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Lasting Memories

Last month we spent time at the beach with family from Oklahoma. Jana’s five-year-old cousin from Oklahoma had never been to the beach, so needless to say he was pretty excited the first time he saw the ocean. After a few minutes of playing in the sand and studying the waves, he decided to enter the water. Within a few minutes of playing in the water, a wave knocked him down. Immediately he jumped up and ran to his mom on the beach complaining about saltwater being in his ears, nose, and mouth. He was done with the ocean.

But as the week progressed, he continued his own personal battle with the ocean. He was continuously knocked down by waves throughout the week, but he was determined and bounced back up every time. Finally, by the end of the week, he was riding waves with his dad and loving the beach. It was amusing and inspiring to watch this little boy battle the ocean for the entire week just because he wanted to ride a wave. After watching the ocean throw him around the first day, I never thought he would actually ride a wave, but he did.

Spending time with family this summer reminded us how valuable time is. Jana’s cousin only had one week at the beach, but he was determined to make the most out of it. How often do we take advantage of the time God had given us? We often put things off till the next week, month, or year, because we believe less important things need our attention. How often do we neglect friends, family, and God because of chores, projects, and hobbies?

The night before we left the beach I was talking with the wave rider’s dad. We were talking about the expense and overall inconvenience of beach trips. But as we ranted about the common things fathers rant about, he said, “It’s all worth it to see my kids have a wonderful memory of our families together at the beach.” Isn’t that true? As we age, is there anything more precious to us than memories? I shared with him about the great memories I had of my family vacationing at the beach. I still remember my dad taking me out on a ragged float and teaching me how to ride a wave. Much like his son, the ocean roughed me up numerous times while dad was teaching me how to catch a wave, and how I cherish those memories. I want to encourage you this summer to make time for memories. We always need to manage our lives, but don’t let worldly tasks steal eternal memories you can make with friends and family.

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Jack Barr

Jack and Jana Barr are missionaries in Bangkok, Thailand. Before their first date, they both knew God was calling them to serve overseas. After completing their undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees they flew to Bangkok for the first time. For the past ten years they have served God by teaching at the International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand. Jack and Jana did not know God would use their daughter Marley, to forever alter their life plan while living overseas. Marley was born with Down syndrome and that event sent Jack crashing into a sea of depression. “I could not overcome the question of, Why us God”? Since that day, Jack and Jana have rerouted their plan to align with God’s plan. They started, If They Had A Voice, an awareness campaign that focuses on Down syndrome abortions. Their story has been featured on CNN, CNN Mexico, Life Action News, and The Insight Channel.

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