Proverbs 22:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents],
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

My father had been an atheist most of his life and all of mine. I had prayed for my dad for about 30 years. He wrote anti Semitic articles for anyone who would read them. It nauseated me. But, miraculously, at 85 he obviously seemed to return to the faith of his youth. He wrote this article for the local paper not long before he died. It is my proof he died a believer. In fact, when he wrote he went in the elevator and went up I saw those words as a prophecy. He was finally ready to go up. I had the story framed with a dogwood tree (his favorite) in the background. I also put a pic of him with my daughter together in his old rocking chair. I’m making it a prayer for her….Enjoy!

A Moment With A Newborn Child…..

We entered Vaughan Memorial Hospital in Selma. But instead of going to the elevator and upstairs, where we were visiting a patient, my wife turned left through wide doors into a hallway. I followed her.

“Why the detour?” I said.

“A baby,” she said. We came then to the nursery and looked through the glass.

There a little newborn girl lay, dressed in white T-shirt and pampers, her blanket squirmed to one side.

She closed her dark eyes. She opened them. She stretched. She clenched her little fists and unclenched them. Her shirt rose and fell as she breathed.

I watched her, reminded of my own children’s births. Nothing in my life has been so awesome. This is life’s center, its focus: All else leads to, and from, that moment of birth’s beginning.

This child I now see, your child, my child, are more beautiful than all the flowers in the world. Not alone are they born, but in their births we are born anew. Through them and the miracle of their being, we come the closest to heaven we ever come upon this earth.

But I am being idealistic, for not all do. Some parents resent their children. They abuse them, abandon them, even murder them. They are worse than animals, for the instincts of animals make them treasure their offspring.

But, ideally, we know what having children does for us. In return, we are committed to them for the rest of our lives. One person whom I know said, “If I fail my children, I have failed in everything.” For each of us that is true, and we look back after many years and realize that in part each of us has failed.

But from the vantage point of having failed once, what is our responsibility if we could do it again, this time perfectly?

I would give to my children, and yours, a world in which they had freedom of choice. I would train them in their upbringing so that they would knowingly receive it and protect it in turn for their children.

We hear that we all now have freedom of choice. but that is not true. Freedom of choice is an ideal, but in practice it often does not exist.

Look at the facts. Some of us are born poor, some wealthy. Some are born tall, some short. Some are brilliant, some dull, some are attractive, some not. Some are loved. Some are detested, etc., etc., etc.

Life is a marked set of cards, a hidden ace, a loaded set of dice. It is unfair. Justice does not always exist, even in the best of courts.

But most of us long for justice, and in our longing we

invent it as an ideal. And for our children, we long that they may live in a just world. But being realistic, we rear our children not always to expect it, for wrong expectations lead to disillusionment. And how much illness in the world is traceable to that one thing?

Most people who go to a doctor do not need a pill, for nothing is physically wrong with them. Their problems are a result of the crisscross between what they expected of life and what they received.

Standing now before the nursery glass and the new-born baby girl beyond it, I grieve. I hurt, for she will be hurt. And I turn away, wishing.

I wish that she shall be especially wary of the word love. Being loved as a child, and hearing the beautiful word, she will expect the reality when she hears its name. But real love is not just a word. It is an experience. It is not a promise. It is proof.

I wish that she may be schooled in difficult courses that will prepare her to compete in the real and changing world.

I wish that she shall adore the beautiful, as a key to making her own life beautiful.

I wish that she may be able to adore the words mother and father, having parents who deserve adoration, she looking forward to being a mother herself, with a man who deserves to be a father.

Above all I wish that she shall be a strong, intelligent, perceptive, informed and prepared person, equal to the man whom she shall wed. I wish that they shall be of the few who, unafraid, shall step forward and by example show us the future of which we have dreamed, a just world where freedom of choice is not just a phrase, but a fact.

I am talking about a time and place beyond a new and untainted Potomic, not the political one that is populated by the opposite.

But these are wishes and dreams. In fact, I grieve for this newborn child, for she will live in an unkind world for which no preparation will prepare her — though she is, as all children are, most beautiful.

Then I remember the words, “…suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Simultaneously, my wife and I turn from the glass and the nursery beyond it. We go back through the wide doors to the elevator.

We enter it and go up. I am remembering words I heard recently: “The Christian religion in indeed wonderful. It is a pity that we don’t all practice it.” And I have now my final wish for the newborn baby girl, that she shall become a Christian. But the word Christian is like the word love. It is not just a word. It is an experience. It is not a promise. It is proof.

By William Otha Hopper

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Bill Hopper
Bill HopperMy father who had been an athiest most of his life wrote this article for the local paper not long before he died. I am having it framed with a dogwood tree (his favorite) in the background. I also put a pic of him with my daughter together in his rocking chair. I’m making it a prayer for her….Enjoy!
Dee Corson
Dee CorsonAwesome, very well said.
Bruce Burns
Bruce BurnsBill, thanks for sharing this.
Bill Hopper
Bill HopperMy dad had the gift
Tamera Shearon
Tamera ShearonI love it….You should be very proud. Thank you for sharing that with us.
Dawn Brockington
Dawn BrockingtonWow! Thanks for sharing this Bill. How beautiful.
Rhonda Moore
Rhonda MooreSo sweet…very poinant to my mood tonight regarding my own children (reflected in my posts tonight regarding them). We are ALL “crippled” parents…only GOD’s touch redeems ANYTHING about us – including our ability to be faithful parents, faithful Christians, or… faithful children….. cool stuff.
Susan Evans Ryan
Susan Evans Ryanthat is an amazing read…thanks bill, for sharing it….
Sharon Hendrix Black
Sharon Hendrix Black I know you are proud………………. : )
Bill Hopper
Bill HopperI just miss him a lot..
Sharon Hendrix Black
Sharon Hendrix Black I know you do!
Diana Edwards
Diana EdwardsWow!! Bill, your Dad must have had some deep parts of him that were awesome – I know you are a chip off that same block!!

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