Yesterday was Memorial Day, and as I decorated my parents,
grandparents and aunt’s gravesites, I thanked God for the amazing spiritual
heritage they passed on to me.
My grandparents, Rev. Lawrence and Ruby Dickerson, pastored
Nazarene churches until Grandpa entered the field of evangelism in his
final years. Grandmother made chocolate pie and fried chicken like none
I’ve ever tasted. It was always such a joy to have dinner in their home!
My aunt, Maurine Dickerson, passed away at age 95. She started the
library—from scratch—at Mid-America Nazarene University when the
campus first opened. When she retired, she traveled to several other
Nazarene universities around the world and volunteered to bring their
libraries up to date. Always full of energy; always loving people.
My folks, Dr. Elmer B. Shellenberger and Marjorie were both
teachers. Mom taught first grade, and Dad was chairman of the School of
Business at SNU for years. We used to say, “Mom starts them off, and Dad
finishes them up.”
During my childhood, Friday night was Family Night, and it started
with the four of us eating out—at McDonalds. Burgers were 15 cents then.
Kent always got two. Mom always brought dessert, and we ate in the car. It
was a fun Friday night tradition.
But you know what’s even more memorable than the chocolate pies,
burgers and fun traditions? The spiritual solidity they modeled.
My brother and I were taught we could pray about everything. We
knew God heard our prayers and would sustain us, strengthen us and
guide us. Sometimes Dad would turn off the TV and say, “Let’s have family altar.” And wherever we were seated in the family room, we’d turn
around and kneel. And pray. And give God our needs, thank Him for His
blessings and ask for His protection.
I grew up with a praying family.
We didn’t simply pray before meals; we made prayer part of our
lifestyle. I thought all Christian families did that. Now that I’m an adult, I
realize how rare this is. And that’s sad. Shouldn’t this be norm?
Why wouldn’t a Christian family pray together (besides dinnertime)?
Why wouldn’t a Christian husband and wife read the Bible together, truly
seek God in prayer and grow spiritually as a couple? Why wouldn’t a
Christian man be the spiritual leader in his family?
I’m grateful for my spiritual heritage . . . and I realize even though I’m
single, I can still pass on a spiritual heritage to those with whom I come in
What about you?
Could this be a good time for you and your spouse . . . or you and
your family to start “family altar” or family devotions . . . to set aside some
time to read the Bible together . . . to develop a strong spiritual heritage to
be passed along to those who follow?
——- —– —–
I sure love and appreciate you! I’m grateful for the time you take to
read these thoughts and pray for me. I hope you know what a blessing you
are to me.
I’m hoping to begin speaking again the end of July—first of August.
Meanwhile, if you feel God leading you to make a financial donation to
Susie Shellenberger Ministries, you can mail a check to me at 7012 N.
Lake Front Drive, Warr Acres, OK 73132, and I’ll send you a tax donation
receipt because I’m a 501 C-3 non-profit.