December 9, 2022

LifeDate Winter 2022

by Barbara Lane Geistfeld, DVM, Assistant Director of Volunteer Relations

“The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land” (Psalm 41:2). As a believer, baptized into Jesus to become a child of your heavenly Father, you surely know you have been blessed by God in endless ways. But do you recognize who He may have used to bless you? I do! I became a Geistfeld by marriage in 1972—the last of five to become a child-by-marriage to Victor and Viola Geistfeld of South Branch, Minnesota. They were married in 1932 in the depths of the Great Depression and worked tremendously long, difficult hours to raise their family, grow and harvest their crops, and raise livestock.

Most mornings during their 70-year marriage, they held family devotions. They rarely missed attending church services and Bible class, even during harvest, a time in many farming households when the need to get the crop in, by necessity, sometimes came before worshiping God. Not at the Geistfeld home! Vic always said, “God comes first.” At one point, they took in a foster child and gave room and board to local schoolteachers. They gave generously of their time, talents, and treasure to their church, the local Lutheran parochial school, the Lutheran high school, and to family and friends who needed help.

Their daily, lifelong example to everyone who knew them was proof of Deuteronomy 7:9: “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations ….” Their example was proof of Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

When I look at the lives of Vic and Viola’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, many carefully named on this beautiful piece of needlework, I see the fruits of their commitment to the Lord. I see the fruits of their faithfulness personally in my husband, our children, our grandchildren, and in me. I see faithfulness and true discipleship in so many who were touched by their lives for so many years.

Vic and Viola always gave glory to God for all that they had, both materially and spiritually. They truly understood they were deeply blessed that they might be a blessing to others. It was shown in everything they said and did.

I pray that you will recognize and value those people in your life who were blessed by God so they could be a blessing to you! I especially pray that you will then use the blessings God has bestowed on you to bless those around you and to pass these blessings on to your own descendants to a thousand generations. Now is the time to pass on the gift. Now is the time to pass the baton to the next runner in the race! To God be all the glory!

(Needlework by Carol M. Geistfeld, 1997)