Submitted by Marie O'Steen
It was a dramatically different world 90 years ago when Mildred Land O'Steen made her first appearance on planet Earth....
...the first powered flight by the Wright Bros. was less than 10 years old
...television and trips to the moon happened only in the wildest corners of the mind
...children who hungered for learning walked long distances, and their families made deep sacrifices for them to be educated
...people still traveled by mule or wagon to a place of worship...and it wasn't beyond reason to expect to spend the length of the Sabbath, WELL INTO THE NIGHT, IN ONE PLACE, praising God and studying His Word...
In Psalm 107:43 (NLT), it is written, "Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord."
Celebrating a life rich in its own special history, Sister Mildred has always understood the loving kindness of our God. She continues to confirm her testimony daily.
Born to parents whose work lives and religious lives were immersed in the church...parents who are charter members of Alton Church of God...her father a Pentecostal preacher...she found a way to give in her service to God.
She is remembered by many for contributions that range from Sunday School teaching to other leadership roles that went beyond the church walls.
Probably most memorable would be her service in the area of music. Is it not a grand statement about the way God works miracles in our lives to know that the person who led the music for Alton Church for nearly 40 years simply began when, as a young woman, someone showed her "middle C" on the piano. It was Mitchell Thomas who pointed the way for this eager child of God. And the Lord pointed the rest of the way for a young lady with no musical training except through singing church hymns. With her God-given talent to "play-by-ear, Sister Mildred's special place of service was established. Along her journey, not only did she learn to play the piano..the organ and the accordion were two other instruments that responded to her musical touch.
Stories abound regarding some of the happiest days in her life when she and cousins Olin Land, Roscoe Land, and her sister, Ruby Land (who I might add will be celebrating a 99th birthday this September) provided special music for all kinds of occasions throughout the district.
She talks proudly of how at an early age she was selected to be in charge of music at camp meeting. This was a time for the brightest and best to shine for worshippers who gathered with them from all over the North Florida region.
Yes, ninety years ago, shortly after the first powered flight was launched at Kitty Hawk, a different and higher kind of power was launching the life of Mildred O'Steen into the service of the Lord.
Most of us can easily recall the first verse of Psalm 107: "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever." it is the last verse that brings the point into a better perspective..."those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord."
There is so much to celebrate and give praise for in our lives as Christians. Psalm 107 is about the Lord's goodness in our lives, how despite the trials and troubles of the world we are surly going to face, no matter how bad, sad, or glad, God will pour out His blessings if we place our trust in Him to shape our lives and lead us. We have only to observe the life history of Sister Mildred O'Steen to understand this truth.