Ancestry.Com and Jesus’ Family Tree at Christmas

Dear Reader:

How many times have we sung “O Come O Come Emmanuel” and wondered about the second inferred reference with the words “Draw nigh, O Jesse’s Rod “…

  1. Matthew 1:23: “A virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him…Immanuel- meaning “God with us.

2. Isaiah 11:1  “Then a shoot will spring up from the stump of Jesse,       and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. ”

I always sensed that Isaiah 11:1 dealt with Jesus’ family tree and his genealogy but that was about as deep as my understanding went. From working on my own family tree through …genealogy is tricky and sometimes we learn more than we perhaps wanted to know.

Such is the case with Jesus’ family tree too. It all started with the “Begats” which reminded me of an incident from my childhood.

I remember during one summer vacation Bible School week…the teacher asked us to bring in a verse that started with the first letter in our names. I had never been more grateful for my B in Becky. The Beatitudes themselves would have gotten me through the five days easily with room to spare…but by Friday I decided to shake it up a bit and spruce up the most boring part of the Bible…“The Begats!”  (After about a minute the poor vacation Bible School teacher told me that the class ‘got it’ and that was sufficient.)

The reality is very few people, with the exception of some historical theologians, ‘get it’…because most of us fall asleep before getting to the end.

Quinn Caldwell, pastor and author, comments that if you do hang in there awhile…the names popping up out of the family tree makes one sit back and pause. Jesus definitely had more than his share of skeletons hidden away. Here are just a few Caldwell mentions:

Jacob– tricked his brother out of his inheritance and then ran away

Tamar- pretended to be a prostitute to sleep with her father-in-law and become pregnant with the sons her husbands didn’t give her

Rehab– a foreign woman who betrayed her own people for the Israelites

David– had a child with Bathsheba after having her husband killed so he could have her to himself.

(And you thought your family was messed up? )

“Jesus wasn’t born into some unsullied house, perfect of pedigree and noble of history. He was born into a human family, one at least as complicated as yours, just as full of rifts, betrayal, and shameful secrets.

If God can pull salvation out

of that family, then surely God can do the same for yours.”

So until tomorrow God, if you can make a child of that family the savior of the world, then surely there’s hope for this child, too. Thanks for not letting my beginnings be my destiny. Amen

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

As Christmas speeds up…more pictures and gifts are popping up from family and friends sharing their adventures.

Walsh and Mollie took the children to the Brookgreen Gardens outside Pawleys Island…“Nights of a Thousand Candles”– Walsh said it was frigid cold but beautiful.

*Lachlan definitely won “the ugliest Christmas sweater or cutest”…it is all in the eyes of the beholder!

It just wasn’t cold in Myrtle Beach for Walsh, Mollie and the family…the mornings and evenings here in Summerville are chilly too and will put a ‘giddy-up’ in your step as you run to warm up your car.





*Apparently some sympathetic visitor to Hutchinson Square thought the sculpture of Polly Chisholm Brooks looked especially cold…so a scarf and hat were provided! 🙂





Since we were talking about the Pine Forest Inn in yesterday’s blog post…I remembered that I put one of the Summerville historical ornaments (depicting the inn) on my tree. It catches the light and is just beautiful…thanks so much Honey…what a great gift! I love it!


Yesterday, December 21, was my longtime neighbor and friend, Jane’s birthday. I told her I was taking her out to breakfast since it was the shortest day of the year and light was in short supply. 🙂

We went to Alex’s where her friend Joy waits on her when she goes there and I got a picture of both “J” gals together…Joy and Jane. Jane is easing into being a nonagenarian for a couple of years now…or as my friends my age say… simply a miracle person to be around and not just around but watch still kicking! 🙂


*Today is my mother’s birthday…I love you mom and still miss you in my life…I miss you being around to talk to when things are sad…but even more so when I have happy news and want to share it with you.


My text pinged last night and it was a catalyst for setting off a most interesting series of God Winks. Stay tuned…It will all be revealed tomorrow. After all it is the magic of Christmas!

***On a serious note…I am sending out a request for prayers for Ellen Styles. Ellen had a stroke and is in ICU at MUSC. Right now she is still in a coma from a brain aneurysm. As the day progressed yesterday the bleeding stopped and she is in stable condition….still with a difficult road ahead.

Ellen’s husband Brooks gave Tommy his first position out of law school working with him and later hired Kaitlyn too. Brooks was and is my superhero for giving Tommy such a giant kick-start to his legal career. But every superhero needs a sidekick…Batman-Robin, etc. And Ellen is, not only a great side-kick, but her own superhero…a teacher at the same time I taught and one of the wittiest individuals you will ever have the delight of meeting and knowing.

They have two daughters my children’s ages with grandchildren who adore both grandparents…prayers and Christmas wishes that become magical at this time of year are truly needed.

I pondered whether to send this notice out…Two things made me decide to do so…knowing this is a private time for the family.

  1. Our pastor sent the request for prayers for Ellen and the family to our church prayer line late last night and…
  2. I know first-hand the power of prayers, they are why I am still here today… and they are needed now more than ever with Ellen unconscious…we need to pray with and for her.

Thank you as a parent, friend, and prayer warrior for prayers for Ellen at this difficult time for the entire family and her many many friends.

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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5 Responses to Ancestry.Com and Jesus’ Family Tree at Christmas

  1. bcparkison says:

    Prayers for Ellen. There is never a good time but for some reason the Christmas season just makes sadness especially hard . My youngest son left us on Dec. 15,1996 and the season while still enjoyable has never been the same. It also makes us aware that it isn’t about the fun stuff when you shuck it down to the cob.It is about our Lord who controls each and every thing in our lives so that all thing work for good to those who love the Lord and are call for His purpose.


  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    Prayers for her…and love they… blog entry today…as we talked earlier this week even the disciples were “men’s men”…can’t wait to hear about the messages…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you…prayers are needed for Ellen…and each time we study the stories around Jesus we see the human weaknesses that surrounded him in his friends …the ones He cared for most deeply…yet He still continue to love them. What a gift.


  3. Jo Dufford says:

    I am so sorry to hear this ,and I will be praying for a complete recovery. I have known and loved Ellen for a long time.


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