Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Three Back Approach

As I sat in church last Sunday I learned about a concept which my pastor called the "Three Back Approach".

The "Three Back Approach" is  used by the casual to dedicated historian, to sift through facts of a story and vet it for it's authenticity.  

Take, for example, your parents. How much do you know of their story? Do you know where they met? Where were they were born? Interesting experiences and challenges they faced along life’s way? Chances are most people know a fair amount of their parent’s history. For our purposes this would be considered: 1 Back

Now consider your grandparents. Again you may know a fair amount of their story as well; but now you are relying on more obscure details and facts. Your information may still be valid but harder to target. This is considered: 2 Back

Finally, what about your great grandparents. For most of us these facts are very hard to pin down. We may know names and places they lived but then details are certainly lost to us. This is considered: 3 Back.
 

The purpose of the three back approach is not to undercut our past stories. Rather, the principle serves as a guidepost as to how we can evaluate the genuine nature of what we are being told and evaluate it for truth and further application. 

As my Pastor expounded on the "Three Back Approach" Psalm 145  came to mind. The Psalmist said:


One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. (vs.3)
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
  to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.(vs.11-12)
 
As the Psalm swirled in my mind and spirit I realized my children have a rich heritage in the Lord. Had I intentionally sat them down and have them listen to what their grandparents and parents had seen, heard and experienced with God.   Did they know their blessed lives where attributed to the Godly lifestyle of their forefathers? The Psalmist said one generation shall praise your works to another. We love the WORD in our home and it is continually on our lips. However in Psalm 145 we find a different kind of teaching and it's through praise.  What's the difference you ask?  The Hebrew word for praise is halah which means:

TO RAVE UPON THE LORD
  TO BE CLAMOROUSLY FOOLISH BEFORE THE LORD  

Returning  to the "Three Back Approach" it's entire purpose is to keep the facts accurate for the future generation. 
  
Last Sunday after lunch I looked in our living room  and saw multiple generations sitting and talking. As I glanced around the room I realized there was a generation who had witnessed first hand a mighty move of God.  It was then I stopped our causal conversation and asked the older generation to tell the younger generation what they had witnessed and experienced first hand in their lives. As they began telling their stories you could have heard a pin drop on the floor. From the youngest around 7 to the oldest in their late forties we heard the first account stories of healing, salvation and restoration. What started out as one story quickly evolved into many stories that magnified the glorious name of Jesus. Best of all, after these stories we decided to conclude our time with praise and thanksgiving for HIS faithfulness in every generation. From the youngest in the room we all lifted our hands to God  and exalted  His Name.

As this week passed I couldn't stop thinking about our Sunday afternoon.  The stories were as full of life as they were when the events happened. Why? The scriptures tell us that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people.  Stories full of power that satisfied the soul.

 I think we can all agree we love old stories that make us happy, remind us of better times and give us hope. There is no better story than the life woven in the tapestry of Jesus Christ. I would encourage all of you to share your stories with the next generation and continue to RAVE about the MIGHTY WORKS of OUR GOD.

In Him, 
Jeannette