So is this post going to be about family matters or how much family matters? Methinks both. We’ve been in California for a few days and are having a great time. On the 4th we went to a picnic at one of the cousins and met some relatives I’d never met before. Interestingly enough, some of these relatives don’t see much of each other. Whispers of unresolved issues can come to the surface when alcohol gets introduced into the mix. In the past I might have judged those who imbibed more than they should have, but not anymore. Sometimes people drink because they don’t know how else to deal with issues, and sometimes it’s to relieve the burdens they carry. In most cases they don’t know Jesus. But whatever the reason, they are family, and family matters. You can unfriend people on Facebook but you can’t unfamily your family (though some have tried).
I met a cousin and discovered he is a poet as well. He’d actually brought some of his poetry, which was pretty good. He’s had a tough life and hasn’t seen his children in a long time. But through it all he met Jesus, and so we had much to talk about. Then there was Uncle Joe, in the last stages of Parkinson’s. His children took the sheet he was on and placed him in a van and brought him over. It did him (and us) good. We’re having another picnic today and I wish he could come but I don’t think he’ll be able to make it. We’re definitely going to make it a point to visit him before we leave.
I’ve had the opportunity to share a little bit about how God is moving in the world. Not surprising is the fact that so far no one out here ever heard of Azusa Street or Aimee Semple McPherson and are unaware of the outpouring which birthed the whole Pentecostal/Charismatic movement at the turn of the last century. We generally aren’t aware of what’s not a part of our denomination (the Catholics don’t have this problem, obviously). I’m getting an education with regards to discussing beliefs with people. It’s surprising how many questions are asked because someone is looking for an opening to give an opinion. I don’t want to be guilty of doing that, I want to be a good listener. That’s not something which comes naturally :)