A Tribute to Grandma Maxine

I can look back over my life of nearly 75 years now and count on one hand the number of Godly women that have impacted my life so dramatically as Grandma Maxine Smith. I loved her dearly, and she loved me. It seems that God always sent me exactly who I needed when I needed them and Grandma Maxine came into my life at a time when God was restoring the things I never dreamt would be restored – the love and affection of a Grandma, for instance. You see, all my Grandmas had gone to heaven and God must have known how much I still needed one, so He sent me Grandma Maxine to fill a huge hole in my heart and fill it she did, right along with Grandma Irwin, my natural Grandma who had gone to be with Jesus many years before, and with Vestal Goodman, another of my adopted Grandmas.  Vestal held us all together when we were being torn apart in our great time of testing back in the ‘80’s. She was a great woman of God, and she loved us unconditionally.

As I began our broadcast ministry here at Morningside, I remember how “right with the world” I felt as my wife sat with me on the platform, and I looked out over the audience and saw Grandma Maxine smiling back at me. When I realized she wasn’t comfortable sitting in a regular chair, it was my pleasure to get her a recliner and place it right on the front row!  That’s where Grandma Maxine was ‘stationed’ until she could no longer manage it.

Grandma Maxine filled my life with love, support and encouragement and even better than that, showered my children with love and affection.  When somebody loves your children and grandchildren, they hold a special place in your heart that only those with such an intense common bond can understand. And my children loved her. She was always ready to give them as much time and attention as they needed and wanted. She was selfless and let everybody know how very special they were. When my kids were teenagers and Lori and I sometimes couldn’t quite “connect” with them,  they would go sit on Grandma Maxine’s sofa and get some ‘therapy.’ It was amazing to see how much they loved her and felt safe and secure with her.

This may sound strange, but in my mind’s eye I can imagine Grandma Maxine, Grandma Irwin and Vestal having a great time together in heaven and cheering us all on who remain down here on this earth with all its challenges and the gravity that no longer weighs her down. I can see them walking along those streets of gold together and sharing some of their old stories and laughing – so much laughter!

And you know what? When I get to heaven, I’m going to take Grandma Maxine by the hand and we will go get Grandma Irwin and Vestal and have ourselves a party! And we will laugh for eternity in the joy of the presence of our wonderful Jesus.

13 thoughts on “A Tribute to Grandma Maxine

  1. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psa 116:15. How happy Heaven is to receive this beloved saint, Grandma Maxine! While death is but the doorway to eternity, we are reminded through Grandma Maxine’s passing that we have the joy of knowing we’ll see her again because we believe in the promises of YHWH’s Word. She comforted so many in her time here in the earth [myself included, when we visited there]; she’s now comforted herself by Yeshua, her beloved Savior and all His angels. The tears we shed here in mourning will be kept in their bottles by Elohim until that day when He wipes all tears from our eyes. My heart weeps with those who weep, and rejoices with those who rejoice. My prayers are for all there at Morningside, and Grandma Maxine’s surviving family. May her life passing now be the seed that will bring many more to believing faith in Yeshua, and especially those of her own household, as her intercessory prayers carry them into eternity. May YHWH bless and keep you all!
    Num 6:24 Jehovah bless you and keep you.
    Num 6:25 Jehovah make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
    Num 6:26 Jehovah lift up His face to you and give you peace.
    Num 6:27 And they shall put My name upon the sons of Israel. And I, I will bless them. AMEN!

  2. Very touching. My girlfriend is a grandmother, and it’s amazing to see, as you said, the beautiful time that her and her grandson spend together. Even though she’s tired from work, she still has time for him, (5 years old), whether it be playing, running around, or just “hangin’ out” watching his favorite cartoons. I’m so sorry for your loss. Someday you and Lori will play that role, and I can imagine how much Grandma Maxine and the other Grandma’s time spent with you will spill over into your relationships with your grandchildren. Luv you guys


  4. Just imagine her hugging her beloved Savior Jesus and the hurt will lessen a bit. It also seems as if we will see those that have gone on before us very soon.

  5. so sorry to hear about grandma maxine. heaven has gain an angel as she walks the golden streets of heaven. God has welcomed home his humble, faithful servant may she rest in peace. my deepest sympathy goes out to the baker family and to grandma maxine family. i will miss her smiling face. god bless . mariaelena

  6. I am so very sorry to hear about Grandma Maxine. I know she is missed already….the love she had for you and your family, was so clear when she would appear on camera, her eyes sparkled and her smile was so genuinely warm, It hurts to lose someone we love…and for sure Grandma Maxine was loved by your family and many at Morningside as well as her other family. It is so nice to have two families..those we are” born into” and those we are” born again into”. I am glad she was the first one to buy a condo in Morningside…God knew you needed her loving smile and warm tender heart at that time. She is now walking with no pain with Jesus ….Her body wore out here, but it is so full of life in heaven…..she is breathing celestial air and I am sure she was greeted with Jesus and He must have said..well done good and faithful servant….come on in ! I am paraphrasing a little, but you know what I mean…My heart sends all of you a big hug and prayers for healing of the void that losing such a wonderful woman has left in each of your hearts….only God can heal that hurt and loss, and He will, I know He will ,and one day you will see her again….such a wonderful thing. My prayers are with each of you.Love to all of you, MyMy

  7. I was so sad to hear of Grandma Maxine’s passing because her presence blessed us all, your TV family and partners. She gave us depth of life as lots of us have lost all parents and grandparents and we had the privilege of living life vicariously as if she was our Grandma too….by watching her love and pray for you Jim and Lori and all your children and grandchildren. Us old PTLer’s could remember the joy of Fern and Raleigh and the Goodman’s and Uncle Henry and Aunt Sara primarily and several more too.

    However, we all have these precious people to greet as we cross over! I hope yesterday when Grandma Maxine went home to walk with Jesus, she was also greeted by my Mama and Daddy Helms! They loved you and so have we all these years! Love, Lynn Helms Brady

  8. Our prayers go up for the entire Bakker family and Morningside staff, as well as Ms. Maxine’s biological children. An absence that will be felt for some time I’m sure.

    God is good because he gives us precious memories like the song says. God Bless you all.
    Johnny & Jenny

  9. We are so sorry for your loss . We will uphold your family in our prayers . We will surely miss her smiling face on the broadcast . She made us all feel like we had a Mom or a Grandma . Our parents and Grandparents have all gone on , so seeing her there reminded us of the love we once shared with them . May God comfort you with the hope that you will be with her someday .. We love you ,Ruth and Earl Parkhurst

  10. Jim & Lori’ so sorry to hear about grandma Maxine’ I know your hearts are breaking’ Tammy Sue & all the family’ i’m so sorry to hear about your loss’ Lord Jesus near those The hearts are broken and hurting. God bless you! My Lord Jesus Comfort you and your family with you sweet peace & Love..Cris East

  11. I am sorry to hear of your loss of this sweet heart Lady. I had the pleasure of meeting her and talking with her last November at Morningside. Indeed she had such a sparkle in her eye and you could see Jesus in her. You are right, she loved all of you and now she is with those who indeed are looking down and watching and praising God as you win more souls and minister as you are called. I will miss her, too! In Christ’s love. Ruth Tirpak

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