Tag: family

All About Family

We are all family oriented. If our childhood family experiences were positive, most of us adapted to adulthood without major psychological or emotional issues. If childhood experiences were negative, many of us feel we missed out on what we should have had.

Everyone wants to be part of a caring, nurturing family.

When we have a family of our own, we make a choice. We can duplicate what was modeled before us as children, good or bad, or we can use those examples as a springboard and modify our own behavior to become the spouse and parents we think we should be.

536288_3527359177672_1082966648_32568177_47333262_nFamily members have an incredible amount of influence on our lives. Even now as a grandmother, comments my father, mother or sister said when I was younger keep ringing in my ears. It is my responsibility to sort through them. Some of those comments were good advice. Some were not.

God is all about family. He created the first family and gives guidelines in His word about how to relate to and show love to family members. He identifies Himself as our heavenly Father and Jesus calls Himself our brother. All followers of Christ are part of His family.

So, my family members include those with a common DNA as well as those who share in my trust in Jesus Christ as Savior.
Rick,+Stephanie,+Ryan,+Cody
For several years, I have been a penpal with someone in another nation. We have exchanged emails, letters, gifts and pictures, but we have never met face to face. I know I will someday meet her because we belong (as she put it) to an international family. If we do not meet this side of Heaven, we will meet there.

My family also spans the ages. Every child of God is part of my family. One day, I will have the opportunity to speak with Abraham, Moses, Elijah and David. I am looking forward to visiting with Mary, the mother of Jesus. I want to meet Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Andrew Murray, C.S. Lewis, Betsy and Corrie ten Boom and A.W. Tozer. I know I will have the chance because they are all my brothers and sisters.

God really is all about family – earthly and eternal.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13). Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God! (1 John 3:1).

The Joy of Food, Fellowship and Family

There’s something about sitting together around a table full of food that invites conversation – especially with family. When our sons got married, I made a family recipe book for my new daughters. It occurred to me that many of our best memories were around meals celebrating Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays or traditions we had created for meals on Friday nights, Saturday mornings or Sunday after church. Those memories were of great joy when we were all gathered around the table.

Now the joy is magnified because the family has grown. On rare occasions when we have mealtimes together again, it is with grandchildren and all the delightful contributions they make to the conversations.

This last week was another reminder of this truth. I attended two fellowship meals with our church family here in France. There was a covered dish luncheon on Sunday after church. So much good food and time to visit with friends around the table is a great treat. On normal Sundays, people have to be out and about and visiting time is limited. On covered dish Sundays, people make an effort to stick around, visit and enjoy a meal together.On Tuesdy, our ladies Bible study group got together at a member’s lovely home for lunch. Again, there was time to discover more information about my sisters in Christ. People I had grown to love I love even more because I know them better now – they shared their testimonies and experiences with the Lord. It was truly a joyful time.

Jesus had similar experiences. He never was in a hurry, but it was at mealtimes we see him having the luxury of sharing life with those He loved. He spent time in fellowship and meals with His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Those were times of rest and restoration for Him, just as times of food and fellowship with family are for us.

There was one very special meal where Jesus was able to have a time of very needed fellowship. It was just before His betrayal and crucifixion. In the upper room, after Judas left, Jesus had an opportunity to share some special revelations of Himself to elIMG_5919even of His closest friends. He had come so they might be adopted into His family. As He left His brothers with incredible words of encouragement and promise, He told them that His intended purpose for doing so was that they might share in His joy.

Food, fellowship and family are perfect settings for experiences of joy.

 

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11). But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves (John 17:13).

The Anticipation And Excitement of Being Face to Face with Loved Ones

When it comes to a reunion with a loved one, I’m like a child. Not only do I prepare for the visit – cleaning, making beds, preparing meals – something about the moment of greeting brings joy to my heart. I get excited.

When my family drives in for a visit, I go to the window or the door constantly looking for them. I am seldom in the house when they arrive.  I am usually waiting for them on the back porch. By the time they turn off the ignition in the car, I am by their side.

My husband and I work together, travel together and play together. When he does go out by himself, I find myself listening for the car to come down the driveway or for the door of our house to open. I am often upstairs, but head downstairs to greet him at the door. I want him to know I missed him.

If I am meeting family or friends at the airport, I look through the crowd until I see their faces. It is not hard for me to recognize them. I know them. They are part of my family, either my immediate family or my spiritual family.

The same is true when a loved one leaves. I watch them until I can’t see them any longer. I often feel like a part of me is leaving with them.

I can identify with the apostles who stood gazing into heaven as Jesus was taken up. They couldn’t take their eyes off of the clouds just in case they could catch one more glimpse of Him.

The sense of joyful anticipation I feel when greeting loved ones, I believe, is a small preview to what it will be like for me to see Jesus face to face.  I want to be ready to greet Him. I cannot wait to see Him. I know I will recognize Him because I know Him and He knows me.

As eager as I am to see Him, I believe He is also looking for me much like I watch for the arrival of my loved ones. I get excited just thinking about it.

But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2b).