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Welcome to His Family Tree - November 2, 2022

Thoughts from Lynae Petersheim.

Welcome to His Family Tree

Josh’s message was powerful, and it all started with…Pancakes?! Now personally, I’m partial to the Belgian waffle brigade, and so while I was feeling defensive, and honestly quite famished, he made me start thinking about breakfasts and drinking coffee with God, and it was just so magnificent to comprehend that I had to regain focus.

So, as my heart (& stomach) were feeling hungry, Josh then pulled us into a discussion surrounding the truths found in our individual stories, who we are, and what our stories will tell. It was so inspiring. Our lives and legacies are really all that we have. It struck me with just how priceless this one time here on earth is. We’re all rarities with opportunities. We’re collaborators in the biggest story of all, the gospel. My story can’t be copyrighted or misprinted. It’s mine and mine to tell. It’s something that I can actually control, and that’s major in this life. My story is told from my point of view and I’m the main character. However, with anything that’s raw and personal, spectators will watch and be curious, so use that platform for good.

Here are some profound Josh Simmons quotes that are deserving of refrigerator real estate. Absorb their truths and discard the self-doubt:

1. “You and I…We have something. Our story. Our God-edited story. The before and after.”

2. “Each person has a story that connects to someone else…Who ultimately connects to Jesus.”

3. “Our NAMES matter. So, our STORIES matter.” Revelation 12:11

4. “He will walk with you through each and every chapter. A chapter isn’t a waste of space.”

5. “He used the very thing I was making fun of to draw me to Himself. He pursues us relentlessly.”


Josh is a stellar storyteller. His personal experiences are exactly what He said they are: His chapters, with Jesus being the master author. I encourage you to listen to his message. It’s not only applicable but authentic. Look up the verses and don’t be overwhelmed by chapters of your life or someone else’s. Gain a new perspective. Reach for your Bible, and lean into Gods guidance.

The most exhilarating thing about a story is the creativity behind it. Unsearchable is the mind that can contain imagination and then project it onto paper through chapters of wonder and excitement. I’ve noticed that each book’s first chapter is so different from its last, just like our lives. These chapters bind together in continuity and similarity, but each holds a different task. The first sentence acts, like the mindset we bring to our lives, to unveil and capture the essence of the storyline. It creates intrigue, like when you begin to share something personal. But those first few chapters lead the next. It needs the plot, the present, AND our presence. Our struggles, our brokenness, the miracles, the details, and our purpose. We begin to gain understanding and start to identify with the character. Life is so much about the character, right? Then you’re sent spiraling to the last chapter of the story. You can’t read fast enough. It’s grief, met with expectation. Finally, the last sentence, the holy grail of that hefty 500-page book is figuratively and literally at your fingertips. So, how did it end? Was it memorable or disappointing? Do I want my story of what God has done for me to unfold in a memorable and shareable way, or in disappointing and diminishing kind of way?

Embrace your story. Honor His workmanship. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:13-15)

The Lord God who knitted you together in your mother’s womb—even in light of His own son being sacrificed, hanging on a cross to die for you—has given you a name and a story. This visual came to me while Josh was emphasizing the importance of telling others what God continually does in our lives: I’m standing at the fork between two paths. Time is passing and I need to make a decision. Which path will I choose?

The first path will be difficult, a labyrinth of decisions and unknowns, but full of continuous growth and happy endings. There will be servanthood, loving your family, encouraging others, truthful, bold, sharing of God, acts of kindness, and restoration.

The second path is a jungle of dead branches. There are dark, heavy, unknowns, but also lots of consequences. Loneliness, self-loathing, depression, unattainable goals, broken hearts, pain, and separation from God.

We don’t need to be ready for the book series of our lives to be written. Netflix wont stream it. Your episodes won’t be entertainment and your mistakes won’t be the feedback that matters. Popularity and value are oxymorons. A better idea is to give God the glory. The author who truly wrote our story and owns our destinies. Let that speak for itself. Be the disciple that He wants you to be.

Lynae Petersheim