Friday, May 16, 2008

A Family Tree bearing Fruit

My older cousin sent out this email Monday morning to encourage us all. Take time to count up the growth of your spiritual family. If the numbers don't amaze you, surely the beauty of each individual heart and commitment is enough to make you want to sing out into the streets;

"Thank you faithful God of mine!"


Dear all-

Yesterday was kind of reflective and meaningful for me…obviously. I have faced a challenging year at so many levels , which has made it so meaningful to celebrate what has been and what is to come. Especially as a mother. But one thing that came to mind is this: Our Family Tree.

Think back to Mom and Aunt Liz’s early womanhood. Both without Christ and searching, always searching. Think about the present. I counted up the believers in our tree. In the early 1960’s, the Belford/Challies family tree was kind of spiritually bare. A total tally of 0 Christians. Zero.

In 2008, let’s count. Mom and Dad Millar; Mom and Dad Challies, Andrew; Tim, Aileen, Nick, Abby, Michaela; Pat, Maryanne, Anna, Josh, Emma; Jo, Aidan, Caelah, Elijah, Gabriel, Isaiah; Rick, Susanna, Micah, Ellie; Kate, Dave, Baby; Grace, Justin; Daniel, Connor; Aunt Peggy, Uncle Ron, Jesse, Jon. . .

In just one generation, where no believers were found, there are now 37!!!

I pray that we all continue to instruct our families and lead them to Christ. If we have produced 37 who can proclaim the Gospel, imagine how many family trees can spring out from us. This is God’s pattern of faithfulness. That He is faithful “to the third and fourth generation of those of love me and keep my commandments”. I have been amazed looking at Pat’s family tree, how true this is. Though Pat was raised without ANY spiritual teaching, we once drove through rural Alabama and found a grave-site where a great-grandfather was buried: “A Baptist minister.” Aha, I thought. There is where the link is. God is always there. If the responsibility is dropped, the repercussions are serious. But, He is faithful to the generations, and His links can always be found. Dropped sometimes, but then He shows up again. He is faithful.

Just wanted to share. And hoping that we work tirelessly to in our families that the link will never be broken.