The Storyteller Tells a Story of Faith…
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalms 119:105 (NIV)
The series of stories under this heading will feature people of faith from both Barnitz and Mt. Zion churches who have not only built the foundation of our churches, but also the foundation of our faith. “The Path Beneath My Feet” is a periodic series of stories which will showcase these people. Lloyd Pontius (MZ) is the next feature story in this series.
Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so. (The United Methodist Hymnal, 1989, pg. 191)
This is most likely one of the first songs we learn as children in church and Sunday School. It’s no wonder it’s a favorite of many of us, including Lloyd Pontius (MZ). The simple words and melody are easy to learn and understand, and the message is clear even to the youngest of us. So when Lloyd was taken to church at a young age by his parents, he learned to trust in these words. Lloyd says he “was touched by his Sunday School teachers as a boy”. He adds, “He became a Christian through his parents’ direction in 1941.”
Lloyd’s early life was atypical by today’s standards. He says, “I started working at 14 while still a school student by carrying newspapers (before school). Then I went to school, came home afterward and changed clothes and went to work in a grocery store. My first full-time job was in a pencil factory in Philadelphia.”
Having a Christian upbringing served Lloyd well. He says it “has helped him to be kind, honest and generous”. His advice to other Christians and non-believers alike is “to follow your conscience”. When Jesus left His earthly home after his death and resurrection, He sent the Holy Spirit to us to act as our conscience to guide us through our lives. Lloyd found out at an early age he needed to follow his conscience. Lloyd had to trust his faith when he served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. Facing the uncertainties and dangers of war, Lloyd was able to draw strength from those lessons he learned throughout his life. The 23rd Psalm is his favorite Bible passage which is a well-known passage we look to when facing troubled times.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23: 1-6 (KJV)
At the age of 90, Lloyd says he “has no regrets” about his life. Living as a child of God gives us the peace and comfort of knowing where our future lies. This is evidenced in another of Lloyd’s favorite songs, “Amazing Grace”.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.
No matter if we have been a child of God for most of our lives or recently accepted Him as our Savior, we can all relate to resting in our faith in Him. Just as the words of “Amazing Grace” tells us, Jesus can and will save all of us if we simply come to Him!