Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

In the Midst of Greatness

Matthew 18:4 "Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

We are surrounded by false humility on one hand and a striving to be the greatest on the other. It is truly rare to find one who is sincerely humble. Where would we find one who thought of others first, one who put forth extra effort to show God's love to everyone he met? One who went out of his way to make everyone feel special? Who saw needs others were too busy to see? Where could we find such man? I know this man and tomorrow morning, along with countless others, I will say goodbye to him.
Norman Gipson was truly an amazing man. He touched every heart he met. Nationwide, souls were moved by Brother Norman. I met him when I was six years old and my dad was a Bear Valley School of Preaching student. Norman and his lovely wife Ann, reached out to my family. He was one of my father's favorite instructors. He taught Biblical Doctrines and my dad often talked about what a brilliant man Brother Norman was. I remember as a child, being so impressed that he was a walking song book. He must have known every song in every book. He enjoyed singing and would burst into song at the drop of a hat. I was very young and I don't remember everything about that time, but I remember that Brother Norman was a servant, a servant who loved to sing.
Many years later as an adult, I would once again cross paths with this man of God's. It was a wonderful surprise that he would be my and Eddy's instructor at Sunset School of Preaching. Other than saying goodby to his beloved Ann, Brother Norman had not changed. I was surprised that he remembered me. Our friendship was renewed and I looked forward to seeing him everyday at school. There are so many things I could tell you that made me love this man. Today, I am not sure I can do him justice, but I will tell you just a few things that touched my heart then and continue to touch it now.
  • Brother Norman whistled or sang all the time. I could hear him coming down the hall and it always made me smile.
  • He always wrote nice things on my tests. After grading my exams, he would write a verse from the Bible or a few lines from a hymn or just a "I am proud of you." He was a true encourager.
  • All of the single women his age thought he was the catch of the century, but he was still madly in love with his Ann. He was very kind in rebuffing their attention, so kind they didn't even realize he had just redirected their attention.
  • He lived a simple life. He wore the same ties and suits he'd worn for many many years, no matter how out of style they were. He chose to spend his money on other things, usually other people.
  • He smiled and laughed all the time. He found humor in everyday experiences. He was happy.
  • He saw needs that others looked over. Several times when Eddy was in the hospital, Brother Norman came to visit and would offer to take the boys out for lunch or sit with Eddy while I went home to change and rest. After Eddy died, Brother Norman took me out for dinner several times, just thinking I might need an adult to visit with and a chance to get out of the house and not cook.
  • He wrote beautiful songs and often came to my office at Sunset to "teach" them to me.
  • He read and studied out of the Greek New Testament. Seriously, that was the bible he took to church. It did not have Greek and English both. He knew the Greek. He was brilliant!
  • He was grateful for all that God did for him and was quick to express his gratitude for the little things others did for him.
  • He was a servant and did not mind helping with the most menial of tasks. He was humble and willing and always a cheerful giver.
  • When I was getting remarried, he ran into me at the bank. He asked about my wedding plans and when he heard I was wearing an older dress, he said that every bride needed a new dress to get married in. He took me shopping and bought my wedding dress. I will never forget that act of kindness.

Everyone has good memories of this man. These are a few of the many things I remember about Norman Gipson. He was amazing and when in his presence you could not help but feel special. You knew you were in the midst of greatness. He was what God's people are supposed to be. He was the Beatitudes. The past few years have been difficult ones for Norman, healthwise and he has struggled. On Monday, he was released from this life and those struggles. I am convinced he is singing again. From humble beginnings came a great great man and today he is in the midst of greatness, right where he belongs.

I am glad you are home, Brother Norman



Blogger Bob Bliss said...

Brother Gipson started teaching at Sunset my senior year (1976). I had him for Minor Prophets. What I remember about him from my brief encounters with him was his optimism. He was always smiling and seemed in a jovial mood. Quite the opposite of some others I know. I wish I had known him better and longer. I look forward to seeing him again on that day.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was always at Red River family camp. I know I speak for all the campers when I say it has not been the same without him. I am happy he has gone on to glory.


9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He sounds like a great man.


10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will all miss him but will see him again one day.


10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He has a place in many of our hearts. Thank you for this tribute.


11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are just not enough men like Norman Gipson.

We were all better when we were around him.,


12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our minister told us in ladies class about Mr. Gipson. He must have been quite the man for christians everywhere to be talking about him.

I am sorry you are sad,
I will pray for you

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to everything you have written. An amazing man and an amazing christian brother.


3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard about Norman Gipson since I was a child. My parents knew him and they loved him very much. They often talked about how much he loved his wife and how much he missed her when she was gone.

Now he can be with her.


9:23 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thank you, Neva, for this delightful walk down memory lane. What a man of God! He was used by God to bless many, many lives. To God be the glory!

Grace and Peace,

12:24 AM  
Blogger Don said...

I think we all have or had a "preacher" or two like that in our lives.

Sorry for the loss but not sorry for his gain :)

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Mark Wilson said...

A good man indeed. Lord, make me like him.

Thanks Neva,

3:15 AM  
Blogger Traci said...

He kinda sounds like my Grandpa. People like that are such a blessing and they make it seem so easy. I really hope that I can get to that point at some point! Thanks for the tribute, Neva. That was beautful.

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva, I did not know that you too knew Brother Gipson, funny how things work isn't it? I too, met him when I was young. He preached a gospel meeting and I remember him being so much fun. He came to our house for dinner and sang. We had a housefull. It was great. A few years ago, I ran into him again at Red River Family Encampment. He was still singing and happy. Now I know you, Neva, singing and happy.
Everyone is blessed because they knew him, or the people he touched.

Let's not forget what one person can and did do!
Lisa S

9:26 AM  
Blogger Larissa said...

I will call you later, b/c I can't talk now and I don't have access to email from school, but I went to the doc today and I don't think I'll be making it to the 6th.

12:39 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

He had a way of making me feel like I was the most special ever and he did that with everyone.

On the comment about his out of date clothes; I wondered if it was because of Ann. Either because he was used to her picking out his clothes so he went with what she had picked, or if there was an emotional tie of her taking care of him associated through them a bond he could still feel. I never asked of course. He really did love her and people and God and singing... He was just a bundle of love.

I thank God I got to know him,

2:07 PM  
Blogger Monalea said...

I'm so glad you share this.


5:40 PM  
Blogger TREY MORGAN said...

I had Norman Gipson as a teacher in my "preaching" class. He was always so kind.

After I finished school I'd come back for a visit occasionally and he'd always shake my hand and call me by name. I was always impressed with his memory.

He'll be missed at the Red River Family Encampment.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Beba said...

I don't know who this man was, but sure he was big man! Digression a bit, we need to be positive, we have to share our smiles! God bless you

3:07 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

On revelation - looks like God is really stretching you a bit with that. I think there are so many more things that we just don't get. Keep on praying that God will help you understand.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman Gipson was my grandfather, and I am really touched by this post and the comments. Thank you very much for posting this!

In Him,

Norman Taylor

3:20 PM  

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