8 Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD. Genesis 13:18


I’ve noticed that my mother, well into her 80’s, has been much more intentional about sharing her memories, values, and faith the last several years. I treasure each.

The following is an email I sent to my mother in response to an email she sent me that mentioned that she was sending a recipe to my daughter and daughter-in-law for making “Lady Fingers”, a Christmas treat that she has been making for us all my life.

Our email exchange deals with something far more important than a family recipe. It touches on something that is important to all families and churches and especially to us in Illinois.

I wrote back…

Good morning mom!

I am delighted you are sending recipes to Briana and Jennifer.  Of course you are ahead of me on this “aging process”, but passing on the faith and traditions of our family is growing more and more important to me.  That is the last (and greatest) responsibility of each generation.

Every generation must have markers to help them on the path of life. 

When we are young we tend to think we are forging ahead into new territory, but in reality there is nothing new under the sun.  We may be experiencing life for the first time, but there is no uncharted territory–our elders have already walked that way.  And it is the responsibility of those elders to leave trees, wells, and altars (recipes) for us to park our temporary tents while on our pilgrimage to the eternal city.  

So mom, thank you for passing on the faith and tradition of our family – there will come a day that it may make the difference between life or death; heaven or hell.

I love you, 

Your son


The ONE THING: Pastors and members of the Illinois Church of God (and all my readers), one of the most important functions we have is to help the next generations know what is important and why it matters. This is how they figure out how travel in this life and how to make their final destination to be Heaven. Let’s keep sharing those family recipes.


And finally, on behalf of Sonja and myself, let me wish each of you a most blessed and meaningful Christmas.  A lot has happened in our lives since Christmas ’21.  But one thing is for certain, there are no regrets that Christmas for the Kemp family includes Illinois Church of God.  We could not be more pleased or grateful. 

Merry Christmas to you all,

David L. Kemp

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