Sleeve Notes 101: Jesus Led Me All The Way

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Jesus Led Me All The Way

Jesus led me all the way
Led me step by step each day
I will tell the Saints and Angels
As I lay my burdens down
Jesus led me all the way

My earliest memories of MamMa Bullock have revolved around music. By the time I came along in 1969, she and my grandfather were well established evangelists, traveling the United States preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a young child, I had the priviledge of traveling with them as they held revivals for various churches. MamMa always sat in the backseat of the car as we traveled, reading biographies of the great Christian leaders who so notably left their mark. Often, MamMa would join her soft soprano with my grandfather's booming voice as they would sing some of the old standards.

Getting to stay with MamMa and Pappa was always a treat. Some of my amazing memories involve MamMa following me around the kitchen as I would carry a glass of milk, gently reminding me to "becareful and don't spill it." Or fixing a boo boo that little boys in Texas are want to get. But I think that it's her singing that I remember the most. Always, always with a song on her lips; reminding anyone in earshot that she had a friend in Jesus and that He was watching over her every move.

She was born on April 27, 1926 at the Nan Travis Hospital in the little East Texas town of Jacksonville; the second of five children born to the Spears family of the one stop sign town of Alto. After graduating from highschool, she went on to business school and then married my grandfather (who lived just across the street from her growing up). She gave birth to three amazing children. But probably the most important day of her life was the day she had an encounter with Jesus Christ. That encounter changed the course of her life forever. Soon after that conversion, my grandfather accepted Christ and they began a journey together to share the Good News that Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the lost.

Over these past 80 years, she has had to endure great tragedy such as loosing my grandfather when he was only 60 years old. That didn't stop her from her mission though. I rather think it made her more determined to carry on the mission that she and my grandfather had started. She became Dean of Students for her denomination's Bible College, literally affecting the lives of an untold number of young kids training to go out and spread this message that she believed in so passionately. In fact, it wasn't until shortly after her 79th birthday that she finally retired from that position.

Retirement has not put her off that mission though. While she now enjoys the warm ocean breezes off the Gulf Coast of Florida, she's still sharing her heart with the world around her. And she still has a song on her lips. A song of praise to Jesus Christ for leading her over every mountain peak and every valley floor. When I look around at the legacy that is her's, I see children who are active in the ministry that she and my grandfather started. Both of her sons are pastors with ever-growing ministries. Her daughter is a pastor's wife, pattering her own ministry after that of MamMa.

All MamMa's neighbors have come to know and love her. On any given Sunday, it's a safe bet that she's giving rides to some of them to church. She can be heard leading the intercessory prayer group at church; continuing to beseech God for revival in her life, her families lives, her church, her community and her world. In a conversation she and I had recently, she told me of a little book that she had been reading and how God was showing her that there was still pruning to be done in her life. It's always humbling to see one of the saints modeling the thought that they still have a lot of growing left to do.

I don't know how many more years I will have to share with this most amazing lady. A lady who continues to be a leader and a servant. A lady who has shared her passion for Jesus with more people than I will probably ever know. What I do know is that as long as she walks this earth she will be singing the praises of the One who she remains completely indebted to.

I'm in awe of the heritage I have! I'm in awe of this true saint of God who has truly lived out the message of the cross that Jesus Christ is the answer for the world today. As I've been thinking a bit about her life and legacy, I keep hearing that soft southern accented voice gently singing...

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
For His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me.

As the words of that song fade, I'm struck by the realization that He is still leading her, "step by step each day." She is truly living out the scripture that says, "in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Ask her...she'll be more than happy to tell you all about how He has led and how He continues to lead!

Happy 80th birthday MamMa!

I love you!



Anonymous Carlos Mason said...

Thanks Jonathan for a beautiful tribute to a very gracious lady.As wife of a former foreign missions secretary she and her husband were without any doubt the greatest and have left a lasting impact on people around the world. So I join in wishing her a happy birthday,Carlos.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Knox Bullock said...


That was absolutely splendid. What a great tribute to Mother. Thanks.


3:48 PM  
Anonymous Sharmen Wright said...

Thanks, Jonathan for the lovely tribute to your grandmother! I was privileged to know her at God's Bible School years ago while she was the Dean of Women. I also worked as an RA under her my final year there. I still have pictures of the farewell party that the girls gave for her before she left. I was later privileged to correspond wither her in a little letter writing!! She was a lovely lady...

11:13 AM  
Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

wow, that is lovely, thank you.

6:41 PM  

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