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They'd Rather Be With Family

By Pete Macinta

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Children, like grownups, enjoy receiving gifts. To many, getting gifts is almost a priority. However, I know some children, as you might, with higher priorities.

Dorcas, my wife, has three brothers and five sisters, and most of her siblings have their own families. Each year, those of us who can, gather together in Grantsville, Maryland for a time of reunion and fellowship.

Despite financial pressures, our son Sam, his wife Lydia, and their four children decided to be at the Grantsville reunion that was slated for January 3, 2009. This was a bit risky because their van had to be repaired at least twice a couple of months before the family gathering.

Nonetheless, they ventured off from their home in North Carolina on New Year's Eve.

Things were going fine until they got into Silver Spring, Maryland. That's where the van simply quit. Upon inspecting the engine, Sam noted portions of the engine were hot.

However, their van was not hot as the cold night air began to overcome any warmth its occupants had inside.

They called the local authorities who soon arrived. The van was towed to a location until a mechanic could be found, and the police transported the family to a crisis center.

While there, someone asked our four grandchildren which would they rather have -- more gifts, or to be with their family. The children said they would rather be with their family!

May God richly bless them. They, indeed, have blessed us by their desire to be with us and other family members. This is richness, for it is written in Psalm 127:3, "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

Glory belongs to God because of this, for His Son, Jesus Christ, has had a great influence in their young lives.

Well, while they were at the crisis center they were blessed with gifts anyway. After a number of arrangements, they were soon in Grantsville with their relatives. We joined them that Friday evening and had a wonderful time with them over the weekend.

Too soon, the time came to depart. However, this gem of godly family ties went with all of us. No doubt whatever material gifts they received will one day end up in the trash, but their choice of wanting to be with family will be an enduring blessing.

We can leave an inheritance of material goods for our children and grandchildren. But it is even better to leave them with a heritage founded upon the Word of God, which shall never pass away.

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"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates of rubies, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD, and great shall be the peace of thy children." --- Isaiah 54:11-13

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