Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Never Forgotten...Always Loved: The Heart of God Toward You

The Heart of God Toward You
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?... For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35, 38, 39).


God will never leave you empty. If something is taken away, He will replace it with something better. If He denies your request in a certain area, it is because He wishes to give you what is best. If He asks you to put something down, it is so you can pick up something greater. God is not the great denier, but the great giver. He is not a robber, but the bestower of every good and perfect gift.

#meetinginthemeadow #roylessin #neverforgotten #photobymarinabromley #hummingbird 

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 27, 2022

My Monday Prayer: Untangled Knots

My Monday Prayer: Untangled Knots
-Roy Lessin and Marina Bromley

Untangled Knots
-Roy Lessin

Every valley shall be raised, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged places a broad valley. Isaiah 40:4 AMPC

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? Jeremiah 32:27 NKJV


How are we to respond to problems we cannot solve, to differences we cannot reconcile, to difficulties we cannot fix, to heartaches we cannot heal, to tensions we cannot ease? The answer is not to struggle, to strive, or to attempt to work things out in our own wisdom and strength. These are the times when we need to remain hopeful, to renew our trust in the Lord, and to place things in His skilled hands. Only He can heal what we cannot mend, reconcile what we cannot restore, and untangle what we cannot untie.

My Monday Prayer
-Marina Bromley

Lord, today my life seems a tangle of problems, issues, situations. Some I can not even clearly identify, yet I know that they are there, in the center of all the mess I can see.

Father, I know that You alone are the One who can clear this messy up—You see the center root of my issues, You know what I'm doing to make it worse, You know my desire to see it all straightened up, the crooked made straight, the ugly made beautiful, the desolate blooming again. 

Lord, I submit myself to You. I can not make things go away. I can not make people change. I can not change points of view, people's circumstances or expectations, but I can control me and my reactions, and believe that You know it all. You were there at the beginning, and You will be with me in the end.

Father, in submitting to You I am asking You to take hold of my own expectations and molding them to Yours. Change my point of view, and make me to be more like You. Help me to trust that You are at work in it all, and help me to believe that Your timing will be perfect in my life and the situations going on. You are the One who made beauty from ashes, who gave sight to the blind man, who made the leper healed. I trust You to work in my ugly, my blindness, my sickness. Let me only remember to return to You with praise on my lips, both while we are in the midst of the suffering or on the journey towards healing. I trust You with today, and tomorrow too. It's in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

#meetinginthemeadow #mymondayprayer #roylessin #aplaceathistable 
©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Adapted from the book, "A Place at His Table." Used with permission. Photo by Shannon Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter 3, I Don’t Believe a Whale Swallowed Jonah

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter 3, I Don’t Believe a Whale Swallowed Jonah
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

God has not called us to the place of perfect service,
But to the place of faithful service…
Not to the place of work without rest,
But to the place of rest in our work…
Not to the place of making everyone happy,
But to the place of pleasing Him.


One of the things that didn’t change in my life was my smoking habit. I had been at it for a long time. As a young boy of twelve, I would visit the tall metal cigarette machine that sat near the entrance to a small city park about three blocks from our house. The machine took quarters (a pack was only 25 cents). Across the front, hidden behind a protective glass cover, was an assortment of various brands of cigarettes. When I dropped my quarter into the slot I usually pulled the handle in front of the package that read “Chesterfield.”

I selected Chesterfield, not because I was a connoisseur on cigarettes, but because it was the brand my mother smoked. I had stumbled across her cigarette supply one day while she was out shopping. There they were, several packs stacked in the top shelf of the linen closet. They all read, “Chesterfield.” I immediately took down the top pack from the shelf. It was open. I carefully pulled out one cigarette and then replaced the pack on the top of the stack. It was the first cigarette I ever smoked. By the time I reached college I was smoking two or three packs a day—by this time I had become a “Marlboro Man.”

“You’re a hypocrite.” Don yelled.

“What are you talking about?” I responded.

“You claim to be a Christian and yet you still smoke. What a hypocrite!” (At that time I wasn’t familiar with the phrase, “If you want to know how to live the Christian life, just ask a non-believer.”)

“What’s the big deal?” I murmured.

“Hypocrite!” He reiterated.

His accusations didn’t impress me and I saw nothing wrong with my habit, except that it was a habit. The assaults from my brother continued for many days as he continued to play the “hypocrite card.” Even though I remained unresponsive to his assault, I was soon to learn another very important lesson about the Christian life—just because the Lord doesn’t make something an issue right now, it does not mean He never will.

My smoking habit became an “issue” one night around bedtime. I developed what seemed like the world’s worst toothache. I was in agony. I laid down as gently as I could upon my bed hoping for some relief. It didn’t come. In desperation I cried out to the Lord, “Help me, Father, and take away this pain.” His answer to my prayer was instant and unexpected. Instead of the pain leaving, the sound of a still small voice entered my spirit, “Your smoking is keeping your brother from coming to Me.”

That’s all I heard, but it was enough. In that moment I understood why my brother was giving me such a bad time about my smoking. It wasn’t that he was really having a problem with me; it was that he was having a problem with his sin. God was dealing with his heart and rather than give in, he was using my smoking as a way of excusing his own rebellion.

“God,” I prayed, “take away my desire to smoke. Break this habit in my life so that my brother may come to You.” At the end of that prayer my toothache instantly went away. I got up, took the pack of cigarettes off the table and threw them in the trash. I never picked one up again.

Without being able to use my cigarette smoking to attack me, my brother grew strangely quiet. His manner and disposition seemed to change and I could sense, as the days went by, that something was stirring within him. In the meantime, I continued to attend classes at Valley College. While attending a science class one fall afternoon, I became troubled by the comments of my professor. Out of nowhere, he began to speak negatively about Jesus Christ, mocking Him in a joking manner.

“I don’t get it,” I thought, “why is He saying those things, and why is Jesus such a problem to him.” As the days passed, and I started getting deeper into my studies, I became more and more restless.

My long-range goal to become a high school football coach started to feel like an old pair of shoes that no longer fit my feet, at the same time a new desire was beginning to form within me.

“I know nothing about the Bible,” I thought, “I wonder where I can go to learn more?” Like a new sunrise breaking forth upon the land, I began to sense that God had something very different planned for my life—different from Valley College, different from coaching, and different from living in my apartment.  By late fall I dropped out of school.

“I think it’s time for a move,” I told Don one night. “I have no plans of going back to Valley College and I want to learn more about the Bible. I’ve talked with dad and he told me there’s a small vacant cottage just below his house that I could stay in for free. It sounds like a perfect setup for me right now and I’ve decided to take him up on the offer.” (At this time, my dad was remarried and he and his wife Carol had started a second family.) 

Don looked at me without responding. I had no idea what he was thinking and I was not prepared for his response when he finally gave it…

“I’d like to move in with you, if it’s okay?”

I was shocked, amazed, and bewildered all at the same time—after all these years of me following him, he wanted to follow me.

After catching my breath I said, “Sure, come along.”

The rustic wooden cottage we moved to was located on a hillside property in Eagle Rock, California.  My dad’s house was located at the top of the hill. There was a large shaded patio area in front of his house and around the back were some stone steps leading down to the cottage below. Not far from the front door of the cottage a long flight of steep steps led straight down the hill to the street below. The cottage was secluded and sheltered by tall Cyprus and Eucalyptus trees with Jasmine bushes bordering the yard. It was the perfect place for privacy and quiet study. It stood in great contrast to the treeless, all cement apartment building near Valley College. Gone were the drinking parties, the noise and activity around the community swimming pool, and the constant coming and going of the residents that lived there.

The first church I ever attended was Eagle Rock Covenant Church. I would accompany my dad and his family whenever they would go for a service or church activity. Once in awhile, without informing us, Don would sneak into a Sunday night service and sit at the back of the sanctuary. We never talked to him during those visits because he would slip out before the service ended. I knew something was going on inside him, but he wouldn’t talk about it and I never pushed him for information. After visiting the church for a few weeks I met someone who was an executive at World Vision. He told me they were in need of some help in the mail order department and through his recommendation Don and I were hired.

My time became divided between World Vision, Eagle Rock Covenant Church, and occasional Bible studies with my dad and his wife Carol. It was during those times that my faith was being built. I would often hear stories of how God taught my dad to trust Him to meet his daily needs.

One of those stories indirectly related to me. After my mom divorced my dad, he had the responsibility of sending her a weekly check for child support. At the time, he had no money in the bank and no regular paying job. Not knowing what to do, he got before the Lord and asked Him to provide the weekly support he needed for his two boys. That very week, on a Friday, a Christian business man was making out his weekly payroll (The man knew my dad through some earlier business contacts). When the man had written his payroll checks, and was about to close his checkbook, he heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit speak to him, “I want you to make out a check to Joseph Lessin and mail it to him.” When my dad received the check in the mail a few days later, it was made out for the exact amount needed to send to my mom. The next week, when the business man was making out his payroll again, he heard the Holy Spirit say the same thing as the week before, “Make out a check to Joseph Lessin,” but this time, the Holy Spirit added one more thing, “I want you to continue to do this every time you make out your payroll.” My dad never lacked the support money we needed during that time.

One of the things I remained ignorant of during those early weeks and months of my Christian life was the work God was doing in my brother’s life. I didn’t find out until much later that just before we moved out of our apartment near Valley College, my brother had a major encounter with God. It happened one night while I was out of the apartment. Don was home alone watching TV. He was sitting on the living room couch with a can of beer in his hand when the Billy Graham Crusade from Philadelphia came on the air. Don watched with casual interest while he sipped on his beer. As the telecast drew to a close, Billy Graham turned his eyes toward the camera and said, “Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…’” and then Billy Graham added, “There is no other way!” The Holy Spirit took those words and wrote them upon my brother’s mind. He couldn’t shake it. “There is no other way! There is no other way!”

Had I known what was going on within Don at that time, I would have better understood why he wanted to make the move with me to Eagle Rock.

The cottage in Eagle Rock was “cozy” to say the least. It had one small bedroom, a tiny bathroom, a small living room area, and an even smaller kitchen and dining area. I gave Don the bedroom and I slept on the couch in the living room. It worked out pretty well with the exception of one hair-raising night. I was tired and had gone to bed early. It was about 11:00 PM when I first heard Don’s voice coming to me in a very strong but hushed manner. “Roy, wake up…Roy, wake up.” I stirred and finally awoke. My head was foggy and I couldn’t make out what was going on. “Roy, get up slowly.” I turned and saw Don standing by the front door of the cottage.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“There’s a skunk under the couch.”

“What? How did that happen?”

“I stepped outside for a few minutes and forgot to shut the front door.” Don replied. “As I was coming back I saw the skunk come into the apartment. I came up to the door and watched him go under the couch.”

“What should I do?

“Get up as slowly as you can and head for the door as fast as you can.”

I felt like a track star in the Summer Olympics. My high school football coach would have been impressed with my quick move and lightning speed. I made it to the front door before the skunk decided to leave his calling card. The odor was stifling and permeated the entire cottage, including the clothes closet. The aroma settled into the fabric of my Sunday dress outfit. I had no other choice but to wear it to church that Sunday and experienced what the Bible “might have meant” when it said, “Come ye out from among them and be ye separate says the Lord.” 

One crisp, cool morning in late November, as I was having breakfast in the cottage, Don came out of the bedroom and asked me a personal question,

“Roy, when you gave your life to Jesus Christ, how did you know you were saved.”

I was still very new in my use of Christian terminology, knew very few Bible verses, and understood almost nothing about Christian theology. My answer to Don’s question must have seemed ambiguous.

“Don, to be honest, I didn’t know how I knew I was saved, I just knew.”

With a puzzled look on his face, he turned, opened the front door and headed down the long flight of steps to his car which was parked at the bottom of the hill. He stood by his car for several minutes, just thinking, then turned around and climbed the steps back to the cottage. He walked up to me and with a confident voice and clear eyes he said, “Roy, I know!

He then went on to explain what had happened to him during the night…

“Last night, around 2:00 AM, I got up very troubled. Mentally and emotionally I was spent. I felt as if someone had buried an ax in the middle of my forehead. I knew I had tried everything I could to change my life, but nothing worked. I decided I wanted to know if what I had heard from dad through the years was really true. I knelt beside the bed and prayed, ‘God I am miserable. I don’t believe that the Red Sea parted or that a whale swallowed Jonah, but if everything my dad has told me about Jesus Christ is true, I want to know.’ I got up from my knees but nothing happened. Everything was quiet. No lights, no thunder, nothing! I went to bed very disappointed. Life seemed hopeless. It wasn’t until I stood in front of my car this morning that I realized something was different. I had peace, Roy, I had peace for the first time in my life.

#dayspring #meetinginthemeadow #roylessin #likethosewhodream #memoir #roylessinmemoir #dayspringcofounder #messianicjew 

©2022 DaySpring, used with permission. ©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Never Forgotten...Always Loved: The Mind of God Toward You

Never Forgotten...Always Loved: The Mind of God Toward You
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow


Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! (Isaiah 49:15 NIV).


Because I am faithful,
you can depend on Me.
Because I am wise,
you can turn to Me.
Because I am good,
you can walk with Me.
Because I am mighty,
you can lean on Me.
Because I am love,
you can trust in Me.


#meetinginthemeadow #neverforgotten #themindofgod #photobymarinabromley
©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 20, 2022

My Monday Prayer: He’s Always There

My Monday Prayer: He’s Always There
-Roy Lessin and Marina Bromley

He's Always There
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you. Psalm 55:22 NKJV


We can be thankful Jesus is “always there”—there in our need, there in our weakness, there in our struggles, there in our tears, there in our burdens.

When Jesus came, He didn’t come to seek and save those who “had it all together.” He didn’t look for those who would place few demands upon Him. He didn’t tell seekers He was a busy man and they needed to work things out for themselves.

Thankfully, Jesus welcomes us. He invites us to come to Him. He has assured us that when we come to Him, He will sustain us.

My Monday Prayer
-Marina Bromley

Jesus, thank You that You don't require or expect me to have it all together, or to meet qualifications to be a follower of You. I just need to believe that You are who You say You are. Jesus, the only Son of God.

Thank You that Your presence is constant, consistent, dependable. Even when I am inconsistent and my faith wavering, You sustain me. Lord, help me to believe more. Help my unbelief.

Strengthen my faith to believe that you ARE always with me, no matter how my day is going, how things look around me, whatever the news reports say. You are aware of it all, and You love me no matter what is going on in the world. Give me the childlike faith I need to pray challenging prayers—prayers that will grow my faith. Help me to trust that You have it all in control. You are aware of what is going on, and I do not need to worry about it or try to control it. I do not need to complain about it, or gossip about it. You know the truth of every situation, every detail, every outcome. I can rest in You today, trusting You to resolve all the injustice in my circumstances, my neighborhood, in the world. In Your name I ask these things, Jesus. Amen.


#mymondayprayer #aplaceathistable #roylessin #marinabromley #meetinginthemeadow #prayer #devotion

This is adapted from Roy's book, A Place at His Table, available through DaySpring and Christian bookstores everywhere.

©2022 DaySpring, Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow, used with permission. All rights reserved. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter Two, The Note

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter Two, The Note
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow


The confidence we have,
The trust we hold,
The hope we carry,
Rest in His faithfulness.


Following the night of August 15th, I settled into an uneventful schedule of attending classes and studying. The glamour of apartment life, away from home and on my own in the world, was quickly fading. I looked for ways to get invited to my mom’s house for a home cooked meal, or an opportunity to sink my teeth into the huge corned beef and pastrami sandwiches that she would pick up at Eddies’, the Jewish Kosher Deli around the block from her apartment.

All too often, I didn’t have enough money to visit a restaurant or shop for the ingredients needed to make a decent meal. My low point came the day I searched every inch of the kitchen to find something to eat. The only thing I could find was an old onion hidden in a dark corner under the kitchen sink. I reached in a grabbed it, peeled off the brown outer layers of skin and proceeded to eat it like an apple. I somehow managed to get it down, juice and all, but the aftertaste and aftereffects stayed with me for weeks.

My life as a new believer in Jesus Christ was going nowhere. I didn’t read my Bible, I knew of no church to attend and I was not acquainted with other believers. I was like a seed that had been planted but lacked the sunshine and the moisture to grow. However, there was one major change that took me quite by surprise. One day, while in my apartment, I was shocked to discover that I was no longer swearing. This was an amazing discovery to someone who freely let every imaginable profanity and vulgarity come out of his mouth whenever it seemed fitting to do so. “How could this be?” I wondered.

I was not on any self-improvement program to clean up my speech, and I hadn’t had my mouth washed out with soap since my mother caught me swearing when I was nine years old. It was my first indication of God’s amazing power to change a life. I was being cleaned up from the inside.

My sluggish progress as a Christian might have continued indefinitely if it hadn’t been for a handwritten note that came to our apartment mailbox in the early fall of that year. That perfectly timed note, as simple as it was, would change everything.

The note contained one short sentence, “How are you coming in your new found faith?” It was signed “Dad.” It was the first communication between us since my visit to his home a month earlier.

As I read the note, I was reminded of a brief conversation we had before I headed home on the freeway the night we knelt together by his couch…

“How will I tell my mom what I’ve done? I think it might kill her.”

Sensing my reluctance to speak about Christ, he immediately replied, “Let’s pray about it and ask God to prepare the way and the time for you to go see her.”

I agreed and we shared a brief time of prayer together. Before I left, my dad shared another Scripture with me, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).

Those words came to me with tremendous penetrating power. Like a homing pigeon, it entered into my innermost being and lodged there. Along with it, came the reality that if anyone from my family ever asked me if I believed in Jesus Christ I would have to confess that I did. However, I also determined that I was not about to volunteer the information to anyone.

Without giving it much thought, I folded the note and stuffed it into the back pocket of my Levis. That night, while getting ready for bed, I threw the Levis into our dirty clothes basket—I didn’t realize that Don was planning on washing our clothes at the Laundromat the following day. When I got up the next morning I found a clean pair of Levis, got dressed, ate what I could find in the fridge and headed out the door for classes. I was gone the entire morning; when I returned home in the afternoon, Don was waiting for me…

“I want to ask you something,”

“Sure,” I responded.

“When you went to Dad’s house last month for a visit, what happened?”

I froze in my place.

His eyes looked straight at me and his face demanded an answer.

Pressing the issue he continued, “Did you make some kind of spiritual decision?”

There it was! The question I hoped I would never hear.

“Why do you ask?” I quickly answered, playing dumb.

“I was doing laundry today and while I was cleaning out your pants I came across a note written by Dad. What did he mean when he said ‘Your new found faith?’”

I knew I had to answer. I knew I was being challenged to confess Christ before men for the first time as a believer, but could I do it? My thoughts raced back and forth. Finally, in a very roundabout way, almost apologetically, I finally got to the point, “Yes, I prayed with Dad that night and I became a believer in Jesus Christ.”

I do not remember my brother’s reaction to my words. At that moment, I was caught up with what was happening within me. It was a though a cork had been pulled from a bottle and the contents began pouring out. I didn’t fully realize all that was happening at that moment, but from that point on my Christian life took off. What my brother, or anyone else in our family thought or felt about my decision to follow Jesus Christ wouldn’t hold me back.

I had prayed that the Lord would prepare the time and the way for me to talk with my mother about my new-found faith. She was a very kind and understanding person, a good listener and easy to be with, but I also knew that since she and my dad had divorced, my mother had wanted me to keep away from what my dad believed. One fall afternoon, I knew it was God’s time to meet with her. We sat down together in her apartment and I opened up my heart and shared with her what I now believed and how my life had changed. I didn’t talk long, it wasn’t necessary. A few words said a lot! She listened intently but sadly. When I finished she remained silent. She didn’t get angry, and she didn’t reject me. Even though it wasn’t what she wanted to hear, I knew she would never close the door to our relationship.

#dayspring #meetinginthemeadow #roylessin #likethosewhodream #memoir #roylessinmemoir #dayspringcofounder #messianicjew 

©2022 DaySpring, used with permission. ©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Never Forgotten...Always Loved: The Heart of God Toward You

The Heart of God Toward You
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow


Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT). 

Trust Me as your Heavenly Father.
I am the guardian and keeper of your soul.
I watch over you with an everlasting love.
I am conforming you to My image and perfecting
My love within you. In Me is your identity,
your confidence, your courage and your strength.
You bear My name and I delight in calling you My child.


#meetinginthemeadow #theheartofgod #roylessin

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

My Monday Prayer: Past Day. This Day. That Day.

My Monday Prayer
-Roy Lessin and Marina Bromley

Past Day. This Day. That Day.
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow 

Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Psalm 96:2 NKJV


In past days without the Lord we were filled with darkness; this day we are flooded with light; in that day we will behold His glorious appearing.


In past days without the Lord we were filled with confusion; this day we have His peace; in that day we shall dwell with the Prince of Peace.


In past days without the Lord we were without hope; this day we look for the coming of the Lord; in that day we will be forever with the Lord.


In past days without the Lord we were paupers; in this day we are royal ambassadors; in that day we will reign with the King.

My Monday Prayer
-Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table

Lord, thank You for delivering me from the days of my past, for healing me and restoring me, and gifting me the salvation that only Jesus can give.

May I never take for granted where I am right now. I'm so grateful that You continue to give me Your Light, Your Peace, and keeping my gaze heavenward to my ultimate home with You.

Until that day, Lord, please help me to share the message of salvation that is free to all people. Remove fear, doubt, and any barrier set by man or spirit. Give me the confidence and wisdom of being Your Ambassador, to know Your Word and to share it with others. Help me to recognize the people You are putting in my path for me to nurture the seeds of faith that others have planted. I love you so much, and ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.


#mymondayprayer #meetinginthemeadow #marinaskitchentable #roylessin #pastday #thisday #thatday #prayer 

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow, Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table. Photo by Shannon Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.

This post has been adapted from A Seat at His Table by Roy Lessin. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The book is available through DaySpring and Christian retailers everywhere.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Prelude and Chapter 1

Like Those Who Dream: Prelude and Chapter 1
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Each Friday we will be including an excerpt from Roy's memoir, Like Those Who Dream. Since social media has character limitations, we regret that we can not always put the entire content there, but you can read each week's entry in its entirety at our blog, Meeting in the Meadow.
We pray that you are blessed by this week's entry!


As a pre-teen I attended Hebrew school at our local synagogue. Its main purpose was to help prepare me for my Bar Mitzvah at age thirteen. One day during class I asked my Hebrew school teacher who Jesus was. My teacher calmly explained that Jesus was Jewish and was a good man. He went on to say that at some point the Gentiles believed in Jesus as their God, and that the Jewish people believe only in One God. His answer satisfied me at the moment, but not fully. I filed his answer away in my memory and put it in a folder in my heart marked Things about Jesus I Want to Know More About.

A year before I would say goodbye to my teens, God took that folder from my heart and opened up its meaning to me. What I discovered changed my life forever, set me on a journey I never thought possible and completely took me by surprise…

Chapter 1
The Ten Year Prayer

How glorious it is for us to have the hands of Jesus upon our lives—

When Jesus stretched out His hands, it meant the extension of so many good things—His hands reached out and gathered the children to His side.


Before I became a teenager, my dad invited my older brother, Don, and me to his apartment for dinner. My mom and dad had divorced a few years earlier when he, an orthodox Jew, became a believer in Jesus Christ. Their marriage was in deep trouble before this, but his acceptance of Christ as his Savior and Messiah was the final blow to their fragile relationship.

My dad’s apartment, which was located above a garage, was small and simple. After our meal, we sat around the dining room table and talked. It didn’t take my dad long to direct the conversation toward our need for Jesus Christ. Don became fidgety. I was nervous, but interested. What I heard my dad say was drawing me in. The more he spoke, the more responsive I became. Slowly, like the unfolding of a great mystery, my heart began to understand what I was hearing. 

Don was five years older than I and his influence in my life was huge. He was my hero—I wanted to be with him, act like him, and do what he did. As my dad continued to speak, Don detected my responsiveness and didn’t like it. He grew angry and with a quick move hidden by the table, he kicked me. The toe of his shoe was on target and got my immediate attention. Quickly turning my head toward Don, I saw the anger in his face and became frightened. In that moment my responsiveness toward my dad was quenched and I turned my attention away from what he was saying.  (It wouldn’t be until the end of my teen years when I would once again become drawn to my dad’s words about Jesus Christ.) 


It was very common for my mom to quiz me after visits with my dad.

“What did your dad say to you tonight?” She would ask, after I returned from one of our outings which usually included dinner at a restaurant and a game of miniature golf.

“He didn’t say much,” I would reply, assuring her that he had not converted me to his beliefs.

“I want you to be careful not to believe what he believes,” she would cautiously remind me.

Her goal was to raise me to be a good Jewish boy. She sent me to Hebrew school at our local synagogue in order to prepare me for my Bar Mitzvah at the age of thirteen.

I wasn’t a very good student. Often, I would frustrate my teacher with my wrong answers, poor pronunciation, or restless conduct. I could easily bring him to a boiling point. I knew I was in trouble when he would reach into his desk drawer, pull out a wooden pencil, break it in half and yell, “Ach! Lessin!”

In spite of it all I stuck with the program, made all my Jewish relatives happy, completed my Bar Mitzvah, and gathered in a huge collection of gifts from family members and friends. Once completed, I quickly lost interest in the synagogue and never returned (except as an older teenager when I would visit the synagogue to steal bottles of liquor from the liquor closet.)

My years of deep rebellion began during my young teen years. Sin led to more sin and the spiral into darkness continued until the age of eighteen. At that point, some very unusual events took place that began to reawaken my spiritual interest.

It was 1960, and my dad had been invited to share his testimony at the International Gideon Convention in Los Angeles. My dad invited me to attend and for some unknown reason I accepted. 

The Gideon’s had a good reason to invite my dad to speak at their convention. In 1950, at the age of forty, my dad was a broken man. His business had failed, his health had failed, and his marriage was failing. He was looking at certain divorce and the reality of losing custody of his two sons. That thought, along with everything else that was caving in around him, drove him to despair. He decided he would take the lives of his family and then end his own life. Oddly enough, in the midst of all that turmoil he decided he would go to Las Vegas for “one last fling” and then come back to L.A. and end it all.

“You don’t belong here, Joe,” spoke an unfamiliar voice. Startled, my dad quickly turned to see who was speaking to him. The gambling casino was crowded with people but no one was within speaking distance. Puzzled, he tried to turn his interest back to the gambling tables, but soon lost interest and decided to return to his hotel room.

“Maybe I’ll write something,” he thought, but as he looked around the room he couldn’t find any writing paper.

“Maybe I’ll read.” Again, there was nothing in sight. He started opening some of the dresser drawers and once again came up empty. In one final attempt to find something to occupy his thoughts he opened the drawer in the nightstand. His eyes instantly fell upon a book. Curious, he picked it up and looked at the cover.

“A Bible!” He exclaimed.

He, who was raised an orthodox Jew and spent years in the Synagogue, had never seen an English Bible. Curious, he turned to the book of Genesis, sat down and started to read. The hours flew by as he read late into the night.

The next day he decided to check out of his room and return to LA. His plan to destroy his family was put on hold. Not knowing where he could get another Bible, he decided to steal it. He packed his clothes in his suitcase, where he also put the Gideon Bible along with an ashtray and a towel, which he also stole from the hotel. When he returned home, he hid the Bible. He kept it under the bed and read it secretly whenever he had the chance.

A few months passed and while reading in the book of Isaiah he came across the following passage, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

My dad’s eyes were opened. He knew that Jesus was the one the prophet spoke of, the one who was his Messiah and Savior. He fell to his knees and prayed, confessing that Jesus was his Messiah and asking God to save him. From that point on my dad radically changed. His fear of death vanished, peace entered his spirit and hope was born in his heart. He made every effort to restore his marriage but his beliefs were not welcomed and divorce quickly followed.

When the Gideon organization heard how one of their Bibles, stolen from a Las Vegas hotel room, had been used by God to help bring a Jewish man to a personal faith in Jesus Christ, they invited him to share his story at various Gideon gatherings. That led to his story being written in their national magazine and eventually an invitation to speak at their International Convention in 1960.

As my dad was concluding his testimony at the Gideon Convention he made a request to the large crowd gathered in the convention hall. “Please pray for my son, Roy,” he pleaded, “He will soon be going into the military and he is not saved.”

I sunk down in my seat, convinced that every eye in the place was on me. Although I was not aware of it at the time, there were people in that meeting who took my dad’s request to heart. A letter, which I received years later, spoke of the events that followed that meeting…

“Your father’s plea to pray for his son who was going into the army, hit my heart like a ton of lead!! I’ve always loved teenagers, and had just recently had to give up a huge high school Sunday School class. I for one went directly from that auditorium to the Burden Bearer’s prayer meeting room and with a dozen others fell on my knees to intercede. As I prayed for you my soul knew deep anguish. I told the others that we had to pray for you EARNESTLY and DESPERATELY, for all hell was fighting your salvation! Others came into the room and how we did pray. Glory was knee deep that night in the prayer room."


A few weeks after attending the Gideon International Convention I was being processed into the Army at Fort Ord, a military base located near Monterrey Bay, California. It was during my six months at Fort Ord that God began to deal with my heart in a strong way. It all started, when out of a curiosity to know about prophecy, I decided to read from the book of Revelation. I had kept a Bible tucked away in my foot locker. It was one my dad had given me when I left for military service. I accepted the gift, never thinking I would ever read it.

After reading several chapters in Revelation I came upon a passage that got my attention. I did not understand what I was reading, but my uneasiness made me aware that I was a candidate to receive judgment. Rather than face the fact that I was in trouble, I decided to put the Bible away and not read it again. However, my uneasiness and fear would not go away.

After finishing my six months of active duty in the Army Reserves I returned to Los Angeles, started college, moved into an apartment with my brother, Don, and found a job making pizza. I was studying to be a football coach, but was unaware of the change that would soon turn my world upside down. 

The apartment building we lived in was close to the college I was attending and the apartment units were filled with a lot of young people and young couples. Drinking and partying were common. We set up a bar in our apartment, became amateur bartenders and lined up the liquor bottles in our window sills after finishing them off.

It was during my first semester in college that my dad came to pay us a visit. When he saw the way we were living and our outward rebellion toward God, he became a discouraged man. He returned to his car with a heavy heart. After all the years of crying out to God on our behalf, he could not imagine two people more rebellious and hardened to the Gospel than his two sons.

“Deal with them as rebels,” he prayed, “I turn them over to you, Lord.” He left us in God’s hands and drove away, wondering what would become of us.

Summer break followed my first semester of college and I needed a job. When someone in the apartment building approached me about working with him for the summer, I quickly accepted. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the man I was working with was a crook. He did a great job of training me in the art of how to con money from gullible people who wanted something for nothing. Thankfully, our working relationship only lasted for the summer (Years later, he was arrested and spent time in prison. It was a reminder to me of what could have been if not for the mercies of God and the prayers of His people.) 

Before I started working with my neighbor, I had a belief system based upon my Jewish training of doing good works, and my limited knowledge of the Ten Commandments. Simply stated, I believed that if I kept more commandments than I had broken I would make God happy and when I died everything would turn out okay. Before the summer of 1960, according to my calculations, I had only broken four commandments and kept six; this gave me a false sense of security and I thought all was well. By the end of that summer my entire system of self-righteousness would be completely shattered!

It was late one summer night in a motel room in Sacramento that the reality of my sin and rebellion against God came crashing down upon me. In the darkness of my room the Holy Spirit moved upon my conscience, and the Commandments that I had used in an attempt to justify myself were now being used to condemn me. I knew I was guilty, lost and had no hope of ever making things right with God. I didn’t know what to do; in my anguish I called out to God, “Show me the way out.” It didn’t take God long to answer that prayer.

By the end of the summer I met a girl who was religious and attended an Academy in another state. Wanting to impress her, I decided to buy her a new Bible that she could use when she returned to school (I didn’t know that our relationship would be short lived and that the contact was used by God to get me back in touch with my dad.)

“Where do I buy a Bible?” I wondered. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my dad was the only person I knew who had any knowledge of Bibles.

It was mid-August when I picked up the phone and dialed my dad’s number. I didn’t often make contact with him.

“Hi Dad.”

“Hello Son.”

“I’ve something to ask you.”

“What is it?”

“I’ve recently met a girl that I’ve been dating. She goes to a religious school and I would like to buy her a Bible as a gift before she returns to her classes. Can you help me out?”

“Yes, I can help. Would you like to come over one night for dinner and we can talk about it.”

“That’s great. When should I come?”

We set the dinner date for August 15th. When I arrived, I thought my dad would be impressed that his son had met a religious girl and wanted to buy her a Bible. During the meal we talked about the new girl I’d met and briefly about Bibles, but the conversation soon turned to my own spiritual needs. We talked for nearly two hours about the Gospel and then the conversation became very personal.

“Are you ready to give your life to Jesus Christ?” my dad asked.

“Is this something I can try out?” I replied.

“No,” he responded, “Jesus is not an experiment, and He is not like an aspirin you take to see if it works. If you come to Him, you come all the way, with all your heart. You must receive Him as your Lord as well as your Savior.”

“If I believe what you have told me tonight, is that enough?” I asked.

“No,” my dad replied.

“How come?” I responded.

“If you were in the desert dying of thirst and I handed you a glass of water you would still die of thirst, even if you believed the water could save your life. You must drink the water for it to truly benefit you. Believing that Jesus can save you is important, but like that glass of water, you must receive Him into your life.”

When I heard those words I became very uncomfortable. I knew it meant a commitment on my part and I began to make excuses.

“I believe that what you said tonight is true, but I want to think about it and maybe we can talk again another time.”

Immediately, my dad replied with a Scripture, “Today is the day of salvation, now is the acceptable time.”

That verse put a roadblock in front of my excuse.

Feeling trapped, I came up with another excuse.

“What would my friends think…what would my mom think if I received Jesus?”

My dad immediately replied with another Scripture, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

I was trapped again, but this time I knew it was time for me to make a decision. I must either totally accept or totally reject what God was presenting to me that night through the Gospel.

My dad must have wondered, “Could my son, who seemed so far away from Jesus a few months ago, now be so very close. Could I be seeing the fulfillment of the promise God gave me years ago from the book of Isaiah, “Your sons will come from afar.” Could it be that tonight I will see the answer to a prayer that I have carried in my heart for ten long years?”

At last the struggle ended. My heart said, “Yes.” I had counted the cost. I knew what it meant. Jesus would not only be my Savior but also my Lord. I was ready to come to Him 100%. There was only one direction to go, only one set of footprints to follow, only one voice to obey, only one will to be done. I knelt down in front of my dad’s couch. He knelt beside me and we prayed. The prayer was simple, but real. My faith reached out and made contact with the living God.

On the drive back to my apartment that night my mind went over what had just taken place, what I had done, and what changes it would make in my life. No flashing lights went off, no earthquake, no goose bumps, but there was, deep within me, a knowing that between God and me everything was okay…

Had I known at the moment what I would soon face from my brother, my mother, and the rest of my family I might not have been so anxious to return to my apartment.

#likethosewhodream #roylessin #memoir #roylessinmemoir #meetinginthemeadow 

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. ©2021 DaySpring, used with permission. All rights reserved. Book available through DaySpring and other Christian online retailers. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Never Forgotten...Always Loved! The Mind of God Toward You

Never Forgotten...Always Loved! The Mind of God Toward You
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow


How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee (Psalm 139:17-18).

There is never a time you’re not in His thoughts,
never a time without grace,
never a time when He turns away
from any need you face.

There is never a time you’re not in His heart,
never a time without love,
never a time when you’re not blessed
with good things from above!


©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

My Monday Prayer: The Center

My Monday Prayer: The Center
-Roy Lessin and Marina Bromley

The Center
-Roy Lessin

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. Philippians 3:8 NLT


Jesus is the balancing point of life. He is the center of joy and giver of the peace that passes all understanding. He is at the heart of all contentment, and He is at the core of all completeness. He is the focal point of your faith and the epicenter from whom all blessings flow.

In all things and for all things you have Jesus. He is all wisdom, all power, all life, all love. To know Him, to treasure Him, and to have Him is to gain all.

My Monday Prayer
-Marina (Marina's Kitchen Table)

Father, empty me. Take away the things that occupy my time, distract me from You and Your Word, and keep me from letting You being my center. Break the chains of bondage that I have placed upon myself to the things I have chosen over You—instead of You. They can not co-exist with You in my life. I choose You.

I come to you now with empty hands, empty cups, depleted of my own resources. Everything I have is from You. Fill me with You. Help me to desire You above all else, to remain open to Your will for my life, and to seek Your face in all things. Make me aware of Your presence, and to recognize Your voice speaking truth. Be all wisdom, all power, all life, and all love in my life.

May I bring You glory, God, reflecting the Love and Light of Jesus into the world. Father, equip me. In Jesus' Name, amen.


#mymondayprayer #aplaceathistable #roylessin #marinabromley #meetinginthemeadow #thecenter 

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow, Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.
The Center is adapted from Roy Lessin's book, A Place at His Table, available through DaySpring and Christian retailers everywhere.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Like Those Who Dream...A Spiritual Journey: The Memoir of Roy Lessin

Hello Friends!
I'm excited to invite you to read along with us this Summer. We will read excerpts from Roy Lessin's memoir, "Like Those Who Dream" and learn about his life and ministry. If you have difficulty reading this on a social media page, I suggest you go to the website for Meeting in the Meadow and reading it there. If you have any questions or problems accessing it, feel free to reach out to me. If you would like to purchase the book, it is available through DaySpring and other Christian bookstores.

Like Those Who Dream...A Spiritual Journey
The Memoir of Roy Lessin

When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion,
We were like those who dream. Psalm 126:1 NASB


Roy and I first met as teenagers, me 18 and him 19, when he joined the freshman class at Bethany College of Missions in Bloomington, Minnesota where I was a student. It was in January of 1962 and it couldn’t have been more of a shock to him. From the free-wheeling lifestyle of an LA bachelor pad to the harsh reality of a Minnesota winter and a strict Bible school with many rules, everything was new to Roy.


Roy and I couldn’t have been more different, yet there was a deep love and mutual respect that developed between us. I grew up in a conservative Christian home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Roy in a Jewish home in Los Angeles. In spite of those differences there was an immediate kinship that formed between us. As we studied for our classes I was amazed at his insights into the Bible. He saw things that I completely missed and felt like he had an unfair advantage over the rest of us simply by his being Jewish. Really, I did! But it may also have been that he was just smarter or a better student than I was…or both!


One day when I was going through a tough time Roy picked up on it. Rather than talk to me about it he took a different tack. It was winter and I had on my overcoat while walking across campus. When Roy walked by he stuck his hand in my coat pocket, saying nothing. I thought, “How strange”, but knowing Roy I wanted to know what he had done. I put my hand in the pocket and took out a piece of paper that he had put in there. It read, and I quote, “God don’t get no glory when you’re moping!” That was just what I needed at that time. As I reflect on that moment today, over 55 years later, I realize that that note may have been Roy’s first greeting card. The first of many greeting cards that he wrote over his long career.


As I have been re-reading the Book of Acts, I have seen how the apostles were totally reliant on the leading of the Holy Spirit in everything they did or said. This is also how I have seen Roy live his whole life. One time when I needed his insight and wisdom I asked him how he handled temptation. I knew that I wouldn’t be judged because, well, that’s not how Roy is. His reply to my question was one that I have gone back to often and have shared with others along the way. He said, “When I am tempted I immediately invite the Holy Spirit into the situation.” He said, “you see, sin and the Holy Spirit can’t co-exist."


Roy and I were not only classmates, but roommates. He was a groomsman in my wedding, married my wife’s cousin and spent a year working with me in our mission in Puerto Rico. He has been a treasured friend, confidant and encourager to me since the early 60s and I am eternally grateful to God for him.


As you discover the story of Roy’s spiritual journey I know you will be challenged, amused, instructed and blessed as I was. It’s easy to look at a person and think, "What a wonderful man or woman" and not know what they went through to become that person. In the pages that follow, you will see the path that Roy has been on and the things that have shaped and formed who he is.

God bless you as you read.
Rolf Garborg
#likethosewhodream #roylessin #memoir #memoirroylessin #dayspring #meetinginthemeadow #bookclub 

©2020 DaySpring Used with permission. ©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.