Monday, October 31, 2022

My Monday Prayer: The Caregiver’s Prayer

November is recognized as Caregiver Appreciation Month and we want to encourage and inspire both caregivers and their loved ones. In several posts Roy Lessin’s wife, Char, will be sharing some short reflections about her journey with Parkinson’s and how God has worked in her heart during this time. We will also share some of Roy’s words and prayers for Caregivers. Whether you are a Caregiver or Care-receiver, may you be blessed in reading them—renewed in your strength, compassion, and focus. May you remember how important and loved you are, and that you are not alone in this difficult journey.

My Monday Prayer: The Caregiver’s Prayer
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Father, help me, by Your grace, to be a caregiver as You care for us—work through my hands with the touch of compassion, see through my eyes with the clarity of understanding, shine through my countenance with the light of kindness, speak through my voice with the words of comfort and encouragement, minister through my spirit with grace and patience, and give through my heart with the never-ending gift of love. Amen!

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say (2 Thessalonians 2:17 NLT).

#caregiverappreciation #caregivers #roylessin #meetinginthemeadow

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

Friday, October 28, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapters 24 and 25

Like Those Who Dream, Chapters 24 and 25
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Chapter 24: When You Get Right Down To It

We do not plan God’s will for our lives, and we do not try to figure it out like someone going on vacation.  God does not ask us to decide how long we want to stay in His appointed place, or what we would like to do when we get there. Knowing the will of God is more like observing a flower grow. First the seed is planted, then we see the shoot break the ground, then the stem, then the bud, then the flower as it opens to the sunlight—revealing its beauty, displaying its brilliance, and sending forth its fragrance. The whole process takes time, and we must patiently wait for the will of God to unfold before us.

In Lodi, I viewed my commitment to Don, Dean, and Russ as complete, but temporary. I was “all in”, but unsure for how long I would stay. I was unsure if it was a stepping stone to something still ahead. Up to this point all my steps in following God’s will were made up of short-term experiences. After graduating from Bible College, the longest I had been in one place was less than two years. Even though the work I was now doing was exciting and rewarding, I still wondered if it was a training time for a completely different ministry that was still “out there somewhere”. One day, as I was entering the Arcade to go to work, I recognized the still small voice of the Holy Spirit that I heard so many times before, reassuring me that I was in the right place and would be so in the future.

This understanding helped me to settle into the work at hand and give myself to it without reservation (I had no idea that God would keep me involved full-time until the day of my retirement, and then keep me involved through teaching, mentoring, and new writing opportunities in the years after my retirement).

In the fall of 1971 my brother Don and his family came to pay us a visit from Mexico. They were living in Mexico on tourist visas and it was common for them to visit us when they had to leave the country and renew their papers in the States. We always enjoyed our times together and it provided a great way for them to get refreshed before going back to Mexico.

One night during their visit, my brother Don and I had a lengthy discussion that became very philosophical. We covered a lot of ground during our conversation and dealt with a lot of issues. When we finished, Don looked at me and said, “You know Roy, when you get right down to it, the only thing that really matters is Jesus.”

When I heard those words a light went on inside me!

“I think what you just said would be a powerful message on a Christmas Card.” I said enthusiastically.

Not only did I have the thought for a Christmas Card, but also how it should be designed.

“I can see a man sitting near a Christmas tree just after the presents had been opened.” I informed Don; “The look on the man’s face would be one of bewilderment. The front of the card would say ‘When you get right down to it…’ and the inside would say ‘The only thing that really matters is Jesus!’”

Don thought I had a great idea.

I couldn’t wait to go to work the next morning and share the Christmas card idea with Russ. After telling my story, Russ got excited. “Let’s do a sketch of the card and show it to Don and Dean.” he suggested.

We gathered a few props and drove to my apartment. Russ had me put on my bathrobe, took me to the back patio, had me sit on the ground, and then strike a pose with my hand under my chin. He placed some cardboard boxes beside me to represent gifts, placed a small tree behind the boxes and started sketching. Within a short time the cover of the Christmas card was on his scratchpad. He then wrote out the words, “When you get right down to it…the only thing that really matters is Jesus”

When the layout was completed we wasted no time driving to Fellowship Press to show Don and Dean.

“What do you think?” I asked excitedly as I handed them the sketch.

“We like it!” they immediately responded.

We made a decision, on the spot, to print some samples and mail them to the Christian Bookstores on our mailing list.

Russ got the card ready for printing. To keep it simple we printed the card samples with two colors, black and magenta. After printing, we put the cards inside a mailing envelope along with an order form. We had no idea how the card would be received. When the first orders started coming in we were ecstatic! As the days passed, more and more orders arrived and we knew the greeting card idea was connecting with the stores and their customers.

Ten years before this mailing, my brother Don and I were living a party-life in an apartment in the San Fernando Valley. We were unsaved, empty, and struggling. If someone had told us back then that God was going to use us—two Jewish boys—to create a Christmas Card that would help launch the largest Christian greeting card company in the world, it would have been unfathomable.  

The card, When You Get Right Down To It…, became a “little messenger” telling us about the need and desire for contemporary Christian cards in the market place. They didn’t exist at that time. Believers were looking for cards with fresh designs, and meaningful messages that would help express their faith. It was a big need and we were being led to fill it.

I enjoyed parakeets and kept one in a cage in my office. Little by little I taught it to talk. It could say some words and even a short phrase or two. When my writing ministry at work continued to expand, some of my friends jokingly teased me that my messages were actually coming from the parakeet.


At a brainstorming meeting during one of our lunch hours, we discussed the idea of creating a separate brand name for our fast growing card and stationery products.  Dean brought up the name DaySpring. By the end of our lunch hour we had settled on it.

Note: Since most people today are more familiar with the name DaySpring, it is the name I will use in all the remaining chapters.


Chapter 25: Growing, Growing, Gone!

As you wait upon the Lord,
You learn to see things from His perspective,
Move at His pace, and function under His directives.
Waiting times are growing times.
As you quiet your heart, you enter His peace…
As you sense your weakness, you receive His strength…
As you lay down your will, you hear His calling.

During most of the first year that Russ and I worked in the Arcade, Don and Dean remained in Fellowship Press doing commercial printing. Their work in the print shop was an important piece in meeting the growing financial needs of DaySpring. Before the first year was over, Don was able to leave the print shop and join Russ and I in the Arcade. We all celebrated the move! About six months later Dean was able to join us full-time. It was at that time that Fellowship Press was sold.

In the mid-70s, as DaySpring grew, we needed more room and more help. At the four year mark, we had rented every business office in the Arcade, with the exception of one office occupied by an insurance agent. We were bursting at the seams. One office held our product inventory, film, shipping materials and store displays. Another office was used as our shipping department. Another office was turned into the creative department, and another was used for administrative needs and assembly work.

The heartbeat of DaySpring was getting out a message, not creating products. Every product we created energized us to get it to the market place because we wanted to touch people’s lives. The business was a means to an end, and it was a joy to see the protective hand of God on what we were doing.

Late one night, a strong rainstorm came over our area. When we entered the Arcade the following morning we discovered a miracle...The roof above the Arcade had developed a leak during the storm—water entered the office where important negatives were being stored. Some of the negatives were stacked on a small wooden pallet and the remaining negatives were sitting on the cement floor. We noticed a large puddle of water in the front part of the office. As we walked to the back of the office we noticed that the path of the water came to up to where the negatives were sitting…at that point the path of the water divided. Instead of washing over the negatives, the water went completely around them, not a single negative was damaged! We were spared a huge loss, and a great expense.


My responsibilities grew along with the demands of the business. At one point I was working in product development, heading up the shipping department, working in manufacturing, and acting as the sales manager. As the sales manager I had responsibility for sixty Christian Bookstore accounts in the Southern California area. I also took sales trips a few times a year up the coast, past San Francisco.

On my first selling trip I tried to call on as many stores as possible. At the end of the day I did achieve my goal, however, I did not make much of a profit. The reason was due to unexpected returns of a particular card we had produced that wasn’t selling…

In the early stages of developing greeting cards we didn’t have a full understanding of what made a card work and what didn’t. We made the mistake of printing a card that was all about judgment and the second coming of Christ. We called it the “War and Famine” card. It would have made a great Gospel tract, but it was a terrible idea for a greeting card (after all, who could you send it to?).

One of my desires was to place our products in every Christian Bookstore in Southern California. I was one store short of seeing that desire fulfilled. It was a store in San Bernardino. I tried every approach I could think of to get the store owner to place an order. No matter how hard I tried I was always turned down. On one trip to the store I became very frustrated with the owner’s refusal to order our products. As a final plea I said, “Do you know that you are the only store in Southern California not carrying any of our products?” My attempt to make her feel guilty did not work. Discouraged, I got back to my car and prayed, “Lord, I can’t get anywhere with this store. Please open up a way to get our products inside.”

Months went by without any order from the store in San Bernardino, and I decided not to go back. About this time we had made contact with a young artist attending Biola College. Her specialty was illustrating children in fun, everyday situations. We liked her work and wanted to use her art on a set of gift enclosures. She came up with the idea of showing the front view of a child on one side of the card, and a back view of the same child on the other side of the card. They were as cute as could be. When we published the line of gift enclosure cards they were a big hit with our customers.

One day a letter arrived from the bookstore in San Bernardino. When I opened the letter it included an order for some of our products, including the gift enclosure cards. I was stunned, amazed, and thankful all at the same time. I shipped the order wondering what had caused the store owner to finally change her mind.

A few weeks later, the artist of the gift enclosures came to my office. During our visit she told me the following story…

“After DaySpring published my art work, my mother wanted to buy a complete set of my gift enclosures for her own use. She lives in San Bernardino. When she went to the bookstore in town she discovered that my gift cards were not there. My mother is friends with the owner and asked her why my cards were not in the store. The store owner apologized, and said she had no idea the cards were out, but promised she would place an order for them “immediately.” It was a reminder of how God answers prayer in unexpected ways!

One of my most embarrassing sales calls came when I was taking inventory at a Christian bookstore that carried a large selection of our products. While I was bending down to count the number of note packages left in their note rack, I heard my pants rip open on the backside. I didn’t know what to do! The woman who was helping me take inventory had just gone to get something out of the cash register when my accident happened. I knew I needed to do something before she got back. I covered my backside with my order form and headed for the door. Thankfully, the store was located in a shopping mall. I spotted a variety store nearby and went inside. As cautiously as I could, I picked up a sewing kit, got in line, and paid for it. My next stop was a department store. I found the men’s department and walked into one of the dressing rooms. I took off my pants, took out my sewing kit, quickly sewed them up, got dressed and returned to the bookstore. When I arrived back, the lady who was helping me with inventory could not figure out where I had gone or what had happened to me. I tried to explain without saying too much, but realized that some questions are better left unanswered.

By 1975 we needed to find a place with more space. In Glendora, a town about five miles north of the Arcade, a building that once housed a supermarket was for sale. At first it seemed like too big of a step, but after more thought and prayer we felt it was one we should take. It turned out to be a great move and provided us with all the space we needed to grow for the next four years. There was even enough room to build a store front and sell products to the public. The new location would also bring a big change into our lives as a family.

(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  #ministry #roylessin #memoir #dayspring 

©2022, Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. ©2021 DaySpring, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Holding Hands; Caregiver Appreciation Month

November is recognized as Caregiver Appreciation Month and we want to encourage and inspire both caregivers and their loved ones. In several posts Roy Lessin’s wife, Char, will be sharing some short reflections about her journey with Parkinson’s and how God has worked in her heart during this time. We will also share some of Roy’s words and prayers for Caregivers. Whether you are a Caregiver or Care-receiver, may you be blessed in reading them—renewed in your strength, compassion, and focus. May you remember how important and loved you are, and that you are not alone in this difficult journey.

Holding Hands
-Roy Lessin

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand...' For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’  (Isaiah 41:10,13 NKJV).

As a little boy I grew up in the Bronx, New York. Often, my mother would take my hand when we would walk the streets, go to the park, or go shopping. It was the best way for her to let me know I was safe, protected, and secure from all that was going on around me. She was the one who watched the traffic, kept me away from danger, and made sure I wouldn’t wander away. (It was during the times when I ventured out on my own that got me into trouble).

When I was in Bible College I met my wife. I introduced myself, watched her sing in the choir, talked with her on campus, and finally asked her for a date. Most of the times spent with her were in group situations. It took sometime before we decided it was ok to hold hands.

It was a big deal! It meant something special, personal, and affectionate. It sent a message to others that “something was going on between us.” It was a way for each of us to tell the other, “I want to be with you and I enjoy being with you.” 

Isn’t it amazing to know that God is holding your hand! And that He wants to! 

He wants to hold your hand as a parent wants to hold the hand of a child. He wants you to be safe, protected, and secure. He wants you to be assured of His presence and watch-care. He wants you not to worry or fear because He is in charge and in control.

God also wants to hold your hand as an expression of His deep and caring love for you. He is your good, kind, faithful Father. He wants to be close to you, and wants everyone else to know that you are His, and to keep their distance. He wants you to be strong in His love.

Be assured, God’s hold upon your hand today is a big deal!

#holdinghandswithgod #holdinghands #meetinginthemeadow #roylessin #dayspring #caregivers #nationalcaregivermonth #caregiverappreciation

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

Monday, October 24, 2022

My Monday Prayer: A Prayer of Help

My Monday Prayer: A Prayer of Help
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow


The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is His name! Exodus 15:3 NLT

Lord, I thank you that You are a Warrior and You never know defeat; You are a Conqueror and every enemy is under Your feet; You are a Deliverer and every foe will sound retreat.

I thank You, O God, that You preserve me. I take refuge in You and I am safe. I put my trust and confidence in You alone. I lean on You, for You will not falter or faint. You are my support and keep me from falling. You are my high tower and keep me from fleeing. You are my confidence and keep me from fearing. Amen.

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

Friday, October 21, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapters 22 and 23

Like Those Who Dream: Chapters 22 and 23
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Chapter 22: Half of a Desk

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

As we began to make preparations to return to the States in the spring of 1971 we received a letter of encouragement from Don Leetch, and a letter from Dean Kerns with a check enclosed to help with our travel expenses; Included was a note that read, “Get in touch when you arrive.”

Before leaving the Island I wanted to buy Char a new dress. We didn’t have a lot of cash at the time, and needed most of it to cover our upcoming travel expenses. However, I was convinced that a new dress was something the Lord wanted me to provide for her.  It was so much fun for us to go shopping together in search of the right dress. Char’s eyes fell on a beautiful red dress that we both loved…To this day, I smile inside whenever I think of Char in that red dress, and remember the blessing it was to her once we got back to the States.

As the plane from Puerto Rico to Los Angeles flew over the waters of the Caribbean, I was once again amazed at the sight of the clear aqua-blue color of the sea…It was an image that spoke of new things ahead, of seeing God’s plan more clearly revealed to our hearts, and discovering afresh the beauty of His ways.

When the plane landed at LAX we walked to the baggage return area, picked up our five suitcases, set them outside on the sidewalk, and waited for our ride. As I stood there, with everything we owned in the five suitcases that stood at my feet, I became filled with peace. In that moment, the voice of the Holy Spirit dropped a thought deep into my spirit, “Everything you own materially is in your suitcases. Whatever is added to your life from this point on will never be able to add one ounce of peace to your heart, and whatever is taken away from you will never be able to diminish that peace.”…

With no possessions, no money, no bank account, no house, no car, and no job, I couldn’t have been more content, more secure, or more confident in God’s plan for our lives.

Once in Los Angeles it didn’t take me long to contact Dean. My phone call to him was packed with surprises. He started off by telling me about a family he knew that had recently moved to Europe. “Before leaving,” Dean added, “they placed many of their furnishings and kitchen items—including pots, pans, bowls and dishes— into storage. They turned it over to me with the following instructions, ‘Please give these to anyone that you feel is in need of them, at no charge.’”

Dean told me that he believed the Lord had made it clear that Char and I were the ones who should have these items. He went on to add, “There is one more thing…they also gave me the keys to their car. It’s a Chevy station wagon. That is yours as well.”

After Dean’s call I learned some more news that helped us get settled. There was a family, not too far from Fellowship Press, that was leaving the area for a few months and wanted someone to house-sit their place and look after things while they were gone. The outside of the house needed painting and if I was willing to get it ready for a painter we could stay in the house for free. It was too good of an offer to pass up. Within a few days of our return to the States we had a temporary place to stay, transportation, and a good start on furnishing our own place once our house-sitting responsibilities were completed.

With a car to drive and a place to live, I decided to meet with Don and Dean at Fellowship Press and see if there might be a job available. During our meeting I updated them on my experience in Puerto Rico and the things I learned about Christian literature and the selling of Christian books. As we talked we found that our hearts were being drawn together in a deeper way around a vision for Christian literature.

The demands of their responsibilities at the print shop left them with no free time for anything else. Since my time was free, we discussed the possibility of how we could work together. The plan we agreed upon was that I would work part-time for the print shop and focus the rest of my time on selling Christian books and working toward developing some products that could be printed at Fellowship Press. (The goal was not to grow the size of the print shop, but to set something in motion that could one day release Don and Dean from the print shop.)

There was limited space available in the print shop, so Don and Dean cleared off one half of a desk and made it available as my work space. Initially, my part-time work for Fellowship Press consisted of finding new accounts that would bring in additional business to the print shop (this would help pay my salary). The rest of my time was focused on setting up book tables and selling Christian books at various Christian meetings and conferences.

Once things got underway everything moved fast. Within a few weeks the work I was doing away from the print shop was demanding most of my time. In addition to the book tables, I was also beginning to come up with some new product ideas. I knew an illustrator/designer was needed to turn the ideas into products. To me, Russ Flint seemed like the perfect choice.

Russ and I had been friends since I had met him while attending Homewood Community Church (the same place I met Don and Dean). Russ had actually worked at Fellowship Press for a brief time while in college. When Russ finished college he took a designing job with Harry and David in Medford, Oregon. After talking it over with Don and Dean, Char and I decided to make a trip to Medford to see if Russ and Cheryl might want to move and become a part of what we were doing.

The drive up to Harry and David was beautiful. Tall pines, lush green meadows, and rolling hills dominated the landscape. In the natural it was hard to imagine why anyone would want to leave this setting to live in smog-filled Southern California. Char and I were warmly welcomed to the Flint’s home and spent a couple of days talking and praying together. During our visit there came a strong indication that God had been speaking to their hearts.

Russ was willing to step away from his job and join us. I was elated! I contacted Don and Dean and told them about our time with Russ and Cheryl. We agreed to all meet together in Lodi, California (a half-way point) to seek the Lord and find out what our next steps should be. The time in Lodi turned out to be a pivotal moment for all of us. Our main purpose was to hear from the Lord and decide if He wanted the four of us to work together…

We rented a motel room for the day and spent the time talking, reading the Bible, and praying. By the end of the day we were all assured that God had called us individually and collectively to work together. The commitment of the four of us to begin a new work was born in Lodi that day. (At the beginning the new venture was called Outreach Publications, eventually the company name was changed to DaySpring Cards.)

With the addition of Russ, more office space was a must.

Directly across the street from Fellowship Press was an old one-story business building called the “Arcade”. It had a long hallway with various sized offices on each side. Each office had a glass front that allowed a complete view of the working space inside. We packed up our things from Fellowship Press and moved across the street. We picked the second office on the left. It was a small space that was divided by a paneled wall which cut the room in half. We set up two desks and a working area in the front half of the office and used the back half for storage.


It was an amazing thing to realize that God chose to start a new publishing company with four people who were not trained as business men, who had no cash reserves, no investors, and no long term business plan…In Lodi, God called two former pastors, a former missionary, and a Bible college art graduate to launch a company that we knew could never make it without God’s help, blessing, and favor.

 It Took Something More

It took something more than a vision by Russ, Don, Roy and Dean to start DaySpring Cards; it took a call from God.  It took something more than human efforts and natural abilities to accomplish anything; it took the gifts of God.  It took something more than material resources, financial plans and marketing strategy to see the business grow, it took the prosperity of God.

It took something more than a sales force and sales techniques to bring the product into the stores; it took the favor of God.

It took something more than nice art and good copy to make DaySpring’s products successful, it took the anointing of God.

Jesus said that without Him we could do nothing.  There is only one way to start, build, maintain and continue to expand a Christian company – It must never turn away from its total trust in the Living God, its total obedience to His Word and its total dependency upon His Spirit.  If He is to be glorified through what we do He will try our hearts and test our motives; He will purify our faith and make straight paths for our feet; He will call us to a higher standard and direct us down a different path.

He will not let us get away with things that other companies seem to get by with or let us deal with people in ways that serve our own interests.  He will not allow us to look at our competition as our enemy but rather as His friends.  He will not allow us to substitute favors for fairness or place profits above people.  In order to use us as a light He must keep us from darkness; in order to share His heart with others He must fill our hearts with His love.

We must seek His favor in all we do and depend upon His power to accomplish the thing He has called us to do. We must seek His perfect approval and long for Him to say, “This is DaySpring, a business with whom I am well pleased.”

Chapter 23: Jesus People

There are people who make a difference in our lives because of their character, their example, and their practical expression of the love of Jesus Christ. These are the people who are truly God’s ambassadors to us and to the world.

Russ and Cheryl moved south shortly after our meeting in Lodi in the summer of 1971. He joined me in the Arcade office and we started doing more creative work and product development. I started doing most of the writing and Russ did the art and design. The birthing of our new business came at a time when a spiritual awakening was taking place on the West Coast. It was an exciting time to be in Southern California. In the late 60s and 70s God stepped into the midst of the hippy culture and captured the hearts of thousands of young men and women. They were radically changed from free love to holy love; from drugs to the new wine of the Holy Spirit; from dropping out of society to coming into the Kingdom of God. They were called Jesus People.

The heartbeat of the movement was in Costa Mesa, California in a small church called Calvary Chapel, led by Pastor Chuck Smith. The church was less than an hour away from where we lived and we kept in close contact with the spiritual change that was taking place in the area. Weekly, young people were turning to Christ, being baptized in the Pacific Ocean and coming into the church to grow in Christ. A new wave of evangelism swept across Southern California. New praise and worship music was being written by rock musicians who had a new song to sing and a new faith to proclaim.

Don, Dean, Russ, and I wanted to connect with these new believers and place into their hands some witness items that would help them express and share their faith. One of our first products was a line of six mini-stickers. These stickers were first designed to be bumper stickers, which were very popular at the time. When we decided to print them as mini-stickers instead of bumper stickers they quickly caught on. They were printed on brightly colored, florescent paper with short proclamations of faith and a graphic image. Some of the sayings included “Hallelujah, Jesus is Lord”, “I Know the Author of the World’s Best Seller”, and “One Way—Jesus Christ”. We called them Glo-Goers…We spent many nights sitting at our dining room table assembling small packages of Glo-Gloers, sorting them into sets of six, and putting them into plastic bags before stapling a label at the top.

At this time I had only written two Gospel tracts. One was as a student in Bible College, and the other was written before our family had moved to Puerto Rico. With the Jesus People desiring more witnessing material I had the opportunity to write a new series of Gospel tracts including:

What’s Better Than a Happy Face?—A Happy Heart.

He is NOT Jesus Christ Superstar—But Jesus Christ the Lord.

Some People Let the Stars Control Their Lives—Why Not Let the One Who Made Them Control Yours!

Soon, postcards, posters, and poster calendars were added to our product mix. One of our posters had a bright blue background with white letters that read “Jesus is Coming!” The second coming of Christ was a strong theme among the Jesus People.

We were a little business that was growing fast!


As the summer drew to a close it was time for my family to move from the place we had been house-sitting in Glendora, about five miles from the Arcade where Russ and I were working. Through some friends, we were offered a house to rent that seemed ideal. It was in good condition, had plenty of space, and was affordable.

We packed up our things and moved; however, it would turn out to be one of the most unusual moving experiences we ever had. As soon I walked into the house I had no peace. I immediately knew we were in the wrong place and needed to leave. I told Char not to unpack (she ended up spending the day writing letters as she waited on me to come up with a new plan). I contacted the owners and told them we would not be staying. It was an awkward thing to do and embarrassing to say the least. Thankfully, they were very understanding and extended mercy to us.

We relocated to an apartment complex a couple of miles from the Arcade. We moved into the former manager’s apartment. It was a little more expensive than the other apartments, but it also had a few extra features. We couldn’t believe we were living in such a nice place. It was good to know the Lord had given us His peace. The apartment was strategically located, not only because it was near work and close to where our children would go to school, but also because of the relationships we would build with others who lived in neighboring apartments.

One of our neighbors, who lived two doors down, was a single mom with two young daughters. One day, as we were about to enter our apartment, Char looked at me and said, “I believe the Lord is prompting me to bring a bag of groceries to Carol and her girls.”

Char’s sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit started when she was young in her walk with the Lord at Bible College…

She reported to work one afternoon and was given instructions by her supervisor. She was also told not to spend time talking while she was doing her work. During her work assignment, Char did spend time talking with another student. At the end of the day she was convicted by the Holy Spirit about not following her supervisor’s instructions. She decided to humble herself and tell her supervisor. When she did, her supervisor smiled and without any word of condemnation said, “Charlene, I am so happy to know that you have heard the voice of the Holy Spirit and were willing to obey Him.”

When we got into our apartment Char went straight to the pantry and filled up a grocery bag with various food items. She walked over to our their apartment and knocked on the door. A few moments later Carol answered. When she saw Char standing there with a bag of groceries she was surprised.

After a cordial greeting, Char said, “When I got home this afternoon the Lord put it on my heart to bring these groceries to you.” 

As Char extended her hands and gave the bag of groceries to her, Carol’s eyes began to tear.

“Do you know what I was doing just before you came?” Carol asked.

“What?” Char curiously replied.

“I was with my girls at the dining room table. I had just finished thanking the Lord for our meal when I heard your knock at the door. I didn’t know where our meal would come from because there is no food in the house.”

Char was deeply touched and so thankful she had obeyed the Lord, and was used to bless our neighbor when she was in need.

(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  #ministry #roylessin #memoir #dayspring 

©2022, Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. ©2021 DaySpring, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

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

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

What more can I say to you? You know what your servant is really like, Sovereign LORD (2 Samuel 7:20 NLT).

God is always ahead of you—He loved you before you gave your heart to Him...He provided all things before you had a need...He knew all things before you had a question...He conquered all before He asked you to overcome...He gave Himself before He asked you to touch others...He prepared the way before He asked you to follow.

#themindofGod #meetinginthemeadow #roylessin

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

Monday, October 17, 2022

My Monday Prayer: The Sound of His Voice

My Monday Prayer: The Sound of His Voice
-Roy Lessin and Marina Bromley

The Sound of His Voice
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

His voice and speech are exceedingly sweet; yes, He is altogether lovely [the whole of Him delights and is precious]. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem! Song of Songs 5:16 AMPC

Jesus’s voice brings the sweetest sound, the deepest love, the wisest words, the surest way, the greatest comfort, and the fullest life.

It is better to hear His voice than the voice of strangers, better to know His guidance than to be led astray, better to know His counsel than follow wrong opinions; better to believe His truth than the lies of the enemy.

Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice. If you hear a voice you do not recognize, do not respond. Wrong voices take you to wrong places. It is through Jesus’s words that you will know His will, His ways, and His heart.

My Monday Prayer
-Marina Bromley

Oh Father, please remove all the noise around me and help me to hear Your quiet, still voice. I need to quiet my soul and sit with You, as if I were a child who could climb on Your lap, draw near to Your chest, and hear Your heart beat in my ear. I want to hear Your whispers, Your songs of love, Your statements of truth, Your declarations of love. 

Give me courage and discernment to turn away from the voices of others, the lies, distractions, and deceitfulness that the world spews out trying to distort Your words and truth. Help me to turn away from the falsities that are empty and damaging, and turn towards the truth of Your love. Then help me to share Your love with others, and to love others like You do. We all need Your love, and to know the sound of Your voice. In Jesus' Name, amen.

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

Friday, October 14, 2022

Like Those Who Dream, Chapters 20 and 21

Like Those Who Dream, Chapters 20 and 21
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Christian ministry includes everything in our lives that is done as “unto Jesus.” It can be a small thing or a big thing. It can be done before others, or it can be done privately. It can happen in a church building, on the job, or at home. It can cover anything from preaching or teaching, to ironing clothes or baking a cake.


“Let ‘Er Flow”

It didn’t take our family of four long to pack our things and move from my dad’s house in Whittier to our new location in Azusa, about thirty minutes away. Our transportation was a 1957 green Chevy that I bought for $100. It was many times past its prime and had holes in the floorboard that allowed you to see the road below.

We would be living at a place called the “G.O. House”. The G.O. stood for Gospel Outreach. It was a long, green, ranch style house that sat on a large lot located between a busy boulevard and a drive-in movie theater. It included a nice kitchen on one end, two bedrooms and a bath on the other end, and a huge living room in the middle. The backyard was tree lined and private.

The house had been purchased by Don and Dean. The garage space was used to keep a small printing press. The inside of the house was primarily used to hold Friday night meetings where believers from the area would gather to fellowship, pray, and minister to personal needs. At times, different speakers were invited to share on Friday nights.

When Don hired me to work with him at Fellowship Press he had limited cash flow and was not able to pay me a livable wage. To make up the difference he offered us the G.O. house at a very low rent, one that would fit our budget. Char and I kept up the grounds at the G.O. House and became the host and hostess whenever people came for home meetings. 


My time at Fellowship Press was fast paced, pressure packed, and highly enjoyable. The print shop was a large square shaped building divided into three sections. The front section included an entry way and a main counter. In the corner was a small table that held an assortment of wedding book announcement samples. The middle section included two printing presses, a light table, a couple of desks, and a darkroom. The paper cutter and a storage area were in the back section of the building. I loved going to work each day, learning things about the printing business, helping to keep the shop going and growing, and building a closer relationship with Don Leetch.

Don’s main work was in the middle of the shop, running the printing press. At first, my main work was up front, waiting on customers, taking in jobs, and writing up wedding announcement orders. When Don had time, he taught me how to prepare jobs for the printing press—which included learning to use the dark room, develop and prepare film, and burn plates for press runs.

Don had a great way of teaching. It was called the “Let ‘er flow” method. It wasn’t super technical, but it was highly practical. Don’s philosophy was to get the job done in the best and quickest way possible. The printing business was all about getting the work out the door and meeting deadlines. It seemed as though everything that came in was a rush job. As I got into the swing of things and started being more productive, I could hear Don yell out from the back of the shop, “Let ‘er flow!”…It was a great way of releasing pressure, like steam from a pressure cooker. The pressure eased somewhat when Dean returned from language school in Mexico.

About the time Dean came back, my 1957 Chevy gave out and I had to put it to rest in a local auto salvage lot. For the next six months I was without a car. My only transportation was a bicycle. It was a ten mile roundtrip bike-ride to work each day. Char and I had decided before we were married that we would not borrow money from people, keep from spending money we didn’t have, and stay away from debt.

When our car broke down we didn’t have the money or the income to buy a car or make payments. We weren’t sure how we would do grocery shopping and the other practical things a car provided, but we believed the Lord would work it out. One day we got a phone call from a young Christian woman we had met at church. She said that the Lord had put us on her heart and she wanted to help us with our transportation needs. For the next six months, whenever she went shopping, she would give Char a call and pick her up if Char needed to go. The greatest blessing to come out of that time was the friendship that developed between them.

I was at Fellowship Press about seventeen months when I heard of a Christian conference to be held at Campus Crusade for Christ’s main headquarters in Arrowhead Springs, California. I was interested in the conference and was able to work out the necessary transportation to attend. During the conference I was relaxing in the main lounge area when, to my surprise and delight, I saw T.A. Hegre, the president of Bethany Fellowship Bible College. We greeted each other warmly and had a nice long visit. Before I left the conference, Mr. Hegre told me about the work Bethany Missions was doing in Puerto Rico, which included a large and prosperous Bible Bookstore.

“How about joining us and becoming a part of the ministry in Puerto Rico,” he said.

I didn’t know how to respond, but it sparked an interest and I told him I would prayerfully consider it.

When I got back home I told Char about the conference and my time with T.A. Hegre. As we discussed the offer to go to Puerto Rico and work with Bethany Missions we both warmed to the idea and began to seriously consider it. We realized there would be a price to pay and didn’t take it lightly. I started reading all I could find on Puerto Rico and stirred the information into the pot of prayerful consideration. As the pot brewed, the decision to go became clearer and we both sensed this was God’s next step for us. Once our hearts were settled, I talked with Don and Dean and told of them I would soon be leaving the print shop to join Bethany Missions.


Chapter 21: Return to the Mission Field

God’s sweetest fellowship is for our loneliest journey;
His richest supply is for our neediest hour;
His closest embrace is for our deepest pain;
His brightest light is for our darkest day. 

Our family was on the move again. We said goodbye to the G.O. House, to Don and Dean, to Fellowship Press and to our friends and loved ones in the LA area. This time it looked like our desire to be fulltime on the mission field was finally going to happen. It was a big step for us, but we sensed it was the right move at the right time.

Becoming a part of Bethany Missions meant that we would need to turn over everything we had to the mission. This meant all our pots and pans, linens, dishes, and anything else we owned. The reason for this policy was because Bethany Missions operated communally. Missionaries lived on the property that was owned by the mission. Missionaries were given private sleeping quarters, but everything else was equally shared by the missionary staff. This helped the mission to be self-supporting and operate at a lower cost because all resources could be pooled together. For meals, everyone ate in the dining area. The meals were prepared by a kitchen staff, laundry was done by a staff member assigned to the laundry. The mission owned a number of vehicles, and if a missionary needed a car he or she would put in a car request and check out the car for a certain amount of time. Char and I had no problem turning in our possessions to the mission. We felt that we would be with Bethany Missions for the long haul and had no plans of returning to the States.

Our route to Puerto Rico included a stopover in New York City to visit some friends who were working with Teen Challenge in the inner-city. Even though I was born in New York and made many visits there while growing up in Los Angeles, it was the first time for Char to be in the city. We rode the subway, toured Manhattan, took in the Broadway Musical Fiddler on the Roof, saw the Statue of Liberty, and even drove upstate to see the country around West Point.

In addition to our sightseeing experiences, we were able to see New York through the eyes of those who worked at Teen Challenge, a perspective most tourists never witnessed. It was a reminder of the power of God to change lives that were once held captive by the power of drugs, the fear of gangs, and the torments of Satan.

Once we arrived in Puerto Rico we were picked up by a Bethany staff member and taken to Liberia Betania in San Juan.  Liberia Betania was the name of Bethany’s Bookstore and included all the property and buildings associated with the mission. Char and I and our two children were housed in rooms near a central courtyard that included a basketball hoop and play area. Liberia Betania was located in a busy area of the city but the fenced-in grounds of the property provided some quiet and lots of privacy.

The leaders of the work at Liberia Betania were Rolf and Mary Garborg, dear friends of ours and former schoolmates at Bethany Fellowship Bible College. Rolf was one of my roommates and Mary was Char’s first cousin. We loved being with them and the others on staff. There were many sightseeing adventures as we discovered the Island for the first time…including the beaches, rainforest, market places, luxurious hotels, and quaint shopping spots in Old San Juan.

Rolf was a great mentor for me. He taught me many of the ins and outs of marketing, sales, and distribution of Christian books. There was a small warehouse attached to the back of Liberia Betania that served as a distribution center for several Spanish publishers in the States. Rolf’s thinking was to bring the bookstore to the Island instead of waiting for the Island to come to the bookstore.

Being a distributor gave Bethany Bookstore the opportunity to connect with other bookstores, churches, and ministries throughout the island. Rolf and I took many trips together placing Christian books such as Cross and the Switchblade and Run Baby Run in book racks at the airport, in shopping malls, and at Ramey Air Force Base (the perk of visiting the base was being able to play golf on their course with beautiful ocean views). Another way we sold Christian books was by setting up book tables at various church conferences, meetings, and women’s events. One of Char’s jobs was working in the warehouse doing inventory and shipping out orders that came in from around the island each week.

Bethany had a one year trial period to help new missionaries determine if Bethany Missions was for them. Although we had hoped that would be the case, the longer we stayed, the more uncertain we became.

Char and I were both certain the Lord had directed our decision to go to Puerto Rico, but it was hard for us to understand why it was short-term. It wasn’t until we returned to the States that we began to understand that God did not send us there to adjust to a new life-style, but to receive a new vision for Christian literature and the power of His working through the printed page.

(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  #ministry #roylessin #memoir #dayspring 

©2022, Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. ©2021 DaySpring, used with permission. All rights reserved.