Tag: Matthew 1:1

Dressing Properly

When I am attending an event in another country or even my own, I try to make sure I am dressed properly and know what is expected of me. Some civic events or worship services are very formal. Others are quite informal. When traveling, I always carry a skirt with me. I can never go wrong wearing a modest blouse and a skirt.

Anyone visiting the President of the United States, the Queen of England or any other national head of state would first be taught the proper protocol to exercise while in their presence. This would include how to dress, what to say and what not to say. No one would expect otherwise.

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When it comes to entering the presence of God, however, that is another story. Disrespect toward Him abounds. He is often referred to as the Man Upstairs or worse still, His name often comes in front of a curse. There is even a nonchalant attitude about coming to the house of God.

If we would dress differently visiting Buckingham Palace, what statement does it make to God when we wear shorts and flip flops in His house? Certainly we should not judge those who have nothing else to wear and they should be welcomed in church. Sometimes, however, those who do have nicer clothing are encouraged to come to church in their beach clothes so they will feel more comfortable. That makes me sad.

It is also wrong to wear fancy clothes to church just to be noticed but our dress reflects our attitude. God knows our hearts and whether we respect Him. By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy and before all the people I will be honored (Leviticus 10:3 NAS).Nigeria 225

In Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast, the man without the proper wedding garment was cast away into darkness. Access to God came at a high price – the price of His Son. Jesus provided pure white garments for us. We need to wear them.

And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son…But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness…(Matthew 22:1, 2, 11-13).

Family Trees

Although friends and relatives have done extensive research on their family trees, I did not develop a desire of my own until a series of events happened.

Frank Ballard, WWII photoMy interest started when I realized stories my father was telling me about World War II would be lost unless I had him write them down. Thankfully, before he died, he prepared a notebook for me of his war experiences including his honorable discharge papers, pictures and a few memorabilia.

Then my father-in-law passed away. He was our last living parent. He, too, served in WWII. I am extremely proud of both of these men and the contribution they made to my life, their Christian influence and their service to our country.

I helped my husband settle Pop’s affairs by going through his house, sorting through pictures, cards and newspaper clippings and putting them in four separate piles – one for each of the four sons that he had.

Although it took me a very long time, I was glad that he and Mom – or his mother – never threw any picture or card away. Some of the things we discovered in his collection of pictures, etc. were surprises. We must dig to find out who some people in pictures are and are discovering connections we didn’t know we had.

Ernest and Sunshine BlakeThere is still much research to be done to answer some of the questions that have developed, but if we don’t do it now, that information will be lost for the next generation and the next.

This experience has put a new light on some biblical passages that I used to read through hurriedly or sometimes pass over altogether. God evidently thinks family connections are important. I will never again read through the genealogies in His word the same way. What is important to Him should be important to me – and it is.

Now there were twelve sons of Jacob – the sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, then Simeon and Levi and Judah and Issachar and Zebulun; the sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin (Genesis 35:22b-24). Now these are the records of the generations of Esau (Genesis 36:1). The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1).