Three thoughts for the weekend

By Joe Castaneda

I was recently doing a series of interviews for jobs at the camp. One of the questions I ask is, “What are some values your parents have passed on to you that you will try to live by?” As I reflected on that question myself, I thought I would share with you three values my parents gave to me. What about you? Did your parents pass on any values to you that you still try to live by? Share with us your thoughts in the comments here or on Facebook!


  1. Keep God first in everything: My parents lived their faith by conviction, not convenience and not out of fear. They operated out of a key belief that God cared deeply for them and how they lived, and they desired to please Him first. They weren’t perfect parents (they’d be the first to admit this), but they worked hard to keep God first above all the noise of jobs, kids, bills, vacations, good days and bad days. I’m thankful for this value they passed on to all of his kids.
  2. Have fun in the car: We took a lot of road trips as a family. My dads clan lived in Oakland, CA so at least once a year we took the 10-hour dive down to Oakland, always in one stretch. That was back in the day when you could crawl in and out of that small window between a truck cab and truck bed, as well as lay in the back window of a giant Ford LTD without penalty. My parents, especially my mom, worked hard to make those trips fun. We played games, we worked on spelling (I still know how to spell “hospital” because of one of those trips), we read, we listened to stories, we ate and we always sang, “For He’s the Jolly Good Fellow…” whenever we crossed state lines. That simple lesson reminds me to have fun on the journey, in or out of the car. Whatever road you’re traveling right now, look for the joy. I’m guessing if you’re doing pretty well on number one, you’ll find number two a bit easier!
  3. Be hospitable: I didn’t realize it growing up, but it wasn’t normal for everyone to always have guests in their house. I thought that was just what everybody did! I can only remember a few periods of time where we didn’t have a guest living at our house. I had several “older brothers” that I found out weren’t actually my brothers when I was 18-years-old! (I always wondered about Paul Vinje, he seemed too short, too smart and too Russian to be related to me (Mexican-Dutch parents!)) but…I just assumed he was family! My mom frequently had an extra spot set at the table, where I met many pastors, missionaries, national youth workers, single moms, college students and others. What a blessing! Traci and I have had the joy of continuing that tradition of having guests, housing students and sharing whatever resources God has given us.


What about you? What are some values that your parents have passed on to you that you still try to live by? One of the great blessings of living the Overboard Life is sharing it with others, and passing on to your children great, Godly, values that can shape their future.


Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!


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6 Responses to Three thoughts for the weekend

  1. kendrabarkes says:

    I enjoyed thinking about what my parents taught me, and also got me thinking about what I want my children to remember about our family.
    Unconditional Love comes to mind as something impressed on my heart by both my parents. They had different personalities and different ways of communicating their love, however both my mom and dad made it clear they were commited to loving us with the unconditional love of God. I always knew they may not like what I did or the mistakes I made, but they would always love and forgive me. I want to pass this to my kids as well.
    The other key thing that comes to mind is speaking the truth in love. I knew my parents would always tell me the truth even if it was hard or not what I wanted to hear. And I knew they did it because they loved me and wanted what was best for me. I want to communicate that to my husband and children as well.
    Thanks for the thoughts Joe!!!

    • joeacast says:

      That’s great, Kendra! As you know, your family has a special place in my life. Both your mom and dad spoke truth while we were growing up, and I know I am better husband and father, and was a better pastor, because of it!

  2. Nora Singleton says:

    One of the values my parents and grandparents passed on to me was the value of giving. I can remember my grandfather taking 10 pennies and laying them before me and telling me one of those pennies belonged to God. My mom then always modeled that for me giving way beyond her ability all thru her life.

  3. Joan Taylor says:

    Thanks Joe, loved this. I didn’t have Christian parents (although Tal did) and we tried to do these things for our kids. We instilled into them also that at least a tenth belonged to God and I see them doing that today and even more. Our road trips were long when we went to Ohio to visit my family so we took a tent and had fun on the way and at lunch we would pull into a roadside park and open the back of the station wagon and eat our lunch. The kids still talk about those trips and others and were highlights for them. We are so thankful they all love the Lord and are serving Him today.

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