Tribute to my Grandpa

On August 29th, 2009, my grandpa Donald Anderson slipped the bonds of earth and Alzheimer’s, and went home to be with Jesus. I miss him, but yet I feel so at peace knowing that I will see him again and that he isn’t suffering anymore.

As the oldest grandchild of Donald and Lorraine Anderson, I have so many memories of my grandpa. Here are a few things I want to share with you about who my grandpa was, special memories I have, and observations from the visitation/celebration service last week.

– My grandpa always seemed to have a big smile and a joke. He seemed to genuinely enjoy people, and life.

– My grandpa loved his family. He and my grandma were married for 55 years, and lived out the vows “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, ’til death do us part”. He and my mom and uncles would joke and laugh together and you could tell they had a special relationship.

– My grandpa loved his grandkids. One thing that people said to me over and over this last week was, “Your grandpa was sure proud of you”. One of his former pastors shared during the life celebration service that when they would get together for Bible study at my grandparents’ house, my grandpa would go through each picture of the grandkids on the wall and tell the pastor what they were doing lately. It meant so much for me to hear this from other people.

– My grandpa loved God. He became a Christian later in life, and it changed his outlook and focus. I don’t remember his faith being showy or loud, but quiet and steady. He was involved in his church, and loved on the the people there especially the kids. He was affectionatly known there as “the candy man”, for always having a piece of candy or bubble gum in his pocket for the kids when the service was over.

– My grandpa had a firm handshake, something I greatly appreciate in a person. 🙂 He also had the ability to eat an entire apple, core and all. This is an art I am still trying to perfect.

– My grandpa served in the army during the Korean War, and he was pretty proud of this. He would salute us grandkids, and then wink at us. I don’t remember all of his war stories, but a couple stuck out to me.
***Once when one of the commanding officers was inspecting the soldiers, one of the guys hadn’t done a very good job shaving. The officer said, “Next time put a blade in your razor”.
***Someone passed around a pack of cigarettes, but Grandpa couldn’t get his lit. And he never smoked after that.

– My siblings and I traveled with my grandparents on different occassions, and my grandpa would tease us and tell jokes. He would also sing to us. Our favorites were “Crawdad Hole”, and one that had the line, “hair of gold, eyes of blue, lips like cherry wine”. When he would sing the latter one, my grandma would turn around all scandalized, and say “Oh Grandpa!”.

– Although it was a hard day, the life celebration service for my grandpa was also a precious time. We had more of an informal service, with a picture slide show of my grandpa’s life, memories from the immediate family, an opportunity for people who came to share, reflections from two of my grandparents’ former pastors, and a very clear gospel message. At the cemetary, the Honor Guard performed the military rites, with the folding of the flag and giving it to my grandma, the gun salute, and the playing of “Taps”. I was overwhelmed at that moment with pride for my grandpa and the heritage that he left, sadness that he is really gone, sorrow for my younger cousins who might not have the memories that I do, and joy that my grandpa is in heaven praising Jesus, and one day my family will be there with him!

Donald A. Anderson

This is the obituary that was in our local papers. I thought it really captured who my grandpa was, so I thought I would share it.

Services for Donald A. Anderson, 81, of Madison will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Calvary Community Church with the Rev. Roy Scorup officiating and burial in Fairview Cemetary. Military rites will be by American Legion Post 35, VFW Post 5763 and the Nebraska National Guard Honor Guard. Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Tuesday at Resseguie Funeral Home.

Mr. Anderson died at his home Saturday, August 29, 2009. Memorials may be directed to the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Don was born on the family farm on August 8th, 1928, the son of Carl and Edna (Sexton) Anderson. He was raised on the farm and attended rural school.

Don entered the U.S. Army on November 24, 1950. He served in the artillery in Korea, attaining the rank of sergeant first class. He received his honorable discharge on August 24, 1952. Following his discharge, Don returned to farming near Madison.

On August 17, 1954, Don married Lorraine Severa at Trinity United Methodist Church in Madison. The couple farmed northwest of Madison, where they raised cattle and hogs. In his swine operation, Don specialized in purebred breeding stock.

In his younger years, Don played baseball for the Enola Dodgers. He also enjoyed major league baseball and was a knowledgeable fan of football, especially the Huskers. He enjoyed watching all sports on television and going to auctions. Don took pride in planting trees.

Don was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church in Madison. On August 28th, 1977, Don accepted Christ as his personal Savior.

Don served on the Fairview School board and the Fairview Cemetary board for several years.

Don is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lorraine; their children, Brian and Yvonne Anderson of rural Hoskins, Arden and Karen Anderson of rural Chappell, and Chris and Mark Hilkemann of rural Pierce; 15 grandchildren, Sarah Hilkemann, Lars Anderson, Beth Hilkemann, Sven Anderson, Ilene Anderson, Josh Hilkemann, Amelia Anderson, Nels Anderson, Emily Hilkemann, Miles Anderson, Hannah Anderson, Leah Anderson, Matthew Hilkemann, Anthony Anderson and Regina Anderson.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Dorothy Kinkle and Darlene Schmidt; and one brother, Homer Anderson.

Trusting Part 2

This Saturday I met up with my parents in Newton, Kansas (just north of Wichita) to switch cars. Our Nebraska mechanic thought he would be able to fix the brakes on my car for a whole lot cheaper than the quotes I got here in Texas, so I got my sister’s car and my parents took mine back to Nebraska. Everything went smoothly on the way up, I had a lovely lunch with my parents and then I was off back to Texas. Unfortunately, somewhere in northern Oklahoma I passed an accident with lots of glass and debris on the road. About 15 minutes later I discovered I had a flat tire! I made it back to Dallas, but I wanted to share the ways that God provided for me on the way back.

The whole way I clung to the promises of Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Each time I started to worry, I prayed for what I needed, and thanked God for how he took care of me.

Here are some of the specific ways I saw God providing:
– I was able to pull off onto a rest area after I discovered the flat tire
– I prayed for God to send someone to help me change the tire, and He did! A guy came with his daughter, and he knew just what to do to change it. Then a truck and a van pulled in, so I felt safe with so many people around!
– The little spare tire lasted all of the way back to Dallas!
– I could only go about 55-60 MPH on a 70 MPH road, but there was someone either in front of me or behind me going the same speed almost the whole way (so I felt like I had some company). 🙂
– When I was going through the major cities like Oklahoma City and Dallas, there was a lack of traffic when I needed to switch lanes to exit or whatever.
– I knew that people at home in Nebraska and in Texas were praying for me.
– My parents made it safely back to Nebraska in my car with little brakes.

I wish that I could have had a smooth ride back to Texas, or even not had to deal with all of these car issues in the first place, but in some ways it was really a spiritual journey. I had to cling to God and I saw Him answer prayers in a cool way. So, I praise God for his provision!


Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

This week I haven’t done the greatest job of being very strong or courageous. Worries about how to pay for books and tuition for school, trying to figure out what to do with a car with a rusting brake line, feeling very far away from home.

I realized partially through the week that I was trying to do it all on my own strength. Being the responsible, organized, controlling person that I am, this is easy for me to do! I had to stop, take a deep breath (or several), and ask, “God what are you trying to teach me?” I’m still trying to hang on to Him rather stress myself out over all that is going on. I am so thankful that my God will never leave me nor forsake me. He has a purpose in all that has happened this week! Maybe I won’t learn all of the lessons right away, but I’m letting go of my own control, and holding on more to my Heavenly Father. What an adventure this will be!

Thoughts on Home

I recently returned from 3 weeks in my home state of Nebraska. It was an amazing time with family and friends, and I want to share some thoughts as I process my time there and adjust back to Texas.

During my first 10 months in Texas, I really felt like I had 2 homes. I still felt connected to my home in Nebraska, but I also loved my home here in Texas and the people who are around me here. This was my first time to be back in Nebraska since Christmas, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

I wasn’t prepared for the stark constrasts between my 2 homes that become more apparent to me while I was there. In Nebraska I was surrounded by open space, corn fields, farm pickups, small towns, and baseball caps. In Texas, I am surrounded by traffic, buildings, new cars, and cowboy hats (actually just kidding on the last one). Even though my family was very busy while I was in Nebraska, somehow life seemed more simple and layed back.

My roles are also very different in these two places. In Nebraska I am a daughter and controlling big sister. In Texas I am still figuring out my roles, but I am a working girl and will soon be a student. While I was home to visit, I felt like I slipped back into my Nebraska roles pretty easily.

It was hard to leave the life in Nebraska that is so familiar, the surroundings, my roles, my family, and come back to Texas. Even though Texas was my home for 10 months, coming back this time it felt a bit like a foreign culture.

But slowly, God is reminding me why this is my home too. Although I don’t have physical family here, I have lots of brothers and sisters in Christ, co-workers and friends. I do have a place here, even if I am still in the process of figuring that all out. Lots of traffic and big buildings might not be what I would see in Nebraska, but I can be excited for all of the reasons God has me here and accept the surroundings he has given me.

Ultimately, neither Nebraska nor Texas is really my home. My home is in heaven with my Father and I can’t wait for the day I get to go there! For now, he has given me peace about where he has placed me, and I pray I will be able to make wherever he sends me my home (away from home).

Do I Believe God Will?

If asked, most Christians would probably say, yes, God can do miracles. Jesus performed many miracles while He walked on the earth, and the early Christians saw many miraculous things happen. But, I think there is a difference in believing that God can do miracles, and knowing that God WILL do a miracle.

I recently watched a video produced by a guy who went around learning about miracles all over the world. Some of the miracles he discovered were pretty weird- people suddenly getting gold teeth, gold dust appearing in their Bibles and on their clothes- but others were what we might consider “typical” healing miracles to extraordinary miracles like people being raised from the dead.

Jesus said that we as Christians have the authority to do even greater miracles than He did. We have the power of the Holy Spirit, so why don’t we claim that power? Is is because we don’t have enough faith that God will do something incredible, unexplainable?

Miracles are happening in amazing numbers in China, Africa, and other areas. People in the Middle East are having dreams and visions of someone in white, and then they are meeting Christians who explain to them that this is Jesus and through this many are coming to know Jesus as their Savior.

Miracles are happening in the US too, but not in the numbers they are seeing in other places (at least we aren’t talking about it). Someone explained to me that Jesus did miracles so that the people would see who He was and know His power. In places today where Jesus is not known, miracles are a way to open the door for people to see His power and know His great love for them. In most places in the US people know about Jesus, or at least have an opportunity to hear about Him.

But when is the last time you heard a sermon about having the power to pray for someone’s healing? In the movie, the guy showed a church in California that sends out young people. First they pray, and ask God to show them where they should go and who to approach. God might give them a detail like Starbucks or a man with blue shirt. Then they go, and when they find that person, they ask them how they might pray for them. A friend of mine has also done this with her church in Seattle, and seen God do some pretty awesome things.

I know that God does miracles. But I tend to think He uses secondary things- if someone has a broken bone, God uses the doctors and a cast and medication to do the healing. But do I believe that God could put on someone’s heart to pray for that broken bone and it be healed? Is my God big enough to do something like that? Am I not allowing my faith to be stretched in this way?

These are just some of my thoughts on this. I certainly don’t have anything figured out, but I am asking God to show me how I can stretch my faith. I am trying to believe that the God I serve WILL do the miraculous.


Today I went to Dallas Baptist University to register for my fall classes. My first stop was at the office of my advisor to pick up the registration form he had filled out for me. The work-study student there gave me instructions for where to go next. The Registrar’s office, Financial aid, and Cashier’s office are all located in the student center, which is a really neat building. Everything went smoothly and I even got my ID card and got things figured out for paying for school for this semester. My last official stop was at the Security office to get my parking permit. After that I walked around in the library to get a feel for where I might do some of my studying on the day I have class. It’s really exciting to think that it’s not just the plan or my dream anymore, but that I will actually be starting grad school! Each time I have been on campus I’ve just felt this amazing peace, knowing that DBU is where I’m supposed to be. I’m thankful, since I followed God’s leading and applied before I had a chance to visit! I’m excited for what I’m going to learn in the next couple of years, and where God will take me from here.

People Group Highlight: Saudi Arabia

One of the places that has been on my heart ever since going to the mosque is Saudi Arabia. Here is some information about this country.

  • There are 44 people groups in the country of Saudi Arabia. 27 of them are considered unreached peoples.
  • Of the total population of 25,635,000, 86.5% are unreached, meaning there are less than 2% of the population that are Evangelical Christians, and less than 5% that are Christian Adherents.

  • 2.2% of the population is considered to be in the Nominal Church category, meaning there are very few if any known believers, but more than 5% Christian Adherents.

  • 7.5% of the population are in an area where there are more than 2% Evangelicals, and 3.7% are where there are more than 10% believers. However, most of these people groups are expats, from the US, Europe and some African countries.

  • Saudi Arabia borders Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Yemen

  • The Arab people groups within Saudi Arabia are considered to be 100% Muslim. There is a small presence of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity (mostly Roman Catholicism) among the expatriates living in Saudi Arabia.

  • On a persecution of Christians scale ranging from 1 being extreme persecution to 50 being very low persecution, Saudi Arabia ranks as a 2

  • Saudi Arabia once had a large Christian population. They were expelled when Islam gained control 1,300 years ago. It is now one of the least evangelized nations on earth. No Christian workers are permitted and all Christian “propaganda” banned. No Christian is permitted to set foot in Islam’s holiest city, Mecca.

  • Billions of dollars are spent every year to propagate Islam around the world – aid to countries considered sympathetic, building mosques, sending missionaries, literature, radio, etc. The Saudi government denies Christians the liberty to share their faith, yet demands this liberty for Muslims living elsewhere. Some of the world’s largest printing presses are in Saudi and churn out 28 million Qur’ans annually for worldwide distribution.

  • Christian expatriates live under strict surveillance. Secret gatherings are hunted down with diligence and leaders are sometimes subjected to humiliating beatings, imprisonment, expulsion, and even execution. This is particularly so for Asian Christians who have often been the most effective witnesses and whose governments have the least international clout. There are perhaps only 50,000 practicing believers, although many more would join them were the risks not so great. Pray for encouragement and strength for the believing community. There are few opportunities to meaningfully interact with Saudis, and very few expatriates speak Arabic.

Please pray with me for the peoples of Saudi Arabia.

  1. Pray that God would open doors for the love and Truth of Jesus to be shared with the Muslim people of Saudi Arabia.
  2. Pray for the believers who are there to be bold and strong in their faith
  3. Pray for creative ways for Christian expats to enter the country and share their faith

Information from: