Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tribute To My Dad

Ah.  Father's Day.  A day of barbeque, picnics, and . . . car shows.  Or something like that.  :)  Dads all over the country receive new unwanted ties, or sweetly handmade monstrosities that they are obligated to display on their desk for some unknown period of time.  It's usually a day for kids to treat their dads like the heroes they are.  And for our family, it means even more.

 For our family, it's a day to celebrate not only the way that our Dad raised us, but also the example he set for us of our heavenly Father.  No dad is perfect, but mine comes pretty close.

He took time to make the little things big things for us.  Every time I played the piano for my Dad growing up, he would rave about me being the next big concert pianist.  I wrote a story - Dad would declare me a future published author.  He suffered through years of dance recitals, and gymnastics meets, and had to take out a second mortgage to pay for the gas it took to drive us to all those practices!

Dad had a childish wonder about the world that gave us a passion for the world around us.  He would never accept "average" for our best - but always pushed us to give our all.  He never talked down to us, but encouraged us to break the stereo type of what the "normal" kid should look like, and use the minds God gave us to excel just about every area.  Dad was never satisfied with pat answers.  He wanted us to learn to think for ourselves, and to seek out the Truth.

I've received countless intangible gifts from my Dad.  He's always been a big believer in reading - and from early on in our childhood, he was careful to share all kinds of literature with us.  I've inherited that love of reading, and hope to pass it on to my children as well.  Dad taught me to love music - not just one kind of music, all music (although I still have a hard time choking down that Country . . .)!  I can still remember being three or four, and Dad asking me "Wanna listen to some Rock & Roll?" and sitting with him in the rocking chair, in the very middle of the living room, with the speakers blasting - and being perfectly content.

Even when he was tired, Dad never made us feel like he was "obligated" to spend time with us, but made us feel treasured.  He praised us unceasingly through our growing up years, never sparing a chance to tell us how proud he was of us.

Dad with my Grandpa
Another thing I am so thankful for - is that Dad always stuck to his convictions.  ALWAYS.  If Dad said no, that was it.  As a Mother now myself, I am so grateful to have had the example of a Dad who was firm, and didn't spare me the discipline I needed to shape my character.

To this day, I admire my Dad's love of knowledge about Scripture, and theology.  He is humble enough to admit he'll never know it all, but hungry enough to never stop seeking more.  God has blessed me with a Dad who taught me to know why I believe what I believe.  Not just because so and so said it was right, but to look for answers, and come to my own conclusions.  By God's grace, I was pointed in the right direction!

I have far more awesome memories of my Dad than could possibly fit into a blog post, but as a daughter who is eternally grateful, Dad, thanks!  For everything.  I love you.

Men Grilling
Dad & Grandpa

Friday, June 1, 2012

Through The Bible In 90 Days

For my birthday this year, I received a brand new, shiny Bible.  It's an ESV Study Bible, and there is just so much in there!  I have been enjoying it immensely.  Every year for the past couple of years, my Dad has done a challenge where he reads through the bible cover to cover, in 90 days.  I have participated once, and let me tell you, it is not for the faint of heart!

However, I have learned so much more about the big picture of my salvation, and how the entire Bible points to Jesus Christ.  I'm not kidding - we're talking Genesis, and I'm seeing Jesus.  It is an amazing experience!  My Dad is out of school for the summer, and has challenged me to participate as he plunges ahead through yet another "90 Days" read.  I excitedly agreed, and he has already started the challenge.  When I called home today, he jokingly asked how the "Bible in 180 Days" was going for me.  ;)  He knows me well.  Needless to say, summer is a busy season for our family, and we travel often.  Still, I plan to begin my challenge this Sunday, and stay as close to the "90 days" schedule as I can.

This is such an enriching, deepening of faith for me.  The last time I participated, it was right before the birth of my daughter.  I am so thankful for the time of building up God used in my faith!  I would invite you to join me, and share what you're learning along the way.  I need visual reminders, so I use a bookmark with the schedule printed on it.  You can get more information about the 90 day challenge here.  I'm hoping to post updates at 30, and 60 days.  I am praying for a humble heart to learn, grace when I fall short, and endurance to press on to the finish.  Can't wait to get started!  Here's to the journey.

Grace and Peace,