It’s Father’s Day and we want to know: what do you love about your Dad? We asked kids to tell us while their Dads secretly listened in. Their responses ranged from funny to sweet but never failed to make their Dads smile.
I didn’t lay on eyes on my biological Father until I was eighteen years old and that was, in retrospect, probably for the best. When kids have kids things tend to go wrong quickly and it was no different for my parents. My Mom was not yet eighteen when I was born, my Dad was nineteen and both struggled under the burden of responsibility as many young adults do.
My dad’s struggle led him to flee from those responsibilities and my Mom’s now intensified struggle led her to move back in with her parents, not an uncommon scenario. That is where I met my first “Dad”.
My Grandpa was a World War II Veteran and Purple Heart recipient.
My Grandpa was a Millwright at Northwestern Steel and Wire Company from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. He came home every day looking like a coal miner. All visible flesh was as black as night, his clothing perspired through and he had a permanent grunge on his hands that probably never went away. He bore both the scars of war and of the molten steel that was permanently embedded in his flesh in several places.
My Grandpa worked hard, and when he was not at work, he worked. On his days off he worked, after dinner, he worked. After the sun finally dipped below the horizon he would sit in his old rocker and read. The next day he would repeat the process.
My Grandpa broke his back to provide for his family, he never complained and lived within his means.
His name was Lloyd, people called him “Hank” we kids always called him Paw Paw.
He taught me the value of hard work and that if Paw Paw had to take off his belt, you had messed up big-time.
On occasion we would fish, putz around in his work shop and go for rides in his World War II Jeep that he had repainted baby blue. It was on one of these rides that he taught me the second most memorable lesson of my young life. My Grandpa pointed to a big fancy house one day and said:
“ Do you see that house? Ole’ Man Smith lives there, they got everything they have by suing other people. You don’t ever want to be like Ole’ Man Smith”
This admonition was followed by a short tirade of mild profanities directed at Ole’ Man Smith that left an indelible mark on my young mind.
He taught me that no one owes me anything and that what I have should be obtained honestly.
Paw Paw used what would be considered “country cussin’” by today’s standards. He neither drank nor smoked in the time that I knew him and he was faithful to my Grandmother. Together they made sure that I was in Sunday School every week laying a modest bed of faith for a fatherless child.
My teenage years didn’t go well. I sowed my wild oats, got in considerable trouble but did finally give my heart to Jesus, for real, at the age of seventeen.
At the age of eighteen I finally met my biological father. Dad number two!
The main lesson that I learned upon meeting my dad was that, contrary to popular belief, sometimes it is best if an out-of-control element of your life is removed. My dad ran afoul of the law and would have been a terrible influence on me. I got in enough trouble on my own! I thank God for unanswered prayers of a lonely little boy in regards to his being reunited with his dad.
We spent enough time together in my early twenties that I managed to get some Jesus into him. When he died a few years back he was born-again and a member of the Worship Team at his church. Through him I learned that no one is beyond redemption.
In 1992 I met dad number three.
My pastor, mentor and best friend of the last twenty-four years.
Listing everything I have learned from the fourth generation Minister, Theologian and Biblical Scholar that I have been blessed enough to call “Dad” for half of my life, would turn this article into an essay. My meager writings are like sand castles lying in the shadow of the Taj Mahal of his life’s work. He is the leader of the band, and my life has been a poor attempt to imitate him, as he imitates Christ. I am the Timothy to his Paul.
Suffice it to say, that if he had not taken this rebellious urchin under his wing and taught me how to live a Godly life in a godless world, I don’t know where I would be today. Dead, or in prison, I assume.
Life is a journey in which we absorb many bits of information, and as we work out our own soul’s salvation with fear and trembling, those bits are compiled into something called wisdom. The wisdom imparted to me by my three dads, either directly or indirectly, has shaped who I am today in undeniable ways. I have been a Christian, following after the narrow way, since the day a loving man-of-God and his wife taught me exactly what the Bible says about being a man. And I have been a Conservative ever since my Paw Paw warned me about Ole’ Man Smith.
What a wonderfully simple, peaceful life it has been. Thanks to my three dads.
by CHRIS MILLS
Leaving a monetary inheritance for our children isn’t nearly as important as preparing a spiritual legacy that is invested over the course of their lives. But how much we choose to devote to the formation of our heirs’ faith is up to us.
In truth, everything a parent does and says—along with everything left undone and unsaid—contributes to the legacy. A child’s understanding of the world and of God develops as he or she takes note of Mom and Dad’s pattern of life, the principles that govern their actions, and the power of their words. Kids observe whether parents value obedience to God and notice what happens when they do (or don’t) follow His Word. Their first lessons in forgiveness, generosity, and service to others are learned at home, whether taught intentionally or not. What’s more, your child will notice if your principles and words fail to line up.
Investing in a spiritual legacy does not end when a child reaches adulthood. As our sons and daughters head out into the world, we continue to have responsibility to pass on the lessons we’ve learned as God’s children. Every day of her life, my own mother taught me about unwavering faith and absolute obedience to the Lord. Her lessons have continued beyond her lifetime, as they have been passed down to new generations.
If asked about a legacy, my mother would have said, “I don’t have anything to leave to Charles.” But that isn’t true. She poured her life into mine, ensuring that I knew what it was to be loved, to know God, and to live wisely in His will. That is my treasured spiritual inheritance.
And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” (Isaiah 54:13)
This prophetic verse has its primary fulfillment still in the future. Nevertheless, it states a basic principle that is always valid and that is especially relevant on Father’s Day. The greatest honor that children can bestow on a father is a solid Christian character of their own, but that must first be his own gift to them. Before sons and daughters can experience real peace of soul, they must first be taught of the Lord themselves, and the heavenly Father has delegated this responsibility first of all to human fathers.
The classic example is Abraham, “the father of all them that believe” (Romans 4:11). God’s testimony concerning Abraham was this: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment” (Genesis 18:19). This is the first reference in Scripture to the training of children, and it is significant that it stresses paternal instruction in the things of God. Furthermore, the instruction should be diligent and continual: “When thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).
The classic New Testament teaching on child training has the same message: “Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Not wrath, but peace, as our text suggests. Great shall be the peace of our children when they know the Lord and keep His ways. Great, also, is the joy of a godly father when he can see the blessing of the Lord on his children and then on his grandchildren. “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6). HMM
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. —1 Corinthians 10:13
God is also faithful to the tempted. First Corinthians 10:13 tells us, There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
The faithfulness of God is operating to deliver us also from the temptations that bother us.
Some poor, suffering Christians say, “I feel all boxed in, as if there was a wall all around me.” Someone has pointed out that when you can’t escape to the right, the left, forward or backward, you can always go up. God’s faithfulness is the way out, because it’s the way up, you can be sure of that. Your temptation is common to everybody. If you’re on the borderline of the victorious life and you say, “Under the circumstances in which I live, I just can’t make it,” remember God says your temptation is common to all.
Lord, this promise is a major source of encouragement to me. Thank You for this reminder of Your faithfulness. Amen.
He came trembling and fell down before Paul and Silas… and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (Acts 16:29-30)
In a world like ours, with conditions being what they are, what should a seriousminded man or woman do?
First, accept the truth concerning yourself. You do not go to a doctor to seek consolation, but to find out what is wrong and what to do about it.
Then seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Seek through Jesus Christ a right relationship to God and then insist upon maintaining a right relation to your fellow man.
Set about reverently and honestly to amend your doings. Magnify God, mortify the flesh, simplify your life. Take up your cross and learn of Jesus Christ to die to this world that He may raise you up in due time.
If you will do these things in faith and love, you will know peace; the peace of God that passes all understanding.
You will know joy; the joy of resurrection. You will know, too, the comfort of the indwelling Spirit of God, for you have sought to do the will of God at any price!
Pray God to send a few men with what the Americans call “grit” in them; men, who when they know a thing to be right, will not turn away, or turn aside, or stop; men who will persevere all the more because there are difficulties to meet or foes to encounter; who stand all the more true to their Master because they are opposed; who, the more they are thrust into the fire, the hotter they become, who, just like the bow, the further the string is drawn the more powerfully it sends forth its arrows, and so the more they are trodden upon, the more mighty will they become in the cause of truth against error.