Let your light shine: Philip Spaude

In the spirit of Matthew 5:16, we’re sharing examples of people who live their faith.

Philip Spaude, a WELS Christian giving counselor, shares the following story:

In my travels, I get to hear colorful stories of what people are doing in their private lives to spread the gospel of Christ alone. One retired gentleman I visit makes crosses out of wood. He uses small dark cedar crosses contrasted on light maple, supported by an ash base. In his retirement, he has made thousands of these small keepsake crosses each year for the last 10 to 12 years—all to pass on the love of Jesus to all age groups!

But after you’ve spent much of the past seven days making up to 100 crosses, what do you do with them? Well, I took him to lunch and found out. A waitress he knew well picked up a shoebox of his small crosses. Going from table to table, she asked how many each table wanted. When they asked her who made them, she pointed in our direction.

Eventually three groups approached our table as I sat on edge. But they all thanked him warmly. Then these total strangers told us intimate stories about their lives, giving credit to the Lord for getting them through tough times. One new friend was a Lutheran Sunday school teacher helping start a new church nearby. One was a trucking executive who was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and forced to take early retirement. One was in town from Omaha on business and clearly impressed. My friend volunteered to give them more crosses, so they gave us their contact information.

What a fearless witness for Christ! A keepsake cross changed hands and led to multiple in-depth conversations with total strangers. This simple act of boldly sharing eternal hope in Christ made their day and mine.

He told me this is the message he wants to share: “Be productive. Be thankful for what you can do. It’s a blessing to be able to work. The cross is the whole message of our teaching. Every time I make a cross, I see the Lord.”


Do you have a manuscript, idea, or story from your own life you’d like to share for use in Forward in Christ or on wels.net? Use our online form to share it to our editorial office for consideration.


Get inspirational stories, spiritual help, and synod news from  Forward in Christ every month. Print and digital subscriptions are available from Northwestern Publishing House.


Volume 104, Number 3
Issue: March 2017

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2021
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us

Print Friendly, PDF & Email