Heart Choices: Thankful Thursday ~ Godly Legacy -->

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Thankful Thursday ~ Godly Legacy

It's Thankful Thursday and Lynn of Spiritually Unequal Marriage is our host for this month.

I joined a Facebook group called Salem Gospel Tabernacle.  This is a church in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York and it's where both of my parents grew up, met and eventually married in 1950.

Joyce Lighari who blogs at Sounds of Hope, is a new friend I met after she read a post I wrote about my grandfather.  She also grew up in the Norwegian section of Brooklyn and went to Salem.  She is the coordinator of the Facebook group and has been encouraging everyone to add their photos from years ago.

I'm so thankful for the Godly legacy I have as I see my relatives in many of the photos.  My Grandpa Sumstad (my dad's father) is in the top row, 2nd from the left.  My mom's mother and father are standing next to him.  And in the first row of ladies seated 6th from the left is my Nana.

My parents and grandparents moved out of the city to Long Island in 1950.  I knew that my grandfather had conducted home Bible studies but hadn't realized that was the start of the Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle.  I found this posted on the Facebook group and as I read it, I had tears in my eyes.

I have such wonderful memories of my Grandpa Sumstad.  Every time I spent the night at his house, I would find him sitting in his chair with his Bible.  He would be there first thing in the morning and again at night before getting ready for bed.  I can tell  you that sticks in the memory banks of a child.

This is the hall they rented when they moved the Bible studies from his house.  I remember this place but eventually they built a church in Smithtown which became the Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle.

What a privilege to have had godly people in my life.  But just because my grandparents were very faithful and walked with the Lord, I wasn't grandfathered into God's plan of salvation.  I had to come to a place of my own when I finally surrendered to Him for myself.

I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart at the age of seven.  However, I was a bit of a prodigal for many years.  It wasn't until my grandmother's funeral that I was so convicted and returned to church.  I was so hungry to read the Bible and grow in my relationship with the Lord.  He transformed me and I still continue to grow.

How thankful I am for the people in my life who prayed for me ...even when they didn't see much transformation happening. 

God didn't give up on me and neither did my grandparents.  They prayed for me and their prayers were answered.

I continue to study Ann Spangler's "Praying the Names of God" and the focus for this week is on God as Yahweh Nissi or my banner.  Ann writes about trusting God with your loved ones' lives. 

Even if you've prayed for your children or spouse and they aren't living as you  hoped they would, remember to pray to God as Yahweh Nissi.  Trust Him with your loved ones and you will not be disappointed.  You may not see fruit yet but ...don't give up praying for them.

How thankful I am for the people who continued to pray for me. 

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Such a beautiful, precious legacy my friend.

  2. Indeed, praying for loved ones is so important. Thank you for reminding us all of how important it is.

  3. How awesome and inspiring to know that Godly grandparents were praying for you and God answered their prayers!
    Great thankful post!

  4. How cool is that?

    God is amazing and His love is UNFAILING!

    God is MIGHTY to save!

    God rejoices over us with singing!

    God performs miracles today! Trust in His promises to bring your family and friends to Him in His perfect timing!

    Love you,

  5. That was wonderful Debbie. That little church reminded me of dad's little church in Long Island, and the childhood 'picture' in your heart of your Grandpa Sumstad with his Bible morning and night... how right you are! It never leaves the mind of that child,and has influenced both you and I as we have grown up. How blessed we are!!!

    I also figured out along the way that 'God has no grandchildren'... we each choose, but to have the introduction we both did... I'm eternally thankful for, as I know you are too. Precious, precious post!

    Love you.

  6. Oh I loved reading this!!! Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Wow! You come from some pretty neat people! Thank you so much for sharing!

    And you are right - what a blessing it was for you to have people praying for you. Thanks for reminding me to pray for some precious people in my own life :)

    I hope you are having a great week! Many blessings to you, friend!

    Kate :)

  8. That's a wonderful heritage. Beautiful memories.....and encouragement. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, SusanD

  9. I LOVED this post Deb. How wonderful to have had such Godly grandparents. The memories you shared are such good ones. HUGS

  10. Thank you for your encouraging words!

  11. What a precious legacy of faith God has given you, Debbie, and I thank you for sharing it with us today. I loved reading about your grandparents' lives with the Lord and their influence on you. I am so thankful that our Father and our loved ones do not give up on us, and that they show us the importance of praying for others even when we may not see the results for somw time, if ever.

    I will indeed lift my prayers to Yahweh Nissi, my banner, for our children and their spouses to remain in Him, and for our grandchildren to come to know Him as Lord and Savior.

  12. Yes and Amen - we are so blessed for the heritage we have - the legacy. I sometimes think that I pray now even for the generation to come, those yet unborn. I imagine those saints did that too - and I now join in their prayers, for my children and beyond.
    Those prayers are all stored in heaven. We know that God has heard and will answer.

  13. what a beautiful legacy created I have one that is similiar the people of yester year were solid, hard people loved your post

  14. Wonderful post. It is such a blessing to grow up in a Christian home, and around Christian people. I took mine for granted until I was old enough to appreciate the value of it. Now, like you I'm SO grateful. ~Blessings~

  15. i love this post, debbie....very precious xoxo lylah

  16. Wonderful and such a remainder to me of the walk I walk before my children and my grandchildren one day.

  17. The legacy, our roots is very important for our vision in the future!

  18. You do them and the legacy they left you proud, my friend!


  19. Oh Debbie,

    I want to just cry. This is what living our faith is all about. The living legacy. It is awesome to see the photos and the article just is astounding.

    Girl, our Lord's amazing community of believers is rich and I can't wait to meet your Grandpa in heaven one day. Love you my friend.

  20. Neither of my children walk with the Lord. It's easy to lose hope for them. Thanks for the encouragement.

  21. Dear Debbie,
    A mighty testimony from the Salem church in Brooklyn. I went over to Facebook and had a good time along memory lane. Even if I did not find any of my people there, I grew up in a Salem church in Sauda/Norway, and Just seeing the people triggered happy memories.
    The text surrounding the great organ is from John1: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

    How they were eager and burning, our grandparents.
    I often praise God that prayers don't expire on date.
    Each prayer said for you Debbie, is still alive in front of God. There's even some from me in that prayer pile said to remind God to take care of you always in any circumstance you might be.
    Never, ever will you be alone.

    I know you most certainly have enough to do in your life.
    If you should ever have a spare moment, I recommend the blog of Lidj of Crown of Beauty to you. Somehow her last post of April 19th made me think, and pray for you.
    Have a blessed week.end.
    From Felisol


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