My dad passed away in November 2003 at the age of 54 due to an aortic aneurysm. The impact he had on my life is impossible to put into words. Just like ripples in water continue on long after a rock is thrown into it, his influence is still changing the world today. If in this life I end up being half the man he was I will be happy. This is my Fathers Day tribute to him. I love you dad! See you in heaven! 🙂
7 things my dad used to say and the lessons I have learned from them…
1) Got’cha covered!
My dad was a man of prayer. James 5:16 says “… the effective , fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”. I always knew was praying for me. How did I know? Because he told me and I saw the fruit of it in my life.
2) Put it through your filter.
Acts 17:11 says “they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” In this scripture the Apostle Paul is sent to a town called Berea. The Bereans would search the scriptures to see if what they were learning was in line with God’s word. The Bible is called the “canon” for a reason. The world we live in can be a confusing place. With people peddling ideas and philosophies that are dangerous and un-Biblical. It is so important to use the “canon” God gave us to measure every thing we hear. If it doesn’t measure up, toss it out.
3) People over policy!
Sometimes an exception needs to be made. Along with using this phrase dad would also say “you need to bend, but not to the point you are broken”. Dad was a big fan of living life in balance. Sometimes we can live life at fanatical extremes. Dad taught me that there is often more peace and more fruit if life is lived in balance.
4) I’m not asking in any way to coerce you, but to give you the gift of a moment to consider the claims of Christ.
Dad loved Jesus, and wanted others to know Jesus also. He was the type of man who would love others and not judge them. He would not try to cram the Bible down a persons throat. He was patient. He knew if he just kept loving people and pointing them to Jesus eventually they would develop an appetite for righteousness. Sure there were people who came in and out of my dad’s life who were sinners, who were unlovable, who sometimes would not love him back. But dad was like Jesus, he just kept loving people unconditionally. He got tired, he would have long days but dad’s love of God was contagious and it made others want to love Jesus also.
That’s what he called me… “buddy”. Dad was gentle and strong at the same time. My dad was one of my best friends, but he could be a strong disciplinarian also. He taught me right from wrong. He showed me it was possible for a father to be both friend and judge all at the same time. Proverbs 22:6 says “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” Dad knew the wisdom of this and lived it.
6) May I be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas!
Christmas was his favorite time of the year for these reasons. Number one: Dad loved his family, and he especially loved times when the family could be together. Number Two: Christmas is a time of giving and receiving gifts. My dad would buy gifts all year long in anticipation of Christmas time. He would often not be able to wait and give the gifts early. Then he would end of having to get another gift. These two qualities, love of family and love of gift giving, are two qualities of God that I saw in my dad.
7) We wouldn’t worry so much what people thought of us if we knew how seldom they did. Dad taught me not to put so much value in what others thought of me. He taught me that doing the right thing in life sometimes means you do it alone. Galatians 6:9 says “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart”. He also taught me to be decisive. From him I learned how to evaluate a situation, get the best advice and wisdom you can then make a decision. Then don’t worry about doubters or naysayers. He also taught me that as a leader almost every decision you make is going to disappoint or anger someone so make the best decision you can then move on.
BONUS: I thought of an 8th saying that deserves a mention…
8) You need to get a check up from the neck up to get rid of your stinkin thinkin.
Dad would sometimes say this when someone would develop a bad attitude. Psalm 139:23-24 says “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”. Occasionally we all need to hit pause, step back and take a look at our life. When we prayerfully review our life God often shows us areas of our life that need attention.