Friday, February 8, 2008

Elijah turns 12

Tomorrow, February 9th, is my oldest grandchild's birthday. Elijah will be 12. His mom and dad have asked that as many male figures in Elijah's life as possible take time to write a letter to him on this occasion. It's hard to know what to say exactly to a twelve-year-old. It reminds me of a verse in the Bible, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." Anyway, I did my best. Here's what I wrote:


I wanted to write to you as your twelfth birthday approaches and tell you how proud Nana and I are to have you as our grandson. It seems like just yesterday that you were born into this world and we became grandparents for the first time. A few weeks before you were born, I had a heart attack. I remember saying to Nana on the way to the hospital, “The devil is telling me I’m not going to see my grandchildren.” But the devil has always been a liar, and we believed God for my healing. So you see, just by being born, you were a great confirmation to me of the power and love of God. You are already well on your way to becoming the fine young man we have always known you would turn into. Any family would be fortunate to have you in it, but ours was the family that received that blessing.

You know, of course, that nothing really happens by accident to a Christian. God is always leading you and guiding you, if you let Him, and molding you through your experiences into what He wants you to be, into what He had in mind for your life when He decided to create you. We don’t know yet what you are going to do in life or where life may take you, but if you remember to seek the Lord and His will in everything you do, you will avoid many of the traps and pitfalls that trip up young people nowadays. One reason God has set us in families is so that we won’t be alone and so that we will have the help and support of people who love us.

The key is to be aware that God’s help is always available. Listen for His voice. Sometimes He will speak to you through His Word, the Bible. Sometimes He will speak to you through the advice of family and friends. Sometimes you will hear Him speaking in a “still, small voice” deep inside your heart. Everyone you meet in life is not going to be your friend. Some people may actually hope you fail. Some people may just want to relieve you of your money. Always ask God to give you wisdom and discernment and to guide you on your path. There is a television commercial out now in which this guy goes to a store to buy a big, expensive television set and he is overwhelmed by what he sees. The music then swells up to let us know what is going through the guy’s mind. It’s also what the people who made the commercial hope we will be persuaded to think: “I want it all! I want it all! I want it all! And I want it now!” That sounds very childish to me, like something the enemy of our souls would say. The Holy Spirit might instead be whispering, “Flee youthful lusts.” That is why I said to listen for His voice. I don’t want to rain on your parade; I hope you enjoy your teen years to the full. I just want you to learn to think about things in a way you might not have thought about before. That is part of becoming a man.

I hope you have a great birthday and many more happy birthdays in the future. Your life will be changing rapidly over the next few years. Besides football games and basketball games, there will be things like cars and girls and college. And almost before you know it, you will be an adult with a family of your own. Maybe one day you will write a letter like this to your own grandchild. That is also part of being a man, to see your children and your children’s children and to thank God every day for them. Each and every day is a gift from God, Elijah, so try to make every day count. One way I make every day count is by praying daily that the Lord will lead you and guide you, will keep you and protect you, and will pour out His abundant blessings on your life.


Grandpa Brague


  1. Excellent post. Yesterday I ran across a poem in my recently deceased father-in-law's things....."The Man in the Glass" appeared he once had the poem taped to something....maybe his mirror. It contains good advice for a guy, or anyone. I think it can be fit into a Christian's view of himself. It is posted on my blog today:

  2. Thanks for reading my blog on a regular basis, Jeannelle. And thanks also for including the name of your own blog in your last comment. Your writing is really good and shows a lot of talent, I think, plus the photographs of some of your animal friends, weird farm art, summer memories, remembering autumn, and winter still-life are all absolutely gorgeous. I don't own a digital camera (hence the "wordiness" of my own blog), but the photos on your blog make me want to run right out and get one. Learning to make great photos might take me a bit longer. And, yes, there certainly was a song back in the late forties or early fifties called, "Lucky Old Sun." It was one of Frankie Laine's hits. The line you were trying to remember was, "That lucky old sun, with nothin' to do but roll around heaven all day."

    Thanks again for continuing to check out my blog.

  3. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving an encouraging comment.

    The digital camera is great fun! I truly know very little about photography.....I just point and shoot on automatic. You should get one and try it!

    On my blog is a link to "Chronicles of a Country Girl" blog. She posts truly stunning photos that she takes around her farm in Maryland. And she writes clever posts, too.

    Thanks for clearing up the line from "Lucky Old Sun".....I had no idea who the singer was, but just knew I had heard it somewhere.

    Writing that helps us see the interesting and the fascinating in everyday life.....that's what I like to read, and its what I'm attempting to write about. So continue with your excellent "wordiness"!