So, all our little kids have kinda grown up here, story by story, post by post, photo by photo, and it’s a humbling thing to now witness their stories unfold. Each child comes into the world as a love story — and then they write the legacy of their own love stories, and as parents we get the holy joy of honoring their own life stories with our committed withness and witness. It’s a ridiculous joy to welcome our oldest son and our daughter-in-law, Caleb and Melba, of The Keeping Company with all these legacy ways of keeping company with Christ, from where they are the other side of the world, to the farm’s wide front porch today!
As summer ripens like a golden wheat field, Caleb and Melba continue their work in Italy and the thermometer shows over 100F most days.
The blazing Tuscan sun is relentless; while the heat and dust are less than ideal for conducting research and exploring Florence, the heat is perfect for the growth and abundance of the fields in the hills around the city, turning the wheat white for harvest, just like wheat harvest begins at the homefarm in Canada.
And on a warm afternoon last week, Caleb and Melba wandered through a nearby vineyard that has been tended to, nurtured, cultivated, grown by one single family for the last 26 generations. They shook their happy heads, smiling, to discover this vine farming family is one of the ten oldest family businesses in this little old world.
As they drove home, driving past rows of grape vines, olive groves, and wheat fields, they turned to each other and long pondered what it means to be a faithful steward for so many long generations.
What does it mean to plant, tend to, and steward something, not for a couple of weeks, months, or even years, but for generations?
What is the legacy to which Christ calls us, when He blesses and instructs us to be wise stewards, to raise up our children in His way, to live with the purpose of eternal glory?
“What legacy are we instructed to leave?”
As they passed wheat fields and vineyards, they pondered – and so we ponder – Christ calling us to remembrance in the bread and the wine, His body and blood.
All the wheat fields bowed their heads, hushed and still and listening, and we too bend low and into that old conversation that begins with that age-old question of the generations: What are we called to do, how are we called to live?
What legacy is ours to leave?
This last year has been one of deep reflection on the idea of stewardship and the legacy to which we are called.
It has been a year of grief and lost loved ones…. and a year of tender grace, and gained family members.
We’ve seen our two families merge in this creation of a new one, and we have spent many long days writing, creating, and dreaming of ways to number our days, ways to keep company with Christ, and remember the birthright to which we are all called as beloved children of God.
In the past six months and this process of pondering and creating, we have come to a firmer realization that there is only one fundamental purpose to our lives here on this earth. That is, simply, to bring glory to God, our Creator.
We are called to steward our time, to mark our days in an endeavor not measured in generations, centuries, or millennia, but to mark our days by actually being blazing markers, signs, pointing to God’s glory.
“The crop we plant, the harvest we tend to, the legacy we leave is that of bringing Glory to God.”
Our purpose of bringing glory to our Creator is an eternal one, a legacy we are called to pass on to the generations that come after us, a family endeavor of keeping company with Christ, that’s continued through all the ages by the children of grace.
The crop we plant, the harvest we tend to, the we legacy we leave, is that of bringing Glory to God.
Which is much of what that great theologian Abraham Kuyper startlingly points to:
“Whatever man may stand, whatever he may do, to whatever he may apply his hand – in agriculture, in commerce, and in industry, or his mind, in the world of art, and science – he is, in whatsoever it may be, constantly standing before the face of God. He is employed in the service of his God. He has strictly to obey his God. And above all, he has to aim at the glory of his God.“
It’s never too late to aim.
Never too late to aim your days at the legacy of giving glory to God.
For generations, upon generations, it’s all of us, the family of God, who have tended to, nurtured, cultivated, grown this with our days:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” ~Deuteronomy 6:5-9
And if farming families, in wheat fields and vineyards from Italy to the other side of the world, can practically gather up a harvest, generation after generation — how do we all, as a family of faith, practically leave a legacy of glory to God, generation after generation?
3 Ways to Keep Carrying On a Family Legacy of Glory:
1. Keep Making the Biggest Deal of God
That’s what glory means, writes our kind family friend, Sally Lloyd Jones –“to make a big deal of.”
When we keep making a big deal of an infinitely big God, none of the problems in our lives seem like such big deals.
So we lay it out on a table, or there by the kitchen sink, or on an open Bible on the counter, a wooden Clinging cross, or a Hewn Beaded Crosses, as a way to tie our wandering minds to the big deal of God, as way to tie symbols of the very big, glorious deal of God “on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.“
We literally cut our daily bread on Breadboards engraved with God’s Word, “I am the Bread of Life” and we daily wear Bracelets with the engraved word “eucharisteo”, or “Jesus”, or “cruciform”, or “hope” — writing the Word of God not just on doorframes or gates, but right into our hearts and our days.
Because every single little one of our little moments is meant to make a big deal of God.
“The person who never meditates with delight on the glory of Christ… will not have any real desire to see that glory in heaven. What sort of faith and love do people have who find time to think about many other things but make no time for meditating on this glorious subject?,” wrote that esteemed wise man of God, John Owen.
When our everyday moments keep making a big deal of God — we are kept soul-safe knowing none of our everyday problems are a bigger deal than He is.
2. Keep Habitual Rhythms of His Grace
Every rhythm in our life — is telling more of the story of God.
And the question always is: Does this daily rhythm ours tell more of the story of God’s glory?
When our hands habitually turn to hold screens over and over again — how does this rhythm tell what a big deal God is?
But when our rhythm is to set out Open Wooden Hands, to intentionally, daily, habitually slip a prayer card into those open Wooden Hands, to have a daily rhythm of writing a verse on a card, or jotting down what we are grateful for on a card and slipping it into those Open Wooden Hands, a daily offering back to God — we are keeping a rhythm that keeps making a big deal of God, that keeps our hands and hearts, the whole of our lives, living an open-handed posture before God.
Every home and heart needs habits of His grace, to “[i]mpress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.“
The practice of faith is to practice habitual, endless conversations about God.
And when its our habit to talk about everything in our lives, in our families, with Open Hands, to literally have reminders throughout our home and days, that we are habitually leaving our hopes and prayers and people we love, all in Open Hands before God —we open the very story our lives to being filled with more of God’s glory.
3. Keep Company with Christ
Every day: Keep Calm & the only way to Keep Calm is to Keep Company with Christ.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? … Walk with me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace… Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” is what our very Lord Jesus said.
We glorify God by keeping daily company with Him, by daily beginning in His Word, by daily lighting a candle, by shining His light to those around us, by teaching His ways to those we love.
“We glorify God by keeping daily company with Him, by shining His light to those around us, by teaching His ways to those we love.”
We keep company with Christ by keeping these practices of faith, of laying out this unique Cradle to Cross Wooden Wreath every Advent Season, every Lent Season, every day moving the Candle in the wreath another day ahead, lighting the Candle and reflecting on who Christ is for us, what He has done for us, and why He is the most supreme greatest deal in all this glorious universe.
When we have tangible ways to keep company with Christ, we tangibly experience Christ keeping us. Through everything. This changes everything!
And when a family has practical ways to keep company with Christ, they not only know how they are kept by God –— but they keep closer to each other.
And in all these truly practical ways to glorify God, by keep making the biggest deal of God, by keeping habitual rhythms of grace, by keeping company with Christ, we grow this deep hope that when we move on from this temporary earth, we may say with confidence, that we have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.
As we keep company with Christ, we keep the faith, and He keeps us.
As the seasons wax and wane, as crops are planted, grown, and harvested all over the world, in all our homes, we keep considering where our treasures are stored, and what we are passing on to those we love.
And we earnestly commit and pray to to daily tend the eternal harvest, and leave a legacy of Glory.
“Embracing and practicing true religion… is expressed by glorifying God, as though that were the sum and end of the whole matter,” is what Jonathan Edwards powerfully concluded.
And as we keep driving the long roads home, through wheat fields and vineyards, there it is, what keeps us through everything:
Whatever God gives us, He promises to only give us a way through that can lead to the greatest glory for Him.
For You! And Yours! An invitation!
Our Breadboards, Bracelets, Wooden Hands, Clinging Crosses, and Hewn Crosses are thoughtful and meaningful birthday, anniversary, and Christmas gifts, and all our resources are designed to encourage you to keep Christ constantly close at hand, keeping close company with Him.
Plan ahead for an especially meaningful Christmas and Easter, counting down the days with this unique candle light, setting out our new hand-carved Wooden Nativity Set, a rare holy-days centerpiece, and reading aloud from the much requested hardcopies of our beautiful Advent and Lenten devotionals: these gorgeous books – a true labor of love accompanied by tears of both conviction and joy – are designed to guide you and your family through a daily walk with Christ during the preparatory seasons of Advent and Lent. We are thrilled to offer them both as complimentary downloadable PDFs, and – as they were meant to be experienced – in large, full-color, physical format as a bundle, perfect for reading aloud to the entire family.
This will be our best sale of the year! Our singular heirloom Cradle to Cross wreath is 25% off, and the accompanying Messiah Manger and The Light Gift Christmas Story make unforgettable family traditions.