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'Daddy'

November 7, 2018

Today is my father’s 100th birthday! I’m reflecting, not on the public figure Billy Graham, but on the one I called “Daddy.” I miss him more now than when he first moved to our Father’s House. With a dull ache in my heart, I long to drive up to see him one more time. To tell him about the new journey of faith God has me traveling. To hear him say, “I love you, darling.”

Today, I’m remembering one who was always a farmer at heart.  Who loved his dogs and his cat.  Who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events.  Who wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap.  Who loved lukewarm coffee, sweet ice tea, one scoop of ice cream, and a plain hamburger from McDonald’s. Who was interested in everything and everyone, from the small to the great.  Whose mind remembered details that even a computer would have trouble recalling.

Yet as I remember, I can’t help but also think of his message because he was immersed in it.  Saturated in it.  He was his message…a simple man who had responded to God’s love by placing his faith in Jesus, receiving the assurance that his sins were forgiven, that he would not perish, but would have everlasting life.  Simple faith.  Faith that now matters more than anything else.

For years, over his head as he preached was the banner that quoted the words of Jesus:  I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Jesus completed that sentence by saying that no one comes to the Father but by Me.  Based on what Jesus said, Daddy is safely with the Father, celebrating his first birthday in Heaven. Daddy not only claimed Jesus as the only Way to God, he lived by the Truth publicly on platforms and privately behind closed doors and is now enjoying real Life.

So, while he may be physically absent and his voice silent, I am confident that his message will continue to reverberate throughout the generations to come. While I’m somewhat bound and set aside, I have not forgotten my recommitment to take up his message like a baton being passed in a relay race. I am committed to faithfully pass it on to those with whom I come in contact, whether through this blog, or those I pass at the hospital during chemo treatments or doctors’ visits. Because Daddy’s message is God’s message.  And it’s a message of genuine hope for the future, of love for the present, of forgiveness for the past. It’s a message, when received, that brings a fresh beginning, unshakable joy, unexplainable peace, eternal significance, meaning and purpose to life, and opens heaven’s door. I know, because the message which Daddy carried to the world penetrated my own heart as a young girl and continues to make impact.

On this, his 100th birthday, while my heart aches for the one I called Daddy, my heart is also filled with triumphant joy knowing that this life is not all there is. One day we are going Home!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

 

 

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February 22, 2018

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown… 2 Timothy 4:7-8

Until 7:30 a.m. on the morning of February 21st, when I received the news that Daddy had moved to Heaven, I had enjoyed watching the Olympics. Besides being thrilling to me, from time to time I have been able to catch life-lessons from the competition.

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Happy Birthday, Daddy!

November 7, 2017

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;  I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.…I will be with him…I will deliver him…I will honor him.  With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”  Psalm 91:14-16

Today, November 7, 2017, my father turns 99 years of age!  And thus he enters into his 100th year!  I think I can speak for my entire family when I say we are all amazed…and very thankful…that he is still with us. My mother moved to Heaven, the place Jesus called our Father’s House, ten years ago. And I, for one, never imagined Daddy would continue to live without her, much less outlive her for such a lengthy period of time. What a treasure it has been to have these last ten years to enjoy his presence that has always included his humor, his prayers, his insights, his stories, his encouragement, and his love.

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