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  • David

    December 1, 2021 at 6:35 am

    December 1, 2021

    My parents were born (1926 & 1927) during the Great Depression Era and they were part of the World War II generation, often referred to as the “greatest generation.” My Mother was from rural Alabama and was born on her Grandfather’s farm in a log cabin. My Father was born in Mobile Alabama. I was born in Mobile after the war (1948). That makes me a part of the “Baby Boom” generation (1946-1964). This lineage definitely shaped me and the way I viewed the World until I became a Christ Follower.

    As far as I know, my Mother was raised Southern Baptist or at least her grandparents were. My Father was raised in the Church of the Nazarene. Both of these churches were very legalistic in those days. Their approach to the Gospel was hell fire and damnation. My Father’s Mother died when he was eleven, which profoundly influenced him. Even though they were dirt poor, the church still demanded the Tithe and did little to help them. My Father was a classic case of the “dechurched” and I inherited that view of the church from him. Faith was a private matter and was never discussed.

    The first church I remember attending was a Presbyterian church, which I hated for all the ritual I was forced to participate in, especially reciting the “catechism.” I was shy and not very good at memorization, so being singled out and embarrassed was a traumatic experience that turned me off. We switched to The Methodist Church, but by the time I was in High School, we had stopped attending and God was no longer any part of my life. I was never baptized and my family was Christian in name only.

    The natural gifts that I received from my parents were: a strong work ethic; discipline; determination; respect for my elders; love of family and country; honesty and integrity; and independence. I am eternally grateful for my parents and for these character traits and the love they showed me as a child. I was raised in a good home, but God was not part of my upbringing.

    These natural abilities have served me well in my worldly identity, but they also formed me to be strong willed, controlling, a people pleaser, and a perfectionist. If I made an A and two B’s my Dad wanted to know why I didn’t make all A’s. I was constantly striving to measure up and my worth was definitely tied to my performance.

    It was not until I met my first love that I was exposed to a real Christian Family. She was a born and raised Methodist and God was a big part of her parents life and her life. But it was not until I retired from active duty in the Army and we were settled into civilian life with two children before I started attending a small Methodist church with her and the boys out of a sense of duty. This was a very different church from those of my childhood. They showed me the love of God in tangible ways. I was baptized in 1973 at the alter with my two boys and the rest of the story is history as they say.

    That’s my story as far as my lineage. What’s your story? I look forward to taking this Advent Journey and studying Jesus’s lineage with you.