Tuesday, July 07, 2015

No Other Foundation

If you've read the past few nights, you'll know my mom's side of the family, the Chesshirs, had our odd numbered year family reunion in the countryside around Nashville, Arkansas this past holiday weekend. We've done it pretty regularly at least 1991. I know that because on the big Fourth of July celebration that year in town, a relatively unknown Bill Clinton flew in by helicopter and made an appearance, the only time I have actually seen a US President. Most of us were there this time and as always, we laughed and ate and remembered and repeated the process. But there was a twinge of sadness in the air. You see, back in November, the family house burned down, the result of an electrical issue. Fortunately, no one in the family of the current owners was hurt. Uncle Jack and Aunt Jerry own much of the family land surrounding and has crafted over the years a wonderful place for us to gather with three living quarters, right across from the old house. I went over by myself and walked around, remembering my childhood. Almost every memory of my mom's relatives until I was eleven centered on that house. Mom was born in that home and I would guess some of her siblings as well. That's our grandparents, Jord and Ruth Chesshir, in the middle picture which I wish I could have made clearer. They were young when they wed and when they built the house. Uncle Jack and Aunt Jerry reclaimed enough bricks from the ruins for each of us to have one, with dates chiseled in. One hundred years. It was built the year World War I ignited and Babe Ruth played his first major league game. Not many people or houses endure that long but this one did. And we mourned its passing.

When I was a student at Harding University, I memorized 1 Corinthians 3:11 which was chiseled on the front of the Bible building. It reads:
For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.(ASV)
A family's foundation is either in Jesus or it isn't. We were blessed that ours was. They were farmers who lived in close proximity to relatives on both sides who mostly made their living off of peaches. I never met my grandmother- she died when Mom was pregnant with me- but I know my mother absolutely adored her mother. Grandpa was the kind of grandpa who kids love- he lived on a farm and the ponds and barns and country roads therein he freely encouraged us to roam and explore. And now several generations later, their descendants have done well in being good citizens- several are in public service- and education and producing more kids. But the best influence is that their kids and grand kids and great grand kids are believers, dedicating their lives to the spreading of the gospel. The last story in the Sermon on the Mount is that of the Wise Man and Foolish Man. They both built houses but only one would survive the storm; the one built upon the rock. My grandparents followed the teachings of Jesus.... and they ended up building not just a home but a family, one child at a time, one grandchild at a time, and one great grandchild at a time. And we, their posterity, are eternally grateful.

Applicable quote of the day:

Home should be an oratorio of the memory, singing to all our after life melodies and harmonies of old remembered joy

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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