June 28, 2017 - Wednesday
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Thanks, Dad!

Thanks Dad“Thanks!” Such a small word to convey the heartfelt gratitude I feel for my Dad – for the wonderful Father and person he is. It is a blessing to get to wish my Dad “Happy Father’s Day” yet another year! Words can’t express how thankful I am that our Dad is still with us, at nearly age 89! Amazingly, he’s still incredibly sharp and healthy. Such a blessing!

In addition to his great sense of humor and love for life, one of the things I love most about my Dad is how much he loved our Mom. In addition to being married nearly 60 years to his college sweetheart, loving and raising six kids, serving in the military, working as a Circuit Court Judge for 25 years, winning the Lifetime Achievement Award for his service in the field of Law, and to this day still going to the office each day working as a Mediator/Arbitrator (Judge out of court), my Dad’s undying devotion and dedication to caring for our Mom as she suffered with Alzheimer’s the last few years of her life, ultimately passing away from skin cancer more than three years ago, was truly his life’s greatest achievement.

I will never forget him loving our Mom until the very end. Helping her up in the morning, helping her put on makeup, fixing her hair, helping her dress, and getting her breakfast. Things she used to do perfectly but, in the end, needed help. She was physically able to do those things, but the Alzheimer’s robbed her of her memory of exactly how to do them. He never complained. He just helped. He served. He loved. That is the greatest act of love and strength a man can show – the undying servant he was to our beloved Mom.

In Father’s Day cards, in addition to thanking my Dad for being a wonderful Dad and for loving our Mom so well, I have also thanked him for working hard each day, at the office and at home, for providing for his family, for not being an abusive father, physically, emotionally or verbally, for living a healthy lifestyle, for being there for us when we needed his help or advice (even still!), for not demeaning us with unkind words, but rather sharing Fatherly advice and building us up with positive words of encouragement. Challenging us to both work hard and to play hard.

To love life and people. To help others as you are able. To give back. To do good. To do the right thing. He has always told us to do the right thing, even when it’s hard, as it gives you peace of mind and you can lay your head down at night and sleep peacefully, which he has always been able to do.

For many, Father’s Day is a painful day. Either they do not feel deep love or respect for their Father or their Father has passed away and it is a reminder of that great loss. For those who don’t feel love from or for their Father, I am truly sorry. I am grateful we have an ultimate Father in Heaven who loves us more than we can think or imagine. One who can fill the void of pain or loss with His great love and peace.

You are Known and Loved!
God reveals Himself to us in the role of a Father in several ways. He gives us life (John 3:3). He loves us (John 3:16).
He rewards our efforts (Hebrews 11:6).
He communicates with us through His Word (John 17:17; Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 1:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). He corrects us lovingly (Hebrews 12:3-11). God is a Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows (Psalm 68:5). And, most important, He will grant us the ultimate gift of life—eternal life in His Kingdom through His grace (Roman 6:23; Ephesians 2:5)—if we repent of our sins and obey His commands (Acts 2:38).

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

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