Wednesday, August 31, 2022


-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. Psalm 62:5 NKJV

In Psalm 62:5 the word ‘expectation’ can mean a cord or an attachment. Picture one end of a cord being attached to your heart and the other end being attached to a promise God has given. Once the attachment is made an expectation is created.

The word ‘expectation’ in Psalm 62:5 can also be translated ‘hope’. When we carry an expectation we are hoping, anticipating, or looking forward to what has been promised. 

God wants us our expectations to be from Him. He wants the promises of His word to be tied from His heart to ours. His promises are truth. They will not fail. His omnipotence is their guarantee.

Psalm 62:5 also tells us to wait quietly for God’s promises to be fulfilled and for our expectations to be met. God’s promises will not produce disappointment. Trust produces quietness as we wait for His perfect timing. 

Delays are for the trial of faith, not for discouragement…God’s answer will be worth the wait.” -Amy Carmichael

God’s plans for us and the promises He has spoken will never come up empty. God doesn’t exaggerate. He doesn’t over promise or say something He is unable to perform. God does not lie. God isn’t forgetful, and He is never indifferent to our needs.

God will never remove His children from His thoughts, His love, or His heart.

#meetinginthemeadow #expectations #roylessin #dayspring #devotional #encouragement 

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

Monday, August 29, 2022

My Morning Prayer: Patience Is the Holy Spirit’s Fruit

My Morning Prayer: Patience Is the Holy Spirit’s Fruit
-Roy Lessin and Marina Bromley


Patience Is the Holy Spirit's Fruit
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

By innocence and purity, knowledge and spiritual insight, longsuffering and patience, kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in unfeigned love.  2 Corinthians 6:6 AMPC

The patience of the Holy Spirit does not produce heaviness or frustration but joyfulness. The patience of the Holy Spirit frees us from the strife of wanting things to go our way, according to our clock and calendar. Patience is a peaceable fruit of righteousness and is a beautiful work of the Spirit, when we see it operating within us and in the lives of others. Today, let the music of the Holy Spirit sing out in your heart, “In Your time, Lord, make all things beautiful" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

My Morning Prayer
-Marina Bromley

Lord, thank You for being all-knowing and all-seeing. Thank You that I can trust You with the unknown things of the future, whether they affect my life or the lives of those I care about around me. Thank You for setting me free from the strife of wanting things to go my own way, and if I am struggling with that please correct me and teach me to leave things in Your hands. Thank You for Your joyfulness and protecting me from heaviness and frustration. You do not want me to put those weights upon me. I was not made to carry those things, thank You for carrying them for me.

As I move forward in this week, please help me to accept Your will, Your timing, Your outcomes, and Your peace. When I feel disappointment please gently remind me that You are working all things for the good of me (Romans 8:28). It may be hard today to not see things happening the way I want them to, but I need to remember You are moving things in step with Your will. When I see the ashes of destroyed dreams, and feel the crushing confusion of unmet expectations, gently remind me that You will make ALL things beautiful, in Your time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Amen.


#mymondayprayer #expectations #prayer #roylessin #marinabromley #meetinginthemeadow #hiswill #beautyfromashes #patience

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

Friday, August 26, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter 12, Grandma’s Secret Surprise

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter 12, Grandma’s Secret Surprise
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow


As your Shepherd, the Lord is—
Always watching…
Always keeping…
Always providing…
Always defending…
Never forsaking!
You are never forgotten…
And always loved!


Throughout my junior year Charlene and I dated (Once I got to know her better I started calling her Char). I found many things about her attractive, but her sensitivity to the Lord, her quiet ways, and her strength of character attracted me the most. I was falling fast!

I was still young in the Lord, and I looked upon people who sang in the choir as being closer to God than others. Since Char was in the church choir, as well as in a girl’s trio, I thought she dwelt among the angels.

There was a time, much later in our relationship, when I thought I had actually become more spiritual than she. We had attended a citywide missionary conference in downtown Minneapolis that attracted hundreds of young people in the area. The speaker that day was very dynamic and I was deeply challenged by his message. At the end, he put out a passionate plea for all young people in the audience to stand if they wanted to give their lives to missions. I immediately stood to my feet. To my shock, Char did not budge. I watched as young people from all over the auditorium rose to their feet. Char remained quiet and unresponsive in her seat.

“I don’t get it,” I thought, “why isn’t she standing? I thought she wanted to serve the Lord as much as I did.”

When the meeting ended I was still troubled by her lack of response and felt like I needed to challenge her.

“Why didn’t you stand up at the invitation,” I asked in a bewildered and disappointed tone.

“I didn’t feel like I needed to,” she confidently replied.

“What do you mean,” I challenged back.

“I settled that issue a long time ago with the Lord, and I didn’t sense it was something I needed to repeat.”

I was blown away by her calm assurance and embarrassed at my lack of trust in her commitment.

As a student working on campus, I didn’t have much money. Students received no income for the time spent at work. The school provided the student with free tuition, housing and meals. The money that got me to Bethany came as an answer to prayer, and every dime I was to receive during my school years would be provided in the same way. If I needed toothpaste, shampoo, a shirt, or a pen, I saw God meet my needs, and often in the most unusual and unexpected ways.

Most of my dates with Char were low-key and low-budget. There were no trips to the movie theater, no visits to theme parks or ballgames, no dinners at fancy restaurants, and no outings to concerts or plays. Our dates involved walks around campus, lunches at her Aunt Esther’s house on Sunday afternoons, and outings with other couples.

The more we dated, the more we were surprised by our growing love for each other. We couldn’t have come from more opposite backgrounds. I was born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles; Char was born in Northwestern Minnesota and raised in a small farming community called Rollag, population 30. I went to school with hundreds of other kids; Char went to a one-room schoolhouse through the eighth grade with only one other student in her grade.  I was raised in a Jewish home that was divided by divorce; Char was Norwegian and raised in a secure Christian home. I was wild, rebellious and unruly; Char was a good girl who faithfully went to church, obeyed all the rules, and honored her father and mother. I was raised on kosher food, food to go, and canned food; Char was raised on roast beef, mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables from the garden, and milk straight from the cow. I was in a social club; Char was in her church youth group; I was outgoing; Char was reserved; I loved to do things on the spur of the moment; Char liked to think things through. I was adventuresome; Char was practical.  We were truly a match made in heaven!

Things were going great for us most of the year and then we hit a major crisis. From the time she enrolled at Bethany, Char had a strong interest in going to South Korea to work in an orphanage. I had no leading from the Lord to go to Korea.

I knew I was called of God to serve Him, but I didn’t know where or what that would look like. The differences in our understanding of God’s calling became a giant barrier we could not work our way through. Char felt it was best to end our relationship.

It was hard for me to let her go. I had been so sure that God had brought us together and now it seemed as if we were going in opposite directions. I walked around campus in a fog, feeling miserable, and not knowing how to move ahead.

As a teenager I did a lot of dating, but as a believer I had only dated one girl before meeting Charlene. I met her shortly after I gave my life to Christ. She was also a new believer and we were growing in our faith together. She attended Bible studies with me at my dad’s house and we were both baptized the same night in Eagle Rock Covenant Church. We were growing close when I made the decision to attend Bethany. She was one of the reasons why it was hard for me to stay at Bethany when I first arrived. When the Lord told me to “unpack my bags” at Bethany and lay everything in my life at the foot of Cross, my relationship with the girl back in Los Angeles was a part of that surrender. Even though it was a struggle, I knew God’s answer for me in that relationship was “no”… now, here I was eighteen months later, wondering if God was saying “no” once again.

During this time I sought the council of a staff member I respected and trusted.

“How do I know if Char is the right girl for me? ‘Did I get it wrong?’ ‘What do I do now?’” were a few of the questions I asked him as I continued to struggle.

His answer was simple and straightforward, “How would you answer the following questions…

“Can you see yourself living without her?”

“Do you believe you can serve Christ more effectively with her or without her?”

As I thought about his questions the answers became very clear.

“No, I couldn’t see myself living without her, and yes, I believed I could serve the Lord more effectively with her.”

My answers didn’t change anything in my circumstances. Char and I were still separated and I knew I had to wait on her as she waited on God. Thankfully, I did not have to wait a long time…

A week later we agreed to talk. I was nervous when I arrived for our meeting. I knew she had heard from God, but I didn’t know the answer. On the one hand, I was wrestling with anxiety at the thought of her telling me she would be going to Korea…on the other hand I was excited at the possibility that our relationship could be restored.

I got right to the point. “What has the Lord shown you about our relationship?”

“I don’t see Korea as being a part of my future,” she said, “for me, it’s you or it’s no one!”

I was elated! It was the best news I could have heard.

I don’t recall what else was said that day—the fact that we were back together was all I needed to know. From that day on, our relationship moved along at a faster and deeper pace. We started talking about marriage and our future together…

“I want you to be my wife,” I said, as we sat outside a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. “I don’t have anything materially I can promise you. I have no money. I can’t promise you a house, a car, or fine things, but I can promise you my love. I can’t even afford to buy you an engagement ring.” 

“Yes,” she said without hesitation, “I don’t need anything else but you.”


A short time after our unofficial engagement, I returned to Los Angeles for two weeks of vacation. I made the usual rounds, seeing old friends, greeting people at Eagle Rock Covenant Church, and visiting family. Wherever I went I shared the good news about my love for Char. While visiting my grandmother, she got me aside and asked, “Roy, this girl you have met in school, are you sure she is the right one for you?”

“Yes, grandma, I am very sure.”

“Since you are sure, I want you to come back tomorrow. I have something I want to tell you.”

“Okay, grandma, I will be here tomorrow.”

My grandfather, on the other hand was not so gracious. I could feel the coldness from his heart as he spoke.

“This girl you want to marry, is she Jewish?”

“No Grandpa, she is not Jewish. She is Norwegian.”

“I do not want you to marry her,” he firmly replied.

“I’ll tell you what I will do. Promise me that you will not marry this girl and will wait until you find a Jewish girl to marry. If you make this promise, I will go to the bank today and put $1000 into an account in your name. It will be my wedding gift to you.”

“No Grandpa, I cannot do that. I love Charlene and I want to marry her.” My grandfather had nothing else to say to me.


The following day I returned to my grandparent’s house and sat down for a visit with my grandmother. During our conversation she got up and left the room for a few minutes. Upon her return she approached me with something in her hand.

“Ever since you and Don were little boys I set aside these two diamonds, one for each of you, to give to your future brides at the time of your engagements. I want you to go with me to the jewelry store and pick out a setting for this diamond. I also want you to pick out a wedding ring to match.”

I was overwhelmed by her offer and had no idea this gift was a part of my inheritance. I knew that if it had been up to my grandfather, I never would have received the diamond engagement ring and matching wedding band my Grandmother gifted me with that day.


I returned to Minneapolis with the rings burning a hole in my pocket. I couldn’t wait for the moment when I could show them to Char.


There was a school rule stating that students could not become engaged until the completion of their senior year. Char had graduated that spring, but I still had another year of classes before graduating. I went to the Dean of Woman to ask for special permission to become engaged. When I arrived in her office I told her the story of my grandmother’s gift and my desire to give the engagement ring to Char before she left campus. The Dean’s heart quickly melted and I was given permission to become engaged.


On a sunny, warm afternoon I asked Char to take a walk. We followed the country road in front of the campus until we came to a dirt pathway that led to a high bluff overlooking the Minnesota River. We sat down at the edge of the bluff, enjoying the view, and the pleasure of being together.

Slowly, I put my hand in my pocket and took out a little box that held the engagement/wedding ring set. I took out the engagement ring and put it on her finger. We sat there for a long time, enjoying the moment, and being overcome with wonder as I retold Char the story of my grandma’s secret surprise.

Sadly, six months after my visit to California my grandmother died. She never had the opportunity to meet the bride I would bring home to meet my family after our wedding in the summer of ’64.


(Join us next week as we continue this journey of Roy's memoir, Like Those Who Dream. The book is available through DaySpring and Christian retailers everywhere.)

#likethosewhodream #roylessin #memoir #meetinginthemeadow #dayspring 

©2022 DaySpring, Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Used with permission, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The Heart of God Toward You

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


Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]  (1 Peter 5:7 AMP).

We can give our tears to God because He is our comforter...our fears because He is our confidence...our pains because He is our healer...our stress because He is our peace...our heaviness because He is our joy!


#joy #tears #fears #pains #stress #heaviness #theheartofGod #roylessin #meetinginthemeadow

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

Monday, August 22, 2022

My Morning Prayer: Supply Chain Part 2

My Morning Prayer: Supply Chain Part 2
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Heaven’s supply chain is a daily reminder of your need and dependency upon the Lord in all things, big or small. God’s supply is for your needs today. Today’s supply is sufficient. Tomorrow’s supply doesn’t come a day in advance.

No one knows exactly what their needs will be tomorrow. God does. His perfect, complete supply will greet you at each sunrise.

Tomorrow may look completely different than anticipated. God is never taken by surprise! His supply chain always brings you exactly what you need, exactly when needed.

Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:32-34 NLT

Always remember:

  •     The purpose of each day is to please Him, not people.
  •     Success is not your goal, but a byproduct of your obedience to God.
  •     Do what you do, from the heart, as unto Him.
  •     Leave the results with Him. He will decide how to use your obedience.
  •     He will be your exceeding, great reward.

Here is a simple prayer you can pray for yourself or for others…

Father, thank you for being my provider and the supplier of all my needs. My greatest need is you!

Be to me today all that YOU are, according to my need. Be my patience in waiting, my guidance in saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’, my strength in resisting evil, my endurance as I walk by faith, my authority as I speak the truth, my light as I walk before others, and my hope as I move forward into what you have ahead. Amen.


#supplychain #mymondayprayer #prayer #meetinginthemeadow #roylessin #dayspring #maryandmartha #devotional

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

Friday, August 19, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter 11, First Date

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter 11, First Date
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow


Since God has given us a mind, there must be thought of love;
Since God has given us a will, there must be the choice of love;
Since God has given us emotions, there must be the touch of love;
Since God has given us a voice, there must be the sound of love;
Since God has given us a heart, there must be the gift of love.


Don came out to visit me on campus the following day. As the day progressed a girl caught his attention. Before leaving campus Don had gathered enough information to find out her name, that she was not married or engaged, and that she was a senior. He filed these things away in his thoughts and kept his interest in her to himself. I wasn’t to learn of his interest until his next visit to Minneapolis many months later.

After Don left the Minneapolis area to continue his travels with Toby, I turned my focus back to getting to know Charlene better. I knew it would be a challenge because she was a year ahead of me in school.

“I don’t know how interested she is in me, if at all,” I wondered, “but I should at least make an effort to find out.”

I knew it was risky, but I sought out one of the girls in her trio to see if she might be able to give me a little encouragement in pursuing a date with Charlene. Not wanting to say too much, I fished around for any kind of clue. To my delight, I discovered that Charlene had talked about me to her friend after our trip to the evangelistic meeting in Minneapolis. That was enough for me!

I headed back to the boys dorm to put my dating plan into action.

My plan included getting together with two other guys on campus. One was my classmate, and the other was a friend from work.

“Guys, I’ve gotten us together to see if you would be willing to plan a triple date.”

“Tell us more,” was their reply.

“Well, recently I met Charlene Solum and I would like to ask her out, but I thought it would be a lot more fun if we all got dates and went on a picnic together.”

They were both agreeable.

I was thrilled when Charlene said she would go. The other guys also had success. The triple date was on!

We planned our picnic for Saturday afternoon. We decided we would all ride bikes out to the countryside for our picnic. It took some extra work to find everyone a bike, gather together all the food that was needed, and pack the all the accessories such as blankets, coolers and eating utensils. Rather than bring pre-made sandwiches, I planned on cooking our food at the picnic site. The Lefse Department on campus had just developed a new portable cooking grill. It had not yet gone into production but a prototype was available. I approached Al Linder, the department head and my former boss, and asked if I could borrow the cooking grill for our picnic.

“Yes, I would be happy to have you use it. It will be a good way for us to give it a test run.” Al replied.

“However,” Al continued. “I need you to take special care of the tiny brass control valve that turns the flow of gas on and off. It is the only one we have on hand and I don’t want to lose it.”

“Thanks, Al,” I replied, “I will be extra careful with it. I will return the grill to the shop sometime late Saturday afternoon.”

It was a beautiful fall day when the six of us headed down the country road on our bikes to seek out a picnic spot. I had the cooking grill secured in the metal basket that was attached to the front handlebars of my bike. Baskets on the other bikes carried the rest of our picnic gear. We were a good distance from the campus when we spotted a nice clearing in the nearby woods. The woods were covered with leaves. We pulled off the road, got off our bikes, walked them through the woods to the clearing, and set up our picnic site. All of us had a great time together as we talked, prepared our food, and cooked on the grill (which worked to perfection) while enjoying the beauty of the crisp fall weather.

After a few hours it was time to pack everything up and head back to campus. We retraced our path through the woods and got back on the country road we had taken. When we arrived on campus I immediately peddled my bike to the Lefse Department to return the cooking grill. When I got there, the Lefse Department was shut down for the weekend. I took the cooking grill out of the basket, walked inside the building and turned on a light. I walked over to the sample table and carefully placed the grill down. It was at that moment I realized that the tiny brass control valve was missing. A sick feeling came over me.

“I can’t believe it! How can this be? What could have happened to it?” I had no answers and I didn’t know what to do. Horrified, I left the grill on the table and hunted down the others who were with me on the picnic. No one knew what to do.

“I have got to go back,” I told them, “I gave Al my word that I would bring the grill back in one piece, and that I would be extra careful with the control valve.”

I got back on my bike and tried to retrace my steps. As I rode I prayed, “Lord, I don’t have any idea where to look. Please help me and direct my steps.”

I eventually found the place where we had left the road and walked through the woods. I got off my bike, put it on the ground, and started walking through the leaves toward the clearing. The fall leaves were thick and covered the ground, crunching beneath my feet as I slowly moved forward.  Suddenly, I felt impressed to stop. I froze. I looked beneath my feet and bent down. Pushing aside the leaves, I spotted a tiny brass object on the ground. I reached out and picked it up. There in my hand, to my amazement, was the control valve from the portable cooking grill. My heart rejoiced!

I “flew” back to campus, returned to the Lefse Department, and put the control valve back in its proper place on the grill. This, I was to discover, would be the first of many miracles Charlene and I were to discover together as we followed God’s plan for our lives.

(The following is Charlene’s recount of our first date)…

One day the phone at the end of the hall rang again, for me. Roy was on the other end calling from the hall phone at the boys’ dorm. Would I go on a triple date with him? WHAT? I couldn’t believe it! YES!  Something came up and the day that was set didn’t work out. I remember we stood at the entrance to my dorm talking about the change and he quickly said, “We would need to take a rain check.” I asked him, “What’s a rain check?” I had never heard the expression. It was the first of many things I would be learning from him!

Our rain check turned out to be a week later. Our triple date consisted of a bike ride in the countryside on a beautiful Minnesota fall day, for a picnic.  That was our first date and I was very impressed with how Roy had planned and organized the details to perfection. At one point we even briefly held hands with our gloves on (Minnesota fall days are cold).


(Join us next week as we continue this journey of Roy's memoir, Like Those Who Dream. The book is available through DaySpring and Christian retailers everywhere.)

#likethosewhodream #roylessin #memoir #meetinginthemeadow #dayspring 

©2022 DaySpring, Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Used with permission, all rights reserved.


Wednesday, August 17, 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


For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts....For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off (Isaiah 55:9-13).

The mind of God is different from the thoughts of man. As we follow Him we discover that we lose to gain...surrender to win...die to live...give to receive...serve to reign...scatter to reap. In weakness we are made strong...In humility we are lifted up...In emptiness we are made full!

#roylessin #meetinginthemeadow #neverforgotten #alwaysloved #themindofgod

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

Monday, August 15, 2022

My Morning Prayer: Patience

My Morning Prayer: Patience
-Roy Lessin and Marina Bromley

Patience, A Place at His Table
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. Colossians 1:11 KJV

Patience is the result of a life that is submitted to God’s will. We become impatient when we replace God’s timetable with our own. God doesn’t need to hurry up or catch up, because His timing is always perfect. When we become impatient we want to make things fit into our own schedule. This can quickly open the door to anger and frustration.

Patience and contentment are very closely related. While contentment frees us from murmuring and complaining, patience frees us from fretting and striving. A contented heart will bring forth thankfulness, and a patient heart will bring forth calmness. You will have a quiet heart when contentment and patience are abiding within.

My Morning Prayer
-Marina Bromley

Lord, the world has been rushing around me and I am asking You to help me to slow down right now. Help me to take a deep breath and seek Your face—full of mercy, gentleness, peace. Help me to dwell in the shadow of Your wing in this very moment.

Every little thing seems to push for my attention—relationships, tasks, even things that should be relaxing and enjoyed I am having to rush through to accomplish. I feel like I'm in a competition to finish things first and fast, help me to slow down to enjoy see Your hand working inside my heart and beside me. I don't want to just check things off my list but to seek You as each item comes up and to see Your purpose in why it is happening.

In the areas of suffering within me and around me with those I love (and even those I do not know) please help me to trust Your timing and purpose. Remind me of how Jesus spent time during His darkest days, seeking Your face, taking intentional time with You. Show me the details of these days that matter, where You would have me take time to be intentional, sitting at Your feet, falling on my face in worship, seeking Your truth in Your Word.

I trust You with my good days and my not-so-good days. I trust You with my schedule, with the details of my to-do list, with the traffic and the delays and disappointments. I want to trust You with each difficulty and also with the joys of each day—the unexpected and unexplained things that can lift my spirit and draw me closer to You. Help me to see the little miracles that You are bringing to me and help me to not rush by them, but to savor them, and to give You praise for them, these little gifts just for me.

Help me to be patient in my postponements and content in the circumstances. I need to be wholly focused on Your timing in my life, and want to delight in each moment You walk with me, no matter where we are. Thank You for your promises. In Jesus' name, amen.


#mymondayprayer #patience #aplaceathistable #roylessin #devotional #prayer #meetinginthemeadow

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

A Place at His Table by Roy Lessin is available at Christian retailers and online through DaySpring. 

Friday, August 12, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter 10, The Picture on the Bulletin Board

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter 10, The Picture on the Bulletin Board
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Your life’s like a landscape and God has the brush,
The work is in progress, He’s not in a rush.
Each stroke has a purpose, nothing’s by chance,
To see all His wisdom takes more than a glance.


One of the popular subjects on the campus of Bethany Fellowship Bible College was marriage. There were some students who couldn’t wait to get married because they had found the “right one”, others who were waiting to find the “right one” and still others who didn’t think there was a “right one.”  There was a group of guys who called themselves “Bachelors Till the Rapture.” They were convinced God had called them to be single and they vowed they would stay that way until Jesus came back. I found nothing appealing about that group.


In my second year of school the rule against dating no longer applied. Even though the freshman “no dating rule” helped me settle into God’s plan and call upon my life, it was very freeing to know I could date again. Dating rules were in place, however, and included only one date a week. Since cars were not allowed for students, you couldn’t jump into a car and drive off somewhere. Most dates consisted of walks down a country road that weaved its way past the campus and the surrounding farms. Dating also included long visits on campus benches, or group trips with other couples that might include an invitation to a friend or family member’s house who lived close to campus. 

The big problem with dating on a small campus was instant public exposure and the activation of the rumor mill. If you dated a girl once, it was immediately assumed that a future marriage was in the making. Because of this problem, I was very reluctant to jump into “the dating world” (such as it was). I felt best about moving ahead with great caution.

During my second year of school I was given a job with the outside maintenance crew. After spending a year working in the shop, I thoroughly enjoyed being outside. The work was different each day and I thrived on the diversity. I mowed the lawn and kept up the grounds, helped on some construction work, and a lot of other handyman jobs. One summer day I received an unusual order from my boss…“Roy, we have some new beds that have come for the girls dorm, go join up with our crew and help them carry the beds up to the third floor.” It sounded like fun and it gave me my first (and last) invitation to visit the girl’s dorm.

The dorm was a three-story wooden structure with a simple design. Each floor had a long, narrow hallway that was finished with knotty pine paneling. The rooms were big enough for two twin beds, a couple of average size dressers, and two small desks.

“Come here, Roy, help me carry this one up,” yelled one of my co-workers. We each grabbed an end and carefully worked our way up the narrow staircase to the third floor. We had to walk halfway down the hall before finding the room that needed the bed. On the way back, I noticed a bulletin board hanging on the wall. I stopped for a few moments and looked at the pictures on display. In the lower right hand corner I noticed a baby picture. It immediately grabbed my attention.

My interest was related to a new activity I’d gotten involved with at school. Earlier in the year, I had teamed up with a few other students who wanted to start a campus newspaper. One of my roommates was the editor and he asked me to be one of the reporters for the paper. We called the paper Focus. The paper featured school news, coming events, an editorial, interviews, and human interest features. When I saw the baby photo on the bulletin board it sparked an idea for the upcoming edition of the paper.

I looked in both directions down the hallway to make sure no one was looking, unpinned the photo from the bulletin board, stuck it in my shirt pocket, and quickly headed down the stairs. When I got outside I ran over to the print shop, found one of the guys that worked on the school paper, and asked him to make a copy of the photo so that we could use it in the next edition. When he was finished, I ran back to the work crew, helped carry another bed up to the third floor, and replaced the photo on the bulletin board without being noticed. A few days later, on the third page of the school paper, down in the right-hand corner, appeared a baby photo along with the following headline, “Guess Who?”

I had no idea who the person was on the photo. I knew it was a girl, and I thought she was a student, but that was the extent of it. The distribution point for Focus was a wooden box located on a table just outside the dining room. When the edition with the baby photo came out, I was in the dining room eating lunch.

A student sitting next to me had a copy of the paper and was looking at the photo. “Do you have any idea who that is?” I asked.

“I believe it’s Charlene Solum,” the student answered.

“Who is that?” I responded.

“Stay here, and if she comes in for lunch I will point her out.”

“Please do,” I gladly answered, wanting to satisfy my curiosity.

About five minutes later, Charlene Solum walked in the door.

“That’s her!” the student exclaimed.

“Where?” I asked.

He pointed at someone going through the lunch line and said, “There.”

I watched her walk through the food line and take a seat at a table near the far corner of the dining room. I decided I would walk over to her table and ask if she was the one in the photo…

I approached her with a cordial greeting and asked, “Are you the one in the baby photo?”

“Yes. It’s me,” she quickly replied.

“I hope you don’t mind. I was the one who took your photo off the bulletin board in the girl’s dorm. It was a really cute picture and I couldn’t resist having some fun with it.”

“No,” she said, “I don’t mind.”

Our visit was short, but there was something about her that drew my interest. She was soft spoken, reserved, and a bit mysterious. I left with a desire to speak with her again in the near future. It didn’t take me long to start asking other students about her. One of the first things I discovered was that she was a year ahead of me in school.


During the start of my second year at Bethany, Toby Dugan, one of the members of the faculty, decided to leave his teaching position and do fulltime evangelistic work. He relocated to Southern California and through contact with my dad, found a place to rent close to where my dad lived. It was through this move that Toby met my brother, Don. They eventually established a friendship, and when Toby decided to make a cross country preaching tour, he invited Don to go with him.

Their travels eventually took them to the Minneapolis area where Toby conducted a series of special meetings at a local church. Toby wanted some special music for the start of the meetings and called Bethany Fellowship to see if the school could provide some help. A girl’s trio was chosen to provide the music. Through the school grapevine I learned that one of the girls in the trio was Charlene Solum.

I immediately got on the phone and called the girls dorm asking to speak with Charlene…

“Hi. This is Roy Lessin. I heard that your trio is going into Minneapolis tonight to sing at Toby’s meeting. My brother, Don, is traveling with him and he will be there. I would like to go and I’m in need of a ride…I was wondering if it would be okay if I rode along with your trio to the meeting?”

“I will need to check with the other girls first, but I think it should be okay.”

“Thanks so much. I will check back with you in a few hours.”

When I phoned her back a few hours later I found out everything had been worked out and I was welcome to ride with them. I was excited about having the opportunity to see my brother again, and even more excited to be able to see Charlene again.

It was great seeing Don again once we arrived at the church. I got updated on the adventures he had been having as he traveled with Toby from state to state (those travels turned out be Don’s Bible School on wheels). At the end of the meeting Don and I worked out a time to meet at Bethany campus the next day. On the car ride home I strategically “managed” to sit next to Charlene in the crowded backseat. We chatted most of the way home. I was delighted!

After arriving back on campus I wasted no time in putting an action plan into motion that I hoped would move things forward in my relationship with Charlene.

(The following is Charlene’s own version of how we met. It is taken from her book Farm Girl Meets City Boy)…

I often watched Roy across campus opening doors for people and thought, “what a gentleman!” He had such an ease about him. The way he carried himself was with no phoniness. 

The girls on third floor of the girl’s dorm decided it would be fun to put up a bulletin board in our central living room with photos of all of us as babies! Shortly after the display was complete, one of Roy’s work assignments was to help deliver furniture to the third floor of the girl’s dorm! Since he was an editor on the school paper he was always looking for ideas to place in the paper.

When he saw the bulletin board of baby photos he spotted my photo and thought “what a cute baby!” He took it off the board and stuck it in his pocket. I opened the next school paper and there was my photo with the caption “Guess Who?”

Roy wanted to find out who the baby was so he asked a friend to point me out next time he saw me. One evening as I was in the dining room after our meal time, Roy approached me and said “I hope you weren’t upset that I took your baby photo and put it in the paper.”  I said it was fine.

I didn’t expect that I would talk with Roy again as I didn’t think he would have any reason to approach me again. I didn’t even hint to my cousin, who was my roommate that I was a bit interested in him for I knew it would never happen. 

One evening the only phone at the end of our dorm hall rang. Someone shouted “Char, telephone!” Much to my surprise it was Roy! He explained to me that his brother, who lived in Los Angeles, was traveling across country with an evangelist for the summer, and was going to be at a church meeting in downtown Minneapolis that the girl’s trio I was a part of would be singing at. He wondered if he could have a ride. 

A staff member drove us to the meeting as our trio was representing the school. Wouldn’t you know, Roy and I ended up sitting next to each other in the car! When we got back to the dorm later that evening my friend, who was also in the trio, teased me to no end that Roy was interested in me! I kept telling her it couldn’t be, yet inwardly I was hoping it would be!

(Join us next week as we continue this journey of Roy's memoir, Like Those Who Dream. The book is available through DaySpring and Christian retailers everywhere.)

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