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Thursday, June 16, 2005

A blog to my hero

Fathers. We sons especially are greatly influenced by our fathers. And, I believe, we all eventually become our father's sons. Oh, we go through times of rebellion and disillusionment in our teenager years, our twenties are our greatest effort to "do it on our own," but by the time we reach our late forties, we grab for all the help we can.

Mitch Albom writes, "Before he can devote himself to God or a woman, a boy will devote himself to his father," and that is so true.


Let me use an acrostic today to describe my own father.

F - Faithful.

My dad is faithful. Faithful to God. Faithful to his wife. Faithful to his family. Faithful to his ministry. If dad is anything it is faithful. Nose to the grindstone stuff. Daily plowing away in the field of God's kingdom. Looking neither to the right nor to the left, always there, always persevering.

A - Accepting.

One of the things I really, really like about my father is the way he accepts those around him. Especially me. I rant and rave about certain subjects and dad just sits there and smiles, listening intently, never judging, always ready to throw in a word if asked. Perhaps that's why I choose to be so open with him about so many things. His love for his family continues to be evident in an unconditional way.

T - Truthful

I've never known my dad to not speak the truth. I've never known him to hedge on anything, be it the way he handles money, or the way he works with people. Truthful is a quality that is lacking in our world of compromise and subjective realities. To speak the truth, and to speak it in love is a rare quality.

H - Helpful

My father is always there to lend a helping hand. Many, many times in the past few years, he (and my mother) have rode up on white horses with the Calvary behind them ready to do battle with the enemies that my family were facing.

E - Expecting

Expecting, meaning, hoping, wanting the best, always looking for each of his family members to move forward, achieve God-given goals and to do the best they can. We are put on this earth for a purpose, to accomplish a dream, a vision. Dad is the ultimate example of that.

R - Righteous

One of my memories when I was a teenager in Brussels was waking up on a couple of occasions from a deep sleep to hear my father praying in the living room. And many times I heard him praying for me. My father is a praying man. I know that my family is covered with prayer on a daily basis. And prayer always comes from a man who walks with God. In righteousness.

"Let me tell you the two most important things I learned from my dad," says Michael [Tait, of the dc Talk music group].

"Number one, love people. That's what he taught, and that's what he did. He cried with people, he laughed with people. Everybody was his friend. He could care less about your race, your nationality, your socio-economic status, whatever. All he cared about was you, your soul.

"Number two, live for God and don't get caught up in the things of this world, because they're just fleeting. The world will get the best of you if you let it, so we need to truly live for God.

"My dad [a preacher] preached those two things his whole life. And those two things have shaped who I am today. I love people; I realize that life is short, God is real and that I need to live for Him."

Michael was visiting his parents in Washington, D.C., during the Christmas holidays in 1997 when his dad complained of stomach pains. Michael took him to the hospital, where doctors found the cancer. Michael was there, a few weeks later, when he breathed his last in February 1998.

"The man was my hero."

Dad, I want you to know that you are my hero!

You've taught me to love God and love people!

Thanks, dad, for all that you do. Thanks dad, for who you are. May you be blessed with many more years of love and leadership in our family.

With much love,



Jon said...

George, I am so glad that you have your Dad...he seems to be the ideal for us to emulate in our own lives. However, not all of us have been so fortunate...not that I'm complaining because I learned a lot from my Dad. I learned that there were many things that I did not want to do in my life and in my marriage. I learned that spending time with my family was more important than poker, more important than alcohol, more important than any "friend" I may ever make (other than Jesus Christ, that is), and more important than any fleeting moment of illicit sex could ever gain me. I learned all of those from watching the way my Dad lived his life. But I still loved him (and still do today) and was so glad that while suffering from his last heart attack in 1981, he asked for forgiveness from our Lord and Savior, admitted his sins, and was granted the mercy and grace that is the gift to all of us from God. I miss my Dad, even flawed as he was, because I never really knew him in the way that so many kids get to know a Godly father. That's part of my motivation to try and be the best father I can be to my kids and any others that come into my life. I fail often but I keep trying...I hope someday to hear my father tell me that he thought I did a good job. More important, though, is to hear God say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." I pray we can all hear those words and that we all can recognize our Father above as we do our own earthly fathers on this day. God bless.

Words are deadly said...

Pastor Flattery,

Unfortunatly Jon is right, not all of us have as great a dad and a God loving dad like you have.

I do have to say that even though I barely see my dad I will ALWAYS be daddy's little girl. But, My dad works three jobs. He isn't home much and he usually will go out and do something for a friend faster than he would ever do something for my mom or I.

See, my dad was a Jahova witness (srry, can't spell that) before he married my mom. When they got married he was kicked out of his church because my mom was a christian. My parents have this "understanding" that religon is never to be talked about in a marrige. However, unfortantly my dad still is loyal to being a Jahova Witness- therefore he DOES NOT like it very much that I go to church.

I am actually kinda ashamed to say, I even kept my baptism a secret from him as long as possible. In fear that he would be angry with me for doing what I had done, excepted Christ as my personal savior.

My dad is a very stuburn man. If something doesn't work he'll yell at it or just throw it down and say forget it. At one point, confused at what I had said one day and angry that he didnt understand, he said "Forget you" to me.

Even though he is a very stuburn person and does NOT approve of me being a christian, I still love him. Even though he's never there, I still love him.

I AM a daddy's girl, and proud of it. I just wish he was home a little more often.

~Mindy Bartzen

Youth Extreme said...

This is great, I love my Dad, he is in Michigan and planning to visit us tomorrow, Friday. As I have gotten older I look forward more and more to those times I can spend with him. He, Like your father George was always there, he has not always walked a Godly life, but he has always been a faithful husband and father. He was my first coach in Football and baseball. I do not remember ever loosing a game while he was my coach. He taught me to win, and to be gracious in winning. He is still my biggest fan and in his eyes I am an all American in every sport. He had the pateitance of Job. He would take me and my three brothers fishing and spend hours doing nothing more then getting our lines out of tree branchs, stuck on logs and tangled with each other. He never had a chance to put his line in the water. He is blessed with the gift of "Help", he will help anyone any time. He will be 75 in another 13 days. Last year he during the hurricans in Florida he drove a semi to pick up needed supplies and delivered them to the shelters, he drove a bus to transport the elderly to shelters before the storm hit. He then went through his neighborhood fixing his neighbors houses before they returned from up north. Paying for most of the repairs out of his own pockets. What has this taught me? WHen I am driving my kids from one event to the next I appreciate the that my father did the same for me and never complained. So I don't. I love to coach, I love to win, and I love seeing kids respond to the teaching and instruction. I spent my younger years trying not to be my father, and I am spending my years now trying to be my father. I pray that I have his energy and drive when I am his age. My kids think it is great that their Grandpa will still ride roller coasters with them today.

I love my father and here is to a great Fathers Day and thanks for helping to remember him.

Firstag Music said...

Like jon, I learned those same lessons from my father. My only memories of him were of his drinking, being drunk, or arguing with somebody. After the age of eight I only saw him twice. Unfortunately he died of a drug or alcohol overdose in a halfway house in Florida when I was 15. He knew about the Lord, but I don't know if he ever made a commitment. The circumstances of his death would suggest he did not.

Father's Day only began to take on meaning for me once I became a father. I love my daughters and I want to be the best father I can be. Sure I don't always get things perfect, but I love them and they know it because I tell them and I express that love everyday.