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Friday, November 11, 2016

A Letter to My Sons... and to My Nation.

I have two fledgling birds about to fly the nest. And I am so proud. We have worked hard, failed big, learned much and lived well. Their big adventure is no longer waiting on the horizon, it is now. And they are going to continue to do beautifully. I am confident.

Of course, all that means my role is changing; as it has been since the day they were born. I remember back to when I was their only sustenance. Little by little, they grew and looked outward. I set the table for them. They learned to feed themselves, heaping their plates full with great ideas. I was their companion and guide. I will always be that. But, soon a host of other influences and activities will attract their attention and fill most of their moments.
And they will fly.

This is just as it should be.

Even so, it is stretching. And a little scary. And teary.
When I look at these men, I remember my babies. I know them so well.
How will we navigate these unfamiliar waters?

In some ways, it feels rather similar to what we’re experiencing as a nation. Things are about to change. It feels a little unsettling because we don’t know how it will go. But we love our country. We’ve come so far. We have worked hard, failed big, learned much and lived well. Our big adventure is no longer waiting on the horizon, it is now. And we are fully capable of doing beautifully. I am confident.

In order to secure success, there are some things we must not forget. Nations and sons alike.
So today, with much to sum up in just a few words, I’ve chosen these:

To my Sons (and Fellow Citizens):

"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all you do be done in love.” 
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Be watchful.

Look for your Savior to save you every. single. day.
Stay awake - watch and pray.
Be on your guard to resist the flesh and the prowling devil that would devour.
Look for opportunities to do right, to be kind and to serve.

Stand firm in the faith.

Hold fast to the One at whose word even the wind and the sea obey.
Obey that voice, and love it, for He is your life and length of days.*
Strive side by side with one mind.* Remember freedom.*
Do not waver.

Act like men, be strong.

Here is an idea that may benefit from some expansion. When you think strong, what do you think of? You may at first envision biceps and sit-ups and being the winning buck of any contest. You are young men, after all.* But is that what it is to act like men? To be strong?

First of all, I can generously and safely assume the apostle is not being sexist because I know that God is not; and Paul is speaking for God here. He is applying to our knowledge of the nature of things and what we tend to think of (or at least traditionally thought) when we think of the role of men. Neither is he speaking of bodily strength only, which has some value. He is asking men, who are image-bearers, to be like God; to be strong.* The strong bear with the weak* and overcome evil. In this sense, the same goes for women also.

Sons of my heart and fellow Americans, it requires great courage, with a steady strength of character and of will, to remain watchful, full of faith, strong and in all things loving. This is my expectation for you. To be. To act. Let these be characteristic of all your dealings - as under authority, with your King, with yourself, with your closest ones and with the world at large.

Be strong and of good courage. You are never alone.*

Let all you do be done in love.

In all that you do, love. Rather a sweeping statement, no? A charge with such magnitude and scope will require special attention and much care. We were made to love, but we have been bent and broken by sin. When we want to do right, evil lies close at hand.* We have made and will make mistakes, but love seeks to covers offenses and in so doing, a multitude of sins.* If we live by the Spirit, let’s walk with Him in love. We can do nothing otherwise.*

Love; because even if I am ever watchful and faithful and strong but have not love… I am nothing, neither gain anything. Love generously, deeply, sympathetically, courageously and gladly. It is the greatest of all. While it will often require the momentary pain of self-denial, an inconvenient cross-bearing or perhaps long-suffering, it is a life-saving and worthy endeavor in which you and I can expect full success.

"But how good and pleasant it is to know that at the heart of all things is our God, who wills the good and right behaviour of every creature in His universe, and who enables us all for right doing, for that fulfilling of His law in which all things work together for good! Our little lives are no longer small and poor when we think of the great things of the world. They are a necessary part of the great whole, ordered under law, fulfilling His will, and singing as the morning stars in the gladness of obedience."
Charlotte Mason, Ourselves pg 124

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.*

A loving mother.

A photo posted by Amy Tuttle (@amadasoy) on

P.S. May I make a reading recommendation for all Sons and Citizens in these turbulant days? Love really is the greatest of all. It is what the world needs more than ever. Our knowledge and experience of love began with God and it falls to us to continue to reflect this to the world. In these days, while the love of many will continue to grow cold, as a body, we are to continue to grow, being built up in love. In addition to the Bible texts that hold love on high, Charlotte Mason has written such sweet words of help in her book, Ourselves. I have found much consolation and conviction, over the past several weeks, especially in regard to the recent political climate, in Part III, The House of Heart, Lords of the Heart: Love (Chapters I - XI): The Ways of Love and Love’s Lords in Waiting: Pity, Benevolence, Sympathy, Kindness, Generosity, Gratitude, Courage, Loyalty, Humility, Gladness.

"Have you ever thrown a stone into the water and watched the circles about it spread? As a matter of fact, they spread to the very shores of the pond or lake or sea into which you have thrown the stone; more, they affect the land on the further side. But those distant circles become so faint that they are imperceptible, while those nearest the point where you have thrown in the stone are clearly marked. So it is with our Love. It is as if, in the first place, our home were the stone thrown in to move our being; and from that central point the circle of our love widens until it embraces all men".
Charlotte Mason, Ourselves pg 82

*1 Jn 2:14, Deut 30:20, Galatians 5:1, Phil 1:27, Eph 6:10, Rom 15:1, Deut 31:6, Rom 7:21, Pv 10:12 & 1 Pet 4:8, John 15:5, 1 Corinthians 16:23-24
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