At the end of February I attended the funeral of a close family friend and a spiritual mentor who died at the age of 102 on February 11th, 2013. Pastor William Berg was born on May 12, 1910 in Princeton, Illinois, of Swedish immigrant parents. He graduated from college in Rock Island Illinois and when his father, a pastor, died suddenly, he took over his parish, and was in ministry in the Lutheran church from then on. He was ministering to others even up to the day he died. I remember receiving an encouraging letter from him just a few weeks before he died inviting us to come to the sermon he was planning on giving on Easter this year (yes, still preaching at 102!).
Pastor Berg married my parents way back in October 1974, and has been a constant source of encouragement and love for all of us ever since. He's one of the hardest working, humble and most loving people I've ever known. I remember countless times when I would enter a room and Pastor Berg would seek me out to welcome me and give me a hug. He was one of those people who just knew how to make people feel special.
He was also constantly praying for others. He would ask people if he could pray for them – and then actually follow through and pray for them as a part of his ever expanding list of prayers every morning.
But he didn't only pray for others, he always made sure to thank and praise God in the midst of his prayers, thanking Him for the many blessings he had given him. I think by doing that every morning it helped him to be the positive and love filled person that he was.
Daily Devotions And Praise To God
Pastor Berg planned his own funeral, and one thing he thought to include in the bulletin was a list of the devotions that he sang every morning, along with a verse to go along with that praise.
I thought I'd share those here as I believe beginning the day in gratitude thanks to God can have a profound effect on your life. Why not give it a try?
Pastor Berg's Daily Devotions: Sing Them Every Morning (Pastor Berg Did! Use the tune of this song)
- This is the day the Lord has made: This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it Psalm 118:24
- This is the place the Lord has made: See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Exodus 23:20
- This is the world the Lord has made: Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:14-17
- This is the body the Lord has made: Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- This is the family the Lord has made: For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. Ephesians 3:14-15
- This is the Church the Lord has made: And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18
- This is the land the Lord has made: if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
- This is the person the Lord has made: So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
- This is the promise the Lord has made: and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me. Psalm 50:15
- This is the way the Lord has made: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
- These are the feet the Lord has made: How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
- These are the hands the Lord has made: I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work. Nehemiah 2:18
- This is the mind the Lord has made: Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:45
- These are the friends the Lord has made: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:13-14
- This is the song the Lord has made: Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1
- This is the love the Lord has made: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16
- This is the work the Lord has made: David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. 1 Chronicles 28:20
- This is the Book the Lord has made: Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9
- This is the peace the Lord has made: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
- These are the wheels the Lord has made: When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. Ezekiel 1:19
- This is the air the Lord has made: Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7
- This is the water the Lord has made: Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. Acts 14:17
- This is the cross the Lord has made: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
- These are the partners the Lord has made: 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, Philippians 1:3-5
- These are the pills the Lord has made: Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. Jeremiah 17:14
- These are the blessings the Lord has made: Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— Psalm 103:1-2
Pastor William Berg was happy to give God all the praise for all the things that God has made, and all the blessings that he has bestowed. Living life with a sense of humility and gratitude will definitely help you to live a more content and happy life.
Read another post about William Berg here: Words of Hope In Turbulent Times