The Dad’s Armor study opens with a look at the heritage we have in relationship with our earthly father. Men typically father as they were fathered or go the opposite direction working to ensure a better result. I am reminded of the cartoon of a son bringing home a report card with a failing grade. The young man presents it to his dad and says, “What do you think Dad – heredity or environment?”
There is love for our Lord, love in marriage, love for family and love of country. Of course, on this 243rd anniversary of the founding of the United States of America, I think of the love those before us had for this one nation under God, particularly those that enlisted in the military after the Pearl Harbor attack – sixteen-year-olds saying they were eighteen; young working men that interrupted life to serve their country; and young marrieds that put family on hold.
He was choking up as he spoke a blessing over his daughter. They had just completed a week together enjoying a wilderness adventure that included day hikes, an overnight campout and a raft trip. Each evening they had a topic-specific discussion around the father-daughter relationship that resulted in more one-on-one dialogue than they had ever engaged in. Now, recognizing his ‘little girl’ as a young lady was overwhelming.
He had spent a couple of summers with his uncle. They were not anything out of the ordinary – the boy did chores like mowing and other small projects around the house. He enjoyed every minute of it because he got to be with his uncle, a father-figure in his life. This summer would be different because they were going on a 10-day backpacking trip. While they would be participating with a group of Boy Scouts, he knew there would be a lot of one-on-one time with his uncle.
THIS FATHER’S DAY, June 16th, 2019, I commit as a faithful father to:
Prioritize my physical presence in the home and with family. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning … The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.’ John 1:1-2, 14. Just as God provided a connection with Him through the physical presence of His Son, a father provides a connection to the Father by being present and accounted for in family.
An annual tribute to my father and encouragement to you:
Born in 1917, four years after his parents immigrated from the south of Russia, he spent his early years growing up in Nebraska. The family continued to speak Russian in the home so when it came time to go to school, the young boy was held back a year until he could learn English. Railroad work took his family to Missouri where he proved to be a good worker and strong athlete through school. He joined his dad working in the roundhouse at the railyard until the attack on Pearl Harbor changed the direction of his life. He enlisted in the Navy ...read on
The pillars for his life and home were a successful career, financial provision for the family, educational opportunities for the kids and a solid marriage and home. The job was demanding and he stepped into the challenge accepting new assignments, moves and promotions at every opportunity. He did not realize how much energy was being spent on the first two pillars while he was taking the second two for granted. He was building a lean-to instead of a stable structure for the family.
One evening after returning home late again, his young son ...read on
“Born in the 1920’s, he grew up in the depression poor like most rural American children. … As he grew up, he belonged to the Boy Scouts, played trumpet in the high school band and went to church almost all Sundays. In 1944 this 18-year old country boy who never traveled more than 50 miles from home found himself going through basic training at a U.S. Army Camp in Texas. After that, he rode a train with hundreds of other teenagers to New York City to board a Liberty ship to cross the Atlantic to fight WWII. … He was in the 7th Army serving in the European theater. ...read on
He was a gifted young man. He related well to the other kids and had natural leadership qualities. The pastor saw his heart for the Lord mature into his high school years. The young man led the youth group prayer time every chance he got and enjoyed helping coordinate various trips over the years. He began meeting with the pastor regularly to discuss a future in student ministry.
As he wrapped up his junior year in high school and prepared for the summer mission trip with the youth group, he told his dad of the passion he had for ministry, that he was thinking ...read on
An annual tribute to my mother and encouragement to you:
She was an incredible woman. Born in 1921, she aspired to be a vocal performer. As a senior in high school, she contracted tuberculosis. Her dream to perform was no longer possible and the vocal scholarship to attend college was rescinded. She married a handsome Navy pilot just before he was deployed to the South Pacific Theater in WWII. He returned quite a different man than the one she married. Post-Traumatic Stress played a major role in the alcoholism and other challenges the marriage and family would face over the ensuing years. Ma endured ...read on