Father’s Day – 2019

When I was a little boy, I wasn’t really all that close to my Dad. I was busy doing all the things that little boys do and, my Dad… well, he was always chasing the dream (money, success, notoriety  etc.)

I knew my Dad loved me but it always seemed to be my Mom that reminded me of that throughout my childhood years. She, being a devout Christian, would always turn every life-experience into a Biblical lesson.

My Dad wasn’t really a religious person. Oh, I suppose he believed in God and all that but he never went with Mom and me to church and I never saw him pray much less pick-up a Bible.

Nonetheless, my Dad, despite his crazy working hours and dedication to providing for his family, would do his very best to provide encouragement and guidance wherever he could squeeze me in.

Get Back There, Try Again

School – My Dad was a very smart, self-educated man. He didn’t have the luxury of college or anything like the modern-day training we can all get online today.

He just seemed to have an answer for every problem put in front of him. He did his best to pass this wisdom on to me… not so much by teaching me how to do things but making me struggle to find the solutions on my own.

Every time I tried and failed, my Dad would simply say to me: “Get back there and try again!”

That really wasn’t all that comforting to me but, as you can see, I’ve made my way to adulthood and I’m full of the wisdom I’ve gained along my journey.

Sports – During my school years, I played baseball, soccer and football. I wasn’t the greatest athlete in the world but my Mom ways always in attendance at every home game I played and as many of the road games she could make it to.

My Dad, always busy at the office, would make a cameoat my games. Strangely enough, every game he came to, I made it a habit of doing something stupid (i.e. striking-out at the plate, kicking-wide at the goal posts, and dropping the critical pass of the game).

Feeling stupid and worthless I would make my way back to the bench and just sit there pouting at how insignificant I felt.

Dad, as he always seemed to do, would approach me from behind, put his hand on my shoulder and say: “Get back there and try again!”

Frustrated, I would ask my Mom what Dad was trying to say to me.

The Simple Things

  • One foot up, one foot down – Skating
  • Keep your knees bent – Skiing
  • Let your hips provide the beat – Dancing
  • Keep your hands on that clutch – Racing

Career –  I thought this one would be a no-brainer in getting encouragement from my Dad. After all, he was a very successful business man and knew an awful lot about the corporate world and how devious those around me could me.

Sadly, and once again, whenever I was facing challenges at work and wasn’t quite sure how I should handle them, he’d say again: “Get back there and try again!”

Okay Mom, I think I’m starting to get it now. I think I’m finally beginning to understand what Dad is trying to tell me.

Now it was my turn to quote the Bible to my Mom… “Is this it Mom?”

Hebrews 6:11 – We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized”

Perseverance – Yup, that was it! That’s what Dad had been telling me all these years. Every Bible verse I’ve just read to you today was about just that… Perseverance and never giving up!

Finding His God

When I was well on my way in my career, my Dad was getting older. He had always done everything he could still do as that was always a lesson to me as well.

One year he became very ill. He developed prostrate cancer and was losing his battle quickly. My Mom summoned all her children as she didn’t know if he would make it through the week… and we all came to be by his side.

Me, being the farthest away, arrived later than my Brothers and Sisters. By that time, my Dad had apparently slipped into a coma and was probably well on his way to meeting God personally.

My Dad had died that afternoon but, miraculously, managed to come back to life just minutes after his heart stopped beating.

My Mom, of course, had been praying for hours-on-end and reminded me…

Romans 12:12 – “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

She also said, “I think your Dad met Jesus today”

When he finally awoke, I was the only one in the room awake. I saw his eyes open and I leapt to his bedside and said, “Dad, Mom said you met Jesus today! What did he tell you?”

My Dad cracked a smile on his old wrinkled face; pulled my shirt to bring me closer to him and whispered: “Get back there and try again!”

From that day forward, my Dad had found Christ. He couldn’t get around much anymore but you could always find him scrolling through the TV channels in the living room looking for those “religious shows” and whispering praises to God under his breath.

He died shortly after all these things passed but, most assuredly, had “tried again” and found his God!

My Dad’s lesson to me: “Never give up on anything or anyone. When you fell you’ve been beaten, knocked-down and lost your battle… Get back there and try again!

I Never knew

The Discipline – Proverbs 13:24 – “He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”

The Lessons – Proverbs 1:8 – “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching”

The Example – John 5:19 – “So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.”

The Provider – 1 Timothy 5:8 – “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

All my life I believed my Dad didn’t like me; didn’t really cared for me; had no interest in anything I did but…

In fact, he was doing exactly what the Bible told him to do!

My Mistakes

I have made many mistakes in my life. Broken marriages, failed relationships, lost opportunities and worst of all… losing the closeness with my family (children).

The Provider – 1 Timothy 5:8 – “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Was I done? Was everything I had ever worked for in vain?

Well, remembering the lesson from my Dad, I didn’t give up and I ”tried again!”Just like God told me to do!

Now I am ever-so thankful for what God has put back into my life. Despite the fac that I, of course, love my children dearly, I had done them wrong and get that.

God didn’t give up on this Dad though… look what I have today. I didn’t give up and God gave me another chance.

In Conclusion

Today it is all about honoring our Dads. I hope you’ve understood this little lesson my Dad had given me and would ask everyone here today if they have a story (hopefully much shorter than mine 😉) that they would like to share.

Honor your Dad today; honor his Dad today and remember this…

Ephesians 6:1-5 – “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise—so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Please allow me just one more minute to pay tribute to my Dad as I am sure that some of my words would be yours!

My Dad

I remember a man as large as life,
with hands as tough as leather.
A gentle man whose heart was pure,
but seasoned, by the weather.

He cradled me when I was young,
and dried my tears of sorrow.
He taught me how to live my life,
and never fear tomorrow.

I’d follow him where he would go,
as I would take his finger.
The scent of him still stays with me,
and will forever linger.

He showed me things I’d never known,
and always had a lesson.
I’d learn from him to be a man,
and curb my bold aggression.

He gave me tender when in pain,
and strictness when I needed.
He gave me space but reeled me in,
when bounds I had exceeded.

He has gone home some time ago,
to stand beside our Savior.
But I still know so deep within,
that I’m still in his favor.

My Love for him will never die,
to try would be a bother.
As for this man my heart still aches,
as I know him, my Father.

I Love you Dad and always will,
for in my heart, I hold you still.

God Bless our Dads!

Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless (Amen)