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Chuck's Blog

An Open Letter to Our Children

Chuck Neff - Tuesday, April 14, 2009
An open letter to our sons, our daughters, their husbands, their wives
and their children!
 
Someone once said that in many ways you, as our children, have really only been loaned to us parents.  You are “ours” only for a fleeting instance in this adventure we know as life.  As we parents enter and prepare to move through the autumn of our lives, you are starting to enter your springtime…the years of great promise and sure hope.  You are now shaping your lives to be what you dreamed they would be.  And, all of us pray and hope and dream right beside you that life will be full and that it will treat you well…with the gentleness and the kindness you would hope for yourself and, no doubt, for one another.
As you probably know, we parents share our lives together in a faith sharing community.  We meet one night a week (generally Wednesday, although during the summer our night is Monday).  Simply stated, we pray together.  We share our lives with one another.  It’s probably something we need, because (to steal a line from “The Road Less Traveled”) life is difficult.  The path in front of us is sometimes frightening and steep.  The journey often feels treacherous and uncertain.  Getting together on a regular basis is probably something we do, because if we didn’t, the loneliness of walking through life by ourselves would be potentially unbearable and only add fuel to our inherent selfishness.  We think that having a way to share our lives with one another makes us better people.  It gives us courage to know we are not alone in our walk of faith and the struggles of life.
So, what’s this letter all about anyway?  Quite simply, we wanted you to know that we are praying for you.  Every day of every week of every year, someone in our small group is praying for all of you.  Whether you may still be living at home or residing in another part of the country or even half way around the world, you are still “ours” – part of our family, part of our circle of concern.  Even as our adult children…even through our aging eyes…you continue to be precious to us.  The treasure that you are to us has never diminished.  It remains constant.
One of our prayers is that you may understand the truth of our being.  Pontius Pilate asked the question of Jesus before his crucifixion: what is truth?  It’s probably a question we all ask in one way or another…and a question we all ultimately will have to answer in one way or another.  The reality is that spirituality is the very core of our being.  There is a famous quote that puts a lot of life in context.  “We have to remember that we are not human beings having spiritual experiences.  Rather we are spiritual beings having human experiences.”
So, when life for you becomes difficult, when you are faced with the steep parts of your own journey, when you don’t know what to do with your fears, your insecurity, your loneliness, the dark parts of your own life, please remember that each and every day of the week someone somewhere is praying for you…hoping for the best and asking the God who created all of us to be with you, to bless you, to touch your life with love and hope and the peace of Christ.
           
We also hope that when life feels good and things are going your way (as they often will) that you will pause for a moment to recognize that the Hand of God has gifted you with yet another one of life’s many blessings.  God has a habit of doing that, we’ve discovered.  He is a good and gracious God and has great plans for all of your lives.  We pray you may trust in Him always.
           
We love you…more than you know.  May God bless you and keep you always…and forever. +++

An Open Letter to Our Children

Chuck Neff - Tuesday, November 15, 2011

            Someone once said that in many ways you, as our children, have really only been loaned to us parents. You are “ours” only for a fleeting instance in this adventure we know as life. As we parents enter and prepare to move through the autumn of our lives, you are starting to enter your springtime…the years of great promise and sure hope. You are now shaping your lives to be what you dreamed they would be. And, all of us pray and hope and dream right beside you that life will be full and that it will treat you well…with the gentleness and the kindness you would hope for yourself and, no doubt, for one another. 
            As you probably know, we parents share our lives together in a faith sharing community. We meet one night a week (generally Wednesday, although during the summer our night is Monday). Simply stated, we pray together. We share our lives with one another.
It’s probably something we need, because (to steal a line from “The Road Less Traveled”) life is difficult. The path in front of us is sometimes frightening and steep. The journey often feels treacherous and uncertain. Getting together on a regular basis is probably something we do, because if we didn’t, the loneliness of walking through life by ourselves would be potentially unbearable and only add fuel to our inherent selfishness. We think that having a way to share our lives with one another makes us better people. It gives us courage to know we are not alone in our walk of faith and the struggles of life. 
            So, what’s this letter all about anyway? Quite simply, we wanted you to know that we are praying for you. Every day of every week of every year, someone in our small group is praying for all of you. Whether you may still be living at home or residing in another part of the country or even half way around the world, you are still “ours” – part of our family, part of our circle of concern. Even as our adult children…even through our aging eyes…you continue to be precious to us. The treasure that you are to us has never diminished. It remains constant. 
            One of our prayers is that you may understand the truth of our being. Pontius Pilate asked the question of Jesus before his crucifixion: what is truth? It’s probably a question we all ask in one way or another…and a question we all ultimately will have to answer in one way or another. The reality is that spirituality is the very core of our being. There is a famous quote that puts a lot of life in context. “We have to remember that we are not human beings having spiritual experiences. Rather we are spiritual beings having human experiences.” 
            So, when life for you becomes difficult, 
    when you are faced with the steep parts of your own journey, 
    when you don’t know what to do with your fears, your insecurity, 
    your loneliness, the dark parts of your own life, 
    please remember that each and every day of the week 
    someone somewhere is praying for you… 
    hoping for the best and asking the God who created all of us to be with you, to  bless you, to touch your life with love and hope and the peace of Christ. 
            We also hope that when life feels good and things are going your way (as they often will) that you will pause for a moment to recognize that the Hand of God has gifted you with yet another one of life’s many blessings. God has a habit of doing that, we’ve discovered. He is a good and gracious God and has great plans for all of your lives. We pray you may trust in Him always. 
            We love you…more than you know. May God bless you and keep you always…
and forever.