“All this we ask in the Master’s name. AMEN.” is a phrase I heard over and over as a kid – every time my family would sit down to eat. Both my parents ended their prayers with this phrase each and every night. I’m not sure if it was passed down to them or if they created it themselves, but. . . Well, I’m glad they used it. There’s just something about the way it rolled off their lips. To this day, I listen for it when my mom prays.
I wonder if there will be phrases that will remind my kids of the faith that I carry and cling to?? What will those phrases be?? Will I pass along a legacy of prayer and faith like my parents did??
PS: I asked my mom where the phrase originated, and she isn’t sure either. We’ve heard my grandmother, (mom’s mom) use it too, so our best guess is that it came from her side of the family. I wonder how far back it goes? Did my great grandmother use that phrase too? (Mom keeps forgetting to ask my grandmother, so I’m going to post this without knowing where it originated.)
My family had been skiing in Colorado and were traveling through New Mexico on our way home to Corpus Christi, when a snow storm came upon us. A “white out” is the term used when there’s is so much snow falling that visibility disappears. I was about 11-12 years old and had been laying in the back of the station wagon. (We called it the chili wagon.) Anyway, my parents thought my brother and I were sleeping back there. I think he was. . . but I was wide awake. I remember hearing my parents argue. Mom wanted dad to stop ’cause he couldn’t see the road and we could drive off a cliff. Dad was scared to stop for fear of being covered in the snow and freezing. I was young, but I was old enough to know we were in danger. Old enough to know to be scared. Old enough to realize that my parents were helpless and scared themselves.
I prayed. Dad kept pushing ahead slowly looking desperately for a place to stop, but we couldn’t see anything. We could have been within a few feet of a hotel or rest stop, and never seen it. It wasn’t too long before someone drove up behind us (we could make out the headlights) so dad stopped and a man came to knock on dad’s window. We heard the knock before we saw him. He was a local pastor on an indian reservation and was offering us a place to stay – there was an extra house on the reservation. We were saved! and it wasn’t my parents skills, resources, or abilities that did it. It was an act of God and God alone.
It’s the first time I remember experiencing God. Of course it wasn’t the first time God intervened in my life, but it was the first time I recognized it. As a result of this experience, at 11-12 years old, I began to understand His power, His love, and knew that He cared for me and my family. I also recognized that God used another man to do His work. These initial revelations/experiences laid the ground work for the day I would give my life to Him and for my life. Because He loved me first (expressed in this experience) I eventually began to love Him too and today I hope to serve Him with the rest of my life.
I thank God for snow, white outs, indian reservations, pastors, the chili wagon, ski trips, New Mexico, and my parents and family.
PS – If you want to read more about this experience check out the other blog I wrote a few years ago. My First Memory of God
Recently, Miranda and I watched a TV show (Still Standing) where parents were competing to have the house where all the kids hung out. It became a contest to see who could buy the bigger and better toys. Pretty funny.
Miranda and I have always said that we wanted our house to be the “Hangout House.” We pray that our home will be a place where kids feel comfortable. A place where they want to be. We pray that they feel welcome and a sense of the peace and joy that we take in each other.
Growing up, our house was that way. Mom and dad made sure that we had lots of fun toys (pool table, trampoline, motorcycle, above ground swimming pool, etc.) so our friends wanted to come to our house, but ultimately, it was the way they were treated by my parents that brought them back. It was the love in our home that made them continue to show up. As a matter of fact, there’s a part of me that thinks they our house would’ve been the Hangout House even if we hadn’t had any of those big toys. My parents worked to create a home where we could express ourselves and play freely. My parents wouldn’t have encouraged all of our activities, but they did let us push the envelope a bit.
By the way, boys need adventure and risk as a part of their play. They don’t day dream and imagine secure safe homes with dolls like girls do, but instead they dream of fighting epic battles and winning the beauty against the greatest of odds. Risk and adventure should be not only allowed but even encouraged in their play so they can become the men of God our world so desperately needs.
Anyway, in our house growing up, we laughed a lot and we played hard. We pulled sleds with four-wheelers, and built skate ramps and stereo boxes. We jumped from the roof of the house to the trampoline and from the trampoline to the pool. (One time our friend Paul ended up with his head in the pool, his feet between the trampoline springs, and his chest imprint on the metal wall of the pool.) We also used to put soap on the trampoline and throw balls at the people jumping. Our driveway became a basketball court almost every Sunday afternoon. We made strange videos and built jumps for our bikes. We had an annual epic water balloon war on Halloween. Now, I wouldn’t say that all of these things were safe, but they were all really fun! The way we played was an expression of who we were.
As a parent, I want to know my kid’s friends. I want them to know me too. I hope we’re able to spend time together so we can begin to influence each other and the best way for that to happen is for my house to be full of love and joy and laughter and playfulness.
Since I’m just a big kid myself. I’m excited about the years ahead. Maybe daddy will get some toys too.
Check out these Scriptures too: Deut 6:6-9; Prov 17:1; 21:9; 24:3; 1 Tim 1:6; 2 Cor 2:14-16