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Sage Buxton and Mary Birchett

During the morning as I contemplated that this is the day that will contain the ending moments of the year 2013, and as I thought of my considerable blessings during said year, indeed, throughout my entire life, my mind nuzzled down and settled on Sage.

ImageSage is eleven years old and is the daughter of Chris and Christina, which makes her my great-granddaughter. She is a changeling. Yesterday she climbed into this tree with her brother and boy cousins, and she grinned down at me as she held Winston, and as I snapped her picture. At other moments, though, it is evident that she will soon leave rank childhood behind, and in its place will embrace the lady-hood that is nipping at the hem of her skirt.

I stood in a large group gathered at the altar Sunday night, and in a few minutes I sensed that Sage had moved from her parents who also worshipped at the front of the church, and now sidled close to me. She wept. I laid one of my hands on her back, then she raised her own arms in worship, and I saw that she was crying. It was a precious moment as we stood together enveloped in the presence of God on the last Sunday of the year 2013.

Later I was reminded that Sage’s great, great, great grandmother, Mary Birchett, was also a recipient of the precious gift of the Holy Ghost, and that such a remarkable link, such a treasure of heritage has been passed not only to Sage, but to all my other great grandchildren. Have there been failures in our family? Of course. Is there shame in our family? Of course. But overriding this negative reality is the sure Word of God and His sure Spirit that has been protected and treasured by many in our family.

With joy I write this year-end missive, with joy I speak of God’s Spirit, and with joy do I celebrate my remarkable heritage.

Onward! 2014 stands at the door.