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May 27, 2015, 12:00 AM

A Nugget From My Spiritual Journey-June 2015

   JUNE...the month of many weddings and Father's upon us. What better time to think about families and the heritages that result from each of them! Today, the definition of a family is being stretched and tried in many arenas. Personally, I have been blessed with a largely traditional heritage.

   Recently, someone inquired about my heritage "in the ministry." As I replied, I was reminded of how exposure to those with a strong faith can affect generations yet to come. My paternal grandfather (PaPa) worked in oil fields and then at a hospital. At some point, he was ordained to the Gospel ministry. He served as a supply preacher many times and possibly as a bi-vocational Pastor briefly. He and Grandmother were very strong Christian influences in my life, although he only lived to be 62. Just the day before he died, he and I, at age 15, took a long walk across our farm, where they were visiting us on vacation. The two of us visited like never before. I have long since forgotten what we said but I will never forget that walk. God brought them from New Mexico to Arkansas that week, giving him a final chance to pour his life and love into his oldest grandchild on his last day. He was buried on Father's Day, with a glorious, worshipful service, including music provided by their church’s beautifully robed choir! His name was Bryan.

   My father was also named Bryan. He served the Lord faithfully--for many years as an ordained, beloved Deacon. Years later, our own son, Bryan, surrendered his life to God’s call to become a Pastor while attending a college retreat, at Glorieta, in New Mexico. My grandparents had gone there many times, starting the year it opened, and Russell and I had taught there already and have since. The legacy continued!

   Mother's mother (Nannie) was a godly lady. Grandaddy provided a home in Kansas for his family, but apparently not always a happy one. When Mother first met PaPa, as her potential father-in-law, it was only then that she felt it would be okay to marry Daddy, because she saw how differently my PaPa treated Grandmother than in the marriage she had grown up observing at home. She knew then she could trust her love for PaPa’s son, who would become my Daddy. What an important legacy. Years later, she went home to join all of them in Heaven--on Father's Day of 2011.

   That is how Father's Day and weddings blend in my mind. That...and watching my own dear husband be a loving husband, Dad, and PaPa through my own marriage. Happy Father's Day, Honey! May your legacy be everlasting, as well...

Marsha Cook


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