Saturday, July 01, 2017

May/June 2017 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52

May/June 2017
And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52
It’s no secret that God instituted the family as He did for a reason.  He repeatedly makes it clear to parents that kids should learn basic life-skills in the family setting. Jesus, as a child and a young man, set the example (as usual) as He grew intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially. Having kids is not so hard; raising and preparing kids is.
The importance of this responsibility has been more-than-obvious recently, both in my immediate family and in the Tepic church family. I got to take a quick, unexpected trip to Phoenix this last week to welcome the latest Mellberg grandbaby to the family (That’s 11 grandkids in 11 years!). Remie Grace was born 11 days past due date. How nice of her to be so accommodating to wait until Grandma from Mexico could join the family for the happy event, and how nice of her to combine her appearance with Father’s Day, so I could also celebrate my own daddy’s 64th year as my dad. I pray that Tim and Heidi will show Remie Grace how to grow in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man as my daddy (and mom) have with my siblings and me. It’s not easy.
Not only has the need for and value of training children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord in the immediate family been evident lately, but also the discipline and instruction of the Lord are important in the church family. Three children (now young adults) from the Tepic church (IBBM-Tepic), whose very first pictures Kirt and I took on the days of their birth, are graduating with high honors from both, high school, and also from the 11-year course at the Tepic School of Music. All three, Caleb, Shadai, and Érika, accepted the challenge early on and have excelled in mastering an instrument for the purpose of using it for God’s glory.
Caleb is Pastor Nacho and Lorena’s son. He has grown up, following Jesus’ example. Caleb just passed a very selective entrance exam for a major in Electronic and Communication Engineering. In addition to his constant participation in youth activities and being a very effective OANSA group leader and teacher, Caleb plays his saxophone with the IBBM worship team every week. The major collaboration it took to get Caleb his very first sax is a graphic reminder that every success story has a beginning, nothing happens well without consistent teamwork, and God is faithful to the end. Here’s Caleb the day he got his very first sax. And here is a sample from yesterday’s 40-minute final sax recital.

Soon after Hugo and Imelda believed and became members of God’s family, they made the choice that they would train their children in His way. They also have discovered that that commitment is not easy.
 Their daughters have grown in wisdom and stature, learning by example to esteem their Creator and love others as themselves. Shadai will be studying biochemical engineering next year and she has mastered violin. She graduated from the School of Music yesterday. Here’s a short excerpt from her 40-minute final recital.  
Both sisters are Sunday school and OANSA leaders and teachers and members of the worship team.  God has blessed Shadai with a cheerful, compassionate spirit, many creative ideas, and lots of friends with whom she shares her faith freely. Her motivation is not a strategy; it’s a loving, humble Jesus, Who came to serve and to offer everlasting life. It’s a driving force that comes from the inside out, from a heart that is changed by the Lord Jesus and serves by following His example.  

While they were in college, Érika’s parents, Sebastián and Ely, began attending the Bible study that served as the springboard for the Tepic church. They were convinced of their need for forgiveness, and they invited Him to be their Savior. They loved the small group, but when that grew into a “church,” they struggled with family roots and tradition.

After Ely had several miscarriages, little Érika was born. When she got old enough to attend the Tepic church OANSA club, they couldn’t keep her away, and she began to hide God’s Word in her heart. She learned that her sin had separated her from God, but He loved her so much that He sent Jesus to die in her place. She asked Jesus to forgive her for her sins and to save her. In the OANSA summer camp, she committed to following Jesus and being baptized; her parents followed His, and her, example. They have faithfully trained Érika in His way, and she is a delightful OANSA leader, teacher, and an excellent musician. She graduated both high school and from the School of Music with honors and will be studying chemical engineering next semester.  Here’s a short excerpt from her 40-minute final violin recital.

The lives of these kids who have grown like Jesus in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man are way different than they would have been had their parents never heard about their need for a Savior. And even though none of their parents were raised according to biblical standards, that didn’t keep them from breaking away from old patterns and following God’s plan for families. Not everyone who has been given the opportunity has persisted in growing like Jesus, but those who have are receiving a great reward for their investment that they, and we, will not regret.


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