God keeps his promises. Despite thousands of years passing after Adam and Eve rebelled, God kept his word to send a Messiah (Hebrews 1:3), making a way for us humans to be at peace with God and with one another. Now we anticipate Christ returning a second time as the good and just King of kings, like a groom coming for his bride.
Amazingly, the radiance of God’s glory displayed in Christ can shine from us, his church, too. God takes simple, sinful, earthly humans and redeems us to be beautiful — shining with the light of God’s glory.
“He showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel…”
"Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power."
My Great-Grandma Estelle My mom's mother's mom
Estelle’s greatest desire in life was to love and serve her Lord. She grew up in a very poor family as the middle child of five and the only girl.
She learned to sew at a young age but did not learn to cook until her husband taught her. Due to her family's poverty, her mother and father would not let her learn because everyone would have had to eat every mistake.
As a girl, she was able to afford fabric for herself by offering to sew an outfit for her friend for free if her friend would buy enough fabric for both of them to have a skirt or dress. Her skills with sewing and her sense of style paved the way for her various occupations — such as selling Avon products, sewing drapes at home, and working at Winkleman’s - an upscale lady’s clothing store.
Although Estelle did not complete high school, she worked with other women to help start Michigan Christian College, the college both of her daughters first attended. She made sure her home contained at least two books—the Bible and the dictionary—and her Bible was full of notes, evidence of the time she spent both studying it and attending church services.
Estelle was a very generous person and was careful not to speak poorly of others and not to complain.
She laughed easily and had some spunk and determination as well. For example, when her husband delayed adding on to their small two-bedroom home, she surprised him by knocking out part of an outside wall in their kitchen while he was at work. She didn’t have to wait much longer for the expansion after that!
As part of Radiance’s name, it is fitting that Estelle means star - something that radiates light and points toward the coming king (Numbers 24:17 and Luke 2). In Revelation 22:16, Jesus refers to himself as “the bright morning star”.
She who brings happiness.
My daddy's dad's mom - Beatrice.
The sassy humor, witty smile, and insistent generosity of Grandma Bea made her endearing to her kids and grandchildren - even though times were hard and challenges were very real.
While she never had much money, she always welcomed her family with energetic hospitality. She'd pour her love into making special meals - often reminiscent of our family's Slovakian ethnicity. And, she made it a point to find special toys and gifts and moments for her grandkids.
She'd almost never sit down to eat the meal with her family as she preferred to serve them instead. And, at the end of a visit, she'd hide money in shirt pockets and fight with you if you tried to give it back.
When you found her taking a moment of quiet from her busy, task-focused days, she would be sitting outside smoking a cigarette and talking to her Lord Jesus - finding peace in Him.
7 lb 13 oz
Radiance Estelle Beatrix Surmi
We are overjoyed to welcome our 3rd child into our life. Each of her names mean something special to us.