Torn at the Seams

I have heard often in the last year(s) that our nation, America, is “Torn at the Seams.” Do we have answers? I believe we do!

Saturday, September 27, 08, First Lady, Laura Bush with The Library of Congress will be hosting a “Book Festival” on The Mall, Washington, DC.

This will be an intergenerational event. Writers of children’s books, mystery writers, biographers as well as many other authors will be on ‘The Mall’ reading and modeling the joy and life of reading. Mrs. Bush invites us all to come. She says, “there will be something for all ages and all interest. Come and bring your families.”
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(Laura and Jenna Bush)
Read All About it!


It seems to me with our nation ‘torn at the seams’ in so many ways, economically, morally and spiritually that we are in need of many intergenerational events. We may be depended on one another for finances, childcare, health care and senior care. All of these may be good and most likely helpful. But, at times it seems the most important intergenerational event is not happening. The ‘tear at the seams’ can only be mended with the spiritual teaching of wisdom that God gave very specific instructions for.

Titus 2:1-5, among many other books in God’s Word, gives specific instruction on how the older members of the church should train the younger members. Paul gives an eloquent exhort in vs. 11-14 on grace. Most of us are very familiar with grace that saves, but grace does much more. It teaches and trains us to live in the ‘now’ in a wise and right way. Paul recognizes a need to give instructions on and a ‘how to’ manual about real life issues for the now. He exhorts the need of intergenerational living in these verses.

Mrs. Bush will be with her daughter, Jenna, at the Book Festival as authors, really co-authors, and reading together from their new book, “Read all about it”. Mrs. Bush, the First Lady, of our Nation is and has been busy giving wisdom and modeling the teaching of Paul from the book of Titus, both to her daughters and the ladies of our nation. I am so delighted to not only hear about but seeing ‘a model’ on the Mall in Washington, DC illustrating how to ‘mend our seams.’

Other key themes in the Book of Titus are, the leadership of the church should live lives of honor. Good works do not earn our salvation, but they are a product of it. And, the one we have spoken of today, the older members of the church should train the younger members.

I believe it takes one generation of faith mentoring another generation in faith giving a needle and thread to mend our seams. This to me is intergenerational living and is the ‘mending of the seams.’

I have hope, faith and love giving me a belief system that each of us will mend many tears in the seams of what seems impossible. I invite each of you to join me at a book festival and read the Book of Titus.

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13 thoughts on “Torn at the Seams

  1. I have seen and been blessed by older men and women of great wisdom in the church. One such example being Colleen Townsend Evans and Louis H. Evans, Jr., senior pastors, and Sara and my pastors for some years, of National Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC, among others with great wisdom and teaching for the younger men and women. But, I have seen older men and women with no wisdom trying to teach and help others just because of age. Age should but does not always bring wisdom.

  2. Thank you for sharing about our First Lady and her daughter’s book and the festival. It is uplifting news to read about. And thank you for directing us to Titus.
    I see that character and conduct is highly stressed as necessary qualities of good leadership. In thinking about your term ‘intergenerational event’, the example that comes to the forefront of my mind is that of you, Sara and your sons, Chris and Jon. I have been in awe over the years watching you interrelate and weave that seam with them to produce two leaders of integrity, and excellent character and conduct. This is God’s gift of wisdom in operation.
    We readers see The Daily Lily as a by-product of this intergenerational event, just as the Bush’s book is a by-product of their interpersonal event.
    This example of mending is an inspiration that I pray we will see in more and more intergenerational lives.

  3. I am in accordance with the premise for the “solution” of the ‘mending of the seams’ of our nation that Sara has offered, not only to our readers but an offering to our nation’s enlarging distresses. Psalm 33: 12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.” God’s church is and has the answers in how we are to interact among the generations in helping to develop young citizens our churches, families, schools and nation in becoming leaders of integrity, judicious, enlightened, community-minded and devoted to good and God. That is quite a responsibility!
    But God’s Word has the solution. Proverbs 19 , MESSAGE BIBLE says,
    “THE CURE COMES THROUGH DISCIPLINE”. Prv. 20 says that children who will not listen to the wisdom of their elders become unenlightened & walk in darkness.
    Titus presents an excellent checklist as to commands and procedures for leaders, elders and all to follow.
    At our school we have a program for discipline, growth and maturity, titled ‘THE BIG 3’. Displayed in every classroom, right in front of the students is the laminated chart, boldly stating the guidelines that are to be followed for EVERY citizen of our school, students and staff. At the beginning of each school year these 3 rules are taught over and over, and reiterated during the year, in an instructional framework, the expected behavior for our students and the resulting consequences of infringement. When a problem of the discipline genre arises, the teachers point to the guideline that the student is challenging and AMAZINGLY, it often solves the problem as the student is able to rein in his/her self-controlon one’s own. It is not 100% but certainly is a big aid in helping children to understand that they are breaking one of THE BIG 3’s”!
    I guess you could call it a secular 10 Commnadments. 1. Respect yourself 2. Respect others. 3. Respect property. So, this has done much in our increasingly secular environment to help with self-discipline and the maturing our precious students, not only helping the learning environment in the classroom but helping the students, themselves.
    In 2 Timothy, Paul exhorts young Timothy to continue in his quest for God, reminding him of the discipline in the faith that was handed down from his grandmother Lois, to his mother, Eunice and “now to you”. That is truly intergenerational.

  4. I remember going to Billy Graham’s Retreat Center in Asheville, North Carolina to hear the teaching of Titus many years ago. Teaching of leadership was not only taught but those who taught and those who came – Billy Graham, George Beverly Shea were all walking examples of someone having honed them for leadership. Someone – mother, father, teacher had raised men of integrity. It takes a wise, experienced person in Godly things to share wisdom that will affect the mind’s of the people they mentor for the Kingdom of God – one or thousands. Like Gary said not all older (aged) people have wisdom to teach or lead to heaven’s gate; therefor seek good counsel, well watered with the WORD honed by years of walking their faith out – real sold out, humble people of God.

  5. Titus 2:1-6 message “Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives.”
    and, vs. 15 “Tell them all this. Build up their courage, and discipline them if they get out of line. You’re in charge. Don’t let anyone put you down.”

  6. “The ‘tear at the seams’ can only be mended with the SPIRITUAL TEACHING that God gave very specific instructions for.”
    Hum, the above scriptures in Titus sure gives us some “food for thought”, when considering this “intergenerational living”. I’m with Gary, on the fact that he “has seen some older men and women with no wisdom trying to teach and help others just because of age.” I’d like to share the footnotes for Titus 2:1, from my Bible: “Notice the emphasis on ‘wholesome teaching’ in Paul’s instructions to Titus. This is the content of our faith. But how can you recognize wholesome teaching? When a teaching is sound, it combines correct knowledge and understanding with consistent practice. It must be found in the Bible, keep Jesus Christ central, result in consistently good behavior and actions, and promote spiritual health in ourselves and others. Believers must be grounded in the truths of the Bible so they won’t be swayed by the powerful oratory of false teachers, the possible devastation of tragic circumstances, or the pull of emotions. Those responsible for preaching and teaching must challenge people to understand sound doctrine. Learn the Bible, study theology, apply biblical principles, and live what you learn.”
    Woe……..”quite a responsibility”, as MG said. Sometimes I feel like that little boy in Rena’s class that said something like this: “work, work, work,”
    but if we want to keep the “tears mended”, we must keep these “intergenerational events/living”, alive and well!

  7. Golden Rule…”Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” MG, this was posted in schools for years and seemly always on the rulers the students used for the day..

    The golden rule is stated in just about every ancient writing about behavioral precepts (including the New Testament, Talmud, Koran, and the Analects of Confucius).

    A command based on words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” The Mosaic law contains a parallel commandment: “Whatever is hurtful to you, do not do to any other person.”

    # “Do unto others …” is a central ethical teaching of Jesus, often referred to as the Golden Rule. The Big 3 seems to be the Golden Rule, I would think. It all starts with respect for yourself. Another NT command…” Love your neighbor as yourself.” When we learn the art of loving and respecting ourselves the others fall into place. At least this is the way I understand The Golden Rule.

    Schools are great festivals of intergenerational living and learning and gives the older men and women perfect opportunity to teach wisdom and understanding to the younger generations. And when the older ones model “The Big Three” the needle and thread has a job to do. A big round of applause goes out to teachers and parents that are busy sewing seeds of progress of love mending many tears and illustrating a book of intergenerational living .

    (see Needles’ footnotes above to help with the big 3)

  8. I read Patricia Polacco book THUNDER CAKE to my class. It is a story about how Patricia Polacco overcame her childhood fear of thunderstorms in Michigan with the help of her Grandmother. The Grandmother instructed her to do a number of tasks all the while counting down when the storm would hit. The author or grand daughter in the story overcame her fear with each task and by so doing reaped the benefit of enjoying a wonderful cake when the storm did hit. Best of all the grand daughter or the author overcame her fear of thunderstorms. What a great book to share with children on overcoming fear. Thanks to her grandmother for teaching wisdom and understanding to her grand daughter who has since shared that in the many stories she has written.

  9. Rena, I would like to borrow book from library. Would you check out for me please? Sounds like a great read and study of help….

  10. Interestingly enough, in teaching a musical comedy that correlates to the 5th grade Social Studies Curriculum on ancient civilizations, during a certain scene in the script the dialogue consists of two young archeologists conversing with Confuscius where he says,
    ” Confuscius says, ‘
    ‘Whatsoever you wish others to do to you, so should you do likewise for them” (paraphrased). THen I ask the children what does that rule remind you of, etc. and lead them along the path of at least comprehending that though Confuscius era was BEFORE Christ’s era, his era was NOT before GOD’S. And we then talk of the Golden Rule and where it originated.
    This reminds me of Paul’s argument in Philippians 1:18 where he states,
    “But what does it matter, so long as either way, whether in pretense or lack of knowledge of the One True God and Jesus, Christ’s words are preached.” The truth is, the commandment to ‘do unto others’ originated with GOD ALMIGHTY as given in the 10 Commandments and revealed and clarified by the Lord Jesus Christ in His teachings and facilitated by The Holy Spirit. The Lord affords many opportunities to draw these little ones by the appropriate discussions within the guidelines of curricula.
    I just pray that I won’t miss them.

  11. Sara, Thank you for sharing about Mrs. Bush”s book. I do believe this nation is ” Torn at the Seams”. I know this is a wonderful book. Sara, I agree with you. “I believe it takes one generation of faith to mentor to another generation of faith.” I remember talking with my grandmother for hours. She would talk to me and teach me so much about life. I’m so glad I took the time to stop and listen to what she had to say. I have to say, I truly miss my Grandmother’s talks. She was a very wise woman. God has blessed me with Bible studying, God fearing, obedient parents, whom I recieve my lessons from. Thank you Lord. Help us to mend these torn seams.

  12. Chickenfarmer, I am so impressed with the fact that you not only took the time to listen to your grandmother but you strive to emulate her. This reminds us to keep talking to and praying for our children and grandchildren and all children. Just think some of us might have a ‘grandchild’ that will say “my grandmother taught me at her knee the ways of Jesus…” and ‘she’ just might be you!

  13. Chickenfarmer, your grandmother must have lived this scripture. What obedience and a blessing to you and then your children.
    “Hear this, you elders,
    And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land!
    Has anything like this happened in your days,
    Or even in the days of your fathers?
    Tell your children about it,
    Let your children tell their children,
    And their children another generation.” (Joel 1:3)

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