On a day like today, I want to express my appreciation to the many fathers who have invested in my life. The Bible says in 1Corinthians 4:15, “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” That means we may have alot of people who want to instruct us, but few who want to model, spent time, invest, reprove, and help us to mature.
God blessed me with one of the most honourable, Godly men as a father. Dad, I am so thankful for all that you taught me and how you modelled the Christian life for me. You taught me to work hard, to love God, to go to church, to give, to honour the man of God, to follow God’s will regardless of man’s opinion, and so many other things. I love you, Dad, and hope that I can be half the father to my children that You were to me.
I am also grateful for my father-in-law, Mike Smith, for rearing such a wonderful daughter who is joy and help to me. He has also been a great example and encouragement to me in my Christian walk.
The Lord not only blessed me with a great biological father, but many spiritual fathers. On this day, I praise God for:
- Richard Folger – the pastor I was saved and called to the ministry under
- Dale Adkins – the assistant pastor who prayed with me many times and the pastor of Mansfield Baptist Temple who has been a continual blessing to me.
- Al Humble – my youth pastor for a couple years and then the assistant pastor of our church who always encouraged me in my decisions for Christ.
- Curt Smith – my youth pastor who took me on my first mission trip, continually challenged and counselled me, and allowed me my first opportunity to lead singing.
- Sunday School teachers – Mr. Schweitzer, Mr. Earhart, Mr. Donough, Mr. Hannon & Mr. Hannon, Mr. Stoner, Mr. Marks, and others I am sure I have missed.
- Moses Yoder – my pastor at Carrollton Baptist Temple for a couple of years who supported my decision to go to Peru and allowed me to start a children summer class.
- Stan Anderson – another pastor of our church who counselled with Teri and I before marriage and encouraged me along my missionary journey.
- Clarence Sexton – the past of the Bible college where Teri and I went who was a great example and teacher to me.
- David Powell – my pastor for a couple of years while we were missionaries who encouraged and guided me in the ministry.
- Jeff Bush – my dorm superviser at Bible college who was a huge spiritual influence and example in my life.
- Austin Gardner – my pastor now of Vision Baptist Church, who has made a huge impact in my life over the last 7-8 years. I spend six months with him in Peru, and every since has been a friend, mentor, and spiritual father to me. He has visited with us four times here in Ireland and helped to shape me, my marriage, my ministry. So much that I am as a man, preacher, and Christian, I owe to you, Pastor Gardner.
I also want to say thanks to my Heavenly Father for His love and for sending His Son to die for me. Thank You, Lord, for all that you are and do for me. Thank you for the two wonderful children You have given me. Thank you for the men in our church who are trying to be good fathers to their children and families.
Have a Happy Father’s Day, and be sure to express your gratitude to Your Dad.