"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15
Have you ever taken the time to consider what defines you as an individual or as a family?
Eight years ago we decided to add an in ground pool to our backyard landscape. It was a desire my husband had since we purchased our home. We knew our children would love it because they enjoyed our neighbor's pool every summer since they were born. As we signed the contract with the local pool company though, we knew this investment wasn't just a frivolous expense meant only for our own pleasure. This pool would be a gathering place of celebration, solace and ministry for friends and family.
As we watched the contractor's backhoe break ground we discussed how we would consecrate this pool for ministry. God gave us four verses to use as the cornerstones of our family's ministry and we etched one of the scripture references in the corners of our pool deck. Now a cornerstone is defined as "the chief foundation on which something is constructed or developed." Our guest rarely notice them but we know they're there and they serve to remind us each time we sit and visit with people on a hot summer's day or enjoy a fire in our chiminea on a cool evening that God is present.
Over the next few days, I'd like to share our cornerstone verses with you.
We etched Joshua 24:15 in the first corner (see reference above). This is significant to us because Joshua led by example. There he stood, chosen leader of the Israelites, God's chosen people and he gave them a choice. He didn't rule as a dictator forcing them into a false faith in God. He gave them a choice. Irregardless of their choices, Joshua and his family chose to follow God. As a family, that's how Peter & I have lived. We have never forced our faith on any of our guests. Everyone is welcome whether they believe in God or not. And, as we share a picnic lunch or a dip in the pool we make every effort to represent God in conversation and hospitality.
One of my fondest memories so far, is witnessing my son emerging from the water having just been baptized by our pastor. It's nothing I will ever forget. I'll also never forget the many high school friends who celebrated the end of school every June in our pool. Many times they were simply high school kids enjoying hanging out and other times I'd catch a certain few in conversation asking one of my kids, "How do you know God really exists?"
Our faith in God is one of our cornerstones on which our family is built. What defines you?