Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

This is Father’s Day and I have been thinking about fatherhood and all that is involved.

There are good dads in this world who work very hard to care for their families. There are those who are biological fathers only and have no part in the lives of their children. One-third of America’s children are not living with their natural fathers. I want to thank those men today who step up and become fathers to a child whose father has made mistakes and for what ever reason can’t be a real dad to his child. There are fathers who are lazy and don’t try to take care of their families. Now, I want to say something here that some might think is harsh, but I don’t think very much of a man that will not take care of his family!

This week I have been thinking about my dad. I think it’s sad that many times in life we don’t fully appreciate a person's life until he is gone. Forgive me for making references about my dad for a little while this morning. He has been gone to heaven for some years now but I think of him often. My dad was not perfect and he made lots of mistakes but he was still my Dad.

All of us think about our dads in different ways. Some may think good thoughts about their dad. Some may think bad thoughts. Some may have to pray that God would help them forgive their dad for failing them.
I was blessed with a good dad.

This morning I want to share with you from Psalm 128 that tells what a good dad can be.

A good dad is one who fears the Lord and walks in His way.
Blessed is every one that feareth [shows reverence to] the Lord; that walketh in his ways. Psalm 128:1.
The word blessed sticks out in this chapter.

I don’t know much about my dad’s life before he married my mother. I do know that he came from a very poor family. I do know that he only had a third grade education. I do know that he was raised in the Depression time. I do know that he was not raised in a very spiritual home. I do know that it wasn’t until he and my mother married and had children that he began to fear the Lord in a real sense of the word.

My older brother begin playing with some boys whose dad happened to be the pastor of the Nazarene church in our home town. Our uncle lived next door to the church and that pastor came and asked if the children could come to Sunday School. To make a long story short, it wasn’t long until our whole family was in church. Dad became the Sunday School bus driver. Soon our mother found the Lord as her personal Saviour. It wasn’t until later in life that Dad found the Lord and begin to walk with the Lord. (Never give up praying for a person who needs God.)

Even though Dad didn’t know the Lord as his personal Saviour yet he still taught us children to fear the Lord. When it came to church time we were there! Sunday School, Sunday morning, Sunday night, revival time we were there. Sometimes revival lasted for as much as two weeks, but we were there! We were taught to fear the Lord!

“Blessed is every one who fears the Lord.”

I am glad that God is a longsuffering God. I don’t know why some of us take so long giving our hearts to God, but for whatever reason, we do. It was some years later that Dad began to walk with God and became a man of the word of God. But I do know that because he and our mother feared the Lord, had a lot to do with what I am spiritually today. Thank God for a dad and mother who fear the Lord.

A good dad is one who works hard to take care of his family.
For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. --Psalm 128:2-4
Dad taught us that hard work never hurt anyone.
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. --I Timothy 5:8.
Now it's hard to talk about one of my parents without including the other. Dad and Mother were good providers for the family. Dad worked at many jobs from ship yards to ice man for our home town. That was before I was born, but during my life as a child he worked in a saw mill. I never remember my dad being without work. He always found something to do. It may not have been work he enjoyed but he always had work, because he wanted to take care of his family. Mother also worked hard to help pay the bills and put food on the table and to buy us children clothes. Two jobs I remember Mother working at are packing strawberries and working in the scrimp factory. They set the example for us.

Dad and Mother taught us children to work. There was always something to do at our house. The girls had jobs and then we boys had jobs. I want you to know that we boys always had the harder jobs, or at least it seemed to me like they were. My sisters would have different thoughts about this.

Let me share with you just a few jobs we boys did: rake the yard, dig up the garden in the spring with a shovel, plant the garden, hoe the garden, milk the cow, and stake the cow out with a chain. One of our biggest jobs was to carry water from the well that had a pitcher pump on it that was about 50 yards from the house. (It seemed to me like it was a mile.) How many of you have had the privilege of drinking from the family water bucket with a dipper? Most days two or three buckets of water would do for the family. But there was more to this water hauling than what we drank. Saturday morning was wash day. Mother had a ringer type washing machine on the back porch. There was a number three wash tub sitting beside the washer. First, we carried water for the washer. Then, we carried water for the tub to rinse the clothes. There were eight people in our family and the washing was for the whole week. We had to fill each one of them many times. After we filled them up, we could go play but we had to be able to hear Mother when she called for more water. Enough about my family.

As I look around this church this morning I see families that I know teach their children the value of hard work. All of you were taught the value of work from childhood just like I was. I feel sorry for children that have everything handed to them. They are missing out on lots of blessings.

A God-fearing, hard-working family is a blessed family.
Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. --Psalm 128:1-2.
There are some blessing that I want us to see in this chapter for the person who walks with the Lord..
  • The Man who fears the Lord and walks in His ways is blessed. “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord.” “Count your blessing name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” If we walk with the Lord we can’t help but be blessed.
  • The man who is blessed is a happy man. “Happy shall you be.” Because we walk with the Lord we will find happiness!
  • It will be well with that man who does these things. "It shall be well with you." Matthew Henry’s commentary says, “Whatever befalls thee, good shall be brought out of it; it shall be well with thee while you live, ever yet better when thou diest, and better yet for all eternity.” The Word says, “God shall supply all of our needs according to His riches.”
  • These blessing shall come out of Zion. “The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion:” Zion was where the ark of the covenant was. The Ark represented the presence of God.
The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion. --Psalm 20:1-2
Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel. --Psalm 128:6.
I am not sure why the Lord let the Psalmist put this verse in but I think maybe he was thinking about us grandparents. Oh, hat joy grandchildren bring to us! When we grow tired we can send them to dad and mom!
If I had known how much fun grandchildren were I think we would have had them first! If you want to hear more about my grandchildren see me after church. It might take awhile!

Hanging on my desk is a reading that Pallie gave me in 1989 that I think every father needs to have:

God said, "Go! Don’t quit! Your work is not in vain. 
I’ll always go with you to strengthen and sustain.”
I said, “God, I’m convinced that I don’t walk alone, 
but there are days when I lack the courage to go on.”
God said, “Go on! Don’t you quit! Remember, I love you; 
Victory is just ahead and I will see you through."
--Terry Tanksley

Happy Father’s Day, dads!

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