I have been watching Facebook and other social media outlets and have been impressed with all the tributes from children to their fathers throughout the day. I noticed a number of images of people with their Dads and, of course, some of the pictures were decades old. People who are now in their fifties and sixties were shown as babies being held by their fathers or playing baseball or hugging each other. For a split second I was thinking about finding a favorite picture I took of my Dad when I was about 10 years old. I even think I know where it is but then again, it probably wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else. And then there is a really great picture of Dad holding me – apparently right after I was brought home from the hospital. That night, Dad gave Mom a bracelet from both of us (Dad and me) and it now sits in my box of important things.
The point of tonight’s post is that this day, a day to honor Dads, has been full of accolades and celebrations. However, I would rather spend my time talking tonight about the children that have called me Dad for these many years. Yes – they have all called me and wished me a great day. I was a guest pastor this morning in Tipton, IN and Andrew actually went up with us to hear my message. While we were at church, our daughter Jill called and left me a message. Later in the day, I heard from Kristin.
What’s amazing to me is how different all our children are. Jill, who lives in Oklahoma, is very self sufficient and travels about the country with her work – she spent several weeks with us earlier this summer and is getting ready for a return visit toward the end of July before our grandson, Drew, has to go back to school. In a sense, Jill is the most like I am when it comes to the business world. She is a desperately hard worker and takes great pride in what she accomplishes. She knows what is on my mind and can virtually finish my sentences for me. We miss the fact that she is out west and doesn’t get here very often but we also understand that she has her own life to live and as much as we would like her here, that isn’t in the plan, at least for now. She balances a hectic work schedule with being a Mom to Drew and taking care of the household with her husband, Tom.
Jill also tends to defend the family against all intruders. And when it comes down to it, she really doesn’t get quite as much as her brother and sister – one of the hazards of not being local. But we do try to make up for it when she is visiting us. And then there is staying in touch on FB and other social media. I guess you could call it internet love…
Kristin, our oldest, is the one who has been fighting medical issues and works at a local church. She has three boys and once again, I don’t know how both of our daughters balance the busy scheduled that they have. Kristin and Jill have completely different personalities and it shows every time that they are together.
And then there is Andrew, our only son. A hard worker when he is passionate about something, Andrew is probably the most outspoken when it comes to voicing his opinion about things. He is the one who is full of surprises and lives the least conventional life of all our children. He’s isn’t married and has the luxury of working at things that he enjoys while not having to fit into any conventional mold. He and I have started fishing together at our home and we have had some great times teasing bass to the surface. We have yet to take a fishing trip but I am sure that is in the future when time permits.
The point of all this is, and I could go on and on about all their similarities and differences, is that all our children have something in common. We love them all. Yet their is no denying that they have different traits, competencies and spiritual gifts. And that’s the same with all of us – in the eyes of God, we are all His children. And He loves us all – even though we don’t act alike or think alike or even spend the same amount of time with Him. God is the ultimate Father.
Our verse for the evening highlights God in all His regal glory. Jude, the half brother of Jesus and younger brother of James, starts is book with a plea for love, unlike any other reference to God in the New Testament opening verses. We are told, in Jude 1-2, “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.”
Notice that Jude references those of us who have been called by God the Father and have been in communion with his Son, Jesus. That is a special place – to be in the heart of our Father and kept by a “brother.” Sounds like a family to me, doesn’t it? My encouragement this evening is that God wants to celebrate you as much as we all want to celebrate our children. My prayer is that you will spend a little time reflecting on your children and see if you can love them as much as the Father and His Son love us. Have a great day in the Lord grace and peace…