"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17 (NIV)
Growing up in the '70s was an experience. As with any generational decade, the '70s brought us so many epic trends - 8 track players, mood rings, pet rocks and the great disco music. Parenting in any generation can prove difficult and the '70s did not disappoint.
Yet, there was my father. He truly didn't care which decade it was, he was going to be the father that he believed he needed to be. Growing up in a coal mining town in Pennsylvania, heading off as a Marine to the Korean War and attending William and Mary proved that he had many life experiences to share with his children. He was many things for us:
A Disciplinarian: We knew who ruled the roost at our home. He had strong expectations and when we fell out of line, we knew it. Although we may not have known it at the time, that discipline served us well growing up and ensured we received his strong values.
A Knowledge Provider: Each day had a learning moment in it. Whether it was a grammar lesson on a paper I had written or how to identify certain trees by their leaves, Daddy always exported knowledge.
A Problem Solver: Nothing beat the way Daddy solved a problem. Whether it was chewing gum to stop a leak in the bathroom or duct tape to fix ANYTHING, Daddy solved problems HIS way.
A Caring Soul: He may have been a strong disciplinarian, but we always knew he cared. There were moments where he listened and shared his feelings in such great letters we all keep today.
A Loving Heart: We ALWAYS knew Daddy loved us. Through each word, each hug, each phone call and especially through his wonderful smile, we knew that he always loved us.
I was fortunate to have such a great father. Yet, as wonderful as my father was, he had flaws. We all have flaws - mine show every day. There is a Father, however, who doesn't have one flaw, Our Heavenly Father.
His is a disciplinarian, helping to guide us away from poor choices with the Holy Spirit. He is a knowledge provider, giving us all the knowledge we need in The Bible. It's just our job to go and get all the knowledge that He has given to us. He is a problem solver - the best I have encountered by far. He knows each problem I have and always solves them, as long as I give them over to Him with a willing heart. He is a caring soul, always listening to me. There has yet to be a time when I have talked to my Heavenly Father when He wasn't willing to listen to me - no matter how many times I've turned my back on him. Most of all my Heavenly Father has a loving heart - He is always there loving us. We can feel His love through each word He speaks to us, each hug He gives us and even through the wonderful smile He shines down on us each and every day.
My Dad, who has been in paradise now for 17 years, I miss so dearly but I am so grateful for all he gave me. For our Heavenly Father, help us to know that each day should be Father's Day. May our praises, our worship and our love shine on Him always.
Dearest Father, thank you for helping us set aside a day to truly appreciate our earthly fathers and all that they give to us. May we appreciate them and love them as they love us. Help us to also remember that you are truly the Father who provides everything we could ever need - including eternal salvation. Let our joy surround both our earthly fathers as well as you, our Dearest Father. In your loving name we pray, Amen!