Like Those Who Dream: Chapters 28 and 29
28: To Lose Is To Gain
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow
You will never be in a place where the river of
God’s loving kindness cannot reach you.
The waters of His love will find their way into
The streams of His goodness will flow into your
The refreshing of His Spirit will turn every
trial into a place of praise.
we arrived in Arkansas, I went through culture shock. Because Char was raised
in a small farm community, it was easy for her to make the transition, but I
missed many things about the big-city lifestyle. There were no professional
sports teams, no fancy restaurants, no large shopping malls, no freeways, and a
multitude of other conveniences that were missing. The adjustment was so great
I began to wonder if I had made a mistake in moving from Los Angeles. In time,
though, I settled in and began to appreciate where I was and what it had to
of the things that helped me get settled was finding a permanent place to live.
We spent many weeks house hunting but couldn’t find anything that fit our list
of desired features in a house. On a
Saturday, a few hours before I had to leave town on a business trip, I received
a phone call from our realtor. “Two houses have just come on the market and I
think you should take a look at them.”
sorry, but I need to leave town soon and only have time to look at one of
and I met the realtor at the new listing. As we walked toward the garage, both
Char and I knew this was to be our home. As we walked through the interior of
the three bedroom house, it had everything that was on our list. The property
was on a 2 ½ acre wooded lot with lots of privacy. We decided that day to buy
the house at the full asking price. When we came back to view the house again,
the owners were home. We introduced ourselves to Bob and Joan. After the
friendly introductions I asked them why they had decided to sell their house.
“We wanted to live closer to town,” was their reply. Coming from Los Angeles I
found this humorous because their house was only one mile from town.
we continued to visit, Joan asked us a question, “It was quite a surprise for
us to sell our house one day after putting it on the market. Bob and I were
wondering why you decided to buy it.” We told them about our move to Arkansas
and that we had been praying about the house we should buy. When we told them
that we believed their house was an answer to prayer, Joan’s face lit up. Our
conversation turned to the Lord and we discovered Bob and Joan were believers
who were hungry for more of Jesus in their lives. We connected with them
immediately and they soon became our closest friends.
of the blessings we received at our house in the woods was when my mother came
to live with us. She had been dealing with a rare disease that was slowly
crippling her hands and she could no longer live on her own in LA. We knew it
would be a big move for her and a big adjustment for us, but we also knew it
was something God had put on our hearts to do. One of the Scriptures that
helped us to prepare the way for her was from Isaiah 54:2 "Enlarge the
place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do
not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.” To make a place
for her we converted our large attached garage into an apartment with a living
room, bedroom, and full sized bathroom. As a final touch we built a deck and a
screened-in porch right outside her front door. She loved it! We were able to
spend 31/2 special years with her before her death.
I began to adjust to our new way of life I started to enjoy it more. I liked
the idea of being centrally located in the country and I thought it would make
traveling easier when I was invited to speak in other parts of the country. It
didn’t take long to receive speaking invitations. The biggest contributor was
the Gideons. When local chapters found out about the story of my dad coming to
faith in Christ through a Gideon Bible, I was invited to speak at local
meetings in the State. Before long I started receiving invitations to speak at Gideon
meetings outside of Arkansas. Although I remained working fulltime at DaySpring I felt that outside speaking opportunities would
eventually become my main ministry focus.
1981 I was asked to share my testimony at a New Year’s Eve service at the church
we were attending. The meeting was in the main sanctuary and the late-night
service was well attended. Speaking in public was something that came easily
for me and I always considered it one of my strengths. I didn’t get nervous or
have any fear of crowds. Giving my testimony was something I had done many
times over the years and was one of the easiest speaking assignments I could
I stood before the church that night something was different. I couldn’t put my
finger on it, but I became uncomfortable and started getting fidgety. As time
went on, it became harder for me to speak and I started to lose confidence in
my ability to communicate. Instead of looking at the people I started looking
at the ground. Insecurity began to settle upon me. It was a great relief for me
to come to the end and sit down. When the service was over Char came up to me
and asked, “Was something wrong? You didn’t seem like yourself tonight.”
know. I can’t explain what happened but it became harder for me to speak.”
decided to chalk it up to an off night and hoped things would be better the
next time I was asked to speak.
short time later, Char and I went to the Junior High School office to see about
getting our son enrolled for the upcoming semester. The details needed to be
worked out with the school principal, but when I tried to speak to him my voice
became strained. I couldn’t get the words out easily and asked Char to do the
rest of the talking. When we got back to the car she couldn’t understand why I wanted
her to do the talking. She wasn’t comfortable being the lead person in that
type of situation and wondered why I had turned it over to her. I didn’t
understand what was wrong with me and it was hard to explain my struggle.
incident puzzled both of us.
my voice got weaker and became more strained. I began to lose all confidence in
any type of speaking, even talking with family and friends became difficult.
When speaking invitations came in I had to turn them down. My life began to radically change. I had
always been an outward person and socially minded. Once my voice problem became
chronic I started withdrawing from people and kept away from social activities.
I desperately started looking for answers. I went to my local doctor, to a
specialist, and to the speech department of the University of Arkansas. I
sought prayer and counsel, changed my diet, took supplements, and did voice
exercises. Nothing helped and nothing changed. After a long and difficult
five-year search I finally discovered what was wrong with my voice. I had
developed a very rare voice condition known at Spasmodic Dysphonia. There
wasn’t a lot known about it, but it had been traced to a nerve problem related
to the brain stem. The condition caused the muscles in the vocal cords to
become over stimulated, causing the vocal cords to shut down and cut off words
during the time of speech. This made speaking extremely difficult and resulted
in the voice sounding strained and strangulated. It was a relief for me to find out what was
wrong with my voice, but I was saddened to discover there was no cure for the
condition. I cried out to the Lord many times for a way of getting free of this
problem, but the condition continued. With the door of teaching and preaching
closed to me, I sensed the door of writing begin to open wider. My life began
to transition from the pulpit to the pen.
29: From Home to the Heart
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow
What is a Man
A man is not a stone but bread that has been
Not an impenetrable fortress but a river of
kindness and compassion…
Not a tower of steel but a growing tree that
provides covering and bends in the storm…
Not a ruler but a servant who humbly seeks the
success of others…
Not a sign-post but a guide who leads by example…
Not a sculptor but a gardener who nurtures and
provides an atmosphere for growth…
Not a statue but a communicator who speaks from
A man is not an island but a branch that is
totally dependent upon the living God.
of the new things I began to write were the result of what the Lord was
teaching me in my everyday life. One area that needed to change was the
attitude I had about coming home from work. Growing up, I heard and believed
that a man’s house was his castle. To me, that meant coming home at the end of
the day, sitting in an easy chair, putting up my feet and reading a newspaper
while my wife served me a cold glass of lemonade. One day, as I sat in my chair
reading the paper, God changed my thinking. “When you come home from a day of
work,” I sensed Him say, “I don’t want you to arrive as a king, but as a
servant.” My attitude changed. It became clear that the needs of my family were
more important than my personal desires. I knew that in the future, when I came
through our front door, my time was not my own.
experiences as a family provided me with many of the messages that found their
way to the products I was creating for DaySpring.
One of those experiences came within a few months after we moved into our new
home in Arkansas.
couple we knew from California came to visit us. While I was showing them
around Northwest Arkansas, Char decided to surprise me by baking a pie and
serving it when we got back home. Char was a wonderful cook and a great baker.
She made a fabulous apple crisp, out-of-this-world cream puffs from scratch,
yummy cinnamon rolls, and the best tasting chocolate chip cookies in the world.
The one dessert she lacked confidence in making was pie. Her pie baking
experience that day turned out to be a life-changing moment for her. Here is
I came across some beautiful blueberries at a
fruit stand and decided I would surprise Roy (and our guests) by making a
delicious pie. I knew pie was Roy’s favorite dessert and even though I didn’t
have a lot of confidence in pie making, I wanted to impress him and our guests
with my efforts. The whole time I was making the pie I was thinking how happy
everyone was going to be that evening as I presented the pie. I knew how proud
Roy would be of me. I looked forward to all the praise I was going to
receive from Roy and from our guests. After dinner, the moment I had been
anticipating arrived. I cut the pie to serve everyone, but as I presented
Roy with his piece, he said, “Sorry, hon, I'm just too full; there’s no
way I could eat it right now.” I was absolutely shocked! All my
effort and anticipation for praise - gone!
In that moment the Holy Spirit showed me my
heart, "Char, you made that pie for man. You did not do it as 'unto
The Lord used the incident to remind me where my
peace lies. The principle He showed me was "Whatever you do, do it as unto
the Lord". I found that the Lord, Himself, is my
reward. His presence is my reward as I'm cooking, cleaning or
going about my daily routine. The need for praise from others in order to
feel secure is no longer needed, because the Lord Himself is filling that
place. This truth became a joy in my life, knowing that each day was a
ministry in all I did.
an opportunity came up at work that allowed me to take what the Lord had taught
Char and share it with others...It was called As Unto Me.
As Unto Me
There may be times when others may not notice
your efforts or give you recognition for something you’ve done. The credit may
even go to someone else. Do it anyway, AS UNTO ME, for I will honor your
There may be times when you do your very best
but still see your labors fail.
You may even sacrifice time or money to help
someone and receive no words of appreciation. Do it anyway, AS UNTO ME, for I
am your reward.
There may be times when keeping your word means
giving up something that you would like to do. You may even find times when
keeping a commitment will mean personal sacrifice. Do it anyway, AS UNTO ME,
for I will not withhold anything from you that is good.
There may be times when you speak the truth in
love to others; only to have your words rejected. You may even do something
with good intentions and be completely misunderstood. Do it anyway, AS UNTO ME,
for I know your heart.
There may be times when you forgive others;
only to have them hurt you again. You may even reach out to bless others only
to have them take advantage of your kindness. Do it anyway, AS UNTO ME, for I
am your friend.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye
serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24).
idea to write Continue On came
through the request of a co-worker whose wife was a stay-at-home mom…
wife has been at home raising our two children and she’s beginning to feel like
she is missing out on something by not being in the work place. Is there
something you could write that would bring her encouragement? I know it would
be mean a lot!”
A woman once
fretted over the usefulness of her life. She feared she was wasting her
potential being a devoted wife and mother. She wondered if the time and energy
she invested in her husband and children would make a difference. At times she
got discouraged because so much of what she did seemed to go unnoticed and
unappreciated. "Is it worth it?" she often wondered. "Is there
something better that I could be doing with my time?" It was during one of
these moments of questioning that she heard the still small voice of her
Heavenly Father speak to her heart, "You are a wife and a mother because
that is what I have called you to be. Much of what you do is hidden from the
public eye but I notice. Most of what you give is done without remuneration but
I am your reward. Your husband cannot be the man I have called him to be
without your support. Your influence upon him is greater than you think and
more powerful than you will ever know. I bless him through your service and
honor him through your love. Your children are precious to me, even more
precious than they are to you. I have entrusted them to your care to raise for
me. What you invest in them is an offering to Me. You may never be in the public spotlight
but your obedience shines as a bright light before Me. Continue on. Remember
you are my servant, do all to please Me"
(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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©2022, Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. ©2021 DaySpring, used with permission. All rights reserved.