As a pastor it is hard to tell where your life picks up and your job stops. Pastors either work four hours a week or 168, it’s one or the other, there’s no middle ground. At the same time, it’s hard to tell why you are doing stuff. Are you being nice because you are a Christian or because it is your job? Not sure it’s possible to answer that question and I’m not even sure it’s a real issue.
What I am sure of is that I don’t know why my dad did what he did, either out of duty or out of wanting to, but I do know he did it. God sees the heart, I see the external. All I know is that my dad put up with people and did things for them. In the end, I’m not sure it matters too much what our motives are, can we ever have completely pure ones anyway? The important thing is whether or not any fruit was created. My dad had fruit.
My dad will not be remembered on a global level or a national level, not even a state or city level. He is known by a relatively small group of people. But that group of people loved him and were impacted by him.
Continue reading “My Dad: A Brief Biography Part 20”
When I was growing up I never appreciated how much my dad knew. I knew he was smart and I knew people came to him with questions, but still, he can’t be that smart! I mean, he is my dad after all. I don’t think I ever understood the great example of Christ I had right in my home.
Now that I’m older and getting to know lots of people from a pastoral angle, I see how fortunate I was to have had Christ living in my house! People just don’t have that, Christ is out there, bizarre, mystical, OK for two thousand years ago but not practical now. My dad showed how practical Christ really is.
There was this guy in church who would raise his hand on Sunday or Wednesday nights when the church service was less formal and more like a discussion. He would always quote verses and sound very spiritual and informed. People respected him and looked up to him, including me.
Continue reading “My Dad: A Brief Biography Part 19”
Manhood and life are hard enough, then you throw Christianity on top of it and life becomes almost too much to take! There are many people who think Christianity is joyous and non-stop hilarity with Jesus. It isn’t, at least not biblical Christianity.
The Apostle Paul says those who live a godly life WILL suffer persecution. Biblical Christianity is about not esteeming yourself above others. It’s about submitting, serving and all that. When you try it, you see how much of a bummer it is. It stinks, which is why few do it.
My dad did it. I have never seen anyone who did so much for others. I remember visiting with him on several occasions. He would go visit a woman or some people he didn’t know well and he’d drag me along because with his boy there, old people were nicer to him and he could avoid any weird charges that often get pastors in trouble. I was never real thrilled with this, but I went.
Continue reading “My Dad: A Brief Biography Part 18”
In the year after my dad died, as part of my grieving, I wrote this book. I’ve waited to make it public for many reasons. But now, more than 11 years later, I want to share it. My dad was a good man. I want you to know about him and his influence. I hope you enjoy.
On several vacations my dad would buy us all notebooks and we would learn things and write them down and then have to write down goals. We were supposed to make goals for the trip, what we wanted to do, see, and learn, plus goals for the year ahead. I have kept doing that ever since in one form or another. He kept us analyzing things, finding spots where we could improve and finding things we could excel at. We were never done because he was never done.
He always had a pile of books to read, piles of wood to carve, things he dreamed of doing. He always wanted to expand our Christmas morning breakfast to a campout. Winter camping was an obsession for a time. Luckily he never carried that one out! He always wanted to make a black powder rifle and shoot it. The kit is still in his office. He always had one more thing he wanted to do, one more project, one more book to read. It was this passion to learn more and do more that showed me what life was really all about.
Continue reading “My Dad: A Brief Biography Part 17”
Back in Michigan I walked to the bus stop with the neighbor girl for kindergarten. She was older than I was and told my parents she would take me. One day she was late. I was sitting in the living room by the window waiting for her to come. She didn’t. My dad walked into the room and asked me what I was doing there. Waiting for the neighbor girl, dad. I must have said it weird or he heard me wrong, but I got in trouble! I had no idea why, still don’t to this day. But I got a spanking. Wow, where is this coming from?
After school my dad came out and talked to me and explained that he was wrong for spanking me, he thought I said something else. He apologized to me! Wow, that’s OK dad, don’t worry about it. Ha, I got to forgive my dad for once! Then he took me to the store and bought me a new truck! Oh yeah! Spank me every day dad!
This is yet another memory I asked my dad about that he did not remember. It’s weird how different things make impressions on people. How could I forget that moment? First there was the confusion of getting in trouble for nothing. I’m sure I deserved a spanking for something he never found out about, but this was out of nowhere! Then the awkwardness of having my dad apologize, it blew my mind. But that’s how my dad was. He was honest. It sounds corny but he was a man of character. When he made a mistake he admitted it. When he had a success he gave someone else the credit.
Continue reading “My Dad: A Brief Biography Part 16”
Manhood is sort of an elusive term. Some guys prove their manhood by womanizing, smoking, drinking, fighting, tattoos, and all manner of things. Others prove it with professionalism, money, promotion, possessions, and stuff like that. In America, the unofficial manhood initiation is a driver’s license.
Most 16-year old guys are talking about cars and driving. In high school most guys spend their free time telling stories of speeding tickets or accidents. If you had a driver’s license, you then needed a car. A guy with a driver’s license and a car was considered a man. This works out well for most guys.
It didn’t work out well for me. I was born legally blind. I have a hereditary eye condition passed on to me from my grandfather through my mom. I can see stuff but I miss out on details. My depth perception is a bit off as well. I could never pass the eye test to get a driver’s license. Cars were sort of the enemy for a while. I was bitter about it when I was 16.
Continue reading “My Dad: A Brief Biography Part 15”