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October 2018

Autumn Hope . . . a poem














Autumn Hope

by Ryan M. Roberts

Autumn leaves flame out as they make their descent 

through the cool harvest air.

Their brilliant colors wane under foot;

    broken and crushed into the darkening earth below.

Yet even in death they yield a harvest.

Hidden in winter depths, their embers glow;


    fueling hope,

expectant for the spark of new life.


- Isaiah 55:8-9 -

all in, all the time — one long obedient response

WS0036799-1_20181022Yesterday I slipped away from school for a couple of hours and attended and participated in Volney Johnson’s funeral. It was a grand occasion, celebrating a life well-lived and remembering an amazing man for the Lord. He lived for 95 years. He was a man of prayer and loving boldness in sharing the Lord with those around him.

As his granddaughters stood and shared memories about him in the memorial service, I heard a recurring theme:

"Grandpa was all in, all the time. He was at our games, teaching us to do things, working with us on chores, always present—physically and relationally, spending time, giving attention, speaking life."

I guess the adage is true,

that "children, and grandchildren, spell love, t-i-m-e."

What a powerful testimony his life was. What a challenge and inspiration it is to me. With thoughts of Volney on my mind this morning, I was captured by these words in Ps. 119: 28-32, MSG,

[Dear God}

. . . build me up again by your Word.

Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;

grace me with your clear revelation.


I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me . . .


I’ll run the course you lay out for me . . .

just show me how.


[Help me to] stay the course . . .

my whole life one long, obedient response.

Volney’s life, although not influential and powerful from the standpoint of the world, was and is, a shining star in God’s economy. He ran the course for Jesus—all in, all the time—his whole life one long, obedient response.

God help me.

I thank God for Volney Johnson.