Two-thirds of the Yada Hoodies are in school, leaving 3-year-old River the Peacemaker the only one left to hang out with Poppy.

River is a talker, an excessive talker. Poor kid, he can’t help it; he has a hereditary problem. In Mark 5, when Jesus cast out a legion of demons out of a man, He told the man to go tell everyone what happened. The Bible says the man went to 10 cities and kept talking about “what great things God had done for him” (Mark 5:20, KJV). This has been about as far back as we have been able to trace our excessive talking gene.

The poor kid also got saddled with the middle name of Walker, and in school, he will probably be known as “Walker the Talker.” If someone in your family has the excessive talking gene, I can almost guarantee that we are related.

I went to pick River up one day, and as soon as I pulled in, he ran out the front door, already wagging his tongue and waving his hands. As I buckled him in his seat, he announced, “We can’t say the word ‘dead.’ It’s a bad word.” He’s told me the other bad words he can’t say, and the list is long, but this one confused me.

We keep a children’s CD in our car, and he loves to sing along with it. One of his favorite songs is “Little Cabin in the Wood.” That day, River and I were singing loudly,

“Little cabin in the wood/ Little man by the window stood
“Saw a rabbit hopping by/ Knocking at the door.
“‘Help me, help me, help me,’ he said/ ‘Or the hunter will shoot me dead.’”

Right away, I had a 3-year-old scolding me, telling me I had “a bad song in my car.”

“We can’t say the word ‘dead,’” he reminded me. And since he is River the Talker, he started telling others that Poppy listens to songs with bad words.

But even Jesus said the word “dead” was bad: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up” (John 11:11b). He wanted the people to know that He had the power to bring Lazarus’ body back to life.

He went on to explain, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25,26).

Yes, my friend, we can never say a believer dies. Death means the end, but with Jesus, it’s just the beginning.

I did find out why “dead” was a bad word in River’s family. Whenever his parents called him to do something, he would lie motionless on the floor. They called him repeatedly, and he wouldn’t move a muscle. When they asked what he was doing, he told them he was “dead.”

River, find Jesus, and you will never die.