Enjoying the Journey

On this Father’s Day my heart is full of gratitude for my dad.  He has always been my best friend, but he is also the best man I know.  He has been a faithful man – faithful to God, faithful to my mother, faithful to his friends, and faithful to  his life’s work.

Dad has taught me more than I could ever express.  Here are a few of the things my father has taught me.

1.  Dad taught me the meaning of true friendship.

He has as many friends as anyone I know.  More than that, he has been a friend.  I have watched him be a friend to hurting people, to those who had failed and others shunned.  He has lived Proverbs 27:10, “Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend forsake not.”  Dad has been and continues to be my best friend.

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Beating dad on the golf course! (Sorry, dad.)

2.  Dad taught me to work hard.

Dad never had the opportunity to go to college.  He started working when he was 18 years old and has never stopped.  First as a businessman and then as a pastor, dad has been diligent about every task that he has been given.  He taught me both by instruction and example to live by the principle “whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Col. 3:23).

3.  Dad taught me to be patient with people.

When I was a very young teenager dad went through some real battles in the church he was pastoring.  There were critics and difficulties.  Dad pressed on.  Now nearly 25 years later that same church is moving forward with God’s blessing.  The shepherd stayed and loved the sheep.

4.  Dad taught me to be a giver.

Dad and mom have always been practicing tithers by conviction.  They have given offerings sacrificially and cheerfully.  God has blessed them and they have sought to be a blessing to others.  As a very young boy my dad said to me, “Son, remember that you can never out give God.”  He was right.

5.  Dad taught me to be faithful.

Dad and mom have now celebrated more than 40 years of marriage.  He has pastored the same church for nearly a quarter of a century.  Dad has not spent his life jumping from thing to thing.  He found God’s will and stayed with it.  I hope my children can say that of me someday.

My mind is racing with so many things God has used my dad to teach me.  He is still one of my greatest teachers.  Thanks, dad.  I hope that the Lord will help me to be half the man you have been.

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