Photo Credit: Gavin Whitner of MusicOomph.com
Last night I had the privilege of sitting on the front row of First Baptist Grapeland and watching 99-year-old Mrs. Estella Brown play the piano for the evening service. Keep in mind that this was not a one-time special music; she does this every Sunday night.
What amazes me about Mrs. Brown playing that piano isn’t so much that she is old and her fingers flawlessly work those ivories, it is the fact that she smiles, sings a bit and rejoices as she plays. She is playing for the Lord!
I don’t have a goal to live to be 99. However, I do have a goal to be joyfully serving the Savior until He returns or takes me home. Mrs. Brown’s life is a great reminder of how to accomplish that goal. Here are some lessons we would all do well to glean from her life:
- Praise the Lord in all circumstances. Whenever someone asks her how she is doing her reply is: “Just praising the Lord.”
- Shun idleness and never stop serving. I realize the priests in the Bible did retire. However, I doubt they ever sidelined themselves to only complain about their aches and pains. Mrs. Brown retired from the mission field in Africa and went to serve as a nurse at Frontier Camp. She retired from nursing and yet continued on with the Mailbox Club (camp’s outreach program). She retired from the Mailbox Club and yet continued with playing the piano for church, teaching a Bible study in the local youth prison, serving in the Christian Coalition and the list goes on.
- Disciple others. Mrs. Brown always made sure to replace herself before leaving a ministry like the mailbox club or heading up the Day of Prayer. These ministries continue strong today because of her passing of the baton.
- Exercise daily. Mrs. Brown still exercises each day including sit ups. Her world doesn’t revolve around exercise but it is a part of her daily discipline.
- Have a heart for the world. Mrs. Brown still follows mission work all around the world and labors in prayer for these works.
Interestingly enough I immediately thought of one or more Scriptures with each item on the list above. Here are some of the corresponding Scriptures:
- “Rejoice in the Lord and pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” –1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.”–2 Thessalonians 3:6
- “For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.”–1 Corinthians 4:17
- “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” –1 Timothy 4:8 5. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”–Matthew 28:19a
The fact that Mrs. Brown holds to certain core values and each one of those values has clear Scriptures to promote those in her life should bring us to the ultimate conclusion…stay in the Word. Learn It. Live it out. Thank you Mrs. Brown for doing just that.