Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Grandma Carosso, my wife Gwen’s mother, died at age ninety-five. She was a praying woman, quiet and unassuming.

After she went to be with the Lord, in her closet Gwen and I found a cardboard box filled with checkbook stubs dating over many years. Grandma Carosso had spent little on herself, but the records showed she had supported missionaries for many years. She sent in small amounts at a time: five, six, ten dollars.

All that time, Grandma Carosso had thought she didn’t do much in the work of the kingdom. She would say she had no talent, no ministry. But she was just as important to Jesus and His kingdom as the many missionaries she supported over the years with her sacrificial gifts.

When our blessed Lord rewards those wonderful missionaries she supported, Grandma Carosso will share in all the spoils of their front-line spiritual victories. Remember what Jesus said of the poor widow who cast two pennies into the offering: “She has cast in more than all the others” (Luke 21:3). The widow had given all she had.

My wife, Gwen, stayed at home while I traveled for years on the front lines of evangelism. Gwen is much like her mother: quiet, unassuming and very dedicated to her family. During the decades when I traveled the world in ministry, I was away from home much of the time. Gwen had to stay behind to care for our four children; she was always there when they came home from school, always there when they expressed a need.

When I returned from trips, Gwen rejoiced with me at the reports of numerous souls being won to Christ, or addicts and alcoholics being healed. Yet she wasn’t able to go and do this work herself.

Many times I heard my wife say, “I can’t preach or sing. I’m not a writer. I feel I’m doing so little, if anything, for the Lord.” But Gwen came to believe that her calling was to be a faithful wife and mother (and, eventually, grandmother).

While writing this message, I told my wife, “On that day when I stand before Jesus, if I have been used to win souls or raise up godly works that please Him, if there are any rewards to be had, Gwen, you will share in them equally.”