how very much the father loves us (1 John 3:1)

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IMG_8880Note: First and foremost, I am a communicator with a message. Mostly, I do that through being a writer; but I have come to understand that a few good photographs sometimes help. Today’s post has more than just a few images – so I have parked most of them in a slide show at the end. Pictures… or words… or both; I pray that this blog nourishes your soul.

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!”1 John 3:1

Grandchildren and Surprises!

BIG birthday surprise!!!!

Sunday afternoon Rebekah and I – along with my parents – headed up to Richmond for my “official” #59 birthday party with the Campbell family.

We arrived in time for one of Naomi’s sumptuous dinners (including Craig’s famous cheesecake), and then it was time for presents.

David and Beks had both painted watercolors of their own design, so I was both delighted and satisfied. Surrounded by my family, precious grandchildren, good food; what else could I possible imagine?

Then Naomi came back in and sprung the BIG surprise.

Rebekah with kids all over her...
Rebekah with kids all over her…

That’s right, the family gifted me with a new guitar! For literally a decade I’ve talked about expanding my range beyond acoustic, exploring the blues, and adding a bona-fide archtop electric guitar to my collection. So Rebekah, Naomi, Craig, Andrew, Alicia, and my parents conspired together to pool their birthday resources and – completely without my knowledge – purchased a beautiful Epiphone Sheraton II Archtop Electric Guitar, with the Vintage Sunburst finish.

So I was blown away. Completely. Knock me down with a feather. Nonplussed. Bam!

24-hours of fun!

four generations at putt-putt
four generations at putt-putt

We stayed the night and spent Monday as a family. That’s when I got to enjoy David’s special present. He’s been talking for a week about, “Playing putt-putt with Grandaddy for his birthday.” What a hoot! We did a four-generation guys’ outing to a cold but fortunately not raining venue not too far from home.

This was David’s first putt-putt outing, and he loved every minute. His favorite phrase was, “Let me help you, grandaddy,” before moving my ball up the track like a little hockey player.

We met “the girls” for lunch at Chilis then played back at the house before Naomi and I cooked dinner together.


David's picture
David’s picture

There is no way to adequately describe the sheer joy of hanging out with David and Beks. They represent – wrapped up in tiny little bodies –  all the love, the passion, the hard work, the ebullience, the drama, the fun, the struggle, the purity, the potential, the exhaustion, and the uncorked, carbonated, effervescent life that is childhood.

And I look at them, and I watch their amazing parents, and I just about burst with blessing.

Here’s what I want to leave with you today. A devotional thought to go with the love and the family photos.

Beks' picture
Beks’ picture

You can see the delight Rebekah and I have in our grandchildren – it’s hard to miss; you know about how much we love our children, Andrew and Naomi, and their amazing spouses, Alicia and Craig; and you’ve heard enough stories to understand that our parenting experience leaned more toward “full but wonderful” than “easy and predictable.”

I believe that is exactly how we can understand the potential we all have for relationship with our Creator. God has been through it all – and more – when it comes to his children. But what really interests God is now, today, and the future. Are we going to respond to God’s invitation to be a family that revels in the opportunity to be together and to move into a future defined by love, reconciliation, faithful commitment, and hope?

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!”1 John 3:1

While you think about that, enjoy the rest of the photographs – DEREK





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