a thoughtful father’s day thing

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I should be working on some things around the house while my children nap, but wouldn’t blogging be more fun right now? Coffee in peace on a Saturday. yum.

While thoughts turn to Father’s day, my prayers are for those who have not had a great earthly paradigm of a father, and so have trouble wrestling with a correct view of a patient and loving Heavenly Father. This promise is faithful and true today that He will be “a father to the fatherless” Psalm 68:5.

I was blessed to have a father who always pointed me to Christ (I don’t remember a day I didn’t know Jesus). He died about a year ago and left me with over 660 pages of typed letters to me and my sisters – letters all about his studies in the perpetual novelty of God’s word. This blog photo of him today was his typical pose – hunched over his Daily Bible or some other thought provoking work.

He would definitely be the first to tell you about the love of Jesus and His finished work on the cross, and most importantly that He did not come to save the perfect, but the sinners, the lost, and the broken. My dad was very open about his “rough edges” and the daily job of a Christian of bringing thoughts captive to Christ and the resulting trans-formative results. His joke was that he hoped to stand before Jesus with a large bag of marshmallows – in reference to the passage

I Cor 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

He joked that the fire of his useless works was gonna be quite the bonfire requiring many marshmallows. But his joking was not to boast in his rough edges, but rather to honestly and humbly confess them.

And what a gift he left me in demonstrating the value of 1 John 1:9 in the daily walk of a believer in Christ

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

My failures no longer have to hold me back in a mire of anxiety or sadness. I have forgiveness through the finished work of Christ on the cross and my Heavenly Father always has his arms open to me for a hug, so that no matter how bad I mess up, I can keep going because

neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
 Nehemiah 8:10

This might mean nothing to you, but for someone like me who is prone to ruminating and anxiety (ya, full disclosure), this is liberating. If David could confess, turn, and keep going, so can I – though definitely easier some days than others.

SO on this Father’s day, I truly miss my dad. But I look forward to being reunited for eternity. My favorite treasure he left me is a letter to my sons about his life growing up on a rural farm in Missouri without electricity. But in this letter he also shares how he met Christ as a young man. And today I share an excerpt to encourage that the promise, “seek and ye will find”, is true.

In Another Time

During the ninth grade the most important event in my life took place. The adventure started with the YMCA taking a bunch of Junior High students to a camp in the mountains east of San Diego…High in the mountains the stars were like city lights. There was no moon but the brilliance of the stars sky-lined each tree and the road as well. A huge pine tree was silhouetted on my right. Having seen in the movies how people should talk to God, I got on my knees in the pine straw under the darkened tree and said: “If there is a God, I want to know”. Nothing happened. Later it became clear that God answers, but He answers in His own way and always at the perfect time…

When school was over that Friday, I was having math problems. This unexpected event caused me to try to find my math teacher. Such an annoying distraction on a Friday evening would force me to go home by a different and longer way. My math teacher, who was always available on Friday evenings, was nowhere to be found. Going home a different way caused me to pass by a little Youth for Christ bus. The door was open and for a reason I could only understand later, I got on the bus… The speaker taught John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I believed. Nothing has ever been the same again.  

Happy Father’s day.  I wish dad was here blogging with me. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. So if you haven’t already, enjoy the greatest Father’s day gift of all today from the Heavenly Father – the free gift of eternal loving relationship with the Creator of the universe and our souls – through belief on the work of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross.

I pray today Ephesians 1:17-21

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: Amen.

 

 

 

 

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