I’m in Pittsburgh & the older gentleman driving me to the airport has blue eyes like my dad. He’s also kind like my dad was so this drive brings back fond memories. When I think about my dad, I often reflect on the Holy Spirit & how the Helper works in my life. In Romans 8, I learn that the Holy Spirit helps me know God as my Heavenly Father. In John 14, I understand that the Holy Spirit is my Heavenly Help throughout each day. I also understand, from John 14, that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, leading me into truth & away from deception.
My earthly dad was a big proponent of the Holy Spirit so it’s nice to have this gentle reminder as a whisper as I ride in the car with this nice older gentleman wth blue eyes.
I totally love this picture. I love looking at everyone’s reactions and of course, I most love seeing this dad shoot his arm out to protect his son from the flying bat about to smash into his son’s head. Of course the photographer who captured this did an amazing job, but the real hero in the picture is the kid’s dad. As I read the back story on this picture, I learned that the kid had his head down & was texting his mom when the baseball player accidently lost his grip on the bat & let it fly out of his hands. While everyone else ducked away, the kid’s dad instinctually protected his son.
This picture makes me think about Good Friday, which is just around the corner. Good Friday is when God the Father sent His only begotten Son to take on the punishment and death that was due to each of us because of the sinful nature passed along to us from Adam’s disobedience to us from Eden. Jesus stepped into our place, received our punishment and redeemed us so we can live a resurrected life with Him. And this resurrected life happens in us because of the continuing work of the Holy Spirit, our Heavenly Help!
Tomorrow will mark the 1 year anniversary of my dad’s death & it’s been an interesting journey over the last year with some good & some not so good stuff. While I have no intention to ignore the “not so good stuff,” I think you’ll find it more helpful & interesting to read of some of the “good stuff” today (maybe I’ll do the “not so good stuff” in a subsequent blog):
about 2 months ago I had a really vivid dream about my dad & it was extremely comforting. I dreamt that my dad was hugging me like he did when he was alive & really healthy – super strong & caring
people have been exceptionally kind, caring, patient and generous with words, time and support
I find that God the Father seems more real to me now
I have grown more dependent on God for more things in broader areas of my life – good for an independent soul ,)
Over the last month or so, I’ve thought of my dad on several occassions. Maybe it’s because I’ve been traveling alot & I started a lifetime of travel when I was 5 with my mom & dad. For whatever reason I’ve been thinking of my dad, here are a few quickie lessons I learned from him:
don’t ask questions to which you don’t really want to know the answers
always celebrate birthdays no matter how old you are because the alternative solution isn’t as appealing
don’t put mugs or glasses on antique wood furniture without a coaster – it can leave a permanent ring
smile and be warm with people just because
the jamocha shake a Arby’s is a nice complement to their roast beef sandwich and potatoe cakes with LOTS of Arby’s sauce ,)
even though nursing homes can smell bad, the people inside can be really cool & loving
when you make a hospital visit, pray for the person you’re visiting, even if there’s another person in the room (don’t be embarassed)
be patient when your dad is talking, even if he talks alot 🙂
I had the honor to speak in our church for Father’s Day & although it was difficult (my 1st Father’s Day without my dad), I’m thinking that God always has good stuff in mind for us, even in challenging situations. Yesterday, I talked about how Abraham was a man of faith & miracles – a father to us in our faith. I also threw in a few stories about my dad with his faith & life.
Here’s a fun story: one time my family took a Christmas vacation to Europe, using a book called, “Europe on $10 a Day”, endeavoring to do the tour thing on a tight budget. During that vacation, we visited Italy & I quickly learned that Italy is a bastion to all things beautiful, high style and fashion. This became uber obvious through my dad who had a unique sense of fashion that could be considered “counter-culture”. He had this bright yellowjumpsuit that he wore with white tube socks and black shoes as he walked through the streets of Florence, Rome and Venice. The best part of these strolls was to watch the Italians get whiplash in their necks as their heads spun to fully take in my dad’s fashion bravado. Even though my dad wasn’t in step with Italian fashion, he sported his yellow jumpsuit with dignity & poise, showing me that being a strong individual isn’t only important in fashion, but moreso in faith. So be encouraged to be strong in your faith and weak in your doubts 🙂
I had a friend remind me recently about a fond memory I have of my dad that might be fun for you to read about. When I was in elementary school, my dad bought a REALLY bright yellow jumpsuit & totally enjoyed it. He liked it so much that he took it on a family vacation trip to Italy. It was pretty humorous to watch this tall American man with total white hair in a BRIGHT yellow jumpsuit with white tube socks & black shoes. As he walked down the street probably the best entertainment value was to watch the Italians look at him with envy over his yellow jumpsuit ,)
Dad liked this jumpsuit so much that he pretty much wore it wherever he went or doing whatever – hospital visits, furniture refinishing, craw dad hunting, office attire & more. Thankfully, I don’t remember that he preached in the top banana ,)
My dad died on Friday evening, having struggled with Alzheimers for a few years. Here are some great things in my life because of my dad:
a love and respect for the Holy Spirit: my dad has always been super keen to be around the Holy Spirit and had tremendous respect and honor for what the Holy Spirit does and Who the Holy Spirit is
a love for beauty and creativity: my dad has always been super creative & loved art and creative expressions in almost all ways. To this day, my house is decorated with art that he passed on to me
respect for people: my dad has always loved people and could chat for hours with all kinds of people – people at garage sales, people who would refinish furniture, people in restaurants, at stores, etc; even if people were grumpy or mean, it didn’t phase my dad because he just liked people
hope for the future: my dad has always been optimistic and had killer strong faith regardless of what he saw or experienced; he confronted fear in my life when he saw that it was going to debilitate me & he challenged me to not let fear control me or my decisions
There’s TONS more to my dad – way more than a simple blog could express. But this is a really small glimpse of a really great man. Thanks heaps and heaps to my church family for being so supportive, gentle and kind to us through this experience. If you’d like to join us when we celebrate his life, we’ll be having a celebration service on Nov 11 around 6pm at Orchard Road Christian Center