Greetings and Welcome!

My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.

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May God bless you in your journey of faith.

This Month's Message

By Fran Caffey Sandin

“Look! Here is your grandmother’s name.”

My husband, Jim, curious about his Swedish heritage, took me and our two teenagers to the Folk Center in Karlstad, Sweden. How exciting to find a photograph of the ship on which Jim’s maternal grandmother, Mary, voyaged to America in 1880 when she was 10 years old.

Our adventure continued when we discovered Mary’s name on the baptismal registry in a country church. A drive through the grassy, rolling hills, with neatly painted red barns, and well-preserved white farmhouses found us stepping back in time. Jim included me when he bought an apron in the colors of the Swedish flag, bright gold with royal blue letters that read: “Kiss the cook, she is Swedish.” Now I, an East Texas farm girl, am adopted.

Because Christmas is a special time for families I decided to explore some facts about Jesus’ ancestors. What does it mean to us now?

  • Old Testament genealogies are significant. They trace records of God’s ancient promises through a particular people, the Jews.
  • To be a priest one had to produce an unbroken line of ancestry all the way back to Aaron. If a priest married, his wife had to document her Jewish roots to five generations.
  • The first genealogy in the Bible is in Genesis 5—Adam and his descendants. Through Adam the sin nature was passed on and each sentence ends with the sad words—“and he died.” Jesus Christ came to save the people from their sins and give spiritual life.
  • The coming of Jesus was prophesied in Genesis 3: 15. The family line (Judah) through which He would be born in Genesis 49: 10.
  • In the New Testament Matthew 1: 1-17, we meet 46 people with different personalities and backgrounds. Some were faith giants, others were shady, two were evil, but most of them were just regular folks. Names of women were included in the genealogy whereas in the Old Testament, they were not because women were then considered property, without legal status. Jesus changed that.
  • After the birth of the Messiah, all genealogy disappears from Scripture. We are not told the names of Peter, Paul, or John’s ancestors.
  • All believers (men, women, all races) have equal privilege in God’s household. Regardless of our past, God can forgive us and use ordinary people. Through faith in Christ, Gentiles are grafted into God’s family. Biblical hope is assurance.
  • Once Christ was born, the only family line which God recognizes henceforth is that which has its direct source in Christ. Since Christ died and rose again on man’s behalf, God requires that all the sinning children of Adam receive new spiritual life through faith and a personal relationship with Christ.
  • As sons and daughters of God we are members of the new humanity—God’s Kingdom on earth. That’s all the genealogy we need. Through Christ we have experienced the overwhelming love of God in our hearts, a love to cherish and to share. I’m thrilled to be in God’s family tree. Are you?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that in the fullness of time, you sent your Son, Jesus, born of a virgin, to pay the ultimate price for our sins that we might know You and have the assurance of Eternal Life. How comforting to know that families on earth who are united in faith will be reunited in Heaven. Because of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, we can look forward to our future with Him and them. In Jesus’ name, A-men.