Today’s posting is about a man of God who like the Apostle Paul, walked out his life in Jesus until his last breath. People like this are so rare and such and example to us about walking out our course in Jesus here on earth. I pray that just reading about him blesses you!Pastor Tim
A LIFE LIVED TO THE FULLEST
By Monica Osnes Amstutz
My father-in-law, Rev. Blanchard E. Amstutz, my husband Tim’s dad, went to heaven on Tuesday morning, January 1, 2013. This summer we brought Blanchard and Tim’s mom, Verna (93 and 92 years old) to Minneapolis from Ashland, Kentucky to live. I thought you’d appreciate hearing about this dedicated minister of the gospel.
Rev. Blanchard Amstutz had been in full time ministry for over 75 years. Blanchard never fully retired from ministry. He and his brothers started in evangelistic ministry while students at Asbury College in Lexington, Kentucky. Blanchard was 19 years old when he began in ministry. Blanchard and Verna were married in their mid to late twenties and their little family spent their early years traveling the nation as evangelists ministering the gospel in word and music. Blanchard later became a crusade director for Billy Graham Ministries and the family relocated to Minneapolis where the four children were raised for the most part. Later, Blanchard pastored in the Missionary Alliance and Methodist churches. In each church he pastored, Blanchard was known to LEAVE IT BETTER than when he came-both in its spiritual and physical condition. Blanchard told me at Thanksgiving 2012 that the pinnacle of their ministry took place during these past 8-9 years. During this time, Blanchard and Verna ministered weekly in the Kentucky Federal Prison as a part of The Blanchard and Verna Amstutz Ministry. The inmates loved them dearly and so many came to know the Lord through their unconditional love and ministry.
Blanchard and Verna celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this past June. They were both pastors, preachers, and musicians. Blanchard’s primary ministry gift was as an evangelist. He never went anywhere without sharing Jesus with those around him. He genuinely loved people and made friends wherever he went. He was also a sportsman who raised his sons with a basketball, football, or baseball in hand. He was also a Senior Olympics multiple gold medal winner for the state of Kentucky.
Last week Tim’s brother David from Texas came for a few days before Christmas to see Grandpa Blanchard and be together as a family. Grandpa sang with us, laid hands on and prayed a blessing over each of us and our sons. Precious moments! Grandpa was determined to go to our son’s basketball tournaments last Saturday and sure enough…he mustered his strength to be there. When they moved here this summer, he anticipated getting to as many of his grandson’s sports events as possible. He was one tenacious man! Tim and Butch enjoyed watching their last Vikings game with their dad this past Sunday afternoon. 🙂
On New Year’s Eve, Blanchard wanted to go to the New year’s Eve service to listen to Tim’s brother Butch play the trumpet and sing. Tim, Gabe and I took Blanchard and Verna and we all enjoyed our last church service together. We then took them on a tour of the Christmas lights on Summit Ave in St Paul, MN in our van. It was a glorious night together. Gabe sang out every hymn and worship song he knew and Grandpa joined in along with him. We bought Caribou hot chocolate and shared the closing of 2012 together. Tim, Butch, and Verna tucked Tim’s dad into bed that night. Blanchard said, “Thank you” and “I love you”, and they kissed him good night. The next morning, grandpa was dressed in his new sweater and was getting ready to go to a New Year’s party. SHORTLY BEFORE LEAVING, HE SAT DOWN, CLOSED HIS EYES, BOWED HIS HEAD AS IF PRAYING, AND THEN MOVED RIGHT TO HEAVEN.
In the days shortly before Blanchard moved to heaven, he would wake up singing songs about heaven. Two nights before he died, he said he had a dream that he was together with his mother and brothers that had preceded him to heaven.
GRANDPA BLANCHARD LOVED LIFE AND LIVED IT TO THE FULLEST. HE WAS A MOVER AND A SHAKER. HE LOVED TO LAUGH….KNEW ALL THE ‘SICK PREACHER JOKES’…AND WAS THE MASTER OF ‘PUNS’. HE WAS EXTREMELY SHARP AND FULLY AWARE…HE DIDN’T MISS A BEAT AND NOTICED EVEN THE SMALLEST DETAILS. MOST OF ALL, HE WAS LOVING…KIND…AND GRACIOUS TO THE VERY END. WHAT A TESTIMONY!
What a special time this has been! GOD IS GOOD!
(Note: Blanchard “Dad” was my father-in-law for the past 30 years. He never had a negative or critical word for me but instead he was always encouraging, positive, and appreciative towards me. I was and am truly honored and blessed to have had this amazing man as my “Dad-in-law”!
I am sure the Lord is saying, “BLANCHARD,
WELL DONE THY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT!!!
Monica Osnes Amstutz
Living Word Christian Center www.lwcc.org
Creative Productions Director/Dept. Head
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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