One Generation to the Next

Psalm 78:5 For He established a testimony in Jacob And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers That they should teach them to their children, 6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, 7 That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments, 8 And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Psalm 78 is a personal favorite of mine. It encouraged me as a father raising young daughters years ago, and it encourages me today, a grandfather watching my daughters and their husbands shepherd their own sons and daughters. God makes plain in this song that he intends that one generation would come into the living knowledge of him through the witness of the previous generation, as that previous generation of faith declared God’s saving acts and covenant to their own children. Then, by God’s grace, those children would grow up in faith and declare the saving acts of God and God’s covenant to the next generation. Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 11.37.22 AMOne generation to the next declaring God’s faithfulness and living in faithfulness (imperfectly to be sure) to God. Each generation a link in a chain of life and faithfulness. Each one knowing and praising the God of life; the God of faithfulness.

This song gives me confidence when praying for my daughters and son-in-laws and grandchildren. I pray God’s good will back to him from this song.

“Father, you saved us in our generation, not for our sakes only, but for our children, and for their children; that one generation to the next might praise you, might live in the light of your countenance, might know you through faith.”

God’s purpose and plan is inter-generational faith and life. I can count on that. I take solace in that. I pray that.

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 11.19.54 AMWere I to see a wayward child, or grandchild, or great-grandchild (in all likelihood, that being the limit of my lifetime) I can confidently pray back to God his own expressed desire, to extend covenant and faith and life to that wayward child, just as he brought me into the benefits of his covenant through faith in Jesus Christ.

I’m not unique. I’m a link in the chain of God’s faithfulness. God didn’t save me merely to save me, but to save my children, and their children. I’m not saying God is a respecter of persons, that now he must save my future generations because they’re mine. But, he saved me, at least in part because he intended to use me as a link in his chain of redemption, that future generations, hearing of his goodness from the previous generation, might put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God. 

I have great hopes for my daughters and their husbands in their generation. And I have great hopes for their children in their generation, and their grandchildren in theirs, should Christ tarry from calling his own home and from returning to this sin weary, death weary earth. Those hopes aren’t based so much on the faithfulness of the children of each successive generation, but on the God who loves to save, one generation to the next.

Psalm 145:1    I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.

Advertisements
Posted in Personal/Reflective, Religious/Spiritual | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Pain & Glory

“What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

Those memorable lyrics from The Grateful Dead (1), were running through my mind as friends described their challenging, decades long odyssey in the Church of Jesus Christ. I had new respect and appreciation for their courage and really a kind of foolhardiness in following after faithfulness in the midst of a merry-go-round of strangeness in one Church setting after another.

Thinking of my own family’s journey through the vicissitudes of life and Church the word brutal came to mind: brutal… brutally hard, brutal relationships and ordeals, brutal losses and brutal disappointments; brutal.

Continue reading

Posted in Books, Personal/Reflective, Religious/Spiritual | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Old Friends

I love coffee and most things having to do with coffee.

  • I love the smell of coffee beans.
  • I love my coffee grinder and the options on the coarseness of it’s grind and the amount to be ground. Am I making a latté? (fine grind and 2 cup setting.) Or, a pot? (coarser grind and 10-12 cup setting.)
  • I love a good drip coffee maker, and equally the look and engineering of an espresso machine.

But in all things coffee, second only to coffee itself, I love coffee cups most (we have over a hundred coffee cups and mugs.) I’ve been collecting coffee cups and mugs for about twenty five years. Coffee cups have become

20161029_102242_hdr

My newest friends, from the YMCA Camp, Estes Park, CO

old friends and they remind me year after year of where I was and what I was doing when I collected each.

I have cups from across the nation and to a very limited degree, from around the world.

When I used to frequent Starbucks I collected their cups from each city or region that had one. I have Starbucks cups from near, Colorado Continue reading

Posted in Personal/Reflective | Tagged , | Leave a comment

True Patriots

My wife Cathie is a true patriot; I don’t know anyone who loves this country more than she does. Nor do I know anyone with more zeal for this country’s return to goodness and greatness than she has.

 

imgp1050WWI era songster and Yankee Doodle Dandy, George M. Cohan, was auspiciously born on the 4th of July. Cathie, perhaps his modern day counterpart, was born on Veterans Day. Once, when at a convocation at our local university, the veterans in the crowd were asked to stand and be recognized. Cathie, never in the military, stood with them as her family chortled to each other at her mistake. But she had risen to give the standing veterans a standing ovation, her birthday relatives and comrades. We still laugh about that today, but
she is no less a patriot than the veterans she loved to honor.

Continue reading

Posted in Personal/Reflective, Political, Religious/Spiritual | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Pass It On, 2.

Mom was a a party girl.  Not a loose, bamboozling trollop but a really fun-loving person. She was weighed down much of her adult life with the labors attendant on raising a brood of eleven children but for all the challenges those demands placed on her her love of life remained.

mom-young

Mom

Mom was an English major in college and loved literature, and while her tastes slid towards the romance novels in my teen years (escaping the demands of little children?) her books of poetry and Reader’s Digest condensed novels filled wall to wall shelves in our second floor closet. Mom left some of those volumes around the house, readings for spare moments she carved out in her day.

When I was still quite small I remember Mom taking her brood, in my mind resembling the ducks in Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklingsto the public library.  I loved the library and everything about it; I still do.  I loved playing in the donut shaped seats but more, looking and reading through the children’s picture books.  And from those early beginnings, like Mom, I became a life long lover of books and the worlds they opened to me.

Continue reading

Posted in Personal/Reflective | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Means & Ends

November-8-2016-300x234In 128 days we’ll have a new President of the United States of America. Unless events conspire to derail one or both of the current presumptive nominees, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will occupy that office.

Even as I write that I cringe.  While both these candidates have their enthusiastic supporters, God bless them all, many can’t imagine life under either of these options.

  • How will those who wouldn’t/couldn’t choose either of these candidates for this highest office view them once installed?
  • How will those on the losing side of this election think of and interact with those in the politically opposing camp?
  • For those in the Church of Jesus Christ, my own backyard, how do we make sense of either of these politicians as our new, national leader, and as important, how do we think of and relate to our brothers and sisters in faith who supported a candidate we may be personally revulsed by?

Continue reading

Posted in Personal/Reflective, Political, Religious/Spiritual | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Can We Still be Friends?

If I vote for Donald Trump, can we still be friends?

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, if I vote for Trump, will you still love me, claim me, your-vote-countsown me as one of your own in the family of faith?

Or, if I sit out this election for lack of a candidate I can support with a clear conscience, or if I vote for a non-winnable third party candidate, will you think less of me?

Some good Christians (see Russell Moore’s blog) infer that a Christian can’t, or shouldn’t vote for the Donald.  Some infer that to do so is sin, or at least, shows an utter lack of intellectual acumen, or spiritual depth or simple perception.

Others equally well intentioned opine that not to vote for Trump is irresponsible because the net effect is to hand the presidency to the liberal Democratic candidate.  And still others say, vote for the best of the bad candidates to fulfill your God-given responsibility,
trusting that God will sovereignly use our means for His ends.

Continue reading

Posted in Political, Religious/Spiritual | Tagged , | 6 Comments