Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

As For Me And Mine!

Joshua 24:15

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

RayMcDFamily traditions – they create memories. In a few months my family will try to enjoy a family weekend without mom or dad. Our family traditionally returns to my mother’s home town for a family reunion. I have many memories – growing up – revolving around this annual trek. My children do as well. Other families have barbecues or go to a ball game or open the pool on this weekend. What are your memories for Memorial weekend?

Family traditions – they create memories. What memories can you remember? Special memories developed around what your family did/does on the 4th of July (cookout at my brother’s home) – Labor Day (wear work clothes to church) – Thanksgiving (serving meals) – Christmas (family night at our home) – and other special days. What about something special for your birthday or anniversary (some even celebrate the anniversary of their first date). I know someone who makes memories at Disney – not only annually but often each year!

Stronger FamiliesI found a Crosswalk Article that quoted a survey published in 2000 (I couldn’t find the survey from the Barna Group). Here is a portion of the survey results quoted from the Crosswalk article.

“If both father and mother attend regularly (worship), 33 percent of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41 percent will end up attending irregularly. Only a quarter of their children will end up not practicing at all.

If the father is irregular and mother regular, only 3 percent of the children will subsequently become regulars themselves, while a further 59 percent will become irregulars. Thirty-eight percent will be lost.

If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2 percent of children will become regular worshippers, and 37 percent will attend irregularly. Over 60 percent of their children will be lost completely to the church!”

Let us look at the figures the other way round. What happens if the father is regular but the mother irregular or non-practicing? Extraordinarily, the percentage of children becoming regular goes up from 33 percent to 38 percent with the irregular mother and to 44 percent with the non-practicing, as if loyalty to father’s commitment grows in proportion to mother’s laxity or indifference to religion.

What memories are we making for our children in the area of our faith? Are we living our faith or merely wearing it on our sleeve on Sundays?I’m so thankful that my mother and father were people of deep faith. Their witness to me and my siblings impacted our lives and was instrumental in each of us developing our faith. We are all three regular in worship and two of us are in church leadership.

In today’s passage the people of faith were at a crossroads – they could follow God or they could follow the religions of the world. Joshua told the people of God – But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. We have the same choice. We can choose to follow God or we can follow the gods of our own desires. Which will it be and what memories will we leave our children?

What memories will we create for our children? My parent’s faith created memories in my life. As parents we have continued that life of faith for our children and each of them has a deep abiding faith. I feel confident that as we live our faith – really embrace it rather than make it a small segmented part of our life – our grandchildren will also be people of faith. What memories are we making for our children? Do we say with Joshua as for me and mine we will serve the Lord?

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way!

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February 17, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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