Last week, we celebrated a life well lived at the Foursquare Convention in Anaheim. And as I know this man well, his life has left behind a wake of God’s touch on the world and waves and waves of impact in a family with ongoing influence through the generations.
And this is as good of a reason as any to get back into the swing of blogging after an extended hiatus. His heritage has left a huge imprint on his family.
One of the sweet things I look forward to each year at convention is when our movement pauses for a moment to honor those who have served in ministry for a lifetime (50 and 60 years). I love stopping to say thank you to those who have stayed in the game for the long haul. These men and women are the people I want to live like, far more than the convention speakers.
On Tuesday morning of the Anaheim Convention, Tina’s grandfather, Gary Robinson, was honored among these pillars of the Foursquare Church. Each and every one of these people have given of their life and served people and followed Jesus’ call day-by-day with the longview in mind. They not only started strong but finished well. From my vantage point, that matters far more to me than someone who burned bright momentarily only to burn out. I respect them all, but this year there was one of the honored elders of our movement that I had a special connection to as I have gotten to see his life from an inside view.
To me, he is one of my heroes. Why? Because he lived like his faith mattered.
Over the years, I took Gary on as my own grandfather as he loved me like his own grandson. As I got to see him as a person, I grew to admire Gary more and more for his passion. His passion for the Lord was not just a thing seen in public but a thing he carried deep in his heart. His faith, his relationship with God simply exuded from his being. When you spent time with Gary, you knew you were with a man who spent time with the heavenly father.
But it didn’t start this way for Gary.
As a young man who grew up as a thug street gang leader in the 40s, God and godly living were not on his mind. The great story made short goes like this: God got a hold of Gary and never let go. Once this teenage hooligan decided that God was right and true, he gave his whole life over and never looked back. He determined to live his life like it counted. He decided either the stuff in the Bible is true or it isn’t, and he decided to live like it was true. And he saw God show up again and again in powerful, powerful ways throughout his life.
He has incredible stories of the miracle-working God.
Listen to this great message he recently gave sharing the stories of a man of faith. Click here for podcast.
- He saw God stop the rain.
- He saw God raise a dead woman when he laid hands on her.
- He saw God do extraordinary miracles such as: Blind eyes seeing, crippled walking, the sick being made well, and many, many more.
Gary lived a life of faith with God showing his faithfulness time and time again.
But to me, the most impacting and powerful story of Grandpa’s life is his legacy. A man who grew up far from God without family or friends with a godly heritage. All of that changed when he determined to live a new way with Jesus as his Lord. He married a beautiful woman who was saved off of the street as a child. Together they saw God transform their life and their families trajectory. They determined to live full on for God, to live with abandon in the way of Jesus with no holds barred. This was not a life of faith exhibited for public or only on Sunday morning but a life of deep faith at home.
His story has been shared again and again as it gets passed on through his children and grandchildren.
His son followed in his footsteps and has pastored for decades, well on his way to a 50-year pin.
But the best of all is what you could see in the picture here (not including one grandson who had to leave early). Gary had two kids and four grandchildren. Each of his grandchildren are serving God in ministry. My wife, his eldest, and I were missionaries and serve on staff at a local church. The next granddaughter serves as an executive pastor. His eldest grandson is on a pathway to plant a church in the near future while his youngest grandson recently came back from two months in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya for a medical mission.
The family gathered to celebrate a life well lived, but the reality is that his life will continue to live on in his grandchildren and great grandchildren. We love you Grandpa.