I am so thankful that the Lord has given my Dad to us another year. I realize not everyone has the chance to have their Dad for that long or have even had the chance to grow up with a Dad. So I don’t take it lightly AT ALL that God has allowed me to experience having my Dad (a godly one) for this long.
I am thankful for the way we’ve been raised. My parents aren’t perfect..they’ll be the first to tell you that..but I think they come pretty close. I didn’t always have a right spirit. Growing up in the ministry wasn’t always easy and I struggled alot with different things. I am thankful though that my parents were so patient with me during those times. I believe all four of us kids are still serving in the ministry today because of my parents. They raised us for the Lord not for men. I remember many times us getting in trouble growing up…and my parents had every right to be humiliated or angry..but instead they didn’t care what people thought and always did what was best for us.
I was thinking today of the different things that I am thankful for when it comes to my Dad. Things that I hope to one day pass on to my own children.
- FAMILY always comes first. Not once did I ever feel neglected growing up. If you know my Dad he is so focused on ministry and reaching people for Christ, but his family ALWAYS comes first. He made it a priority when we were growing up to make MONDAYS our family day. We didn’t always want to do it..especially when we became teenagers and thought we were too cool ha! But now I look back and realize those were some of the best memories. Even now that we are older he always takes time away to just spend with us.
- He really loves the Lord. I know in the world we live in today is not uncommon to hear stories of someone who’s love they claimed they had for the Lord wasn’t really sincere..or they hid behind the name of Jesus. Thankfully none of us children have EVER had to doubt or wonder how much our Dad loved the Lord. We always knew. He loves God with all of his heart. The other night at church when he got up to give a little speech about turning 60…all he did was praise God. He kept repeating over and over how he felt so blessed because he was a CHILD OF THE KING. He isn’t ashamed of Jesus. I want my kids to KNOW that one day of me.
- Church is Important. We always knew if the church doors were open we were going to be there. Of course just like anyone..there were times growing up we would try to get out of church, usually Sunday mornings haha..I remember though if we said we were too sick to go to church my Mom or Dad would say “Okay, fine. You can stay home since you’re sick, but you are not to watch any tv, you can’t be on your phone, you can’t do anything except rest. And you won’t be going out tonight either. You will stay in the rest of the day.” haha It was amazing HOW FAST we healed. Dad made sure that church was important and if we were going to miss anything it wasn’t going to be church. Now that I am older I don’t try to look for ways to miss church..I look for ways NOT to miss church. He made sure that church wasn’t about just GOING but being present while you’re there. Singing to Jesus, ministering to others etc. I LOVE church!!
- Don’t take everything so personal and learn to get along with people. It’s unreal the things people get offended about or hurt at these days. It’s like people go around LOOKING for things or reasons to get offended. Not Dad, I remember how many times telling him something someone said or did that was hurtful and he would always say “Die to self Abie.” or “Don’t take what people say personal” or “Keep looking UP”. At the time I felt like he wasn’t taking my side or he didn’t understand..but now that I am 27 years old..I realize it was the BEST THING he ever did for me. He didn’t let us get in the habit of running to him everytime someone said something hurtful or did something unkind and expect him to come to our rescue. He taught us to take criticism. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt or doesn’t bother us, but we know how to handle it. It hurt him, but he knew that he wasn’t going to help us by coming to our aid everytime we got our feelings hurt. He helped us realize that life isn’t fare and people won’t always like you or be kind, but that your reaction and how you take it is what rally matters. He never gets caught up in drama. He keeps his eyes on the Lord and I think that is the key to everything. We all are able to take hurt and critics and people that don’t like us ALOT better now in the ministry because what he taught us growing up. We are able to get along with VERY DIFFICULT people because of what he taught us.
- Sees the GOOD in everyone. Regardless of whether he likes that person or not he’s going to see the good in them. Regardless of if that person hates him or has been hurtful to him he’s going to see the good in them. I LOVE THAT. Ive really tried to do that in my one life. It’s alot harder than I thought. I am thankful that he chooses to see the GOOD in everyone, because there is always good to be found in everyone. We sometimes just choose NOT to see it. I believe this is why he has been able to influence SO many people for Christ.
- Consistency. My Dad is so consistent. He is doing the EXACT same things he was doing in 1996 when we arrived here. I definitely want to be like that when I’m a parent. I want my kids to see consistency. Not one day this and the next day something else. We always knew where Dad was. I’m thankful for his consistency in the ministry.
- His love for souls and the ministry. I think more than ANYTHING this is what I love the most about him. His love for souls has passed on to our people. They are all such go-getters. His love for souls has passed on to his children. Ministry is a part of us. We all love it. Every Sunday we all go to lunch as a family and almost 80% of our conversation at the table consist of people that were saved, new converts, anything ministry. I love it. It gives me joy like none other. I am thankful for the example of burden of souls he has passed on to us. I pray everyday that my son will grow up and love God and souls!
- His patience. Like I said above, the ministry wasn’t always easy for me and I didn’t always LOVE it the way I do now. I went through a rough time and questioned everything from standards to beliefs. I truly believe that my parents patience and giving us time to grow and letting the LORD work in our lives is the reason we are where we are today. I rememember times my Dad would just let me say the meanest things to him or vent and he would take it with such graciousness and mercy..haha He prayed and fasted for us ALOT and really let God work in our hearts. He didn’t let us get away with things or do whatever we wanted but he did let us be open with him if we had questions or resentment about something. We always knew we could come to him about anything.
I literally could go on and on..but these were some of the main things that came to mind when I was thinking of all the things I’m thankful for about HIM. I’m thankful for the goldy heritage he has given us to be able to pass on to our kids and generations to come. Today I’m thanking God for the Father he gave me..for his example..his holiness and faithfulness. God’s been so good to us. He was so excited because Sunday night the church people presented him and my mom with a TRIP TO THE HOLY LAND. I prayed for so long that God would let them both experience that. I know that going there will only increase even more his LOVE FOR THE LORD.