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.”