This coming Sunday, June 21st, is Father's Day
Let us take time to honor all the father's in our lives and show them how much we appreciate and love them.
I have to say that there are several men that I wish to honor this Father's Day, my Dad, my Grandfathers and my Heavenly Father. I am sorry to say that I don't have any of three here on earth with me, they are all living with my Heavenly Father.
My Dad died in his 50's, when he was struck by lightening while out in a boat, trying to rush to shore and safety with my brother and niece on board. It was the first vacation he had taken in years and he had really looked forward to his time away from work with his family.
My parents divorced when I was but thirteen. I had very little contact with my Dad until I was about sixteen and only now and then at that time. I ended up living with my grandparents and Dad would come for occasional visits but he lived in a different city with his new family so our times together were few and far between. What I do remember about him was his very calm demeanor. I don't ever remember him raising his voice in anger. He had pale blue eyes that sparkled and a mischievous grin when he would be telling you funny stories and jokes. From Dad I learned to have a sense of humor, to roll with the ups and downs in the road of life and to be thankful for whatever time we have here on earth and to try to do well with the blessings that have been given to us.
My Grandpa B, his father, always gave you the impression that he was a very stern man, looking over the top of his glasses, his deep brown eyes would penetrate right through you and he always knew if you were telling him the truth or not. Of course the fact that he was a municipal court judge didn't help to soften that facade any either. But underneath, he really was a soft hearted teddy bear! He loved to debate and would take any side of an argument, just for the sake of arguing. He would test you, to see if you would truly stand up for your beliefs or if you would cave in under the pressure of his constant debating the issues with you. So from Grandpa B. I learned that you never judge a book by its cover, to always dig deeper to get to know the real person beneath the outer shell. To stand by your convictions and not be swayed just because someone else bullies you and taunts you, trying to get you to change your mind. To always be fair and look at every situation and person according to their merits.
My Grandpa D, my mom's dad, was also very soft spoken and gentle by nature. One of the things I will always remember about him is watching him shave. I had to have been just a little tot at the time, but it still sticks in my memory. He used a straight edged razor and would mix the lather up in an old mug with one of those special old fashioned brushes. He'd get his face all lathered and then he would take his shaving strap and sharpen his razor on it. Mother used to tell me that as a child she would get a "lickin" with that razor strap! Maybe that is why this memory has always stuck with me.
Grandpa D. was a pretty strong disciplinarian. I used to love to play with the double sliding pocket doors that closed off the living room from the front hallway. Grandpa would take about all he could handle of the open, slam, bang, open slam, bang before I would feel a hand on my shoulder. He'd turn me around, lead me over to his big old chair and place me on his lap and say "let’s talk about this shall we?" Just the tone of his voice let me know that what I had been doing didn't meet with his approval. But he never did spank me! We would have our little talk about the doors and then he would either kiss me on the forehead and send me on my way or he would suggest we go get one of Grandma's good home baked cookies. From Grandpa D. I learned that what I had been doing didn't meet with his approval but he still forgave me and loved me.
As I sit here, putting all these thoughts down for myself and others to read, I am struck by how all of the characteristics of these three men, the life lessons that they taught me growing up , even though I am sure they had no idea that they did, all of these things are qualities that our Heavenly Father has........ unconditional love!
To roll with the ups and downs in the road of life we have never been promised that there would not be times in our lives where we would have hard times, physically, financially, emotionally or spiritually. But we have always had God's promise that he would be there with us every step of the way. He will carry us along that road as long as we believe in Him.
To be thankful for whatever time we have here on earth. It is written that He knows every hair on our heads and the numbers of our days. We never know what day will be our last so always remember to pray and thank God for every day that you do have.
To do well with the blessings that have been given to us. Through prayer to God for ourselves and for others, He multiplies our blessings. He teaches us to have both empathy and compassion for those who come into our lives. He teaches us to give freely to others. He teaches us unconditional Love.
Never judge a book by its cover. Never look down on those who have less than you have or up to those who have more than you have, least you be judged also. Just remember to be happy with what you have and strive to always do your best.
Get to know the real person beneath the outer shell this goes along with never judging a book by its cover. Would we have been likely to have willingly followed Jesus if we had been born back in that time in history? This man who went from place to place, not always dressed in the best of fashion, either barefooted or with sandals, preaching to us about God? By reading the Bible and strengthening our beliefs we go beneath the outer shell and get to really know our Lord .
To stand by your convictions and not be swayed, this is not only true of standing behind our beliefs as Christians and in our faith, but it also means to stand by our convictions for our country as our forefathers did who fought for our freedoms. Our country is in deep need of prayer and our convictions to stand behind the things that we believe our country has been, is and we hope it will be in the future.
To always be fair and look at every situation and person according to their merits.
Always search for the truth about all that you see and all that you hear.
A strong disciplinarian. Our Heavenly Father is a strong disciplinarian. He chastised those in biblical times who fell by the wayside and did not do as they were commanded to do. Do you think He would do less today with us?
What I had been doing didn't meet with his approval. When I do not remember to give thanks, to go in prayer on a daily basis I know in my heart of hearts that I am not meeting with His approval. If I do not share my testimony of faith with others, even though I am still growing daily in my walk, then I know I am not meeting with His approval.
Tolerance and patience. He tolerates our mistakes, for He knows that we will make them, after all we were given the freedom of choice. There will be times when our choices are not good as well as times when our choices will be excellent. Aren't we glad that He has patience with us?
He still forgives me and loves me. How blessed are we that He always forgives us and will always love us. The ultimate definition of love!
He has a sense of humor. I don't know if you feel that way or not but I am sure He does have a sense of humor! I will pray to give me patience and so He gives me challenges to make me learn to be patient. I ask for understanding and he gives me situations where I have to do research and find answers. I can just picture Him watching over me and at times just getting that "twinkle in His eye" and a "mischievous grin" as He watches me work through some of the things that have been put in front of me as obstacles and challenges.
Thank you all, the fathers, for being a part of my life, I have learned and continue to learn so much every day because you.
Now it is your turn. Tell me about your father or the fathers in your life. Whether they are a dad, step dad, or even an uncle or a friend of the family who was the father figure in your life and how they influenced you.