S: Mervin Lambright The First Fifty Years 2011
BC: and on to the next 50
FC: The First Fifty Years
1: Merv your journey started in Shelby Ohio on Dec 8th 1961. You were born 8th of 10 children, Your parents Sarah and Amos, were still in process of figuring how to be "English". They were Amish and had decided to leave that life style and as the Amish say, "become English". I wish I had asked your mom more questions about you as a baby, but she usually told me when I would ask that "she had so many children that is was hard to keep track of you all"! Because your parents were new to "English ways", there are not too many photos of you as a child. The ones I have here are precious to me and give me a glimpse in to your life as a small boy growing up in Central Ohio. I think you probably were not at a loss often to find people to play with. I hope you enjoy this small reminder of how amazing you are to me and how much we all think of you!
2: You and sister Sara Etta, (L) What I hear is you liked standing on the register to get warm. (below)
3: Your home where you grew up
4: What a long time ago but wonderful memories of you as you grew into a young man..
5: High School years. Middle picture was your senior class photo. It was the photo you gave me when we started to date.
6: SInging group you were a part of during HIGH School | Such a handsome man!
7: Merv: you are turning 50 years old on December 8,2011! I have known you your last 32 years. The day I meet you my life changed and I have never been the same. You were young and full of dreams and loads of energy. As we continued to talk and spend time getting to know each other we saw that we had many of the same dreams and aspirations. We had very different paths we were taking to get there, but as we continued to get to know one another a decision was made. This decision was to try and compromise and see if we could get to those dreams together. It was a decision I thank God for often. Our time together initially was short..... only 3 weeks before we each went our different ways to short college. What a ride this has been.
9: MEMORIES...... | We did dorkey things like dress similarly....
10: Trip to Haiti | HAITI!
11: As we started to date dad and mom thought visiting where I grew up would be important. | Visited for the first time December 1980
12: I was proud to call you my husband on August 14th 1982. It was a beautiful day and we have continued to grow in love and honor of each other.
13: Dad preached out of "eccleasioins".. we could never find that book in the Bible but it worked. The "3 fold chord", God, you and I,. God has been most faithful. Thank you for your faithfulness to me as well.
14: You with your dad, Amos (L) Below a series of photos with your siblings. Oldest sister,Frieda,then Elsie,Ernie, Freeman, (pictured below . You two look the most alike) Rosa, Raymond, Junior,you, Wayne ( who passed away in a car accident) and SaraEtta.
15: You, Gabe and Joelle and your uncle Meno. | ...more recent photos of Freeman, Elsie, Raymond and Junior. | Your mom, Sarah.
16: Having our son, Gabriel, was one of our biggest blessings. You were and continue to be an amazing father and now grandfather. Our children are blessed! | Gabriel Paul was our first. Born January 30, 1984
17: When I was about to give birth to our 2nd baby. You said; "if we have a girl I will be so excited I will walk on the celling". We got our Joelle! | Our family felt complete when Joelle arrived on February 7th 1986!
18: Getting to visit Charie and her family in England has allowed us to visit there several times. The first time was on our way to Kenya in 1991
19: We left for life in Kenya December 23rd 1991...... | Wonderful memories were made. And what a growing experience...
20: GREAT times and memories of our time in Kenya. Both as a family and in ministry
21: Great times of working together... friends left behind...... | Salim and you spent many hours in language study and calender making. Hours spent with the Sherrif family was refreshing and a blessing. | MOMBASA
22: A variety of family photos have been taken documenting our years | our first prayer card (below) | 1997 when Gabe was at RVA
23: We moved to PA in 1998. A yearly Christmas photo was a way we could watch us grow as a family | We are a blessed bunch!
24: Some memorable events in recent years........
25: God has blessed us with a wonderful life! | What great memories!
26: In 2007 we had an amazing trip to India Here you are at the Taj Mahal.
28: The first time I herd this song I thought of our relationship! I have thought that this song describes us well! You are still my one and only! I love you! Happy 50th birthday Merv! I hope to spend many more birthdays with you! | "You're Still The One" Shania Twain (When I first saw you, I saw love. And the first time you touched me, I felt love. And after all this time, you're still the one I love.) Looks like we made it Look how far we've come my baby We mighta took the long way We knew we'd get there someday They said, "I bet they'll never make it" But just look at us holding on We're still together still going strong
29: (You're still the one) You're still the one I run to The one that I belong to You're still the one I want for life (You're still the one) You're still the one that I love The only one I dream of You're still the one I kiss good night Ain't nothin' better We beat the odds together I'm glad we didn't listen Look at what we would be missin' They said, "I bet they'll never make it" But just look at us holding on We're still together still going strong | (You're still the one) You're still the one I run to The one that I belong to You're still the one I want for life (You're still the one) You're still the one that I love The only one I dream of You're still the one I kiss good night (You're still the one) You're still the one I run to The one that I belong to You're still the one I want for life (You're still the one) You're still the one that I love The only one I dream of You're still the one I kiss good night
30: Dad, It is hard to believe how much time has passed... but all these memories continue to remind me. | I am so proud of you, Dad. You have helped to shape me into the woman I am today and no one else could ever have had the same impact. Thank you for your dedication, comforting words, and I love you. Here's to the next 50...
31: Merv, I can't express how much I appreciate having you as my father in law. You have welcomed me into the family and been another man that I can look to for guidance. Happy birthday. Logan
35: and on to the next generation... | Dad, I am proud to call you dad. You have equipped me with the tools necessary to allow me to "sore on wings like eagles" as I face life. I love you. Gabe | Merv, I am honored to be called your daughter-in-law. You have shown great character through your actions. Something truly to admire and aspire to model. I love how you care and show such love for my son. Words cannot explain my appreciation for that! Happy Birthday! Sarah
36: Hello, Papa!
38: Hi Merv, It is hard to believe you are turning the BIG 5—0! We are all getting older and.......shall we say.........rounder! (I know........I know.........speak for myself). I really appreciated how sensitive you were about obeying God’s Word when we were a kid! Even then you took the Lord’s work seriously. You still do! I remember how active you were in church, whether it was preparing a message for the preacher boy contest, working on the van route, helping out in Bible school, or just being a leader in the youth group. You were a strong example for other teens and kids. It was apparent you loved the Lord and His Word. It’s apparent you still do! Thank you for being who you are and for being an example of a faithful Christian through all these years. Happy Birthday on this milestone birthday. I love you brother! Love, Rosa
39: Happy Birthday Merv!!!! I wish you the best 50th ever!!! I think back to the days when you were getting ready to marry Val. We were all so excited to have you as a brother in law. You have been a great example to me of a very Godly person. I love the fact of how much you love missions. I think it is great that you and Val got to go to Kenya. I appreciate you always opening up your home to us. Thanks for sharing Val w/ me when I have needed her. THANKS for being such an awesome brother in law to me and husband to Val. I hope your birthday is special. Love, Esther
40: Dear Merv, Sue and I want to extend our heartfelt congratulations to you on your 50th birthday. We consider it a great blessing that God brought our families together at a critical time of transition in our lives. It is a privilege to be considered coworkers together with you and Val for the sake of the gospel. May God richly bless you in the years ahead! Much love. - Don & Sue
41: Dear Merv, What a delight and honor it is to be counted among your friends. Even though we have never had the opportunity to live near each other for very long I always feel like we just pick up where we left off the last time each time we're together. We really do appreciate you and we appreciate all that you do for the Lord! Your labor is not in vain!! Consider yourself hugged! love, Becky
42: Merv, So you're turning 50...At least I'll never be as old as you. But seriously, you've been in my life for a long time, and not only a staple in my extended family's life but also my immediate one. I have great memories of traveling with you , Val, and Gabe in the Omni going from South Carolina to Ohio. Joelle came along and squeezed me out of my seat. I saw a picture of you holding Gabe out in the palm of your hand. I remember how upset mom would get when you would do that. I remember you allowing me to deliver bean sprouts with you one day. We had a lot of fun in that home. Then you were finally able to leave for Kenya. I know mom knew you needed to go, but she was so sad to see you leave. Too bad you couldn't have found a mission field in Jamaica. The time you were able to spend in East lake Woodlands was a special time as well. It was neat to be able to have MAK get to know his cousins. They were young but I believe they bonded a little that year. In the more recent years, being there when Gabe graduated high school, and seeing Joelle get married, you've been a real example to me of what a good father should be. The time you and Val set aside to come toGreat Lakes and celebrate MAK's graduation from Boot Camp will always be a great a memory of ours. You've raised two great and successful children, working on an awesome grandson, and provided a good safe home for my sister. I will always be appreciative to you for being the older brother to me. The WAY older brother. Happy 50th Birthday and may there be another 50!!! Bernie, Maria and Mark Alan
44: Happy birthday Merv! Thank you for years of friendship and faithful service to the Lord. May God continue to bless you in your new role as a Texan and grandparent, and grant you many more birthday celebrations. Much love, Brenda & Susan
45: When Don and I went to Kenya a few years ago, Merv made it so we could go on a safari. While we were there he got very sick, but was a trooper and we finished the safari. He was very sick all the time we were there. He had malaria. It is great he even has a 50th birthday. Happy Birthday Merv! Love and Blessings, Janet
46: Celebrating with Justin. His wedding ( L) and his graduation! | Merv: Happy Birthday! May your next 50 years be even more fun than the first! :) Junior
47: Dear Merv, I remember so clearly first meeting you on the trip to Cedar Point and wondering why you were following us around all day! A date with Val soon followed and we then knew the answer to that! We have loved having you in the 'Ropp' family and you are a Godly husband for my precious sister. You have set an example of fatherhood with Gabe and Joelle and it was so much fun watching you be 'Papa' to Peyton this summer. Who can forget the circus train morning circle activity? And the hide-and-seek through the kitchen and study? You have been a brilliant brother-in-law to us and uncle to our girls. We have so appreciated the time spent sorting out flights and accommodation for us during our various trips to the US as well as welcoming us to your home. We have loved having you in our home here in England as well. We wish you a very special birthday this year. May God fill your day with unforgettable memories and bless you in the years to come! Happy 50th Birthday, Merv! With lots of love and memories, Graham, Charie, Ali and Lisa xx
48: Hi Merv, First of all, welcome to the 1/2-century club! I preceded you into that “distinguished” group by 4 months (and Jan by 1 year and 3 months), but I know we’re all still young at heart! When Valerie asked us to write a message for your 50th birthday, I started to think too hard about what I would say and how to summarize around 25 years of friendship into a few sentences. (Is it possible that we’ve known you that long?!!) But then I decided that I didn’t need to be too deep or too verbose, but just to speak from the heart. You (and Valerie) have been as dear to us as family. I’ve always thought that one sure sign of a good friend is that even after not seeing each other for months and months, you can just pick up where you left off as if you just saw each other yesterday. You and Valerie are that kind of friends to us and we’ve treasured that for all these years. Many years ago when you all were staying with us overnight you said, “I always enjoy coming to your house because I know if I want to prop my feet up on the couch and relax, I can do it at your house.” Now that you have family in Pittsburgh, you all haven’t done that for a while, but we look forward to propping up our feet at your house in Dallas someday! Have a wonderful 50th birthday. Love and prayers, Diane and Janet I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6)
49: Dear Merv, Happy 50th birthday! I know the last ten years have been a great decade for you because you became a grandfather. When we think of you, Merv, we think of faithfulness. We appreciate your faithfulness to your church, as we saw so clearly in your commitments at Calvary Bible Fellowship Church. We appreciate your faithfulness at Christar, where you have showed your willingness to serve diligently in many ways. Your faithfulness as a husband, father and grandfather has also been a joy to see. May God bless you with many more years, so that you can glorify Him. Yours in Him, Richard and Beth Barron
50: Happy 50th Birthday! | Merv, While we have known you only a relatively short period of time, all three of us consider it a true blessing to know you. We love how you serve so selflessly and how you continually reach out to others. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (The Message) "We pray for you all of the time ~ pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something." Blessings on your birthday and every day! Love, Jennifer, Wade, & Kate Hallisey
51: Dear Merv, Happy Birthday, I was fifty once. 1997 it was. I had a couple of kids in the last year of high school and 2 in college. You are already beyond that. I had no married kids but you have all yours married off and even grand kids. I had none when I was fifty. You have a job that will probably be satisfying for the rest of the time you work. I was satisfied with my job then and I am very happy with my ministry now. May you continue to enjoy the work the Father has given you for many years to come and glorify Him in it. This morning I was reading in Psalm 119:73 to 80. My thought is that we are vessels lovingly and mercifully made by the Father. Through suffering we get deeper and can hold more of His joy and comfort which we can give to others. Our vessel is kept sound by fearing the Father and humility. May you have a heap of mercy and love to shape you, only the suffering that will deepen and purify to continue and more and more to be the source of joy and comfort to your wife, family, and ministries. I know that humility and a godly fear will propel you to the place you were destined to be. Continue to be the reliable and stable friend you are, that others count on to be there and make the important contributions to finish the task and achieve the goal. Happy birthday! Armand and Jean LeBlanc
53: Merv, How we thank God for you and your ministry with us and to us. God bless you as you continue serving Him with all your heart. You are a real example of a heart that longs to please our Lord in all you do. Love, Mark and Suzi HAPPY 50TH!!!!
54: John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. | Merv, I thank God upon every remembrance of you. It has been several years, now, that I first met you out on the Cherry farm. I was pleased that a fellow of your caliber wanted to date my daughter. I have followed you through your joys and some struggles. I am thankful I was a part of your wedding. I was pleased to be included to be with you in your final days before you left for the field—to see you and the family, off to Kenya. I remember a time you told me, “You will be proud of me, dad.” I am and I have been. You have cared for my first-born well, reared my grandkids in the fear and admonition of the Lord; they have done well. Indeed, I am proud of you. It is a joy to be able to share ‘good things’ about you, Valerie and the kids when I am asked how you are doing. I can count on you for great and mighty things as you continue to abide in the branch; you will bear much fruit and the fruit will last. Dad and Mom
55: I'm wishing you a fabulous year, Merv. I love you, and hope your birthday will be a very special one. Annie Ropp
56: THE SPIRIT OF JESUS LORD JESUS CHRIST Fill me with thy Spirit That I may be occupied with his presence I am blind--send him to make me see Dark--let him say 'Let there be light'! May he give me faith to behold My name engraven in thy hand My soul and body redeemed by the blood, My sinfulness covered by thy life of pure obedience Replenish me by his revealing grace That I may realize my indissoluble union with thee That I may know thou hast espoused me to thyself forever That I am one with thee As a branch with its stock, as a building with its foundation May his comforts cheer me in my sorrows, His strength sustain me in my trails, His blessings revive me in my weariness, His presence render me a fruitful tree of holiness His might establish me in peace and joy His incitements make me ceaseless in prayer His animation kindle in me undying devotion From: The Valley of Vision
57: Merv, It’s a great thing to join the “half-centenarian club.” Some of the most amazing people I have ever heard of lived to this milestone so now you and I have at least one thing in common with some of the great ones Two things stand out that you set as a standard for others to emulate: pursuit of excellence and a servant’s heart! I appreciate so very much your continual consideration of how an activity, decision or process demonstrates excellence. And NEVER have I seen you move away from helping others you are always in the middle of helping people!!! We praise God for you! For your service to Him, your co-workers and the peoples of the world! I also praise God for the fact that your children rise up and call you blessed! Your family’s love, respect and appreciation are second only to that of our Savior! Enjoy your 50th! May your second 50 be even better than the first! Enjoying the TREASURE! Steve & Beth
58: Merv, You serve the Lord with quiet consistency and you serve those of us here in the office in more ways that we can count and always with a servant heart! Thank you for all you do and more importantly, all you do flows from who you are. Your love for the Lord and passion to serve Him is obvious. It has been a joy to get to know you over the last few years, staying in your home in Reading, having you in my home when you came house hunting I still remember you trying to nail down the boards on my deck wish I had a picture of THAT to add to your book. Your graciousness in picking me up from the airport and the list could go on and on. Our lives..my life is enriched from knowing you. May God bless you in special ways this day and all days. With His love, Kathy
59: I've always appreciated your zeal to see souls saved. You've been consistent in your walk with the Lord. God Bless you as you continue to do God's will. Love, SaraEtta & Family | HAPPY 50th Birthday Merv....
60: I thank God for the fact that you make prayer a priority. In the past, you have been a major driving force behind office prayer times. Happy Birthday! Esther Luna
61: Hi Merv, Happy 50th Birthday!!! Wow thats so awesome of God to give you 50 years and perhaps another 50 years to accomplish the good works He has ordained for you to do. Thank you very much for your friendship especially the time in Reading when we prayed together. I treasure that. In His grip, Ben
62: I was out of the home for awhile before you were out of jr high and you probably saw me as a heathen then, which I probably was. I can say I was a better looking little nerd than you in our younger pictures and you may even have looked nerdier. Most of our relationship came after we were adults and we could talk about the things of God because of our passions as God fed our thirst for Him. Freeman | Hope you have a blessed 50th Merv
63: Dear Merv, How Pat and I have appreciated you over the years. You've been a fun guest, ready to help us with computers, very enabling of Valerie as she flourishes in her roles. And you make a great grandfather. Happy, happy birthday from two who are further along in age. Mary Ann and PatCate
64: Happy 50th Birthday, Merv! Blessings, Chet and Dottie | We appreciate you and Valerie so much. It is a real privilege to share a friendship with you. Both of us have been thinking of you and pray that God continues to bless and strengthen you. May you have a special time celebrating your birthday, It would be nice to be with you on your big day. We miss you. Wishing you special blessings!
65: We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. ~I Thessalonians 1:2-3
66: Above - Gabriel, Merv, Val pregnant with Joelle, Sarah with newborn Noel, and Dan. Dec.1985 Below - Gabriel, Lindsey, Joelle, Noel, and Christa. Dec. 1990 | Above - Love this picture of Merv because the baby he is carrying is not his but our middle daughter, Lindsey. Joelle is little girl on the left and Noel is little girl on the right. Labor Day weekend, 1987. Below: Dan and Sarah today (7/2011)
67: Merv is turning 50 – WOW! I have known Merv most of my life. First thing I remember about him from our childhood was his shockingly white hair. I know most would call it blonde but it was really that tow-head white. (I know it is a weird thing to mention.) Merv’s love for God and his desire to serve Him stands out to me as something that has been a part of Merv as long as I can remember. I will never forget Merv singing, “Through it All” at his brother Wayne’s funeral. I remember sitting there, as a teenager, and wondering where Merv got the strength to sing. I now know it was from God & I guess I knew it then but did not really understand. I also remember going to Cedar Point with the Bethel youth group the summer of 1980 with my cousin, Valerie Ropp, and how she met and ended up talking to my friend, Merv the whole day and... the rest as they say is history. | I am so glad that Merv became part of my family when he married my cousin. Dan and I were blessed to live in Columbia, SC for several years at the same time that Val and Merv were also in Columbia attending Columbia Bible College. We had many wonderful times together during the early years of our marriages and raising of our kids. Years later, when Val and Merv were living in Florida for a short time, we went down to visit them. One night Merv and Dan got into a theological discussion and Val and I just laughed because they sat out on the patio even after dark, and without turning on any lights, sat out in the darkness continuing their discussion. Even though we have not lived near Merv (and Val) for many years, they have continued to be some of our nearest and dearest family and most of all - friends. HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY MERV! Love, Sarah (and Dan)
68: Merv, How we've appreciated your faithfulness as a co-worker and a friend. Your consistent walk with God and your prayers have blessed us. Happy 50th! Ken and Kathy Hoffman
69: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERV | Merv: We pray you will have a happy and blessed 50th birthday ! and many more to come. Although we have known Val from way back, Yvonne and I have not met you face to face even though we've prayed for you both for years Bill and Yvonne Thomas
70: Dear Merv, Howdy neighbor! It has been fun sharing neighborhoods in Reading and Richardson, and running into you at the Garden Party in Reading and the local arts festival in Richardson. We share lots of memories in the Christar office as well, from parties to the help desk to international finances. Thank you for sharing in service to our Lord and to reaching the least-reached. Have a Happy Birthday and many blessed years ahead! In Christ, Betty Ann Stedwell
71: MERV I was so happy to be ask to add something to your book. Gosh, I can't believe this is your Big "50" where does the time go, lol. What fun times we had in Clearwater area. I cherish those memories, God led me to CCC and I met you and Val and you guys adopted me into your family. I love you both so much, and am so lucky to have you as forever friends. Have a great Birthday, wish I was there to help celebrate. Linda
72: Happy 50th Merv! May your years be better and better as time goes by. Many blessings to you on your special day. Keith McDonald
73: Happy 50th Birthday from your friendly Texas HR Department! We truly have enjoyed getting to know you and look forward to the years ahead as part of your Christar family. Blessings, Deborah and Sandy
74: 50th Birthday Bash December 11, 2011 Guest Sign-In