the most eloquent articulation of the democratic vision ever written.” His “little speech,” as he referred to it is known to us as The Gettysburg Address. The year was 1863 and our country was being torn apart by civil war. He used a mere 272 words to brilliantly share why the Union had to fight and win the tragic war between the states. Lincoln’s speech followed a two hour address by Edward Everett, one of the most famous orators of the day. It took Lincoln less than 3 minutes to say what he had to say. And yet it is one of the most famous speeches ever delivered.  (And does anyone remember what Everett said?)

Here is the lesson I want you to learn. Words have incredible power. And you don’t have to use a lot of words to say a lot. Choose your words carefully, whether you are talking to one person or speaking to thousands – which I believe some of you are destined to do.

At the end of the movie The Darkest Hour, the Viscount Halifax says of a speech just given by Sir Winston Churchill a quote worth remembering: “He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.”  I love that quote. It will be something I will always keep in mind whenever I have the opportunity to preach. Churchill was an oratorical master. He used language to motivate and embolden people to greatness.

This is also what is so awesome about Jesus. As you read the Bible note that He does not have to say much to say a lot. He has a bunch of one-liners that have been quoted and re-quoted for over 2000 years.

But, alas, I fear that I am using too many words to make my point. But if you remember nothing else, always remember this…

Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

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Pop Pop Epistle #44 – Happy Birthday Grayson


Dear Grayson,

Happy birthday. This is going to be an awesome year. It has been really fun to watch you grow and learn and change over the last 12 months. I love the fact that you love to read. And I love the fact that you are becoming a song writer. A few years ago I wrote a song that you have probably heard me sing to you but it seems especially pertinent now as you celebrate another birthday. The name of the song is It’s A Great Day To Be Alive and the refrain goes like this:

Each day is an adventure
Another new surprise.
A chance to watch God do His thing
Before your very eyes.
And those who say they love Him,
Who call upon His Name
Will find joy in the journey
And strength for each new day.

I love the fact that you are always up for a Pop Pop adventure. I love that you love fun surprises. The Lord is already doing a good work in your life and I can see His joy evidenced in you. No matter what comes your way in the years to come – whether they are fun surprises or challenging surprises – may His joy always be your strength. It is indeed a great joy for me to be your Pop Pop.

Never forget that you are very loved!

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