Ever Full Of Sap And Green


They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

(PS 92.14-15)

It?s Easter Sunday and the whole family comes for dinner.

My 92 year-old Dad, JJ, arrives wearing pink sport coat, bolo tie, western belt buckle, hat that looks a little too small for his head with upturned brim all the way around. ?He’s a walking fashion statement.

As we?re eating dinner he says, ?Well I have to go over to the home tonight to preach to the old folks. I’m older than most of them.?

?What are you preaching on?? we ask.

?Gonna preach on women.?

?Women? ?Why are you speaking on women??

?Well, most of the folks who come out on Sunday nights are women. ?There’s a few men. ?So I thought I’d speak on women. ?After all, there’s going to be more women in heaven than men.?

We jump on this. ??Wait a minute, Dad how do you know there?s going to be more women in heaven than men??

?Well, you go to most churches and it?ll be mostly women there.?

As discussion ensues, I think of Dad’s idea many years ago that no one would know each other in heaven because we’d have new bodies. ?He thought he’d be wandering around heaven asking people, have you seen my wife, Jonalee?

After we discuss the merits of whether there will be more women in heaven than men, Dad says he’s going to be talking about godly women. ?And then he says that for his final example of a godly woman he’s going to talk about my mom, who died in 2001.

I think, what a blessed man I am. ?I was so blessed to have a godly mother.

It’s Easter. ?My mom is before the throne worshiping the Lamb.

My godly 92 year old dad puts on his pink sport coat and heads out to talk to the “old folks.”

One of my sons says “Grandpa sure is a servant.”

I think, I want to be like him.

Except maybe for the coat.


  • Joanne says:

    LOve it ; Mark! Made my day to see and hear about your dad.
    No pink sports coat? (stick to your plaid flannel shirts>>) what about the ever-present bolo tie?

  • Elaine says:

    Your father is a treasure! He is a kind and gracious man – and made quite the impression on our children on our first day at Sovereign Grace. They remember speaking with him and were struck by the interest he took in them and how he encouraged all of us to come back. He's a great ambassador for Christ.

    And not every man can carry off a pink sport coat. :-)

  • Patricia says:

    Oh how I LOVE this. Totally made my day!!!

  • MarkAltrogge says:

    Hey Joanne, I might start wearing a pink sport coat only mine will have a silver lightning bolt on the back. And I used to have a couple bolo ties my dad gave me – my favorite was a Texas longhorn. Wish I still had it.

  • MarkAltrogge says:

    Thx Toby!

  • MarkAltrogge says:

    Yes Elaine my dad is certainly one friendly guy. I'm glad he took an interest in your kids. He probably told them half a dozen stories….

  • MarkAltrogge says:

    I'm glad Patricia. Thanks!

  • Briana says:

    Tears welling up. What a provoking example of one seeking to finish well. I may have to quit my frequent readings of your blog, however, as it's making me miss Indiana way too much. We are hoping to make the first service in the new building.

  • Mark Altrogge says:

    Hey Briana, like I always say, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Hope you can make the first service – it would be an honor to have you and Lawrence and your fam!

  • Vince says:

    I love to hear stories of your family. You are an interesting and inspiring bunch.

  • Mark Altrogge says:

    Thanks Vince! Well, we are certainly an interesting bunch….

  • Eric G Wan says:

    Fashion statement, absolutely! Never mind men in their 20s pulling off pink but wow your dad! And still so enthusiastic about serving the Lord and preaching. God bless this man.

    I love how you want to like him just as your son wants be like you, and please maybe the pink coat as well?

    Your family is definitely an interesting bunch, and somehow I wasn't very surprised that an Altrogge is rocking in a pink coat, hehe.

  • Mark Altrogge says:

    Hey Eric, I think you have me convinced to get a pink sport coat. I think I could rock in it.

  • Joe says:

    Thanks Mark and JJ what a joy it is to recall heroes of the faith

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