The Fictional Family of Joseph Stine

(part 3 of 3)     6 minute read

"Hmm,"  Joseph thought to himself,  "What can we do?  How can I get my kids to church, like Mom used to do?  Mom was so good about taking us....

We're just so far away... more than an hour on the road.

I think I heard that  Bro. Holden is on You-tube!! ...... That's what we'll do!" Joseph resolved to himself.  His heart was beating fast, as he knew this was the right thing to do today.

"Kids!" he called down the hall.

"Come in here, Honey," he called to his wife.

They all came to where Dad was, and looked quizically at him.

"Everybody," he announced, "...we are going to church..... In our living room!!  Be in here in one hour, ready to hear Bro. Holden on You-tube on T.V.!"

"Oh I love Bro. Holden," Brian said. "He's the one that baptized Sara."

"Yep!  It would make Nana happy Dad, to know we are watching Bro. Holden on T.V.," chimed in Blake.

"O.K., well, ya'll be ready to sit still in home-church and mind your manners in an hour.  Bring your Bibles, 'cause Brother Holden always quotes scripture, and we are gonna look 'em up in our Bibles too!"

The kids ran to finish their school homework that Mom had told them she was going to check.  They were smart boys and Priscilla was grateful she could remind them to get it done and expect success.

She kissed her husband, and told him, "Thank you honey. I am so blessed to be married to you."  Then she finished her food prep and got the roast, potatoes and carrots in the crockpot for the evening, and prepared egg/ham sliders for brunch so the family wouldn't be too hungry before the crockpot meal was ready.

Joseph went outside and talked to the Lord, as he gave the peppers, squash, okra, and melons a drink and pulled weeds.

"Lord, thank you that my mom and dad taught me about YOU.  Thank you that we can listen to Bro. Holden on You-tube now.  I'm sorry we haven't made it to church more.  I know it's a good thing........... Help us to get better, and I hope it's a good sermon and that my boys are blessed, Lord.  I love'em so much, and thank you for them and Priscilla...."

Now fifteen minutes before home church time, Joseph walked in the back door, and gave his wife a hug and a kiss and nosed over her shoulder to see what was cookin'.

"I think I'll call the boys to come eat their egg slider.  They'll be more settled if they have protein in there tummy."

minutes later: "Mmm Mom, I love this honey mustard sauce you put on these,"  Brian tooted.

"Me too"

"Me three," said her boys (big and small) and then the whole happy family washed their hands and  filed in to the living room.

Priscilla and Joseph sat beside one another on the sofa, with their feet propped up on the coffee table.

Brian and Blake sat on the carpeted floor with their Bibles on the coffee table in front of them.

Joseph led the family in prayer, and then turned Bro. Holden on the T.V. through You-tube.

Joseph and Priscilla held hands, and the boys looked at each other and grinned.

When Bro. Holden said, "23rd Psalm," Joseph clicked to PAUSE the T.V. and everyone on cue got their Bible.

"Where's Psalms?" innocently inquired Blake.

"Pretty much in the middle of your Bible," answered Dad.

First Mom and Dad, then Brian, and lastly Blake, found the scripture.

Joseph turned Bro. Holden back on, and listened.  Everyone followed along as Bro. Holden read, and then expounded on the scripture.

Everytime Bro. Holden made a scripture reference, everyone in the family located the scripture.  Sometimes Brian helped Blake except when Blake protested, "I can do it myself!!"

When Bro. Holden's long sermon ended, Brian said, "That's pretty cool, huh Dad?  A shepherd lives to take care of his sheep.  That's what he does all day.  He really cares about His sheep, and makes sure they are safe, and have grass and water, and we are the Lord's sheep.  I like that.  I only have one complaint:  IT TAKES FOREVER for Blake to find the verses in the Bible!"

"He's going to get better,"  Mom Priscilla said.  "I can teach you a song to help you remember the order of the books in the Bible........"

"He needs it!"  Brian teased.

"Well  you need it too,"  Mom Priscilla said as she tossled her boys hair.  She started to leave and go into the kitchen and she turned around, walked over to Joseph, bent down to where he sat, wrapped her arms around him, kissed him on the cheek, and said, "Thank you."



This is a Christan-al realistic fictional  story (pardon me for enjoying the rhyme too much), inspired by a true story.  Names changed.   Details imagined and made up.  Hope you enjoyed.

It is a joyous thing for families to be  TRYING to get better for the Lord.  

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!   How do you think the family benefited from this home devotional?  Do you think God can use home-church, or home devotionals to grow His children?

Do you think taking family to church is any better, if God is never mentioned in life otherwise, and family prayer is not a common occurance?   Does going to the  church building prove anything to anybody in and of itself?  Who is the only capable judge?  Do you ever accidentally judge church goers as better because they go to church, with out knowing anything about home life?  Are we supposed to love people, our brothers and sisters the same?  Did Jesus LOVE all people, even people who were of "the world" ??  What do you conclude about my savior?  How does this make you feel towards him?  How do you feel about Joseph Stine and his family?  Do you think Jesus would love his humble offering of effort?  Again, can God use this unconventional service to grow this family in His will for their life?

There are share icons below if you'd like to pass the fun along.

May our Heavenly Father receive more and more of our praise and devotion.   He deserves all glory and honor.

Grandma Mary Marthađź’–
link here to 1 of 3
link here to 2 of 3


  1. I loved this story Tammy, it has so much feeling, and life and it was so sweet..I loved the way they all gathered together in their home...beautifully written..We have done this sometimes in our home as we did not have a church nearby..and I feel it was more cemented us better as a family..My older son, Kaleb had the liberty to discuss ask questions and we all were into an active discussion..and my younger son listening wide eyes, I knew he enjoys these times...We should do it more..

    1. Thank you for reading, and making a kind comment Rita. I also see a sweetness, and great value in this story. I am so grateful that our God accepts us where we are, and then GROWS us through the Holy Spirit, and fellowship, and study....all the journey through to our destination.

  2. Such a sweet story, Tammy! I know that when my family talks about God together, whether through bible reading, discussing sermons or Sunday school lessons, or even watching Christian movies we grow as a family. And it encourages our children to ask questions and deeps all of our relationship with God.

  3. Though our family practice was to attend service together each week, there were times we traveled or went on vacation and worshiped alone as a family. Our kids loved to take turns reading the Bible and it was fun teaching them. They learned so much from their dad on those days. We usually set aside an evening during the week to share a family devotional as well - my favorite times were when Kati was little and she would wonder off - we called her the wandering holy spirit. Thanks for bringing back such fond memories through your story, Tammy! You are very creative!

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing Lori!! Your children were very blessed to have grown up in such a solid, devoted family, and to have benefitted from a strong and GOOD Christian example in both parents. I know God was building them to do some special work for the kingdom.


Post a Comment