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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Generational Blessing

These are some of my grandparents. (You may click the image to enlarge.)

My ancestors are largely a mystery to me.

Of my great-grandmothers, two lived to be over one hundred (bottom left and top right corners). My father's paternal grandmother (in the red dress with white trim) was a Native American from an unknown tribe of Zaruma, Ecuador. I knew these three women mostly through their loving gestures and stories passed down from other relatives.

My mother's doting mother (pictured with me) died when I was three, and my only memory of her is when my uncle held me at her funeral so I could say good-bye. Her father died before she grew up. My paternal grandpa (wearing the hat) lived until I was nine, but his alcoholism made him scarce enough that we spent little time together until his last months of relative sobriety.

I knew my paternal grandmother well. After her four boys and two grandsons, she lavished love on the first little girl in her life, until her death in 1997. I disappointed her when I left the Roman Catholic church. She softened in many ways as she grew old. I am grateful to God that He allowed her to finally say to me, "Well, as long as you're following Christ, that's what really matters."

I know that her parents were also people of faith (far left—can you see it in their peaceful countenance?) Her husband turned to God when He turned away from the bottle. I have assurance of a happy homecoming when I one day get to finally know these people I didn't know on earth—people who live on in me, because their faith is vibrant and alive in me.

"The LORD God [is] merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation."
~ Exodus 34:6-7 (NKJV)

So began yesterday's Question of the Week, which addressed the spiritual principle of generational sin. The topic is painful. And if the discussion stopped after bringing up the problems in our life passed down from our ancestors, it would not be accurate.

If asked to identify race, I am German, Hispanic, Irish, and Native American. My children are also French and Polish. Their children will no doubt be once more removed from the full-blooded races of my ancestors.

If asked to identify generational sin, my spiritual enemy would readily name violations of all ten commandments. Being a couple of hundred generations removed from Adam and Eve has not diluted the DNA of sin passed on to me.

If asked to identify generational blessing, my cup runneth over. I am descended from grandparents of faith. My mother has prayed for me more than any other person in my life and taught me what it is to live out unconditional love. My Father in Heaven is the King of the Universe, and I am royal heir to His infinite riches and life.

And though I've not yet seen Him in person, His loving gestures and stories passed down from others convince me that He is indeed "merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands." I have assurance of a happy homecoming because He has forgiven my iniquity and transgression and sin.

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Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. Praise God our Father has forgiven our sins, and loves us so very much sis. Thank you for sharing this, you are precious to me.

  2. It is interesting to think about family line. Unfortunately, my ancestors weren't believers as I know.

  3. when you mentioned yesterday that you were going to write sbout generational blessings in my simple mind it was like..."huh?" i like the way you turned it around with using a positive reinforcement. Namely our Father's promises.

  4. something else that's impossible for my mind to even begin to comprehend. yet i know it's true. the fact that we're "all" descendants of Adam and Eve. liked this post. thanks Anne.

    btw....i think you look identical to your grandmother.

  5. Denise ~ It'll be one great party with all of us, yes?

  6. Natasa ~

    You simply don't know your ancestors of faith. I have no doubt that they exist. You'll get to meet them and know them. Some people think of eternity as boring. How could it be with God? With so many loved ones?

    I'm looking forward to meeting you, my sister. : )

  7. Bud ~

    God turns EVERYthing around. He blesses in everything, even His "curses."

    My daughter and husband think I look like my great-grandmother in the bottom left corner. I think I look like her daughter, next to her, and I'm amazed at the resemblance.

  8. I don't remember which one, but in one of Beth Moore's studies, she took us through these same verses. It struck me that anyone with a "bad" past could be first to start the string of generational blessing -- rather than curse. What a legacy to leave!

    (Love those photos!)

  9. What a blessing to see those faces! I see you in your paternal grandmother. Isn't it amazing that we're a part of someone's legacy and in turn creating our own? I can't wait to look back one day and see how it all wove together.

  10. Jennifer ~

    The oft quoted "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" takes a new spin in your words. Each of us has a place as the first person in the remaining generations before the Lord returns. :D

  11. T ~

    It fascinates me to think of a family tree. Like a real tree, the roots spread out far in all directions in the same manner as the branches, all united at the trunk, and the trunk is one of many trees in the woods.


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