When I was young, one of the concepts I pondered was the biblical idea of the 'sins of the fathers.' I now understand that not only the sin heritage is passed down from generation to generation, but also the heritage of blessings. This is the significance of one's heritage.
As an individual I have the great personal fortune to have had the blessings and benefits of a Christian heritage which goes back generations. We have all inherited a nation founded by a great many people of faith and freedom, and thus have a great duty and an awesome responsibility to pass those virtues on.
Our priorities reflect those values that hold the most importance to us. In my own life, time is always of the essence. I am very jealous of my time, wanting every second to count. I am always re-prioritizing, slashing and burning those things which are not essential, in order to focus on the most important things.
In past years that focus has been on my family and my God. I'm fortunate to have many dear friends and to have had a career in a beautiful setting with many fine people for almost 25 years. I'm so blessed to live in the countryside. There is peace and quiet. I'm thankful for music, my grand piano, indescribable sunrises and sunsets, for roses, for pets (well...), for deer, for coyotes and for the American eagles that sometimes perch on my trees.
I'm thankful for the beauty of the sun and the rain, the heat and the cold, modern appliances, cars, makeup, Pilates, QVC, UPS, FedEx, good neighbors, cable, cell phones, central heat and air, glasses, doctors, nurses, dentists and their staffs, and Avon ladies. I'm happy - as was my father - that The Stockton Record is on my doorstep each morning so that I can do the crossword puzzle (it hones my skills).
I'm thankful for churches, libraries, education, C-SPAN and for books, for email, the internet and access to world news. I appreciate missionaries and ministers who stay true to the gospel, hard-working laymen, teens, seniors and the miracle of tiny new souls. I'm grateful for the Bible and for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who radically - and in one moment - transformed my life.
I'm appreciative of those who work for justice, truth and peace, for home schoolers, teachers and the people who were kind and considerate to my parents in the retirement apartment. I have been blessed with godly parents who walked the walk, lived with us and lived to a ripe old age. I have the best Christian son, daughter-in-law and grandson in the world. Not only are they my children, but they are my friends. Who could ask for more?
The Lord gave me a husband who is my perfect complement and my best friend. I love art, prose, poetry, fine restaurants, majestic music and the beauty of architecture and sculpture. I could go on forever when I start counting my blessings. My cup is overly full.
But if circumstances change (and they have)? What if we have more evil, economic tragedy, nuclear war in our land, a reduced standard of living, even poverty? What if? What if? Not to worry. Paul and the apostles, who made spreading the good news their top priority, also spent time in prison, were persecuted and died in a variety of terrible ways.
True joy and a thankful heart are not dependent upon circumstances, but are the calm of a soul at peace with its fellowman, with God, with eternity.
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