Saturday, January 12, 2019

Family Lighthouse

Today is Mom's birthday, and I thought it fitting to write a tribute for her. I don't know that I've ever done that before, especially publicly (which she may not appreciate), but I've written her things in the past she has found encouraging and appreciative of all she has done for me.

When my mom was young and growing up in Pioneer Guards (if I remember right, either a predecessor to Awana or an early form thereof), the theme the curriculum used was lighthouses. This really stuck with her, and she has enjoyed noting lighthouses during her travels ever since.

She was a lighthouse to our family in many ways, shining forth the word of truth in our family and home. There are several key forms this took over my growing up years that I want to highlight here.

My mom was raised in a church that was clear on the Gospel and intentional about both foreign and domestic missions. She wanted to be a missionary on the foreign field, and that was the plan for some time until it got cut short. Even back in the States, she was still a missionary even to our family.

We visited and were a part of several churches over my growing up years. Even within evangelical or Baptist churches, the teaching of the Gospel is not always clear or even present. I remember many a car ride after church with a thorough evaluation and critique of the message and whether or not it accurately reflected the free grace message of salvation by faith apart from works.

Our family had its share of struggles and difficulties over the years, an inevitable part of life in a fallen world. Every family has conflict, but not every family resolves things and deals with them in a healthy way. Whenever I had done wrong, I always knew I could count on my mom to work to resolve things and make sure we were reconciled. She very much embodied and brought to life Paul's word to the Ephesians to “do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (4:26).

Mom never wants the spotlight on her, but on the Lord. She wants to shine the light of God's Word in our lives and in the lives of others who needed to hear the Word of God. When you look to the true Lighthouse, you can weather many storms that come in life, and we had a good example for that in our home.

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