Thursday, February 28, 2013


My Grandpa is amazing.  Norman Bollinger turned 89 years old today, and just talking with him on the phone is inspiration enough to keep me encouraged for a longtime.  This pic was last summer when we were able to make a trip to Minnesota.  He and my Grandma have devotions every day, and they pray for the entire family every day.  Getting to join them in that time is a tremendous blessing.  Olivia was excited to read along with him.

At 89, he's been retired for a few years.  He's the hardest working and most consistent person I've ever been around.  He's had a few different careers, the last of which was a courier driver.  He drove a gutted 15 passenger fan that he filled with any number of things.  He would drive as close as down the street or as far as across the country.  They have driven down to see us at least once each of the last few years.  They are amazing.  He's a faithful husband, a loving father, a compassionate grandfather, an excited great-grandfather, a humble servant, a fixer of anything broken, and a student of the Bible.  Recently, he even wrote a thorough research paper on the Holy Spirit which was brilliant.

I called this morning to wish him a happy birthday, and somehow the conversation gets around to how they are praying for us and believing God on our behalf.  Some people pushing 90 simply rely on former stories of faith and past knowledge of the Word, but he presses in every day for fresh fire.  I'll never forget several years ago when he was diagnosed with skin cancer.  His response was, "Well, I guess I'll give thanks in this circumstance, too."

I hate the we are separated by over a thousand miles, and I wish every day that I could spend more time with him.  I attribute a great deal of who I am to his influence and prayers. The wisdom he has attained has come with some cost, but through trials and pain, he's never complained - not one time. His faithfulness is something that I aspire after.

Today as I was making a big deal of him being 89, he said he talked to his sister who was already 90 and he told her she was REALLY an old lady... told like only my Grandpa could.

Grandpa, I don't know how you manage to run laps around people 20 years your junior, but you do.  I don't know you keep the Lord's commands so fresh and relevant, but you do.  I don't know how you live life with such contentment and joy, but you do.  I hope Angeno's is delicious tonight, and I hope you have a tremendous birthday.  You are amazing, and I'm so grateful for you.  I (we) love you so much.

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