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Remembering Elizabeth Philhower  
I will never forget the first time I met Elizabeth Philhower.  Pulling up to the farm with her daughter, Diana, I was struck immediately by how different a place this was from my home.

I grew up in the shadow of O’Hare airport surrounded by congestion, noise, crowds and planes.  But Calvin and Elizabeth’s place was peaceful, quiet and surrounded (it seemed to me) by corn—and cows.

To know Elizabeth Philhower was to know she always had a place for you at the table.  Last-minute dinner guest?  You were welcomed. You brought an extra friend with you?  Never a problem.  There was always a place for you—and your friend—at the table.

There was a place for you in her family room.  I remember the many conversations we had with Elizabeth and her husband Calvin. Whether it was just a few of us…or a ton of us…(like Christmas and Easter) there was always a place for you in her family room.

There was a place for you if you needed a room for the night!   She housed many an overnight for her kids’ friends.  There were overnights with missionaries, overnights with others in ministry. Or others—like me—interested in their daughter, Diana.

There was a place on Elizabeth’s lap for little children. She loved little babies and always made space for them.  She adored her grandkids and great grandkids.

Most importantly, there was a place in Elizabeth’s heart for Jesus.  Long ago, she reached the conclusion that Jesus is not a religious myth invented by weak people trying to make sense of life.

She came to realize that she—like every one of us—had sinned (fallen short of God’s perfect standard).  Elizabeth knew that she needed to be forgiven.  So she asked Christ to be the leader of her life, the forgiver of her sins.

Because of that critical life choice, the Bible assures is that Jesus now has a place for Elizabeth…. and for all who receive the forgiveness of Christ.

Elizabeth died last Wednesday afternoon at the age of 91.  Diana and I will miss her. But some day, by the authority of Scripture, we are promised we will see her again, because Jesus has made a place for Elizabeth, and us, and all who have made room for Him as Savior.

Have you made that choice?

Jesus said in John 14:1-3, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016