Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh the Words!

I love to hear little kids as they are learning to piece words and sentences together. Eleanor's vocabulary has been greatly expanding the past few months and some of the things that come out of her mouth are so bizarre. Jack and I were on the couch reading last night and Ellie comes over looking like she might give me a kiss but no, she leans over and takes a pretend bite out of me..."Ommm, I eat you all gone. Ptttt, I spit you all out." What in the world...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Perilight Graphics Giveaway!

Hey all, I've decided that there are way too many creative things happening in my life right now to add another... Though I love to make my own Christmas cards this year we're having a friend design them. Kelly from Perilight Graphics is already working on some great new card designs for this season. If you comment on her blog you'll be entered for a chance to win 25 free cards and if she gets 250 comments it goes up to 40 free cards. If you get a minute check out her designs, she has some cool stuff.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Generational Holiness by Josh Goad

We are all familiar with the concept of generational sin.  This concept is based on the premise that the sins of the father are revisited upon his son and his son’s son and so on down the line.  It is a downward spiral that creates a mechanism of moral failure for many men and women in society today.  Examples are everywhere, fathers who beat their sons, leading to more fathers that use violence and physical threats to hold down their offspring…alcoholics that lead absent lives give way to children that don’t know responsibility or how to lead a family…women who’s mothers harped on their appearance that become so self-conscious that they hurt themselves to feel pretty…parents who are unfaithful, leading to divorce and infidelity, skewing the views of traditional marriage and its merits.  Generational sin is a tragic cycle and to free yourself from it, you must take heroic efforts.  I am happy to say that I have an example in my life of someone who was willing to take that leap of faith and stand firm in his morality and holiness to break free from a cycle of sin and create a legacy of holiness that his offspring have embraced for 3 generations.

Many years ago, my grandfather was raised in a family of bootleggers.  This family took morality for granted and made their living through shady means.  It was OK for them because that is how it had been for many generations prior.  Sin, depravity, evil, wrong-doing…none of these words resonated with that family.  My grandfather eventually enlisted in the Navy.  After his years of living in this morally ambiguous world, the discipline of the navy was very appealing.  Through his time in the navy, Granddaddy was exposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ through a Gideon witness.  That Gideon witness provided a copy of the bible in a hotel room that Granddaddy was staying in.  The Holy Spirit and God’s grace led him to read that bible and embrace the message of life and hope, and became a follower of Jesus.  This in itself is a brave step.  Imagine the upbringing that he had gone through and the realizations that this new worldview was going to bring him.  How easy it would have been to return to his family and fall back into that generational spiral, but instead, the Lord called Granddaddy to be a Baptist Minister.  Through five decades of ministry, the Lord has blessed him with wonderful congregations and countless chances to share the gospel message with unbelievers, leading many to the Lord.  I myself was led to the Lord through the witness of my grandfather. 

What makes this story so compelling is not only that great and dignified life that Granddaddy has lived, it is the great and dignified life that he continues to pass down from generation to generation as his sons, their sons, and their sons continue to reap the harvest of his life.  Granddaddy was a faithful husband, devoted father, loving grandfather, and committed follower of Christ his whole life.  This was not for show but it was because God’s grace prepared a way for Granddaddy to embrace hope, morality, goodness, kindness, and his Christian calling through his circumstances.  I can only imagine the amount of times that he must have felt sin tapping him on the shoulder, reminding him how easy it is to return to that generational lifestyle of his father.  I can equally envision how Granddaddy answered those taps.  He opened his Bible.  There is nothing quite as sweet as hearing your grandfather rattle of entire chapters of scripture out of memory. 

God’s ministry through the life of Ollie Goad touched his sons.  They all have embraced their father’s passion and are committed believers.  It did not stop there, that generation of fathers have been faithful to their spouses and committed to their sons and daughters and the next generation has come to know the Living God through this legacy.  As my generation has begun to have children, we are now beginning to understand the responsibility that we have.  A couple of years ago at Christmas, I was sitting next to Granddaddy and he was telling me (as he often does) about how he had prayed for me that morning.  I looked him in the eye and told him that I had prayed for him that previous night with my wife.  As tears filled his eyes, I finally understood.  He had been waiting for that response for so long and to hear it offered brought great emotion and pride to his heart. His ministry continued on to another generation.  I can say that through Granddaddy’s legacy, I know that sin can come into my life through so many different ways and that I can answer that call two ways.  I can stumble or I can stand up.  I can listen to the world or I can seek refuge in God’s word.  I know that if I were to be unfaithful to my wife or dishonor my kids in any way that that could spurn a legacy of distrust, uncertainty, and sin and I don’t want to be responsible for that.  Through God’s grace I will commit myself to honoring the legacy of my grandfather and honoring the calling that we all have as Christians to be holy, seek justice, live humbly, and love one another.

The story does not end there.  In the later stages of life, Granddaddy has developed Parkinson’s disease and has suffered from a number of debilitating physical conditions.  He is now a shell of his former self with a frail body and a deepening discomfort of age.  While in the hospital recently, being monitored for a recurring problem, he became disoriented and spent a few days hallucinating and confused.  In this state of confusion, I saw Granddaddy witness to nurses and minister to those around him more than most of us were able to minister to him.  He was able to rattle off timely scripture even though he was often not aware of where he was or what was going on.  I hope that I can live a life that will allow me, in my darkest, most embarrassing moments, to be able to witness and recite scripture. 

I am grateful to Granddaddy for breaking that cycle of generational sin that he was immersed in.  I am grateful that I have been able to follow in the footsteps of good Christian men the generations before me.  I pray that I can continue to carry the torch of generational holiness that Granddaddy started and my father has carried.  I pray that I can someday, pass that torch on to my own son and that it will continue to pass through the generations thanks to one man’s brave stand and heroic life.

Quote of the Day

I wasn't in the room to hear it, however Josh just thought it was the funniest thing. I was making cookies last weekend (yes I admit to letting my kids eat the dough) and Jack was in all his glory sitting on the counter..."Dad, I could eat this whole bowl if I was bigger like you."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Mighty Wind

Yesterday afternoon the wind starting picking up and there was wind advisories in the area. Before going to bed I randomly said to Josh "I hope that dead tree in the backyard doesn't fall over!" I guess I didn't hope enough...It makes for a lot of fun playing outside though!

Family Pictures

How terrible is it that I still have pictures from last Christmas of the kids in my frames sitting out. Last week we finally took some new family pictures and shots of the kids. A friend of ours shoots wedding photos and has recently started doing more family/portrait shots. We went with more of an urban feel this time and headed downtown to hopefully get some cool pictures. Ben did a great job and we are very happy with the selection. The other cool thing was that we just paid a set price for a disc and all the pictures are ours to print what we choose. For anyone in our area who might be interested, check out his site. Take a look at some of our favorites. It's so hard to narrow it down to just a few.