You all went the extra mile for us, from auctioning Matti’s chickens, to showing D.Anne and Josiah’s steer, to milking the cow, caring for the llama, and writing all Matti’s thank you cards and there were a ton. Next, we would like to thank our church family extending into area wide church families and community. Some of you were able to be with us at the hospital and since have continued to walk us through each step, others of you have just overwhelmed us with your hugs, food, and love. A special thanks also goes to our campground hosts, some who cut their vacations short, to return and keep the business running off hours. Thanks to all who helped with this service and thanks for all the emails and pictures of Matti’s memories that are coming in from across the nation.
I am here barefoot in honor of my son, Matti Boy. I am wearing a yellow shirt because Matti brought sunshine to our home on a rainy day. If you see some of my family wearing some crazy stuff, it is because I told them to wear what would make Matti happy.
Blair and I had great plans for Matti, like you would for any other boy. After reading Raising Modern Day Knights, let me read for you Matti’s right of passage on his 6th birthday.
Happy Sixth Birthday Mathias!
Mathias, on this day you turn six.
This is a milestone year
bringing you one year closer to being a man.
Remember, someday you will be a man
and have a wife and family to take care of.
With this year you are moving further
away from being a child
and closer to being a man.
We, your mom and dad, brothers and sisters, and grandparents
want to help prepare you
to be the very best husband and daddy.
This year you are in kindergarten,
you will lose more teeth,
you will have more chores,
and you will receive greater responsibilities
in taking care and watching over Toad and Sonora.
You are no longer useful in keeping Mom and Dad
safe from the bears
because you can run faster then them.
Because you are six
and because this year you will have
more responsibilities and less playing time,
we think you are old enough
to have and take care of a special gift.
Let this gift remind you of your new responsibilities
and the man you are growing-up to be.
Matti, we present you with this
Not all 6 year old boys are ready for a pocket knife, but Matti was. That knife was the first of many creating his collection. Can you imagine my shock when just this last year, I was pulled aside and told that Matti brought his collection to church to show his friends? This boy kept me on my toes.
It is very important to our family that Matti’s life not go in vain. I think first we have to determine, was Jesus 1) Lord – the Son of God 2) a lunatic – meaning a crazy man or 3) a liar. There is proof Jesus walked on this earth, but many want to look at Him as just a great prophet. In John 14:6, “Jesus said to Thomas, I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.” and in John 11:25 “Jesus said to Martha, I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” What I want to say is he cannot be just a great prophet; He has to be either a raging lunatic or liar or “Jesus the Son of God.” We choose, as Matti did Jesus the Son of God.
When Matti was 6 I was in praying with my three little ones and telling them how Jesus died on the cross for their sins. We talked about what sin is – making wrong choices, hurting each other. Then we talked about Romans 6:23 which they had been learning for AWANAS which says, “For the wages (and believe me, Matti knew about wages; he was always trying to earn money…anyway…”For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I told them when they were ready to make Jesus Lord of their life; to let me know and they could be assured of the free gift. Matti said, “I want to do that right now.” So he and I walked across the hall to our guest room and he committed his life to Jesus. Did Matti know everything about heaven and hell and who Jesus was – of course not – even the greatest theologian doesn’t have all the answers. In Mark 10:14 it says “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” You see, it takes the faith of a child to have that free gift. All you have to say is “Jesus, I have made mistakes and I have done wrong, I need you and Your strength to help me get through this life. I want to turn over control of my life to you Lord Jesus.” It is that simple folks, Jesus says is we confess Jesus as Lord; salvation is ours.
There are three things I want you to remember, Jesus still lives, Jesus still loves, and Jesus still gives out Peace. There is no other logical explanation for the peace we have. We have peace knowing as Matti did that Jesus still lives, Jesus still loves and Jesus still gives out Peace.
If you make a change in your life because of Matti or because the testimony of our family, we want to know about it. Please email us at [email protected]
Ronna’s Talk at Service:
Blair and I, D.Anne, Josiah, Darius and Sonora would like to thank all of you for coming tonight. Your presence means so much to us. We would first like to thank the immediate responders– as I sat quietly in our RV reading with Darius, I first received a phone call and as I stepped out, a car was there to usher me to the scene within seconds – you all were incredibly amazing. Then we would like to thank our family some of whom were able to meet us at the hospital and others who joined us back home. You all dropped everything and came; and having you here with us over the past few days has been wonderful – we just hear you saying, “We are here to take this journey with you; you’re not alone.” Then, we would like to thank our 4-H family. As we drove to Kenai, Blair told me, “There is nothing back there we need to worry about – they are taking care of it.” I don’t always do this, but this time, I figured, “if he is not going to worry about it, I am not either.”