Field Family gathering, 2016

I reflect back on my long life with joy and appreciation. We feel a lot of joy because of our wonderful family. Families are so important and whenever any member of the family is struggling, the rest of the family should reach down with a loving hand up. We have so much to be joyful about with our three wonderful children and their spouses. All of them have passed the thirty-year mark in their marriages and Charlotte and I celebrated our 64th anniversary in January of 2011.

Each of us is still married to our original mates. We are all committed Christians who love the Lord. We have all gone through adjustments, personal crisis and family problems. The Bible says that trials will show that your faith is genuine; it is tested as fire tests and purifies gold. (1 Peter 1:7) With the help of the Holy Spirit we have all worked our way through these life experiences and our marriages became stronger and stronger as a result of our perseverance. It is certainly true that fire tempers the metal. We have twelve wonderful, loving grandchildren and their spouses are terrific grandchildren-in-law. Now the great grandchildren have begun to arrive to take their place in the expanding family group. We already have seventeen of these special, precious additions to our family with more to arrive I’m sure.

I also reflect on the joy and appreciation I have for a loving God that has been close to us throughout the many years. The indwelling sprit that lives within us and gives us direction and wisdom to deal with our everyday life is a gift that non-believers do not have. They have to struggle through life on their own trying to deal with whatever life throws at them. I look back over my life and realize God was always directing my path, even though it was not my choice at the time. (Proverbs 16:9) I came right up to bear traps that would have met with disastrous results but God closed the door to that route and sent me down a better road.