Babies, toddlers, teenager, millennials, Gen X’ers, Baby Boomers, and the Greatest Generation. People from all of these categories, and more, inundate my in-laws home at least once a year for a family get-together.

I enjoy these family get-togethers but I especially enjoy quiet times with my in-laws. Just recently, my wife and I were visiting her parents. Their authentic Christian lives have been an encouragement to me for many years. I almost always learn something from my father-in-law each time we visit.

Someday, my father-in-law will take up his residence in heaven. That will be a glorious day for him, but a sad day for so many of us. Thankfully, I will always have my Heavenly Father for the Bible says in Romans 8:15: The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Now, this world is full of religions, with some claiming to be Christian. To be sure, there are aspects of Christianity that are pure religion. In James 1:27 it says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” And, yes, there are “do’s” and “don’t” in the Bible (1 Co 11:24 …this do in remembrance of me. 1 Jn 2:15 Love not the world…) but those are not religious rhetoric. They are about teaching an adopted child how to live in God’s Family. For, you can see from Romans 8:15 that I am an adopted child of God.

Yes, my parents’ histories are full of wild characters, yet even more so is my Father’s Family. I’ve read about an old prophet in my Father’s Family history that was thrown into a den of lions (Daniel), a young, insecure man that stood up and fought an army (Gideon) and, of course, One Man that died and rose again to secure salvation for all who accept Him (Jesus). I’ve got kings and princesses, farmers and tent makers in my Father’s Family.

When I am reading the Bible, I’m learning about my Family; often they are things about which only families care. I’ve read about Ruth sleeping at the feet of Boaz, Princess Esther daring to enter the king’s inner court without an invitation, the prophet Jeremiah being thrown into a well and living to tell about it, and so many more tidbits of Family history.

As I study my Bible, I am learning about my everlasting Family. And, as I read, these Family members seem to gather around me (Hebrews 12:1), rejoicing in God as the Holy Spirit helps me discover how Jesus is woven within it all. I’m slowly learning to live as an adopted son of my Father.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A note to my kids

I found this note tucked away in an old folder. I wrote it several years ago for my kids, but I don’t think I ever shared it with them. I’m not sure why. Anyway, as I was reading it, I was reminded of how fast time slips by. So, I decided to share it with you on the off-chance that it may be beneficial to you or someone in your world. If not, it’s only one minute of your life that you’ll never get back! Sorry for the geeky intro but all my kids are wired this way.

Dear Kids,

Seed dispersal is the movement or transport of seeds away from the parent plant. Plants have limited mobility and consequently rely upon a variety of dispersal vectors to transport their propagules, including both abiotic and biotic vectors. Seeds can be dispersed away from the parent plant individually or collectively, as well as dispersed in both space and time.

As I write this, it is just a couple of days before we celebrate the birthday of Joshua and Caleb. Now, at **, it’s still easy for me to remember their birth but, sometimes, difficult for me to remember their birth date. They were truly born into poverty but God, as always, fed us, sheltered us and nurtured us. We had no idea all the adventures that lay ahead.

As time has passed, one by one, you all have been dispersed to grow in your own patch of land. God never told Mom or me the transportation vector (abiotic or biotic) that you kids would take, but we knew dispersal was in your future so, in each of you, we tried to teach and prepare you and us for that day. And disperse you did, some individually and some, such as Joshua and Caleb, collectively at first.

Part of our preparation for each of you was the planting of God’s word into your life. We did this for you and we did this for others. We are, and ever will be, missionaries of the good news of Jesus. We carry that good news with us to share in our world and we planted it in you for you and for you to carry to those in your world.

Acts 8:4 (NIV) Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.


Photo by Sebastian Mantel on Unsplash

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