We are having a great Christmas with family here. Abby, Justin, Gabe, and Levi all home. It was different this year not having the 3 Christmas Eve services in the evening, but we had our 3 weekend gatherings at Compelled, Abby and Justin arrived and we took Christmas Eve dinner over and had dinner with dad, who now lives in Temperance at Moongate apartments. I sure love him being so close, but we all miss him in Morenci also. We spent a couple hours with him on Christmas Eve. Wendy made one of our favorites, “Alice Chicken” and we love it with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, rolls and salad. it was a feast.
Christmas morning was our family together. Priceless and special. We then load up and head to Hudson, to Wendy’s folks for another feast with our precious family, presents, and good time. Lots of Dutch blitz, laughing, and overeating. We love our time at Randy and Carol’s and enjoyed staying the night, and man did we sleep in.
Christmas this year seem nostalgic, and meaningful. Every year I am alive, Christ become more alive to me, and His work I see more clearer in others, including my family, which I am fiercely devoted to. My amazing wife Wendy, makes this time so special for our family. Here hard work, thought, and detail attention, always stuns me with peace and happiness. What a gal. We celebrate 31 years together January 3. What a blessed guy I am!
I pray your Christmas was special and the presence of Jesus was close.
There is no greater responsibility on the face of this earth, like being a father. The power and influence on our children is astounding. I have had so many failures at being a perfect dad, but I realized the Lord wants us to be great dads not perfect. The example we live in front of our kids they will most likely embrace. Our values will be their values, our faith their faith, our speech, their speech. It is a glorious but serious responsibility. Don’t diminish that, or deny it. You play the most important role in your kids lives. Your blessing, will be the fuel to carry them through life. The lack of blessing, will be their burden.
May I offer you a few words of encouragement that I have learned as I fathered my 3 kids these past 2 decades?
Be an example you want them to follow. They will be like you. Your behavior matters, don’t think it doesn’t. More is caught than taught.
Talk with honor to your wife and they will treat their mom right, and their future wives.
Get control of your temper and your tongue. It can wound deeply.
Make God a priority, and they will also. Skip God, and they will too.
Compliment them about everything. Constantly build them up. The world, friends at school, and the media will be tearing them down all the time. Your words will combat the demeaning messages they hear all the time.
Encourage them to try new things, never quit, and to never give up.
Pray to Jesus for more patience than you have ever had in your life.
Live with integrity. Grow in the Lord so your character is seen.
When you are home, be home, not on your phone, etc.
Make family time and family vacations a priority. The memories will never leave them, and they will do this healthy thing with their families.
Try and have meals with the whole family as much as you are able.
Talk to them. Ask questions. Don’t let them live in their rooms.
Be quick to admit mistakes, and ask forgiveness from them when necessary. Let them know you blew it. They love you and are quick to forgive.
Show your love to them, and always daily tell them you love them. It makes a difference. Make sure they never wonder if their daddy loves them.
Never run them down, call them names, tell them they are fat, stupid, worthless, lazy, etc. It’s like sucking the life from a child, and can be worse than physical abuse. They will suffer and hear your voice saying this crap for years. Don’t do it.
If your dad did things that hurt you, don’t repeat that curse. Jesus breaks curses.
Make time. Delay your hobbies at times, and desires, and pour into your kids. Don’t leave selfish with your time. Sacrifice financially for them.
Support their interests, be there as much as you can, for them.
Love their mom, and show them how to love and treat a lady. Yes, show them “in front of the kids” that you love their mom.
Don’t give them everything they want. Make them do chores.
Teach them to give to the Lord’s work and to missions.
Pray with them, even if it’s not profound, seems short, or awkward. Do it anyway.
Encourage them to read the Bible, go to church together. . Let them see you worship, pray, and seek God.
Listen, listen, and then just listen.
Being a dad is great! A great challenge. A great reward. Greatly confusing at times. I have learned great dependence on the Lord, and great humility being a father. It is the greatest blessing God has given me. I am not perfect. Don’t give up dad. Keep at it. Happy Father’s Day. Here’s a good video, that speaks a lot of truth.
On October 3, 2014 my daughter married an amazing guy, Justin Isacson. It was one of the most amazing days of my life. The feelings I had, some unexperienced before, were amazing. Here are a few things I learned.
1. I learned that I had not experienced all the depths of God’s love. When I went down the hill to get Abigail and walk her down the aisle and the sun came out, after raining most all day, I believe it was the closest to God I had ever felt. I can’t explain the rush of emotions at that moment.
2. I learned that my love for my family is much deeper than I comprehended. We worked for weeks, months, on the wedding together. That day, was a proud day for me as a dad. Pride in a great way and a godly way.
3. I learned my wife Wendy can coordinate an amazing wedding. Her talents, gifts, love, and patience were awesome. Her love for Abby came out in every detail. She is such a gift to me and I love her so much. The wedding was sure great and her work, and Abby’s made it happen. They are awesome.
4. I experienced life accomplishment. I can’t explain it, but, to know my daughter and new son, love the Lord, and are making great choices. It’s hard to explain, but it was euphoric to experience these feelings.
5. I learned our greatest efforts in our life toward our children have the greatest payoff and is a parents greatest responsibility and calling. Parenting our kids is a mission, not a hobby. It’s all worth it. Loving Christ and having a godly home, teaching your kids the ways of Christ, is so worth it.
6. I learned that family is so important and my love for them is so deep. Thankful to all Randy and Carol, Eric and Rachel did for us, and how we all worked, talked, and coordinated everything. They expressed their love for us in all their help.
7. I learned joy is so real, and we need to experience it more. The reception was full of joy, eating, laughing, smiles, love, relationships, and rejoicing with dancing. You don’t need booze at a wedding reception. We experienced pure joy, happiness, and goodness. It was so holy, and the joy was sacred.
8.I learned living for God is worth it because our kids benefit the most. I learned that Randy and Carol’s faith, passed down a legacy that my kids have benefited from, as I have, because of their love for God as they raised their children. Their lives emulate Christ and shines on their grandchildren. Walking with Jesus is worth it, living for the world, and self, wrecks families and futures. Live for God, and your children, grandchildren, and beyond will reap the blessing. Thank you Randy and Carol! Your fingerprints and legacy are on our lives, and the lives of all your grandchildren!
9. I re-learned how precious my kids are to us. Abby blessed me beyond words. My boys continue to exceed my greatest expectations. Praying for their future mates is worth it. God answered our prayers and will continue to I am confident. I love Justin so much and I am so excited that he is in our family. He is a great guy, and God’s hand is on his life.
10. I learned that Gabe can sing. He did awesome. And Levi can dance and do the splits. Watching them throughout the event blessed me and moved me. We are a close family and will continue to be. Their love for their sister again, blessed me deeply. It’s part of that feeling of life’s accomplishment feelings. They are close and get along so well.
11. I learned I am blessed by friendships. What great friends we have. The feelings of seeing so many friends and I know we could not invite everyone, and some could not make it, but relationships and friendship go deep. Some of our friends worked so hard to help us. What a blessing. I was blessed to know how much we are loved. It was humbling and I know it’s because of Christ. Thank you all.
Abby called her wedding “The Best Day Ever”. And it was!! I learned so much and loved every minute of it!
Christmas can be a great time. It can also be a tough time. The brokeness of relationships and past hurts rise to the surface with more obviousness at Christmas more than any other time of the year. Christmas can be a painful reminder that all is not right, that the past still haunts some families and that we are in deep need of God’s grace.
The whole Advent of Christ is about Grace and forgiveness. As we begin to talk about God healing hurts, forgiveness fro us and to others, and the blessings of relationships, I pray freedom and relational health on us all.