One of our family’s favorite places to visit is the beach, and we visit multiple times per year. On a recent trip to the beach, I noticed something that reminded me of family and the various family combinations. While walking along the seashore and looking into the ocean, there was a group of birds sitting in the water. When I looked further down the coast, I saw a second group of birds doing the same thing. These two families of birds must have floated along for over an hour. Eventually, they flew away in the familiar V-formation. While they were too far away for me to determine their exact species, they looked like Brown Canadian Geese. Upon studying more about these birds, I learned that they have several characteristics similar to human families. Here are just a few: they mate for life, both parents protect the nest and the young, and both parents are involved in the training of goslings. They also are known to form groups of families (a few goslings and a few adults) called crèches. These crèches train the goslings as they grow and develop into adult geese. Interestingly, the term crèche has multiple meanings with the most prominent being “a small or large modeled representation or tableau of Mary, Joseph, and others around the crib of Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem, as is displayed in homes or erected for exhibition in a community at Christmas season”(www.dictionary.com). Several crèches have more than just Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. They include shepherds, wise men, and other individuals there to visit/ worship the Messiah. One cannot help but wonder if some of the individuals present at the birth of Jesus were those who had travelled to Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph, and while there, assisted Mary and Joseph in protecting and training Jesus. As Brown Canadian Geese work together to protect and train goslings, we, Christians, could work together to protect and train our children in the ways of our Lord. We first could model Christ-like behavior in all that we say and do. We could help our children memorize scripture and see how they can apply the learned verses in everything they do at school, home, play, and church. We could model daily Bible reading and prayer. We could teach them to serve others. We could work together in crèches to follow the following verse: Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. And, we could work together in crèches to teach the children these verses: Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. © 2014 Elizabeth B. Loveday. All Rights Reserved
Lessons in Loving Family Exodus 20:12: “Honor your father and your mother…” (NET) Recently, I have experienced something new and heartbreaking that has taught me much about loving family. Our family has had to move our mother into an assisted living community. While it is the best thing for her safety and her health, it
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1New International Version (NIV) September brings many changes in our household. We celebrate five birthdays, some of us return to work, and all of us enjoy watching the lush green leaves turn to the rich golden color of fall.
Like many families who live near the mountains, our family vision of peace includes snow-covered lawns, ice covered trees, brisk weather, hot beverages and conversation. When the children were young, we spent much time watching the snow drift toward earth, making snow angels, sledding, and of course making snow cream. We would enjoy the snowy