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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Five Years and a Faithful Father

“My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.” Proverbs 6:20-22

It was on Father’s Day five years ago when I was ordained as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I had the privilege of choosing which Sunday to be ordained, and I could not find a more fitting day than on Father’s Day. I remembered saying to the congregation, “Every day is Father’s Day for the Christian, because as Jesus showed us, every day should be spent for the pleasure of our heavenly Father.” I must always remind myself of this because so often I think that today is about my agenda, my will, and my plans. I am grateful that I have had for the past 27 years of my life an earthly father who not only reminded me of this, but demonstrated it as well before me every day.

Another reason I chose Father’s Day to be the day I was ordained was because of the influence of my grandfather and father. This is the first year for my family without my grandfather who passed away this past November at the age of 89. Brought up in abject poverty in the heart of rural Mississippi, my grandfather tirelessly labored to lovingly provide and protect our family. Not only this, but his passion for education led him to be the first in our family who not only graduated from high school, but also college and seminary (Mississippi College and Southern Seminary respectively). Most certainly, I stand today as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ because of his leadership, his legacy, and his lovingly commitment to my father and all us who lived under his shadow.

But finally, I am where I am because of my dad. As I have thought about Father’s Day recently, the verse in Psalms kept coming to my mind, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands” (Psalm 138:8). Over the course of my Christian walk, I have experienced the faithfulness of God’s hands to lead me, to correct me, to discipline me, and to carry me. I have also experienced such hands from my dad. When I reflect on my life, all the games, concerts, trips, conferences, and other events whether big or small, invariably he was there as my biggest fan. There is not an area of my life where one will not find the fingerprints of my dad. Simply stated, he has not forsaken the work of his hands to develop me, teach me, mentor me, and father me both to be a mature adult as well as a mature Christian. He has shown himself to be uncompromising in godliness yet humble in the expression of such godliness; strong in leadership yet meek to not take advantage of such strength; a sure guide in the path of holiness yet did not allow me to piggy-back off his relationship with God. In a day where there is such a huge absence of fathers and even more so their handiwork in developing children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” I am grateful for such a father. In a day where there are so many days who strong arm and grip their children's lives so as to control and manipulate their future, I am grateful for such a father. Yes, with a steady hand that is unceasingly faithful, my dad has been a mighty weapon in the hands of my heavenly Father to make me who I am today.

So on this Father’s Day I find myself thinking about my heavenly Father’s calling of me to the ministry, the work of His hands, and how my dad has been the instrument to accomplish such a task. My dad has shown me the faithfulness of God in good times and bad, and I am most undeserving of such tender care. So on this day, I am reminded as I look at the imprints on these very words I write that every day indeed is Father’s Day.

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