I have always loved stories from the past.
Even as a kid, I had a wild imagination and
loved to imagine people who had
great or terrible adventures.....
all from things such as an unpaid electric bill stuck in the bricks of a fireplace mantle.....
or a letter left unanswered.
back when I was eleven or twelve,
that some poor relation of mine had met his demise at the hands of a ruthless
kidnapper or somesuch.
the one he was always afraid to visit.
I heard other family members tell about her and say she'd have her shotgun on the porch to scare off unwanted visitors....
I admit, I imagined that she looked exactly like the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz.
began to read them.....
and I realized some things.
She was ten years old at the start of the Civil War. She was one of the youngest of about
a dozen children.
Her child died at a young age.
but to imagine her mother living through it,
and as a mom whose son has been to war in the 21st century, I cannot imagine
how it must have been to have several sons scattered across the country,
let alone, trying to raise a young girl in such uncertain times.
I did not hear the voice of a "mean grandma" but of a woman who had lived much.
I realized that, to a child, many things can be scary and the stories that get handed down may not be the most accurate ones.
A name in a marriage certificate here,
an advertisement in a newspaper there......
and that is only if someone takes
the time to go looking.
was a member of such-and-such an organization.....
or a church.....
or the pastor of a church.....
but, does that tell me who they were?
Apparently, it does to many people.
Ancient cultures like the Chinese and the Jews kept detailed genealogy records.
European monarchs and the peerage did as well.....it was deadly serious to know who had a legal claim to things like thrones.
so there is no mistaking whose child someone is and even the order of their birth.
In the Western culture?
How will anyone sort it out when,
while we have the internet and a veritable information overload,
we also have all sorts of privacy roadblocks knowing all the while that,
nothing in life is ever private anymore?
Like I said, chasing the paper trail can give clues and if read carefully,
can even tell a story.....but.....
what does it all mean?
We want to know where we came from.
What our people were like.
Did they do great things?
Did they make a difference in the world?
we can understand more about ourselves
and why our parents and grandparents
did things the way they did.
We can understand better why
we do certain things and even why we enjoy certain things.
That, there is a connection that runs all the way back to the very beginning of time.
That we matter.
It is the Bible.
The book that records the Genesis of the world.
The first people, from whom all of us are descended.
with one family tree.....
and then there is the record of mankind
not being obedient to spread all over the earth
and so God confused their language.....
and so now the descendants of those eight people saved from the flood, become multiple people groups all over the globe.
made from his family, a nation.
God chose Abram and renamed him Abraham. He used this man and his descendants
to bless the whole world.
that God sent His Son,
Who is God and Man and Perfect and Sinless.
Jesus, who fulfilled the Law and
paid for our sins and
gave us Grace.
Jesus, whose life, death and resurrection,
gave us a new family,
who gives salvation to all who call upon
the name of the Lord.
They are a new family.
One that will last forever.
God's word is not an ordinary book.
He has a reason for every word.
There is a reason for including every name.
nine generations that are documented.
On another I have over 300 names with many more generations that I am currently documenting.
A person who was real, who lived, breathed, loved, laughed, grieved, and died.
If they are my ancestors,
we share DNA and physical traits and
talents and quirks and failings.
Each name I now have on a family tree,
is a name that God knew before
it was given to them.
Things like Facebook...
and Twitter....and Pinterest.....and Blogs.
Facebook Timelines or Twitter feeds
one hundred years from now?
Can you imagine people searching databases pulling up old statuses or blogs?
What will our descendants think
about the people we were?
but let me say this.....
are you leaving a record that
will give a good idea of who you are now to someone nine generations in the future?
I know a young lady who wrote her salvation testimony and put it on Facebook.
I advised her to print it and keep it in a safe place for her future children and grandchildren.
That somehow they either had strength to get through with grace or they gave in or gave up.
That because of disease and war and poverty,
it is a miracle we are even here.
That God truly does have a perfect plan and He moves people both literally and spiritually to become real family.
Are you in His family?