Family Focus

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

It’s Thanksgiving day 2019 you guys. Happy Thanksgiving. I’ve been on an unintentional sabbatical from my writing, and I’m here this morning because a precious niece is asleep on the couch in the living room, and I don’t want to go out to the car to get a book I’m reading.

The book is 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, and even though I’ve read it before I always come away from reading the books I enjoy with more fodder for thought. I’m in the middle of the chapter about “beginning with the end in mind.” That obviously has me thinking about David. David hasn’t left my mind since his passing to be honest because I’ve never grieved deeper for a human being I’ve lost than him. He was truly a wonderful man who I still can’t believe is gone. I realize it’s never been the same since 2013, but there were still still palpable moments since then that made us think he would make it. I’m not blaming God, but I have expressed anger towards him for not saving him, but then I have paradoxical thoughts that he was “saved.” Barbara has aptly said in our suffering that he is no longer in pain. She’s spot on, but she is also grieving the empty space in her bed where David used to lie.

I’m thankful David’s life happened, but I’m also grieving that it’s over. Like Grandma, Ma, Pa and Sue I will forever remember their legacy. I’ll remember what they left me in the way of striving till the end, and I think that’s what characterizes the Tomlinson and Earheart families. As Nashville natives we make the city a better place by showing up. Like every other family in this great city we aren’t perfect, and we never will be, but we strive to learn from our mistakes, begin again and work for a better tomorrow.

The holidays can be hard for many people for multiple reasons, but when we pause today to thank our Father for our blessings may we thank Him for people like David in our lives who made us better by showing up. David also didn’t just show up because he spoke blessing into the lives of others with no count of receiving anything in return, and the number of people who came to the funeral home is a testament to that fact.

He isn’t here physically, but the presence of Jesus he left behind will forever be a testament to the power of the Holy Spirit over death. Jesus and David knew how to be with people without making a single demand or offering up a weird social presence to make people uncomfortable. I’m convinced that the “children’s” song Jesus Loves Me is the deepest theological reflection we make as children of the Father, and I don’t know how many times I’ve quoted the lyrics below on this blog and my previous two blogs, but I know it’s been a plethora of times. You can’t repeat the love of God enough.

Jesus take this heart of mine. Make it pure and holy thine. Thou hast bled and died for me. I will hence forth live for Thee.

I’ve met many people. I’ve traveled all over the world, but Nashville has forever been a place of anchor in my life. I completed an undergraduate degree at David Lipscomb University, and those 4 years of my life were life transforming. My family of origin solidified my path in devotion to the Father, but those 4 years in college I cannot underscore what a priceless gift God gave me through the people I grew to know and love.

I was talking to my sister-in-law Tasheena last night, and we both shared our experiences at Focus On The Family in Colorado Springs. Tasheena and I also fight depression, but neither one of us has allowed the challenges we face to destroy our families. As first borns of our families of origin we hold dear the calling to make our families strong, and by the power of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we continue to be successful.

Family is forever dear ones. Never forget that. Lean into that with all you have. And family isn’t just a blood connection. Family can be your church family whom you have no blood connection except the blood of Jesus. That’s what makes us ultimately strong even if you are adopted. God the Father adopted every last one of us on Planet Earth because His love for us is inexhaustible. That means His love is indestructible. All the things we experience here will one day be no more. Just ask David. Well, don’t ask David because that’s necromancy, and necromancy is black magic, and faithful Christians do not practice black magic. Think about those you are deeply missing right now, and you will understand what is truly important. You don’t have to go to hell to appreciate heaven.

Put your faith in God. Lean heavily upon His perfect love that is more real than the blood in your veins. You can literally cast all fear and worry aside because He cares for you. “If God is for us who can be against us?” We will all fear and worry still. I know that. Satan is still roaming the earth and the heavens, and his army is great and powerful, but we have an Advocate in the Father Who is greater. He is the great I AM, and nothing can separate us from His love.

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