A Tribute to My Father

I was talking to a friend recently about people and relationships and life in general.

We talked about how so many people are focused on showing others how much they are loved.  There seems to be a great deal of attention paid to making sure others feel accepted and cared for and, yes, loved.

The thing is, our love is not going to save them.  Our love may make them feel good.  Our love may help their self-esteem.  Our love may encourage them.  Our love will not save them.

Only God’s love can do that.  He may use us to show them love, but it’s got to be His love.

I’ve been thinking a great deal about my father lately, after all, Father’s Day is nearing.  I realized that this theme was steadfast in my father’s life.

As a young man he and my mother were called to serve God in a full time capacity with a life changing commitment to follow Him.  They picked up and moved to a “foreign” country (Canada) to the great frozen wasteland…at least that is where it was thought they were going…though it wasn’t quite so frozen or so much of a wasteland…just different.  But, especially at that time, it was a drastic move.

As I think back to memories of growing up and “picture-memories” of my father, there are several consistencies but one thing stands out in my heart and mind.  It is his constant dedication to speak the truth of God.  He pointed people to God through his life.  He guided people in their walk with Christ through his words.  He directed people by discipleship in many one-on-one relationships and in teaching others how to disciple.  He discipled before it was the “thing” to do.

I’ve heard people talk about how great my father is.  I’ve heard comments numerous times about the effect he had on their lives.  I’ve heard remarks about the strength of his preaching.  All of those things are true.  But, I know that my father would do and has done what he has always done, point those same people back to God.

I think that’s what truly being a father is.  It is pointing one’s children, birth children and spiritual children, back to the One who knows us best and loves us most.  It is pointing others to God, our heavenly Father and His great love, not our own.  Today, I thank my earthly father for his life of dedication to his heavenly Father.  Thanks, Dad.

“Dear heavenly Father, Please bless my father today.  Remind him once again of Your great love for him and envelope him in the memories of a life well lived for You.  Thank-You for the kind of father who loved You first and taught those coming behind him to do the same.  May all of his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren follow that love to You.”

God’s Promises

Do you have any idea how many promises of God there are in the Bible? I don’t, but I always mark in my Bible when I find another one. I have a lot of those markings throughout my Bible. I’ve been thinking on a couple of His promises.

We know that God is steadfast and faithful. That’s what Deuteronomy 7:9 says. I Corinthians 1:9 says that God is faithful and II Timothy 2:15 says, “if we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.”
Because we know He is faithful, we can stand on the promises He gives us. He cannot lie so He cannot break His promises which are His solid word.

I find a great deal of comfort in that when my world takes an unexpected turn.

When we look at it with Romans 8:35, we see it says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” It goes on to say in verse 37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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I really believe when my health takes a nose dive again, when money runs short, when frustrations mount, when someone disappoints me, when the world has another catastrophe or the economy plummets again, He is there. He is with me. I don’t have to go through anything alone. Nothing can separate me from Him.

Either God is bigger than my problems and I go to Him with them or the problems are bigger than the God whom I serve and I crumble under the weight of them. I must stand on what He says is true. He is my rock and foundation. I need to remember that always. He promised He would be. He is as He said.

“Dear Lord God, Thank-You that You are more than enough and big enough to take care of any problem I have today. Thank-You that You are faithful to Your word and Your promises stand true.”

So, what do you do to keep yourself centered on the promises of God? What is your favorite of His promises?

Photo from Microsoft Word Office

I believe…

Over the years, I have been asked often how I do it…how do I keep going in the midst of pain?  How do I keep smiling in the midst of crisis?  How do I keep my head up when the Dr. brings yet another bad report?  Okay, now before anyone begins thinking that I am putting myself on the pedastal…let’s all agree that life is tough.  Let’s agree that everyone has their battles of one kind or another.  Everyone has the days of just not wanting to get out of bed.

I just happen to be the recipient of the questions because I’m the recipient of the battles and the storms and the crushings and the breakings and the blessings and the joys.

But here’s the easy answer…

the reason I can go on…

is because I believe God.

I believe Him when He says I’m not alone (Hebrews 13:5b).

I believe Him when He says that He loved me enough to sacrifice (john 3:16).

I believe Him when He says that His grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9)

I believe Him when He says He’ll take care of everything I NEED ((Philippians 4:19).

I believe Him when He says there’s a reason for all I go through (II Corinthians 1:3-6)

I believe Him when He says that someday I will be with Him in heaven (John 14).

I believe Him when He says that He has endured everything so that I would not go through the enduring alone (Hebrews 4:14-16).

I believe Him when He says that He has given me all I need to do what He called me to do because He planned it ahead of time (Ephesians 2:10)

And the list goes on.

I believe Him.  That’s it.  It has nothing to do with me and if I have something no one else does.  It has nothing to do with what I can do on my own.  It has nothing to do with anything about me.

He says He loves me.  I love Him.  I believe Him.  I trust Him.  Yes, there are days that are more difficult than others….but He’s there.  There are days I would like to trade for something easier…but He’s there.  I believe Him.

“Dear Lord God, Thank-You for being believeable.  Thank-You for being trustworthy.  Thank-You for Your great love.  May I love You more today than yesterday.”