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Faith of My Fathers

Posted by MKB on December 16, 2004, at 16:28:42

After doing extensive research into my family history, I have been amazed at the faith of my fathers. Some were on the Mayflower (1620), some were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians or Huguenots who settled in Virginia (1700s), some were of the Dutch Reformed Church and settled in New Amsterdam (New York) before 1650. In tracing these folks down to the modern day, it is crystal clear that their faith was very important to them. This is a powerful legacy that I appreciate and feel graced to have.

In most cases, they came with nothing and carved a home out of the wilderness, and one of the first things they did was start churches. Whatever it was they were learning in their churches certainly did enable them to live commendably. No criminals, no scoundrels, no drug abuse, no sexual deviants, not even any divorce until the current generation--just hard-working, conservative folks who lived clean and helped their neighbors. They weren't rich or part of the elite, even though some were in the distant past descended from royalty.

Some left their privileged positions in Europe to come here to worship in their own way. The legacy of America being settled for religious freedom becomes much more real to you when you find out that those people were related to you. God was *very* important to these early settlers. Through all the hardships, death, hunger, disease, and other dangers, they continued trusting their God.

I didn't do anything to deserve this legacy, but I feel so fortunate that I have it. I'm so glad that faith has been "caught" generation after generation in my family. I have that same faith and it has served me well. Time after time, the antidepressants and the therapy have failed, while my faith and the prayers of Christian friends have seen me though. I've seen miraculous and dramatic answers to prayer. This is a faith that must be willingly received and cannot be forced on anyone. (Yes, there have been times in history when Christianity was forced on people. I do know about that.)

Even so, I can confidently say that it is more than the faith of my fathers now. It is my faith..."the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) What a comfort to have this kind of faith and to know that it is in a faithful God, who has never let me down. At this Christmas season, I am so thankful God sent Jesus with the gift of salvation to those who can have faith in him. Many reject Him, I know, but it's so very hard for me to understand why. Christians will let you down, indeed, but Jesus never will.

This is not written with the goal of offending anyone, but just as an expression of my gratitude for the faith of my fathers.




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