Another grandchild arrived at the beginning of May in the form of Jack William Welford. This brings the current count to five children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandsons. One of our grandsons is adopted, and one is a foster grandchild, but both are considered every bit a part of our family.
At the time of writing, all of us but James and Katy and their recent addition are enjoying a few family days together in a bunkhouse in the North Yorkshire Moors. It is not the most comfortable of hostelries, but it sleeps nineteen and it allows us to spend time together as a family, while also enjoying beautiful surroundings. We came here last year to celebrate Marilyn’s 60th birthday, and are here this year to celebrate mine. James, Katy and Jack William are staying just across the moor with Katy’s parents, so we have been able to see them too. And we feel blessed, incredibly blessed by all that God has given us through being parents and grandparents – through our family.
Beth managed to fit the visit north into her busy Nomadic lifestyle. When she is not on the road Beth stays with a family in Birmingham, close to the Youth for Christ offices where she is based. Back in April Beth’s Birmingham family laid on a party in their church hall, for her 21st birthday, which we joined. When Marilyn and I were going to a concert in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago we parked at Beth’s Birmingham family’s house and they fed us before the concert. Apart from Beth the only other thing we have in common is our faith, but this makes us members of one of the largest families ever – the family formed from the fellowship of believers. This is a family that goes beyond individual churches, extending globally and encompassing all who have surrendered their lives to God.
If we have surrendered our lives to God, then as members of His global family of believers we should be blessed, but we should also be a blessing – not just to each other, but also to our neighbours. Who are our neighbours? I think Jesus explained that one in a parable (Luke 10:29-37). The question is one of who are we blessing? Is it just ourselves, or are we truly blessing our neighbours? Because it cannot be right that we take a blessing without passing a blessing on – especially when there is a world outside our churches that hasn’t even heard about the blessing that is waiting for it
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
John Fawcett – published 1782