THE CAMPFIRE crackled, casting flickering shadows on the four generations gathered around it at our annual "Cousins' Campout."
Glancing around at the faces of my extended family, I considered how diverse we werefrom farmers to international businessmen, pastors to agnostics, conservatives to liberals. In other circumstances, many of us probably wouldn't even be friends. But because we share a common heritage, we draw together once a year to celebrate our family.
At the heart of this gathering is my grandmother's memory. Widowed and left with the staggering responsibility of raising seven children and running a small ranch during the Great Depression, she became a powerful testimony to faith in God.
Many around the campfire never knew my grandmother, who died when I was a teen, but her imprint on our family is evident. Although it's never been discussed, no one would dream of opening a beer can or lighting a cigarette around the campfire. Nor will there be any swearing. Regardless of how we conduct ourselves separately, at Cousins' Campout everyone defers to Grandma's standards.
Some of her seven children have carried on their spiritual legacy into succeeding generations. Others have chosen not to. Yet, each of us are reaping the benefits of our godly heritage.
I'm reminded of King David. Long after his death, David's descendants also benefited from their godly heritage. Although some walked in utter wickedness, they still didn't experience the full wrath of Godbecause of David's faithfulness (1 Kings 11). What an incentive to be faithful!1