Family Ties

Family Ties that bind…. I contemplated the joy of family
last Lord’s Day.  My brother and his wife came for a visit…after almost ten years.  Though we are both in our 80’s, it is as though not a moment has passed since we were children together.  So many memories…each one reminds me of how precious my little brother is to me.  His imagination and quick wit were always a joy.  Our other brother died in 2007.  My brother and I are the last of our immediate family who remember….
We remember de-feathering chickens in the driveway, after Dad killed them.  We remember green walnut fights from the hayloft to the driveway.  We remember the production line in the basement as Mom engineered the canning line.  We remember picnics with homemade ice cream.  We remember naming our new Jersey cow after Mom, Daisy, because of her soft eyes.  We remember the rides on the back of Daisy to the pasture down the alley from our house.  We remember the chores, feeding the chickens, milking the cow, taking care of Petunia the pig.  We remember the fireplace of rocks Dad made. We remember going swimming and taking the sugar cane stalks Dad grew in the 1940’s. We remember visiting our grandparents – the 12 inch candy canes from Grosmom Siemens and being on the farm, riding Molly the horse, at Grandpa and Grandpa Suderman’s house.  We remember….
Our family ties are on-going — looking ahead and looking back for generations.  The same abiding qualities that made up our family are handed down to our descendants…and the Family Ties are built on the stories of love, faith, trust, honor, loyalty and the peace that comes from knowing we are loved.
How many times we pepper the conversation with, Do you remembers?  The times that were special to each of us.  Though our children lived in different states, they gave us a memorable gift one year – two small children’s books – My Dad is Brilliant!  And My Mom is Fantastic (Nick Butterworth)  Inside are a treasure trove of family memories of growing up. One memory – “I was young, sitting on my Mom’s soft lap watching other kids trying in vain to find comfort from their skinny thin moms.  I felt sorry for those kids.”  “Her lips pursed as she concentrated on things, trying to paint, se, cook, I will always remember that face.”  And from Dad’s book – “We had a small tree house built over the relic of a Model T, purposefully left for us to use as a play toy…we had hours of fun in these.”  “I was quite old and almost married before I realized that not every daddy fixed everything and did stuff around the house.  And people thought we were rich because we had a TV in every room.”
Memories of learning…growing…and becoming.  That is family.  Forgiveness and love went hand in hand.  Understanding differences and out of the box thinking gives the latitude to be creative and try things to see if they work in a family.
Parents teach their children as they live their lives.  Attitudes and unspoken body language speak as loudly as words.  Examples that parents model become paramount in their children’s eyes.  I learned from Anna’s comment that I never use recipes for cooking – put together this and that, and smile when you serve.  And for their Dad – taking a bath was being lost in the hot steamy bathroom memorizing jokes from the Reader’s Digest.
As I contemplate Family – I remember my grandparents and great grandparents.  Hard working farmers.  The faith in God brought them through droughts, heartache when babies died.  To this day, when something happens that is difficult – I remember and say, if Grandma could do it, I can do it.  If Mom could do it, I can do it.  And the first thing they did was have faith in Jesus Christ to carry them through every heartache and find the shining way to live to the fullest.
Long ago, our Lord God created Adam and Even, creating the first the beginnings of family.  They were not content to just be in the Garden of Eden.  They wanted to be the leader, wiser than God.  That desire culminated in taking a bite of the fruit from the forbidden tree.  Thus began generations of family…who obeyed God, disobeyed God, ignored God, and tried to be as wise as God.
Then God sent Jesus to us.  Man still ignores, disobeys, or accepts our Lord and Savior, Jesus.  God gave us choices from the beginning.
One of the memories I have is standing in the sanctuary of the Christian Church in Rogers, in a circle of believers in Jesus.  We all held hands and lifted our voices to sing the hymn ….I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God. I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God
So true.  When we believe and are buried with Christ in baptism, we become joint heirs with Jesus.  We are adopted into the Family of God, the Family of God is not a small group of local believers but are everywhere on this earth.  The same God of Abraham is our God as well.  He holds our hand and knows all our tomorrows.  He loves us and wants us.  C.S. Lewis said – “God doesn’t want something from us, He simply wants us.”
† – The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.”  Isaiah 60:22
† – God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5
† – Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.
I Peter 2:17

† –  Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.  I John 3:9

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