Sunday, May 21, 2017

Building Strong Families. Leaving a Legacy for Your Grandchildren. Update.

For "Scripture Sunday":   More about families.

Building Strong Families

"In 1979 the Pittsburgh Pirates professional baseball team surprised many by winning the World Series. It was a close-knit team and, to reflect this, they adopted the popular Sister Sledge song “We Are Family” to describe their strength and unity. The phrase The Family was stenciled on the dugout roof and on signs, bumper stickers and T-shirts everywhere. Family became the team identity.
Similarly, the traditional family can also be described as a team—hopefully a unified, supportive team. However, we all know that some teams are not very good when it comes to working together during difficult times, and it is not unheard of for players to blame each other for ongoing problems.
Sadly, the same can often be said of individual families. What must we do to strengthen and sustain our families?

Marriage and family under attack

Dramatic shifts in the culture and in the definitions of marriage and family have impacted many people today. It wasn’t that long ago that marriage was widely appreciated as an institution uniting a man and a woman as a team to share the task of raising children. Bringing children into the world and teaching, protecting and providing for them was seen as the primary tasks of parents.
But dramatic societal shifts have changed the composition of many families. Commenting on the results of the 2010 U.S. Census, The New York Times reported that “married couples represented just 48 percent of American households in 2010. … This was slightly less than in 2000, but far below the 78 percent of households occupied by married couples in 1950. What is more, just a fifth of households were traditional families—married couples with children—down from about a quarter a decade ago, and from 43 percent in 1950.”
The impact on children is equally dramatic. The New York Times article continued, “W. Bradford Wilcox, the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, argues that the retreat from marriage is bad for society because it means less security for children. ‘It’s troubling because those kids are much more likely to be exposed to instability, complex family relations and poverty,’ he said” (“Married Couples Are No Longer a Majority, Census Finds,” May 26, 2011).
Because of the frequency of divorce and the various “alternative” family structures, the concept of a strong marriage and family may seem unrealistic or unattainable to many children today. The State of Our Unions, an annual report on marriage and family in the United States by the National Marriage Project, reveals disturbing and profound changes in this dramatic cultural shift and its impact on children. The U.S. statistics reported in the National Marriage Project’s 2012 “Social Indicators of Marital Health and Well-Being” are shocking:
  • Today 40 percent of all children and 72 percent of African-American children are born out of wedlock.
  • The number of cohabiting couples who live with children today is more than 15 times what it was in 1960. And today, 40 percent of all children will spend some time in a cohabiting household while growing up.
  • Roughly 1 million children each year experience parental divorce and its aftermath.
The shift away from nuclear families corresponds directly with attitudes among young adults, less than half of whom today believe it is wrong to have a child outside of marriage.
According to Stephanie J. Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics, about 1.7 million babies were born to unmarried women in 2007, a 26 percent increase from 1.4 million in 2002 and more than double the number in 1980. Unmarried women accounted for 39.7 percent of all U.S. births in 2007—up from 34 percent in 2002 and more than double the percentage in 1980.
So what does it take to build strong, intact families today?

Leaving a Legacy for Your Grandchildren

"My grandparents didn’t leave me much of an inheritance; they didn’t have much to give. But every now and then I open a small plastic bag from a box in my office and examine a few rare coins—old silver dollars Grandpa used to give me, one every birthday.
The 1922 Peace Dollar, I found out recently, might be worth as much as $25 … but I’ll never sell it. The memories that coin evokes are worth far more than that—they are priceless. It’s amazing how many warm remembrances of a grandfather’s influence a little round piece of metal can evoke more than 50 years later.
All of my grandparents have been gone for decades, and they died without many physical goods to leave to their children and grandchildren. But they all left an inheritance of better things, possessions that I hope to pass on to my grandchildren.

The greatest inheritances

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,” Solomon told his son (Proverbs 13:22). Interestingly, grandparenting is one of the few stations in life where the playing field is level. That is, the poor and prosperous alike can pass on the greatest inheritances of all—wisdom, love, encouragement, memories and lessons learned.
“Grandparents should play the same role in the family as an elder statesman can in the government of a country,” is the way British author Erin Pizzey describes it. “They have the experience and knowledge that comes from surviving a great many years of life’s battles and the wisdom, hopefully, to recognize how their grandchildren can benefit from this” (Geoff Dench, ed., Grandmothers: The Changing Culture,p. 6).

A grandparent’s influence

Grandparents are in a stage of life that a child’s parents have not yet experienced, and it enables them to contribute in unique ways to a child’s development. Life usually slows down a little more for grandparents, and they’ve had more time to process life itself. God intended it to be that way and instructs grandparents to fill a special role in influencing the young ones.
Moses talked to the Israelites about this: “Take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
While the primary influence on a child is to be the parents, this first- and third-generation relationship offers a different level of teaching that can greatly supplement—without supplanting—the parents’ responsibilities.

A beautiful picture   



This week we cut the holes out for the sink and the stove in the kitchen of the mini-house (guest house).  It looks a lot better with them in place.  We also installed some more of the upper cabinets.
On Tuesday I saw an Ear,Nose and Throat doctor about my sinuses.  I have had trouble with them for years.  I have a prescription that may not even start to make them feel better for a month.  We will see.

Early Wednesday morning, while it was still dark, I could see emergency flashing lights in the road behind my house.  I walked to the back yard and the road was blocked both ways with firetrucks, ambulances, and lots of police cars.  There were news choppers overhead, too.  A dark colored truck was in the ditch, a damaged police car and a damaged F250 in the road.  I got dressed, and the phone rang.  It was Roy, my helper, telling me that was his friend, Ronald, who had been in the dark colored truck. He was coming to pick up Roy so that they could go down to our boat ramp and do a little fishing before work.  Because a police car was involved there was a very thorough investigation with surveyors and camera, so it was quite a while before we were allowed to pick up all the fishing tackle, ice chests, folding chairs and other items that had bounced out of  Ronald's truck. The policeman had facial lacerations and was released from the hospital. Ronald has two broken legs, both kidneys and his spleen lacerated, and all his ribs broken.  It was mid-morning by the time we got that done and Jody was too shaken by it all, so we didn't work that day.

 Here is what it said on Montgomery Country Police Reporter.

6:45 a.m.
Around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, a DPS Trooper and a civilian were struck on Calvary Road near Amblewood in the Willis area. The Trooper was attempting to assist the civilian in pushing his disabled vehicle off of the roadway when they were struck by a third driver. The trooper and the civilian, an older man, were transported by ambulance to Conroe Regional medical center. The civilian has serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The Trooper was also injured but not as seriously as the civilian.
It is unknown at this time whether the driver of the vehicle that struck the pair was injured.
Calvary Road is CLOSED in both directions in the area of the crash as it remains under investigation.
One day we had an Internet outage, and my computer got a wild hair.  Suddenly I couldn't load AOL or go to a lot of my favorite sites, and a message would pop up saying that the sites wouldn't load correctly. Well, I have to be able to get to my mail to see messages from potential customers, so I had to go through Internet Explorer. It made me login in everywhere.   That is when I began to appreciate AOL and the many short cuts that it offers. The Carousel and the Little Red Heart, if you have had AOL you know what I mean.  ( I also get free Lifelok,  Legal Assistance and well as other things that come with the $11 a month fee.)  It is the only mail service that I have found that has a 'search' within the mail folders, and I use that a lot. I know most don't like AOL, but I do.  So I have had to switch to my other computer which won't load Open Live Writer.   That's why the blog looks different this time.

Thursday and Friday we got a bit more work done around here, and then I took Roy and his other fishing buddy to see Ronald in CCU.  He was conscious, and seemed to be in OK spirits, only hurting a lot.   But at the same time, my friend from church, Ann, was in ICU, and she wasn't conscious.  She had been taken to the hospital the night before because she suddenly came down with a lot of seizures, so they were keeping her sedated.  Please keep these two in your prayers.  Thank you.
Every day we should be thankful for our health and strength.  I know I am.

I have a lot of chicken in my freezer, but I am just not crazy about chicken because I was forced to eat it when I was young.  I don't buy it, it is given to me, so I often make it into dishes for the church potluck.  This time I made Chicken Breasts with Farro and Veggies.  I also took some Sweet Multi-grain Mountain Rolls, they are always well received, as they are so soft and easy to eat.  I arrived early so that I could help the pastor's wife as her knee is still hurting.

The Bible readings were Lev. 19:1-20:27, Eze. 20:2-26 and Matt. 5:38-48. and the Teaching was about the Temptations and Tests In The Life of A Believer.

I was supposed to stop and get a few things from the hardware store on the way home, but the van had finally cooled down, and there was no way that I wanted to park it again on such a warm day.

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