Friday, April 6, 2012

You've Got 52 Days. GO!!

Blogger's Note: Life continues to surprise me. You can be going along in what you have come to know as your daily routine, when someone or something can take it in a completely different direction. As I was working on this Bright Ideas! Brighter Future! blog post, "You've Got 52 Days. GO!!" a few days ago, I got message from my dear friend Kris Lupher, who wanted to let me know that his mother, Luci, had passed away earlier that day. The title of this blog post comes from Nehemiah's accomplishment of rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem in just 52 days. After hearing from Kris, I realized his current age, 52 years! That's the length of time his mother got to spend helping build her son's life before being called Home to join her husband, Kerm. So, somehow, what I was writing, seemed even more timely as we celebrate the glorious gift of Easter and I wanted to take time to reflect that message! Thank you for allowing me to share this spiritual journey with you and the thought of Leaving a Legacy for others to know, learn and grow from in their own lives. Praying for peace and celebration of the life of Kerm and Luci Lupher ~ May they be celebrating together again and smiling down on the legacy they left in their children, Kris and Jill, and their families.

 Not 52 weeks! Not 52 months! Not even 52 years did it take Nehemiah  to repair and rebuild Jerusalem’s walls and gates upon returning to the city in 445 B.C. as the provincial governor of Judah/Yehud. 
Nehemiah had served as the high official in the Persian court of King Artaxerxes I at the capital city of Susa, when he heard about the sad state of affairs in Judah. He acquired the king’s permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and its fortifications. He is even given letters from the king to ensure safe passage and to obtain timber from the king’s forest for the gates and walls of Jerusalem.
Upon arriving, he immediately surveyed the damage to the entire city on his well-known night journey around the walls (Nehemiah 2:12–15). Enlisted the help of the people to quickly repair the breaches in the wall. Urged them to set up guards to defend against the constant threat of those who opposed their efforts, including the armies of Samaria, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites.
He didn’t take advantage of food and land allotments that were allowed him due to his office. He made the other nobles and officials forgive all outstanding debts and ordered them to return all land and money that had been taken as taxes so the people would be able to feed themselves and their families.

 Just 52 Days

Nehemiah's work on the wall was completed in just 52 days! The Book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament represents one man's example facing an overwhelming task, yet staying GOAL FIXATED!! We recently finished a series at Harvest Church called "Out of the Rubble", based on the Book of Nehemiah. Pastor Vern's  messages throughout the series reflected that ""When you're doing God's will, you will always be criticized." Especially by those who want to impede your progress. But rather than retaliate ( a normal human response), we are to respond in Prayer. Then, Continue to Work. Stay Focused on the Goal. Respect the Vision that God has set before you.

At the top of the eastern ridge of the City of David, Nehemiah and the returned exiles built a new city wall. Although they simply repaired the pre-existing walls elsewhere in the city, the wall just above the steep Kidron Valley was too damaged and too difficult to mend. So they relocated the eastern wall higher up the slope and, according to author Eilat Mazar, built it directly on top of a ruined wall of King David’s palace (also known as the Large Stone Structure) and its massive rampart (known as the Stepped Stone Structure). Zev Radovan

To this day, you can go to Jerusalem and see the wall that Nehemiah helped direct and rebuild. It has sustained the test of time and enemies for more than 2,500 years. Nehemiah was able to create a Revival amongst God's people, who had become careless towards the Lord. Pastor Vern shared a Big Idea! with us that after a Revival, there must be Reform ~ a change in us for their to be a change in the world. He challenged us to change our ways to make something Good, Right and Beautiful.

As we reflect on this day, Good Friday, the day that we, as Christians, commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death of our Lord, Jesus Christ, on the cross, let's think about what we are doing in our lives to leave a spiritual heritage ~ a Legacy. Who of us could say that if we were given just 52 Days to tackle one of God's assignments, could survive both the opposition and apathy it would take to leave a lasting impression that would last more 2,500 years?

Let's work together to becoming Reforming Agents of Christ's sacrifice 
and love for us. Happy Easter, my friends!

Leaving a Legacy ~ the Lupher's! 

In loving memory of Luci Benzel Lupher 

(Dec. 7, 1934 - April 4, 2012)

 Luci Benzel (Lupher's) high school graduation picture ~ Scottsbluff High School 1953

Lupher's Elevator 

In western Nebraska, you don't even have to refer to the town of Minatare for folks to know where the iconic symbol of agriculture is located. I remember as a little girl going to Lupher's  with my dad. Back then,I didn't understand or realize all the crops and products associated with the grain and feed mill, I just knew that's where we bought our horse feed.

But what I did realize was that the "Lupher" name and elevator was an iconic symbol to our town of 800-some residences and synonymous to Minatare itself.  From the perspective L.P. Lupher's  grandson and my good friend, Kris Lupher, I share his thoughts from the legacy that was handed down to him:

"The cement storage house was state-of-the art when it was built in the 1940's by elevator contractor L.P. Lupher Jr. (2nd youngest of my grandpa L.P.'s 4 sons Marvin, Jack, L.P. Jr, and my father Kerm).

The foundation for my respect and admiration for those in the Agriculture field was built right here at Lupher's. My Grandpa L.P."Dave" Lupher, my dad, Kerm, and my uncle Jack all took part in teaching me that more than sore muscles are to be gained from hard work... the work ethic and self respect that I gained here were the greatest gifts."

Lupher's sold the elevator in 1989 and Kerm passed away April 10, 1999. Just 13 years later, within a week of each other, Kerm's lovely, but feisty, Luci, joined in him in their heavenly home, on April 4, 2012.

Lucille E. Lupher, 77, of Minatare, was born Dec. 7, 1934, on the family farm near Haig, to C. Pete Benzel and Anna Elizabeth (Bott) Benzel. She proudly grew up on the farm in Mitchell Valley, attended Haig School, and graduated from Scottsbluff High School in 1953. She married Kermit Lupher on Nov. 19, 1956, at Raton, N.M., at which point she realized she also married into the world of sports. She started out as her husband Kerm’s biggest fan as she followed all his baseball and basketball games and later in life developed a fierce competitive spirit while following her children’s and grand children’s events. 

The Lupher's around 1963: Luci and Kermit with children, Kris and Jill

She was an avid bowler for many years acting as league secretary for several years. The Luphers purchased the Gambles Store in Minatare, and owned and operated it until 1958. They then owned and operated Lupher’s Elevator in Minatare until 1988. “Luci” had a great love of animals especially her most favorite scotty- Beans.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Kris and Debra (Stricker) Lupher of Gering; daughter Jill and Loren Hill of Reding,CT; grandchildren Marlee and Alex Lupher both of Gering and her brother Harold Benzel and sister-in-law Gloria Benzel of Dixon, CA along with her many cherished nieces and nephews.

Kris, Luci and Jill: April 2009

 When I think of iconic figures and the people that I know that have made a lasting impression in my life, I will think of my friend, Kris Lupher and his family. 
God Blessing's to you all!

"Remember me with favor, O my God" ~ Nehemiah