As You Hold Out the Word of Life | 31 Days of Growing Up

We grew up being taught the Truth.

When we were little, my dad would bring out his flannel graph board with the felt Bible sets and narrate Bible stories. Years later, in the mornings, before he left for work, my dad would make us kids breakfast and have devotions around the dining room table. We worked on memorizing verses together using a "call and response" method: dad reading a phrase, and all of us repeating it. Even though we weren't always the most obliging participants, those words found their way to our ears and minds, and I still remember some of the verses we studied decades ago.

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the Word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."
    ~ Philippians 2:14-16

We also learned a lot through song. We had cassette tapes of kids' Sunday school-type songs, and VHS tapes of Steve Green "music videos" with kids singing and sometimes acting out the principles of Bible verses put to song; many of those songs ("I have hidden Your word, hidden Your word, hidden Your word in my heart...") I still remember, and to this day they randomly start playing in my head. I loved to sing in church and grew up learning many great old hymns (my dad always told us song worship "isn't complete without a Fanny" [Crosby] hymn) and the classic 90s praise choruses ("Shine, Jesus, Shine" y'all).

And every night, after we got ready for bed, mom and dad would tuck us in and say goodnight prayers. To the God of the Universe. And we knew He heard us, and loved us.

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