I recently reached a milestone, turning 65 years old. My younger sister came from out of town with her boyfriend to visit my wife and me for my birthday. As we played a game of cards, my sister asked if I still had my baby book that our mother had begun putting memories in shortly after I was born. I immediately went into my home office and retrieved that baby book from the bookcase. Going back to the dining room, I rejoined the others and we began looking over the pages from front to back.

Most of the entries in that book were penned by my mother. The pages contain various anecdotes of my childhood. Here are just a few of the entries:

You hated to see your daddy smoke, so when you were 2½ years old you got tired of saying, “Don’t smoke, daddy,” and you added, “You little nut!” Mamma told you “Don’t call your daddy that!” You said, “You call me that mom.”

When you were 3 years old your mother was going to punish you and you said, “Don’t punish me — I’s jus’ 3.”

When you were a little past 3 years old you asked if mamma’s PP was broke off.

It’s like Art Linkletter said in his book, “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” (Interestingly, Mr. Linkletter’s book was first published in the year I was born.)

I have fond memories of my childhood, most of which have been cemented in my brain by things my mother has written and home movies she took with her S&H Green Stamp acquired camera. Among the most precious and meaningful of those memories are the ones that initiated my own faith and spirituality. From my birth, both my parents raised me in ways that nurtured my awareness and knowledge of God.

The following passage from the Bible is one that I especially relate to at this stage of my life:

“From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you … God, ever since I was young you have taught me. To this very day I tell about your wonderful acts. God, don’t leave me even when I’m old and have gray hair. Let me live to tell my children about your power. Let me tell all of them about your mighty acts,” (Psalm 71:6, 17-18).

Over the course of my lifetime I have grown to know, love, trust and serve the God who created me. For as long as I live, my desire is to emulate God’s love and grace in ways that will help enhance the lives of others.

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Marc Mullins is pastor of the First Christian Church of Pendleton, where he also utilizes his gifts as a musician, singer and songwriter.

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