Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easter Birthday Story. . .


Life wasn't easy back in the early 1920's.
Opportunity to work in the sawmills had come along,
so the Brown family had loaded up to make the move
from central Missouri to Oklahoma.
The influenza epidemic had hit the family hard
and two little girls had been taken from them.
Hardship was a familiar visitor.

But they were building a new life in that sawmill camp.
Fern, the teen aged daughter noticed a change in her mother.
She told of asking her mom..."are you in the family way?",
to which Mom replied..."we don't talk about those things".

It was Easter, April 20th , 1924.
There in the tent where the family lived,
a blonde haired baby boy was born,
giving reason for the family to rejoice
on that Sunday in Oklahoma.

Years passed.
The family returned to Missouri.
Baby Duane grew up with his Mom seeing that
he attended Sunday School.
He left school after the 8th grade to work on the farmlands
in the Missouri River bottoms near New Franklin,
helping support his parents during the hard times of the depression.
Time went on & he went to serve his country,
becoming a military policeman in the Army/Air Force.
WWII ended & he returned home,
met & married the love of his life,
& moved to the little town of Hallsville.
I was born to them in 1949,
along with two more children later on.

There was a group of people wanting to start a new church
in that little town, so they rented an old bank building
and scheduled revival services.
Mom had started attending earlier & wanted Dad to go with her.
It was Easter Sunday, 1952
and Dad had no excuse to stay home.
So they dressed in their finest & went to the services
where Dad's heart was greatly touched
and he surrendered that day to Jesus.

We faithfully attended the little white block building
that housed the Church of God (Holiness).
I was 3 years old when Dad & Mom were saved
so my memories have always been of going to church.
It was never questioned.
If the church doors were open, we went.

And I vividly remember, when the opportunity for testimonies was given,
Dad would stand to his feet & tell of his two Easter births.
The first on that Easter Sunday morning,
in a camp tent in the Oklahoma sawmills.

The second his "re-birth" in Christ on the Easter Sunday morning
so very long ago.
I can still hear his baritone voice bellowing out
"Up From the Grave He Arose",
and can still imagine the tears of joy trickling down his cheek
as we joined in song, singing those special Easter hymns,
"I Serve A Risen Savior
...He Lives"!!!

This would have been Dad's 90th birthday.
If he would have been sitting beside me at church this morning,
he would have no doubt stood to his feet
and told of his two Easter birthdays.
No matter where we were, I knew he would tell of
how he was born twice on Easter...
one by his birth mother,
the other by his Heavenly Father.
Given the opportunity,
he always testified of his salvation
on Easter Sunday.

Happy birthday, dear Dad!