Rev. Phil Dicks


   I am so excited…so in love with my new grandson. Can you imagine – deprived of sleep (for one of the greatest reasons in my life)…my son texts me “He’s here Father! Come quick! 
   I am a grandfather again and I have been re-confirmed to my role as a Father! I’ll never forget that “tweet” and the invitation from my son, to see his son, and now focus my role as a grandfather on my new grandson – Beau! (7 pounds 6 Ounces) and beautiful…I mean “handsome” he is! I wonder what my new grandson, and all my grandchildren, would say about me as their grandfather? 

    I love to talk about grapes and wine. I love to grow things and especially grapes! Jesus knew about grapes and talked about the fact that we are to see Him as the vine and we are the branches. Jesus begins his analogy of the vine and branches by saying that He is the “true vine and God the Father is the “vinedresser” (husbandman). He mentions the Father twenty three times already in as you lead up to the story in John 15. He pictures the loving care of his Father for he and the disciples through the picture of a vinedresser’s concern for his plants. He is lifting up all of this in terms of his relationship and attitude as well as his actions in the lives of his “children” and disciples. 

    When I was growing up my father loved to make wine. He would often speak of certain wines that seem to improve with age. They become more flavorful and full-bodied. There are also some that don’t age well. They lose their flavor and turn into vinegar. Grandfathers are similar to wine. Some age well and are a blessing to their family while others are — well, they’re much like wine that has turned to vinegar. I’ve been thinking…which am I? Join me in retrospect thinking by asking: Which are you? 

    As a grandfather, I hope I have a vital role in my family’s well-being, especially their spiritual well-being, if you are a follower of Christ. Proverbs 13:22 says, A righteous man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children. Though this passage is speaking about an inheritance of material wealth, could it not also refer to something more than material possessions? Are material possessions all that I am responsible to leave to the next generations? 

    In their book, The Heritage, Otis Ledbetter and Kurt Bruner define heritage as including “the spiritual, emotional and social legacy that is passed on from parent to child… good or bad.” They suggest that these three components of an inheritance provide a connection to one’s past, an identity and security in the present and hope for the future. 
    So, how do we, as grandfathers, make sure that the inheritance, or heritage, we leave our grandchildren fulfills those criteria? Here are the three basic things grandfathers (and grandmothers) can do to be a good and full-bodied heritage builder: 

-- BE INVOLVED! Jump into your role with enthusiasm and expectancy. In a time of epidemic absenteeism by fathers, let’s not let that be the case for us as grandfathers. As a grandfather, we hold the key to a meaningful inheritance for our grandchildren. They need your example and involvement in their lives… more than we often realize. 
-- LEAVE A WRITTEN/RECORDED LEGACY Your story needs to be told, but it also needs to be written down, or recorded, so that it is not forgotten among future generations. Record your family history, your own personal life journey and the lessons God has taught you in that journey. 
-- GIVE YOUR BLESSING The spoken blessing is a powerful tool for communicating the high value God has given to each individual He created in His image, and to affirm and picture a special future that God has purposed for each person who is born into this world. Your grandchildren are overwhelmed with words of faithlessness and hopelessness. They need to hear from you words of blessing, faith and hopefulness. 

    This Sunday, we are going to talk about it . Join me for worship and some great tools including an “INTENTIONAL GRANDPARENT DECLARATION” that I will make available to everyone. Go be the church…See you in church!